- The main water divide in Peninsular India is formed by the Western Ghats, which runs from north to south close to the western coast.
- Most of the major rivers of the Peninsula flow eastwards and drain into the Bay of Bengal.
- These rivers make deltas at their mouths.
- There are numerous small streams flowing west of the Western Ghats.
- The Narmada and the Tapi are the only long rivers, which flow west and make estuaries.
- The drainage basins of the peninsular rivers are comparatively small in size than the Himalayan rivers.
- Two types of peninsular rivers:
- West Flowing: Narmada, Tapi
- East Flowing: Damodar, Subarnrekha, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri West Flowing Rivers
The Narmada Basin (aka Rewa)
- It rises in the Amarkantak hills in Madhya Pradesh.
- It flows towards the west in a rift valley formed due to faulting.
- All its tributaries are very short and most of these join the main stream at right angles.
- Its basin extends over the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra.
- It is bounded by the Vindhyas on the north, by the Maikala range on the east, by the Satpuras on the south, and by the Arabian Sea on the west
- The Sardar Sarovar Dam is on the river in the state of Gujarat.
- It enters Arabian Sea near Bharuch in Gujarat. Aaliya Bet island is situated on its mouth.
- Dhuandhar falls in Madhya Pradesh
The Tapi Basin
- It rises in the Satpura ranges (Betul plateau) in Madhya Pradesh
- It also flows in a rift valley parallel to the Narmada but it is much shorter in length.
- It flows south of the Satpuras.
- It covers parts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
- Its mouth is located at Surat, Gujarat.
- Purna river is its important tributary.
- It originates in Aravallis, Rajasthan.
- After reaching Gujarat, it drains into the Arabian Sea.
- It rises in Madhya Pradesh and after flowing through the Vagad region of Rajasthan, enters Gujarat and flows into the Arabian Sea.
Mandovi (Mhadei) & Zuari river
- Both originate in Western Ghats.
- They are important rivers of Goa and merge with the Arabian Sea.
West Flowing rivers of Karnataka
- Sharavati- Jog Falls (aka Gerosoppa Falls or Jogada Gundi) is located on this river..
West Flowing rivers of Kerala
- Periyar- It merges into Vembanad Lake. Source is in Tamil Nadu
- Pamba/ Pampa- empties into the Vembanad Lake. Originates in Western Ghats.
The coastal plains between Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea are very narrow. Hence, the coastal rivers are short.
East Flowing Rivers
- West bengal + Jharkhand
- Source: Chota Nagpur Plateau, Jharkhand
- Barakar is an important tributary which also originates from the Chota Nagpur Plateau.
- It meets Damodar in West Bengal.
- The river merges into Sunderbans
- The region is well known for it Iron & Steel industry.
- It originates from Ranchi plateau.
- Flows through Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha.
- It merges with the Bay of Bengal in Odisha.
- It originates from the Garhjat Hills of Odisha ( on the southern edge of Chota Nagpur Plateau)
- It flows into the Bay of bengal
- It is a major seasonal river of Odisha.
- It is formed by the confluence of the Sankh and the South Koel rivers originating from the Chota Nagpur Plateau.
- It rises in the highlands of Chattisgarh (Dandkaranya).
- It flows through Odisha to reach the Bay of Bengal.
- Left Bank Tributaries- Seonath, Mand, Ib, Hasdeo
- Left Bank Tributaries- Ong, Jonk, Telen
- The Hirakud Dam is built across the river.
- It is also known for Talcher Thermal Power Plant
- Source: Nayagarh Hills (Odisha)
- Its mouth is a well known hatching site for Olive Ridley Turtles.
- They live in only warm tropical waters of Pacific, Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.
- These small turtles are highly endangered.
- They are known for their unique mass nesting called ” Arribada”. In this process, thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
- Odisha’s Ganjam coast is the largest mass hatching site of Olive Ridley Turtles in the world.
- It is the largest peninsular river.
- It rises from the slopes of the Western Ghats in the Nasik district of Maharashtra.
- Its length is about 1500 Km.
- It drains into the bay of Bengal.
- Its drainage basin is also the largest among the peninsular rivers.
- It covers parts of Maharashtra (> 50%), Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
- It is also known as Dakshin Ganga.
- Left Bank tributaries- Penganga, Wardha, Wenganga (all three together form Pranhita), Indravati, Banganga, Kadva, Shivana, Purna, Kadam, Taliperu, Sabari
- Right Bank tributaries- Nasardi, Darna, Pravara, Sindphana, Manjira, Manair, Kinnerasani
- It rises from a spring near Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra.
- Its drainage basin is shared by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
- Left Bank Tributaries: Bhima (chandrabhaga river), Dindi, Peddavagu, Haliya, Musi, Paleru, Munneru
- Right Bank Tributaries: Venna, Koyna, Panchganga, Dudhaganga, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Tungabhadra
- It rises from the Nandi Hills in Karnataka.
- It flows through Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
- Left Bank Tributaries: Jayamangali, Kunderu, Sagileru
- Right Bank Tributaries: Chitravati, Papagni, Cheyyeru,
- It rises in the Brahmagiri range of the Western Ghats and reaches the Bay of Bengal via Tamil Nadu.
- Its basin drains part of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Left Bank Tributaries: Hemavati, Shimsha, Arkavathy
- Right Bank Tributaries: Kabini, Bhavani, Noyyal, Amaravati
- Sivasamudram waterfall is located on Kaveri
- It originates in Varusanadu Hills of Tamil Nadu.
- Madurai is located on the banks of the river.
- It empties into the Palk Strait.
- The Vattaparai Falls are located on this river.
Read More: Indian River System