Category: Major rivers in India

Indian Rivers: A source of fertility or futility

Rivers in India

Rushing, roaring and meandering down the valleys and mountain ranges, the Indian rivers are one of the major sources of living for many. Popularly called the “land of rivers”, India boasts of numerous water bodies that has enhanced the beauty and splendor of India.

The origin of the rivers in India comprises three prime watersheds:

  • Himalayas and the Karakoram ranges
  • Vindhya, Satpura ranges and the Chota Nagpur Plateau
  • Western Ghats

The Indian rivers further can be classified into the Himalayan Rivers, Deccan Rivers and the Coastal Rivers. When talking about the Indian Rivers, the rivers that immediately spring on our lips are Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. However, India is home to several other rivers like Brahmaputra, Krishna, Cauvery, Narmada and many more.

Besides rendering a pleasing beauty to the country, the Indian Rivers also happens to be an important source of transportation, hydro-electricity and most importantly irrigation. The lives of the boatmen, farmers, fishermen and others depend on these water bodies. A large number of crops depend on the water from the rivers.

Further the rivers in India are indispensably connected to Indian culture. Wrapped in religious ethos and mythology, these rivers also draw numerous tourists from all corners of the world. Various dams and multipurpose projects on Indian Rivers have been undertaken at various times thus making the rivers in India a source of economy as well.

With change in time the function of the Indian rivers have underwent major sea changes. The rivers like Alaknanda etc are being made use of for various purposes like adventure sports, river rafting etc.

The Indian rivers bear the evidences of the oldest civilization. Hence these are significant religiously, historically, and culturally. Twisting through the valleys the rivers come down to nurture the lands, in the same way as it did hundreds of years ago.

But the most alarming problem that concerns the Indian Rivers is the huge amount of pollution deteriorating the conditions of these rivers badly. The rivers in India receive million litres of sewage, agricultural and industrial wastes. This has resulted in the rivers degrading to sewage drains. The pollution of Indian Rivers is causing serious water problems in different corners of India, leading to diseases and other fatal problems. With these existing problems, whether “Indian Rivers: A source of fertility or futility” remains a question.


Rivers play important part in the life of human life . Earlier civilizations flourished in the basins of major rivers and are so called river valley civilizations. .  Rivers supplied continuous supply of water for farming and human consumption. These river valley civilizations flourished along the banks of Indus, Nile, Tigris, Euphrates and Yellow River.

River Map of India

Indian Rivers are classified into four categories on the basis of their origin. They are

1. Himalayan Rivers

2. Deccan Rivers

3. Coastal Rivers and

4. Rivers of the inland Drainage basin

Well known rivers in India are

  1. Ganga
  2. Gandak
  3. Godavari
  4. Gomti
  5. Hoogli
  6. Kaveri
  7. Kosi
  8. Koyna
  9. Krishna
  10. Luni
  11. Mahanadi
  12. Musi
  13. Mutha
  14. Narmada
  15. Pamba
  16. Ponnaiyar
  17. Penner
  18. Periyar
  19. Ramganga
  20. Rivi
  21. Sarswati
  22. Sabarmati
  23. Son
  24. Subarnarekha
  25. Sutlej
  26. Tapti
  27. Tungabhadra
  28. Yamuna