UPSC Exam   »   Rivers and their Tributaries

Rivers and their Tributaries


Indian drainage system consists of a large number of small and big rivers. It is the outcome of the evolutionary process of the three major physiographic units and the nature and characteristics of precipitation.

India is bestowed with a large number of rivers—both major and minor. This article will specifically deal with the major rivers and their tributaries.

Indian river system is one of the most important and scoring section for UPSC CSE. In this article, we will discuss about the major rivers and their tributaries, and comparison between Himalayan and Peninsular rivers.



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Rivers and their Tributaries


Rivers Tributaries
Indus Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej
Ganga Yamuna, Chambal, Son, Damodar, Mahakali, Ghagra, Ramganga, Kosi, Gandak.
Yamuna Tons, Hindon, Chambal, Sindh, Betwa, Ken.
Chambal Banas, Sind, Betwa, Ken.
Son Johilla, Gopad, Rihand, Kanhar, North Koel.
Narmada Amaravati, Bhukhi, Tawa, Banger
Brahmaputra Subansiri, Kameng, Belsire, Dhansiri, Manas, Sankosh, Tista, Dibru, Dihing, Kalang, Burhi, Dikhu.
Mahanadi Ib,Hasdo,Sheonath, Sondur, Pairi, Ong, Tel.
Godavari Penganga, Wardha, Weinganga, Indravati, Sabari, Manjira.
Krishna Koyna, Tungabhadra, Ghatprabha, Malprabha, Bhima, Musi,Munneru.
Kaveri Harangi, Hemavati, Kabini, Bhavani, Arkavathy, Lakshmana Tirtha, Noyyal and Arkavati.



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Comparison between the Himalayan and the Peninsular River


Sl. No. Aspects Himalayan River Peninsular River
1. Place of origin Himalayan mountain covered with


Peninsular plateau and central highland
2. Nature of flow Perennial; receive water from glacier

and rainfall

Seasonal; dependent on monsoon


3. Type of drainage Antecedent and consequent leading to

dendritic pattern in plains

Super imposed, rejuvenated resulting

in trellis, radial and rectangular


4. Nature of river Long course, flowing through the

rugged mountains experiencing

headward erosion and river capturing;

In plains meandering and shifting of


Smaller, fixed course with well-adjusted


5. Catchment area Very large basins Relatively smaller basin
6. Age of the river Young and youthful, active and

deepening in the valleys

Old rivers with graded profile, and have

almost reached their base levels


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