Everything You Need to know about Himalayan Rivers

Dear Friends,

Everything You Need to know about Himalayan Rivers has been covered extensively in this post.

There are three major Himalayan rivers such as:

  1. The Ganga
  2. The Brahmaputra 
  3. The Indus.

River Ganga

Length: 2350KM

Origin and Destination

  1. River Ganga originates from the icy cave of Gomukh of Gangotri Glacier on the Kumaon Himalaya in Uttaranchal.
  2. Its head-stream is Bhagirathi. It travels down through a narrow gorge and joins the Alakananda at Devprayag.
  3. The Bhagirathi, on its union with the Alakananda, becomes, the Ganga.
  4. At Rudraprayag, the Ganga receives the Mandakini which originates from the Gaurikund.
  5. Flowing southwards through the Nagtibba and the Siwaliks range, the Ganga descends on the plain at Haridwar.
  6. The Ganga receives a large number of tributaries, such as, the Ramganga, Gomati, Sarada, Rapti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Sapt Kosi etc. from the left bank.
  7. The Yamuna is the largest tributary of the Ganga.


  1. The Ganga basin covers an area of 9,51,600 sq. km.
  2. The plain, from Haridwar to the mouth of the Ganga is the most important agricultural land of the world.
  3. A large number of great cities and towns are found on its bank; the important ones are Haridwar, Varanasi, Patna, Kanpur, Allahabad, Munger and Bhagalpur.
  4. From the mouth to 1600 km upstream, the Ganga is navigable.
  5. It is the largest river of India.

The BrahmaPutra

Length: (2,900 km)

Origin and destination

  1. The Dihang, after its union with Dibang and Lohit, acquires the name Brahmaputra.
  2. After making a sharp bend towards the south, it enters into India through a deep narrow gorge in the east of Namcha Barwa in Arunachal Pradesh as the Dihang.
  3. It flows along the northern slope parallel to the Himalayas towards the east for about 1,200 km as Tsangpo River.
  4. The Brahmaputra originates from the Chemaung-Dung glacier near Manas sarowar in Tibet.
  5. The Brahmaputra flows through the Assam Valley from the east near Sadiya to the west up to Dhubri. The Subarnsiri, Manas, Bhareli, Buridihang, Kopili, Lohit and Dhansiri are the main tribu­taries of the Brahmaputra.
  6.  The Brahmaputra takes again a sharp bend towards the south and enters into Bangladesh as Jamuna river; it joins the Padma and finally drains into the Bay of Bengal forming a great delta on its mouth.


  1. BrahmaPutra brings a lot of sediments and debris which fill up the river-bed.
  2. The Majuli Island is such an island on the river Brahmaputra and is famous for its great size which covers an area of 1,260 sq. km-it is the largest river-island in the world.
  3. The Brahmaputra is navigable up to 1,250 km upstream from the mouth.
  4. Though it is 2,900 km long, its small length comprising 800 km is in India and the rest goes to China and Bangladesh.

The Indus originates from the springs of Sengge Khabal near Lake Manas sarowar and enters in India in Ladakh. It cuts through the Himalayas in a deep gorge near Nanga Parbat and then leaves Kashmir to enter Pakistan. It finally drains into the Arabian Sea.

The Indus

The mighty five tributaries on the left bank of the Indus are:

  • The Satluj (Satadru)
  • The Beas (Bipasha)
  • The Ravi (iravati)
  • The Chenab (Chandrabhaga)
  • The Jhelum (Vitasta)


  1. All these tributaries have their sources in the snowy regions of the Himalayas.


  1. These five rivers have made the fertile plains of the Punjab.
  2. Only about 700 km of the Indus flows through the Indian territory.
  3. Srinagar, the Capital of Jammu and Kashmir, stands on the bank of the Jhelum River.
  4. The Bhakra-Nangal Project on the Satluj supplies water for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.

Other Rivers In India

  • Betwa – It covers Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh before merging into Yamuna
  • Yamuna – Yamuna runs its most of the course parallel to Ganga before contributing its water to Ganga at Allahabad
  • Gomti – Starts near the junction of three borders viz. Nepal, Uttarakhand and UP
  • Ghaghra – Starts in Nepal near Uttarakhand
  • Son – Not Himalayan river, covers MP, UP, Jharkhand and Bihar. Largest of Ganga’s southern tributaries
  • Gandak – Starts from Nepal
  • Kosi – Starts from Bihar, near Indo-Nepal border

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