River System of India – Ganga River System - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

River System of India – Ganga River System

by Devender 06-Sep-21

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There is 3 prime Watershed of River Origin in India namely:

  • Himalayas and Karakoram ranges
  • Vindhya, Satpura ranges, and Chota Nagpur Plateau
  • Western Ghats
  • The rivers of India can be categorized into 4 categories on the basis of their origin which are:

  • Himalayan Rivers
  • Deccan Rivers
  • Coastal Rivers
  • Rivers of the inland Drainage basin
  • Ganga is the largest river in India followed by the Godavari. The top 5 largest rivers of India are: Ganga > Godavari > Krishna > Yamuna > Brahmaputra.


    Ganga River System

    The Ganga river system consists of many rivers. The tributaries of the river Ganga have their own tributaries. For example -

  • Ganga Tributaries - Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Kosi, Son, Tons & Punpun
  • Ghaghara Tributaries- Sarda & Rakti
  • Kosi Tributaries - Arun, Tamur & Sun Koshi
  • Yamuna Tributaries - Chambal, Sind, Betwa & Ken
  • Chambal Tributaries - Kali Sindh, Parvati & Banas

  • River Ganga Tributaries
  • The river Ganga originates as Bhagirathi from Gangotri Glacier, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. It then unites with Alakananda at Devprayag, Uttarakhand, and henceforth known as Ganga.

  • It then passes through Rishikesh and Haridwar
  • After Haridwar, it flows Southward to get to Allahabad where it meets the Yamuna
  • Near Rajmahal Hills, it turns southeast and gets divided into two parts at Farraka which are: Hoogly (Kolkata) & Padma (Bangladesh).

    In Bangladesh, Ganga merges with Brahmputra which is known as Jamuna in Bangladesh. The mixture becomes Padma River.

  • It finally merges with Meghna and falls in the Bay of Bengal
  • Meghna is known as the Barack river in India

  • Major Tributaries of Ganga River System

    1 Ghaghara

    It originates from Bharchachungar Glacier (Rakas lake) near Mansarovar. It joins Ganga at Chhapra.

  • It is known as Manchu or Karnali in Nepal
  • It is known as Saryu or Ghaghra in UP
  • It is a Perennial river
  • Its tributaries are - Sarda & Rakti.


    2 Son

    It originates from the Amarkantak Plateau (Near the north of the origin of Narmada). It flows through Kaimur Range to meet Ganga at Patna.


    3 Gandak

    It originates from Sino – Nepal Boundary (Dhaulagiri range) and it is known as Kalyani in Nepal.

  • It is a major river of Nepal
  • It joins Ganga at Sonpur, Bihar

  • 4 Kosi

    It originates from Gosainath peak (Tibet). It consists of 7 streams and is known as Saptakoshi in Nepal.

  • Main stream - Arun, Tamur & Sun Koshi
  • It joins Ganga at Bhagalpur (Bihar)
  • It was formerly known as Sorrow of Bihar
  • A major project over this river is - Kusha Dam


    5 Gomti

    It originates from Gomat Taal / Fulhaar jheel – Pilibhit.

  • It is a tributary of Ganga

  • 6 Yamuna

    It originates from Yamunotri Glacier (Uttarkashi – Uttarakhand). It cuts deep gorge across Shivalik and then enters into plains near Tajewala.

  • It is the largest tributary of Ganga
  • It flows southward up to Agra & then turns southeast to meet Ganga at Allahabad
  • Its Famous tributaries are - Chambal, Sind, Betwa & Ken


    7 Betwa

    It is a tributary of Yamuna and it rises from the Vindhya range, MP.

    Its major projects are: Matatila dam & Rajghat dam


    8 Ken

    It is a tributary of Yamuna and it rises from Kaimur hills in Satna (Madhya Pradesh).

  • It is famous for its Shajar stone & Raneh waterfalls

  • 9 Chambal

    It originates from Vindhya Range (Mhow, MP). It passes through Kota & Dhaulpur (Rajasthan).

  • It merges with Yamuna at Etawah (UP)
  • It forms the boundary between Rajasthan & MP

Its major tributaries are - Kali Sindh, Parvati & Banas

Its major power projects are: Gandhisagar, Rana Pratap Sagar & Jawahar Sagar


10 Banas

It originates from the eastern slopes of Aravali and is a tributary of Chambal.


11 Damodar

It originates from the eastern part of Chhota Nagpur Plateau and meets Hoogli at Falta.

Its power projects are - Talaiya, Maithan, Barakar & Panchet




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