Which is the longest river in India? To answer this question, we need to consider one factor –the distance of the river covered within the Indian territory. If you consider this element as the sole deciding factor, then the Ganges is the longest river within the country. But again, Indus and Brahmaputra are the longest rivers in terms of total length. But the span covered by both these water bodies inside Indian borders is much less when compared to the Ganges. Today, let us list down the longest rivers in India and the various legends surrounding them.
1. The Ganges (2525 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay fourth-largest Rivers In India
The Ganges is obviously the most sacred river when it comes to Hindu beliefs and it is also the longest river, enclosed with the Indian subcontinent. Its point of origin is the Gangotri Glacier in Uttarakhand and it starts at the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in Devprayag, Uttarakhand.
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The Ganges is compromised by contamination, not exclusively to people, yet in addition to creatures, among which are in excess of 140 fish species, 90 land and water proficient species, reptiles, for example, the gharial, and warm-blooded creatures, for example, the Ganges waterway dolphin, the last-referenced two incorporated into the IUCN’s basically imperiled list. The degrees of fecal coliform microbes from human waste in the stream close Varanasi are in excess of a hundred times the Indian government’s legitimate limit.
The states that are covered by this waterbody are Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. The last part of Ganges ends in Bangladesh, where it finally converges in the Bay of Bengal. Some of the primary tributaries of the Ganga are the Yamuna, Son, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, and Koshi.
2. Indus (3610 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay Second Largest Rivers In India
The genesis of our country’s name, India, can be credited to the river Indus, which begins from the Mansarovar Lake and then crosses Ladakh, Gilgit, and Baltistan. It then routes itself into Pakistan. The Indus is also known for harbouring one of the oldest and flourishing civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization. Its main tributaries include Jansker, Soan, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas.
Major Cities located on the banks of Indus are – Leh, and Skardu. The total length of the Indus River is 3,610 kilometers. However, its distance covered within India is only 1,114 kilometers.
3. Brahmaputra (3848 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay Third Largest Rivers In India
The Brahmaputra, the sole river whose gender is considered male in India, finds its point of origin at the Angsi Glacier near Mansarovar Lake, Tibet, China. Here it is called the Yarlung Tsangpo River and then it gains entry into India via Arunachal Pradesh.
During the rainstorm season (June–October), floods are an exceptionally normal event. Deforestation in the Brahmaputra watershed has brought about expanded siltation levels, streak floods, and soil disintegration in the basic downstream environments, for example, the Kaziranga National Park in center Assam. Every so often, gigantic flooding makes tremendous misfortunes yields, life, and property. Occasional flooding is a characteristic wonder which is biologically significant in light of the fact that it keeps up the marsh fields and related untamed life. Occasional floods additionally store new alluvium, renewing the fruitful soil of the Brahmaputra River Valley. In this way flooding, horticulture, and agrarian practices are firmly associated.
It then traverses through Assam and finally enters Bangladesh. The Brahmaputra covers an entire length of 3,848 kilometers (as per the latest statistics). However, its total length within India is only 916 kilometers.
4. Godavari (1465 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay fourth larges Rivers In India
Again, in terms of the total length covered within India, the Godavari aka Dakshin Ganga or South Ganges is the second longest river in India. It begins from Triambakeshwar, Nasik in Maharashtra and traverses via Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, after which it finally meets with the Bay of Bengal.
The major tributaries of the river can be classified as the left bank tributaries which include the Purna, Pranhita, Indravati and Sabari River covering nearly 59.7% of the total catchment area of the basin and the right bank tributaries Pravara, Manjira, Manair together contributing 16.1% of the basin.
The stream is sacred to Hindus and has a few places on its banks, that have been spots of the journey for a large number of years. Among the gigantic quantities of individuals who have washed in her waters as a ritual of purifying are said to have been the divinity Baladeva 5000 years back and the holy person Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years prior. Like clockwork, Pushkaram reasonable is hung on the banks of the stream.
Its total span in terms of length is 1,465 kilometers and its main tributaries are Banganga, Indravati, Purna, Pravara, etc. Some of the prime cities on the banks of Godavari are Nashik, Nanded, and Rajahmundry.
5. Sutlej (1450 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay fifth-largest Rivers In India
The Sutlej also referred to as the Satluj or the Satadree, is mainly located in the northern part of India, covering the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Haryana and then entering Pakistan. It also covers a bit of the Chinese region although the major portion of the river lies in Pakistan. The Satluj comes with a very fast flow rate, making it suitable to harvest hydroelectric power in the region.
Several dams have been constructed over this river, such as the Bhakra Dam, the Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Plant, and the Nathpa Jhakri Dam. It also flows at a very high altitude and forms a part of the Indus river system.
6. Krishna (1400 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay Sixth largest Rivers In India
Krishna, which is the fourth-longest river in India (within the country’s borders) in terms of water inflows and river basin area, following the Ganges, Godavari, and the Brahmaputra. Covering a length of 1,400 kilometers, it serves as one of the prominent sources of irrigation for the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.
It originates in Mahabaleshwar and then enters the Bay of Bengal after flowing through the above states. The main tributaries of the Krishna are Bhima, Panchganga, Dudhaganga, Ghataprabha, Tungabhadra and its main cities by the banks are Sangli and Vijayawada.
7. Yamuna (1,376 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay Seventh largest Rivers In India
Again, ranking as the fifth-longest river in terms of distance covered in the Indian subcontinent is the Yamuna, which originates from the Yamunotri Glacier. Running across a distance of 1,376km, it offers means of living to almost 50 million people.
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Utilization of the Yamuna’s waters for the water system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains is upgraded by its numerous waterways, some dating to the fourteenth-century Tughlaq line, which assembled the Nahr-I-Bahisht (Paradise) parallel to the stream. The Nahr-I-Bahisht was reestablished and reached out by the Mughals in the main portion of the seventeenth century, by designer Ali Mardan Khan, beginning from Benawas where the stream enters the fields and ending close to the Mughal capital of Shahjahanabad, the present city of Delhi.
One of the prominent features of the Yamuna is that it does not end in any sea or ocean and still is one of the largest rivers in the country. It is one of the main tributaries of the Ganges.
8. Gadilam (1,333 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay Eighth largest Rivers In India
The Gadilam, which graces the southern parts of India and flows within the state of Tamil Nadu, is also called the Kedilam River. It covers the districts of Cuddalore and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu and features a relatively small water flow, drainage area, and sand deposit.
It has a little water stream, seepage region, and sand store.
It is commonly overwhelmed during the storm season and raises the water table and feed tanks on its bowl. Hardly any renowned sanctuaries like Thiruvathigai Veerataneshwar sanctuary and Thiruvanthipuram Thevanathan Perumal sanctuary are situated in its banks.
It is likewise referenced in the Medieval Bhakti written works like Thevaram. The Gadilam River moves through the town of Cuddalore and isolates the Old Town from Thirupadiripuliyr.
Its levels rise during the monsoons and it also harbours some famous temples on its banks, such as the Thiruvathigai Veerataneshwar temple and Thiruvanthipuram Thevanathan Perumal temple. It finally discharges into the Bay of Bengal.
9. Narmada (1,312 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay Ninth largest Rivers In India
The Narmada, which flows in the central portion of India, has one unique feature. In contrast with all the rivers of the country that flow in the east direction, it flows westward. It is also considered as one of the holiest water bodies and it does not end in any sea or ocean.
To Hindus the Narmada is one of the seven heavenly waterways of India; the other six being Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Sindhu, and Kaveri. It is accepted that a dunk in any of these seven waterways washes one’s transgressions away. As indicated by a legend, the waterway Ganges, contaminated by a large number of individuals washing in it, accept the type of a dark cow and goes to the Narmada to wash and purify itself in its sacred waters.
The waterway was referenced by Ptolemy in the second century AD as Namade and by the creator of the Periplus. The Ramayana, the Mahabharat, and the Puranas allude to it oftentimes. The Rewa Khand of Vayu Purana and the Rewa Khand of Skanda Purana are altogether committed to the tale of the birth and the significance of the waterway, and subsequently, Narmada is additionally called the Rewa
10. Mahanadi River (851 km)
Image Copyright- Pixabay Tenth largest Rivers In India
The last longest river in India and occupying the 10th position on our list is the Mahanadi River which originates in the Raipur district of Chhattisgarh. Its major tributaries are Seonath, Mand, Ib, Hasdeo, Ong, parry river, Jonk, Telen.
The Mahanadi was infamous for its staggering floods for a lot of written history. Hence it was called ‘the distress of Orissa’. Anyway, the development of the Hirakud Dam has enormously modified the circumstance. Today a system of waterways, blasts and check dams keep the stream well in charge. Anyway, a substantial downpour can at present reason enormous scale flooding as confirm in September 2008 when 16 individuals kicked the bucket as the waterway ruptured its banks.
India is the land of rivers and these mighty water bodies play a huge role in the economic development of the country. The Indian River system can be categorized into two parts — the Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers. While a majority of these rivers originate in Himalayan glaciers, several also start within the continent itself. And most of them take an eastward direction, converging with the Bay of Bengal — barring a few examples as outlined in the sections above.