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Chapter 5 - Drainage System

Indian drainage system is broadly classified as :-
1. Himalayan River
a. Indus System
b. Ganga System
c. Brahmaputra System

2. Peninsular River
a. West Flowing
b. East Flowing


Indus System
Jhelum, Chenab, Beas, Ravi, Satluj known as "Panchnad"

i. Indus (Sindhu or Sengge Khabab)

  • Origin - Mansarovar, Length - 2880 Km
  • Flows b/w Zaskar & Kailash range
  • Tributaries - Zaskar, Gilgit, Drass, Shyok, Nubra
ii. Jhelum (Vitasta)
  • Origin - Verinag (JK), Length - 725 km
  • Flows only in JK, joins Chenab at Trimmu (Pak)
  • Tributaries - Krishan Ganga, Lidar
  • Project - Tulbul
iii. Chenab (Askini)
  • Origin - Chandra, Bhaga stream (Lahut & Spiti, HP), Length - 1800 Km
  • Largest tributary of Indus
  • Project - Salal, Baglihar, Ranvir Sagar, Dulhasti
iv. Ravi (Parushni)
  • Origin - Kullu Hills (Rohtang Pass, HP), Length - 720 Km
  • Project - Ranjit Sagar orThein Dam
v. Beas (Vipasha)
  • Origin - Beas Kund (Rohtang Pass, HP), Length - 470 Km
  • Joins Satluj at 'Harike Barrage' (Punjab) - from barrage 'Indira Gandhi Canal' (longest) takes off & extends upto Jaisalmer
  • Project - Pong Dam
vi. Sutlej (Satudri or Langchen Khambab)
  • Origin - Rakash Tal (Tibet), Length - 1050 Km
  • Enters through Shipki-la pass
  • Tributary - Spiti
  • Project - Bhakra Nangal (Govind Sagar Dam), Nathpa Jhakri (HP)
According to Indus Water Treaty (1960) India can use water
20% - Indus, Satluj, Jhelum
80% - Chenab, Beas, Ravi

Ganga System



  • The Ganga originates as Bhagirathi from the Gangotri glacier in Uttar Kashi District of Uttaranchal at an elevation of 7,010 m.
  • Alaknanda R originates from Satopanth Glacier (Badrinath)
  • Joshimath or Vishnu Prayag -  meeting point of Vishnu Ganga & Dhauli R with Alaknanda
  • KarnPrayag - meeting point of Pindar & Alaknanda R
  • RudraPrayag - meeting point of Mandakini & Alaknanda R
  • DevPrayag - meeting point of Gangotri & Alaknanda R
  • Joined by its most important tributary Yamuna at Allahabad
  • At Murshidabad Farakkha Barrage (WB) before entering Bangladesh it bifurcates into Hoogly (most tracheous River) & Padma (in Bangladesh).
  • In Bangladesh it is joined by its largest tributary Jamuna (Brahmaputra) & later joined by its second largest tributary Meghna & then empties into Bay of Bengal
  • Worlds largest Delta is formed b/w R Meghna & R Hoogly accompained by Sundarbans Mangroove Forest, home of Royal Bengal Tigers
  • The total length of the Ganga River from its source to its mouth (measured along the Hugli) is 2525 km, of which 310 km in Uttaranchal, 1,140 km in Uttar Pradesh, 445 km in Bihar and 520 km in West Bengal. 
  • Right Bank Tributaries - 
Yamuna originates from Yamunotri Glacier joins Ganga at Allahabad. Joined by its tributaries such as Tons(HP), Chambal(MP), Betwa(MP), Ken(MP)
Son orignates from Amarkanthak (MP) it is the largest peninsular tributary of Ganga, meets Ganga at Ara (Bihar)
Damodar (Sorrow of Bengal)originates from Jharkhand joins Ganga at Durgapur 
  • Left Bank Tributaries - 
Gomti originates from Gomat Taal Pilibhit(UP) joins Ganga at Gazipur(UP)
Ghagara originates from Tibet joins Ganga at Chhapara(Bihar) 
Gandak originates from Nepal joins Ganga at Patna
Kosi (Sorrow of Bihar)originates from Tibet joins Ganga at Katihar(Bihar)
Mahananda originates from Darjeeling(WB)

Brahmaputra System


  • Originates from 'Chemayungdung Glacier', 'Kailash Range' (Mansarovar Lake)
  • Known as 'Tosangpo' (The Purifier) in Tibet
  • Makes deep gorge near 'Namcha Barwa'
  • Enters India from 'Sadia Town' (AP) under name 'Siang or Dihang'
  • After meeting left bank tributaries Dibang & Lohit it is known as Brahmaputra
  • At Dhubri (Assam) it takes left turn & enters into Bangladesh
  • In Bangladesh it is known as 'Jamuna' joined by Teesta R (Orig from Charamu Lake Sikkim) in Bangladesh
  • "Majuli" is the worlds largest river water inland formed by Bramaputra in Assam

For Peninsular System Catch us in the next Article...... 
   

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