India is well-known as the land of rivers as numerous rivers are flowing across the country. It plays a huge role in the economic development of the country. Rivers are the major irrigation sources of India.
The rivers in India have been divided into two, namely Himalayan Rivers (rivers that originate from the Himalayas) and Peninsular Rivers (rivers that originate in the Peninsula). Himalayan Rivers are perennial while Peninsular Rivers are rain-fed. Here, in this article, we will talk about the top 10 longest rivers in India.
Top 10 Longest Rivers in India
Here is the list of the top 10 longest rivers in India in terms of length.
|Rank||River||Total Length (km)|
|6.||Indus||3180 (1114 in India)|
|7.||Brahmaputra||2900 (916 in India)|
Source and Source location of the longest rivers
|1. Ganga||Gangotri Glacier||Uttarakhand|
|4. Yamuna||Yamunotri glacier||Uttarakhand|
|5. Narmada||Amarkantak Plateau||Madhya Pradesh|
|6. Indus||Mansarovar Lake||Tibet (China)|
|7. Brahmaputra||Angsi Glacier||Tibet (China)|
|9. Kaveri||Brahmagiri Hill||Karnataka|
|10. Tapti||Betul district (Satpura Range)||Madhya Pradesh|
Major Tributaries of the Top 10 longest rivers in India.
The tributaries of the major rivers are highly important for almost all competitive exams. Often the tributary of a particular river is asked in competitive exams like SSC and Railway exams.
|River||Tributaries (left Bank)||Tributaries (Right Bank)|
|2. Godavari||Banganga |
| Tons |
|5. Narmada|| Tawa |
|6. Indus|| Zanskar |
| Kameng |
|8. Mahanadi|| Seonath |
| Ong |
|9. Kaveri|| Harangi |
| Lakshmana Tirtha |
Major Facts about the Longest river in India
1. Ganges River (2525 Km)
• Total length of the river Ganga is 2525 km.
• It is the most sacred river in India to Hindu beliefs.
• It is a transboundary river of Asia that flows through India and Bangladesh.
• The Ganges is India’s largest and longest river, followed by Godavari (1465 Kms).
• The river Ganga originated from the Gangotri Glacier, located in Uttarakhand, and starts at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in Devprayag.
•The river flows through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal.
• In West Bengal at dhulian Murshidabad, It entered Bangladesh and finally converged in the Bay of Bengal.
• In Bangladesh, the river Ganga is known as the Padma river.
• Major left bank tributaries of Ganga are Koshi, Burhi Gandak, Garra, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Mahananda and Ramganga.
• Major right bank tributaries of Ganga are Yamuna, Sone, Ajay, Tamsa (also called Tons), Karamnasa, Falgu, Kiul, Punpun, Chandan, Damodar, and Rupnarayan.
• Some of the prime cities on the banks of Ganga are Patna, Bhagalpur, Munger, Jamalpur, Hajipur, Kanpur, Varanasi, Haridwar, and Rishikesh.
Also, see the List of the Indian cities on the river banks
2. Godavari River (1464 Km)
• Total length of Godavari River is 1464 km.
• In terms of length covered within India, the Godavari is the second longest river in India.
• Godavari river is also known as Dakshin Ganga or South Ganges.
• The river originated from the Triambakeshwar, Nasik in Maharashtra and traverses via Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, after which it finally meets with the Bay of Bengal.
• The major left bank tributaries of the river include the Purna, Pranhita, Indravati, and Sabari Rivers.
• Some of the prime cities on the banks of Godavari are Nashik, Nanded, and Rajahmundry.
3. Krishna River (1400 Km)
• The total length of the Krishna river is 1400 km.
• The river Krishna is the third-longest river in India in terms of length.
• It works as one of the prominent sources of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, and the state of Andhra Pradesh.
• After originating from Mahabaleshwar the river enters the Bay of Bengal after flowing through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.
• Some of the major tributaries of the Krishna river are Bhima, Panchganga, udhaganga, Ghataprabha, and Tungabhadra.
• Major cities on the bank of river Krishna are Sangli and Vijayawada.
4. Yamuna River (1376 Km)
• The Total length of the river Yamuna is 1376 km.
• The Yamuna, also called Jamuna, originated from the Yamunotri glacier at the Banderpoonch peak in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
• The Yamuna is the longest right bank tributary of the River Ganga.
• Hindon, Hanuman Ganga, and Sasur Khaderi are the major left bank tributaries of Yamuna.
• Major right bank tributaries of Yamuna are Tons, Giri, Baghain, Chambal, Betwa, Sindh, and Ken.
• River Tons is the longest tributary of the Yamuna river.
• The central states through which the river flows are Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.
5. Narmada River (1312 Km)
• The Total length of the Narmada river is 1312 km.
• The Narmada River originated from the Amarkantak Plateau in Anuppur district Madhya Pradesh.
• The river is also known as Rewa and previously known as Nerbudda.
• Due to its massive contribution to the state of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, It is known as the “Life Line of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat”
Also, see Nicknames of Indian Rivers
• In contrast with all the rivers of the country that flow in the east direction, it flows westward.
• It is also considered one of the holy water bodies. To Hindus, the Narmada is one of the seven heavenly waterways of India; the other six are Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Sindhu, and Kaveri.
6. Indus River (1114 Km)
• The total length of the Sindh River is 3180 km. It covers 1,114 kilometers in India.
• The river originated from the Mansarovar Lake, and after crossing Ladakh, Gilgit, and Baltistan, it entered Pakistan.
• One of the oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley civilization, flourished on the banks of the Indus River and its tributaries.
• Major left-bank tributaries of the Indus river include Zanskar, Suru, Soan, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, and Panjnad.
• Major Right bank tributaries of the Indus river include Shyok, Hunza, Gilgit, Swat, Kunar, Kabul, Kurram, Gomal, and Zhob River.
• Leh and Skardu are the major cities located on the bank of the river Indus.
7. Brahmaputra River (2900 Km)
• The total length of the Brahmaputra River is 2900 km.
• Its total length within India is only 916 kilometers.
• It is the sole river in India whose gender is considered male.
• Source of the river is Angsi Glacier near Mansarovar Lake, Tibet, China.
• After the Indus river, It is the second river that originates from the Mansarovar ranges.
• In Tibet (autonomous region of China), it is called the Yarlung Tsangpo River. The river enters India via Arunachal Pradesh, then traverses through Assam, and finally enters Bangladesh.
• During the rainstorm season (June–October), floods are exceptionally usual.
• The Kaziranga National Park is located on the banks of the Brahmaputra river.
• World’s largest river Island “Majuli or Majoli,” is located on the river Brahmaputra, Assam. In 2016 it became the first island to be made a district in India. Majuli Island is spread over an area of 880 square kilometers.
7. Mahanadi River (890 Km)
• The total length of the Mahanadi river is 890 km.
• The Mahanadi River originates in the Raipur district of Chhattisgarh.
• The river flows through the states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha and finally falls into the Bay of Bengal.
• The Mahanadi river was known as ‘the sorrow of Odisha’.
• Its major left bank tributaries are Seonath, Mand, Ib, and Hasdeo.
• Its major right-bank tributaries are Ong, parry, Jonk, and Telen.
• World’s longest earthen dam, Hirakud dam built across the river.
8. Kaveri River (800 Km)
• The total length of the Kaveri river is 800 km.
• Kaveri River, also spelled Cauvery, is a sacred river of southern India.
• It rises in Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in Karnataka and flows through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and finally fas into the Bay of Bengal.
• In Tamil Nadu, the river breaks into many distributaries forming a vast delta called the “garden of southern India.”
• Some of the major irrigation projects on the Kaveri river are Parambikulam Aliyar, Amaravathy Medium, Arkavathi Medium, and Badanavalu Medium.
10. Tapti River
• The total Length of the river Tapti or Tapi is 724 km.
• Tapti River is one of the only three rivers in Peninsular India that runs from east to west.
• The river is named after the goddess Tapati, the daughter of Surya, the Sun-god, and Chhaya.
• It rises in the Betul district (Satpura Range), Madhya Pradesh, and drains off into the Gulf of Khambhat (Arabian Sea).
• The river flows through the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the longest river in India
Q 1. Which is the longest river in India?
Ans. The Ganges River is the longest river in India. The total length of the river is 2525KM.
Q 2. How many major transboundary rivers are there in India?
Ans. In India, there are three major transboundary rivers: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, and the Indus.
Q3. Which is the second-longest river in India?
Ans. Godavari River, the total length of the Godavari River is 1465 km.
Q4. Which is the longest river in South India?
Ans. The Godavari is the longest river in South India. The total length of the Godavari River is 1465 km.
Q5. Which is the largest river in India by volume?
Ans. The Brahmaputra is the volume-wise largest river in India. The total length of the Brahmaputra River is 2900 km. Its total length within India is only 916 kilometers.
Q6. Which is the longest river in peninsular India?
Ans. The Godavari is the longest river in South India with a length of 1465 km.
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