Major Peninsular river

In this article, three major rivers of Peninsular India- the Godavari river, the Krishna river and the Mahanadi river are discussed.

The Godavari River

The Godavari river is the largest river of Peninsular India. It is known as the Dakshin Ganga or Vridha Ganga (old Ganga) because of its age, size and length. It is navigable in the delta region.

Source of origin of the Godavari river: It rises from a place called Trimbak located in the Western Ghats in Nashik district in the state of Maharashtra.

Confluence or mouth of the Godavari river: It drains into the Bay of Bengal before forming a large delta below Rajahmundry.

Major Tributaries of the Godavari river

  • The Indravati River
  • The Pranhita River
  • The Penganga River
  • The Purna River
  • The Duhna River
  • The Manjra River
  • The Wardha River
  • The Wainganga River
  • The Sabari River

The Godavari basin

The Godavari river flows through the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Puducherry. The Godavari basin is bounded by Satmala hills on the north, Ajanta range and Mahadeo hills on the south, the Eastern Ghats on the east and the Western Ghats on the west.

Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Godavari river system:

  • The Gangapur Dam- The dam has been constructed across the Godavari in Nashik district in the state of Maharashtra. The reservoir created by the dam is known as Gangapur Bandh Sagar.
  • The Jayakwadi Dam- The dam has been constructed across the Godavari river near Paithan in the state of Maharashtra. It aims to address the dual problems of flooding along the banks during monsoon months, and that of drought during the rest of the year, particularly in Marathwada region.
  • The Sriram Sagar Project- The project has been executed across the Godavari river in Nizamabad district in the state of Telangana.
  • The Polavaram Project- The Polavaram project is being executed across the Godavari river in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Dowleswaram Barrage- The barrage was built by Sir Arthur Cotton, a British engineer in 1852. It is located in Rajahmundry in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Other facts related to the Godavari river system:

  • The Godavari river is subjected to heavy floods in its lower reaches to the south of Polavaram, where it forms a picturesque gorge.
  • The coastal areas in the Godavari basin are cyclone-prone.
  • The deltaic areas of the Godavari basin face drainage congestion due to flat topography.
  • A large portion of Maharashtra, the Marathwada region in the Godavari basin is drought prone.
  • Some important cities on the banks of Godavari river are Nashik, Bhadrachalam, Rajahmundry and Narsapur.
  • Asia's largest rail-cum-road bridge, the Godavari bridge linking Kovvur and Rajahmundry is considered to be an engineering feat.

The Krishna River

The Krishna river is the second largest east-flowing river of Peninsular India.

Source of origin of the Krishna river: It rises from a water spring near Mahabaleshwar located in the Sahyadri hills region of the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra.

Confluence or mouth of the Krishna river: It drains into the West Bengal before forming a delta near Hamasaladeevi in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Krishna basin is surrounded by the Godavari basin on the north and the Eastern Ghats on the south and east and the Western Ghats on the west. The Krishna basin is roughly triangular in shape.

Major Tributaries of the Krishna river:

  • The Tungabhadra River
  • The Bhima River
  • The Koyna River
  • The Verna River
  • The Panchganga River
  • The Ghataprabha River
  • The Malprabha River
  • The Dudhganga River
  • The Musi River

The Krishna river basin:

The Krishna River flows through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Krishna river basin

Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Krishna river system:

  • The Tungabhadra Project- The project aims at producing hydro-electricity, providing irrigation water and municipal water supply and controlling floods in the region. Under this project, a dam has been constructed across the Tungabhadra river near Hospet in the state of Karnataka.
  • The Srisailam Project- Under the project, a large dam has been constructed across the Krishna river in Kurnool district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It has created a reservoir named as Srisailam Sagar or Neelam Sanjjeva Reddy Sagar.
  • The Nagarjuna Sagar Dam- The construction of the dam started in 1950, being one of the earliest large infrastructure project of India, aimed at bringing Green Revolution. The dam has been constructed across the Krishna river straddling the borders of Nalgonda and Guntur districts.
  • The Prakasam Barrage- The Prakasam Barrage was conceptualised by Major Cotton of the East India Company. It is constructed across the Krishna river near Vijayawada in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Ghatprabha Project- The project has been executed across the Ghatprabha river near Chandgad in Kolhapur district in the state of Maharashtra in the Krishna river basin.
  • The Bhima Project- The project has been executed across the Bhima river in Solapur district in the state of Maharashtra in the Krishna river basin.

 

The Mahanadi River

The Mahanadi River system is the third largest of peninsular India and the largest river of Odisha state. The word Mahanadi is a compound of the two Sanskrit words maha which means"great" and nadi which means"river".

Source of origin of the Mahanadi river: It rises from a place near Sihawa in Bastar hills in the state of Chhattisgarh to the south of Amarkantak.

Confluence or mouth of the Mahanadi river: The Mahanadi river drains into the Bay of Bengal after being divided into different branches in the deltaic area. The main branches of River Mahanadi meet the Bay of Bengal at Paradip and Nuagarh (Devi estuary).

Major Tributaries of the Mahanadi river

  • The Seonath River
  • The Hasdeo River
  • The Mand River
  • The Ib River
  • The Jonking River
  • The Tel River

The course of the Mahanadi river

The Mahanadi flows through the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. The Mahanadi basin is bounded by the Central India hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and east and by the Maikala range on the west.

Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Mahanadi river system

  • The Hirakud Dam- It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India's independence. The dam aims at controlling floods in the Mahanadi basin, providing water for irrigation and municipal water supply. The dam is located near Sambalpur in the state of Odisha.
  • The Gangrel Dam- It is also known by the name of R.S. Sagar Dam. The dam is built across the Mahanadi river in Dhamtari district in the state of Chhattisgarh.
  • The Dhudhwa Dam- The dam is constructed across the Mahanadi river in Dhamtari district in the state of Chhattisgarh.

Issues related to the Mahanadi river system

  • The Mahanadi river basin is subject to severe flooding occasionally in the delta area due to an inadequate carrying capacity of the channels. The multi-purpose Hirakud river valley project provides some amount of flood relief by storing part of flood water. However, the problem still persists and a lasting solution needs to be evolved.

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