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Rivers of India

Indian rivers may be classified into the Himalayan Rivers, Deccan Rivers, Coastal and inland drainage basin rivers.  The Himalayan rivers are snow fed and they have a reasonable amount of flow around the year.  They overflow the banks and cause flood during the rainy season.

The rivers in the south get their water from rains and so the quantity of water in them is not always the same.  The coastal streams in the inland drainage basin of Western Rajasthan are few and far.  They drain towards the individual basins or sands having no outlet to the sea.  River Luni only drains into the Rann of Kutch.

The Ganga sub basin is the largest in India receiving waters from an area.  It comprises one quarter of the total area of the country.  It is about 7500 sq.km.  The Ganga flows through the UP, Bihar and West Bengal.  It is joined by Yamuna, the Gagra, the Gomti, the Kosi, Chamba, Betwa and Sonne Rivers join Yamuna. 

The Godavari in the South has the largest river basin covering 10% of country’s area.  It is followed by Krishna basin and the Mahanadhi.  The basin of the Narmadha in the uplands of the Deccan and the Cauvery in the far south are same in size.

The agriculturally important two river systems are the Tapti in the North and Pennar in the South.  They contain 11 percent of the country’s water resources and irrigate about 10% of land area.  There are fourteen major river basins each with drainage area of over 20000 sq.km and 44 medium basins and the total water in all rivers is roughly 164500Mcm