Rivers are abundant in India and play an important role in the country’s growth. Himalayan, peninsular, marine, and inland-drainage basin rivers represent the different types of rivers in India. Many of these rivers are considered sacred and play a crucial role in the lives of the Indian people. The Ganges (Ganga), Brahmaputra, and Yamuna are among the most well-known rivers in India.

Rivers in India flow from east to west, including the Narmada, Mahi, and Tapti Rivers. This river information is provided to help you better understand the Indian River Map.


Indian Rivers Map PDF Details
PDF Name
Indian Rivers Map
No. of Pages03
PDF Size1.70MB
Language English

Major Himalayan River systems:

  • The Indus River System
  • The Ganga River System
  • The Yamuna River System
  • The Brahmaputra River System

Major Peninsular River Systems:

  • Mahanadi
  • Godavari
  • Krishna
  • Cauvery

For many people across India, river systems provide essential resources such as irrigation, potable water, cost-effective transportation, power, and livelihoods. The River Map of India illustrates the country’s river system, which consists of seven primary rivers and their various tributaries. Water from the largest river basin in the country flows into the Bay of Bengal. However, some rivers in the western part of India, as well as those in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the east, empty into the Arabian Sea. Inland drainage areas are found in parts of Ladakh, the northern Aravalli range, and the arid Thar Desert.

The Ganga: Hindus consider the Ganga the holiest of rivers, even though it is ironically one of the most polluted. Its contamination not only endangers humans but also various aquatic species. Following the Ganga, the Godavari is India’s second-longest river, forming one of the nation’s largest river basins.

Indus River: The Indus River played a significant role in the development of one of the oldest human civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization, making it of historical importance. Moreover, the term ‘India’ finds its roots in the name of the Indus River. Pakistan controls 93 percent of the river, India 5 percent, and China 2 percent. In Greek and Latin, the Indus River’s region is known as ‘India.’

The Yamuna: Also known as the Jamuna, the Yamuna originates from the Yamunotri Glacier in the uppermost region of the Lower Himalayas. As the largest tributary of the Ganges, the Yamuna forms natural state boundaries between Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The Brahmaputra River: Known as the Assam Life Line, the Brahmaputra is a significant river for irrigation and transportation, originating at the Angsi Glacier. It enters India in Arunachal Pradesh and flows through Assam, forming Majuli, the world’s largest river island.

Mahanadi: The name Mahanadi is a combination of the Sanskrit terms ‘maha’ meaning ‘great’ and ‘nadi’ meaning ‘water.’ It is the most important river in the states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, with its waters mainly used for irrigation and drinking. It is also known as Odisha’s Ruin, partly due to devastating floods in the past, which were mitigated after the construction of the Hirakud Dam.

Indian Rivers System

NameLength (km)AreaOriginates FromEnds inPlaces Benefited
Indus3180/ 1114 in India3,21,289 Sq.Km.in Tibet in northern slopes of Mount KailashArabian seaIndia and Pakistan
Ganga (Bhagirathi)25251.08 million Sq.Km.Gangotri in UttrakhandBay of BengalUttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Bihar, West Bengal
Yamuna (Jamuna)1376366223 Sq.Km.Yamunotri in GarhwallBay of BengalDelhi, Haryana and UP
Brahmaputra916 – in India194413 Sq.Km. – in IndiaAngsi glacier in TibetBay of BengalAssam, Arunachal Pradesh
Kaveri (Dakshina Ganga or Ganges of the south)76581155 Sq.Km.Brahmagiri hills in Kogadu, KarnatakaBay of BengalKarnataka and Tamil Nadu
Godavari14653,12,812 Sq.Km.Triambakeshwar in MaharashtraBay of BengalSouth-eastern part of Andhra Pradesh
Krishna1400258948 Sq.Km.Mahabaleshwar in MaharashtraBay of BengalMaharashtra & Andhra Pradesh
Narmada131298,796 Sq.Km.Amarkantak in Madhya PradeshArabian SeaMadhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
Tapti72465,300 Sq.Km.Betul district of Madhya Pradesh in the Satpura rangeArabian SeaMadhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
Mahanadi8581,41,600 Sq.Km.Sihava mountains of ChhattisgarhBay of BengalJharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa
Vaigai2587,741Sq.Km.Varusanadu HillsBay of BengalMadurai in Tamil Nadu
Periyar2445,398 Sq.Km.Sivagiri peaks of Sundaramala, Tamil Nadu.Bay of BengalTamil Nadu and Kerala
Thamirabarani1854,400 Sq.Km.Agastyarkoodam peak of Pothigai hills of the Western Ghats,Gulf of MannarTamil Nadu

Categorized in: