NCERT Textbook - Drainage Class 9 Notes | EduRev

Geography (Prelims) by Valor Academy

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Class 9 : NCERT Textbook - Drainage Class 9 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Water Divide
Sream A
Sream B
Figure 3.1 : Water Divide
DRAINAGE
T
he term drainage describes the river
system of an area. Look at the physical
map. You will notice that small streams
flowing from different directions come together
to form the main river, which ultimately drains
into a large water body such as a lake or a sea
or an ocean. The area drained by a single river
system is called a drainage basin. A closer
observation on a map will indicate that any
elevated area, such as a mountain or an upland,
separates two drainage basins. Such an upland
is known as a water divide (Figure 3.1).
The world’s largest drainage
basin is of the Amazon river
Figure 3.2 : A Gorge
subcontinent. Accordingly, the Indian rivers
are divided into two major groups:
? the Himalayan rivers; and
? the Peninsular rivers.
Apart from originating from the two major
physiographic regions of India, the Himalayan
and the Peninsular rivers are different from
each other in many ways. Most of the
Himalayan rivers are perennial.  It means
that they have water throughout the year.
These rivers receive  water from rain as well
as from melted snow from the lofty
mountains. The two major Himalayan rivers,
the Indus and the Brahmaputra originate
from the north of the mountain ranges. They
have cut through the mountains making
gorges. The Himalayan rivers have long
courses from their source to the sea. They
perform intensive erosional activity in their
upper courses and carry huge loads of silt
and sand. In the middle and the lower courses,
these rivers form meanders, oxbow lakes, and
many other depositional features in their
3
? Which river has the largest basin in India?
DRAINAGE SYSTEMS IN INDIA
The drainage systems of India are mainly
controlled by the broad relief features of the
Stream  A
Stream B
Page 2


Water Divide
Sream A
Sream B
Figure 3.1 : Water Divide
DRAINAGE
T
he term drainage describes the river
system of an area. Look at the physical
map. You will notice that small streams
flowing from different directions come together
to form the main river, which ultimately drains
into a large water body such as a lake or a sea
or an ocean. The area drained by a single river
system is called a drainage basin. A closer
observation on a map will indicate that any
elevated area, such as a mountain or an upland,
separates two drainage basins. Such an upland
is known as a water divide (Figure 3.1).
The world’s largest drainage
basin is of the Amazon river
Figure 3.2 : A Gorge
subcontinent. Accordingly, the Indian rivers
are divided into two major groups:
? the Himalayan rivers; and
? the Peninsular rivers.
Apart from originating from the two major
physiographic regions of India, the Himalayan
and the Peninsular rivers are different from
each other in many ways. Most of the
Himalayan rivers are perennial.  It means
that they have water throughout the year.
These rivers receive  water from rain as well
as from melted snow from the lofty
mountains. The two major Himalayan rivers,
the Indus and the Brahmaputra originate
from the north of the mountain ranges. They
have cut through the mountains making
gorges. The Himalayan rivers have long
courses from their source to the sea. They
perform intensive erosional activity in their
upper courses and carry huge loads of silt
and sand. In the middle and the lower courses,
these rivers form meanders, oxbow lakes, and
many other depositional features in their
3
? Which river has the largest basin in India?
DRAINAGE SYSTEMS IN INDIA
The drainage systems of India are mainly
controlled by the broad relief features of the
Stream  A
Stream B
18 CONTEMPORARY INDIA
floodplains. They also have well-developed
deltas (Figure 3.3).
A large number of the Peninsular rivers are
seasonal, as their flow is dependent on rainfall.
During the dry season, even the large rivers
have reduced flow of water in their channels.
The Peninsular rivers have shorter and
shallower courses as compared to their
Himalayan counterparts. However, some of
them originate in the central highlands and flow
towards the west. Can you identify two such
large rivers? Most of the rivers of peninsular
India originate in the Western Ghats and flow
towards the Bay of Bengal.
The Himalayan Rivers
The major Himalayan rivers are the Indus, the
Ganga and the Brahmaputra. These rivers are
long, and are joined by many large and
important tributaries. A river alongwith its
tributaries may be called a river system.
The Indus River System
The river Indus rises in Tibet, near Lake
Mansarowar. Flowing west, it enters India in the
Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. It forms
a picturesque gorge in this part. Several
tributaries, the Zaskar, the Nubra, the Shyok
and the Hunza, join it in the Kashmir region.
The Indus flows through Baltistan and Gilgit and
emerges from the mountains at Attock. The
Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab and the
Jhelum join together to enter the Indus near
Mithankot in Pakistan. Beyond this, the Indus
flows southwards eventually reaching the
Arabian Sea, east of Karachi.   The Indus plain
has a very gentle slope. With a total length of
2900 km, the Indus is one of the longest rivers
Source of River
Upper Course
Middle Course
Ox-Bow Lake
Lower
Course
Meander
Delta
Figure 3.3 : Some Features Made by Rivers
Drainage Patterns
The streams within a drainage basin form
certain patterns, depending on the slope
of land, underlying rock structure as well
as the climatic conditions of the area.
These are dendritic, trellis, rectangular,
and radial patterns.  The dendritic pattern
develops where the river channel follows
the slope of the terrain. The stream with
its tributaries resembles the branches of
a tree, thus the name dendritic. A river
joined by its tributaries, at approximately
right angles, develops a trellis pattern. A
trellis drainage pattern  develops where
hard and soft rocks exist parallel to each
other. A rectangular drainage pattern
develops on a strongly jointed rocky
terrain. The radial pattern develops when streams flow in different
directions from a central peak or dome like structure.
A combination of several patterns may be found in the same drainage basin.
Page 3


Water Divide
Sream A
Sream B
Figure 3.1 : Water Divide
DRAINAGE
T
he term drainage describes the river
system of an area. Look at the physical
map. You will notice that small streams
flowing from different directions come together
to form the main river, which ultimately drains
into a large water body such as a lake or a sea
or an ocean. The area drained by a single river
system is called a drainage basin. A closer
observation on a map will indicate that any
elevated area, such as a mountain or an upland,
separates two drainage basins. Such an upland
is known as a water divide (Figure 3.1).
The world’s largest drainage
basin is of the Amazon river
Figure 3.2 : A Gorge
subcontinent. Accordingly, the Indian rivers
are divided into two major groups:
? the Himalayan rivers; and
? the Peninsular rivers.
Apart from originating from the two major
physiographic regions of India, the Himalayan
and the Peninsular rivers are different from
each other in many ways. Most of the
Himalayan rivers are perennial.  It means
that they have water throughout the year.
These rivers receive  water from rain as well
as from melted snow from the lofty
mountains. The two major Himalayan rivers,
the Indus and the Brahmaputra originate
from the north of the mountain ranges. They
have cut through the mountains making
gorges. The Himalayan rivers have long
courses from their source to the sea. They
perform intensive erosional activity in their
upper courses and carry huge loads of silt
and sand. In the middle and the lower courses,
these rivers form meanders, oxbow lakes, and
many other depositional features in their
3
? Which river has the largest basin in India?
DRAINAGE SYSTEMS IN INDIA
The drainage systems of India are mainly
controlled by the broad relief features of the
Stream  A
Stream B
18 CONTEMPORARY INDIA
floodplains. They also have well-developed
deltas (Figure 3.3).
A large number of the Peninsular rivers are
seasonal, as their flow is dependent on rainfall.
During the dry season, even the large rivers
have reduced flow of water in their channels.
The Peninsular rivers have shorter and
shallower courses as compared to their
Himalayan counterparts. However, some of
them originate in the central highlands and flow
towards the west. Can you identify two such
large rivers? Most of the rivers of peninsular
India originate in the Western Ghats and flow
towards the Bay of Bengal.
The Himalayan Rivers
The major Himalayan rivers are the Indus, the
Ganga and the Brahmaputra. These rivers are
long, and are joined by many large and
important tributaries. A river alongwith its
tributaries may be called a river system.
The Indus River System
The river Indus rises in Tibet, near Lake
Mansarowar. Flowing west, it enters India in the
Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. It forms
a picturesque gorge in this part. Several
tributaries, the Zaskar, the Nubra, the Shyok
and the Hunza, join it in the Kashmir region.
The Indus flows through Baltistan and Gilgit and
emerges from the mountains at Attock. The
Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab and the
Jhelum join together to enter the Indus near
Mithankot in Pakistan. Beyond this, the Indus
flows southwards eventually reaching the
Arabian Sea, east of Karachi.   The Indus plain
has a very gentle slope. With a total length of
2900 km, the Indus is one of the longest rivers
Source of River
Upper Course
Middle Course
Ox-Bow Lake
Lower
Course
Meander
Delta
Figure 3.3 : Some Features Made by Rivers
Drainage Patterns
The streams within a drainage basin form
certain patterns, depending on the slope
of land, underlying rock structure as well
as the climatic conditions of the area.
These are dendritic, trellis, rectangular,
and radial patterns.  The dendritic pattern
develops where the river channel follows
the slope of the terrain. The stream with
its tributaries resembles the branches of
a tree, thus the name dendritic. A river
joined by its tributaries, at approximately
right angles, develops a trellis pattern. A
trellis drainage pattern  develops where
hard and soft rocks exist parallel to each
other. A rectangular drainage pattern
develops on a strongly jointed rocky
terrain. The radial pattern develops when streams flow in different
directions from a central peak or dome like structure.
A combination of several patterns may be found in the same drainage basin.
DRAINAGE 19
Figure 3.4 : Major Rivers and Lakes
Page 4


Water Divide
Sream A
Sream B
Figure 3.1 : Water Divide
DRAINAGE
T
he term drainage describes the river
system of an area. Look at the physical
map. You will notice that small streams
flowing from different directions come together
to form the main river, which ultimately drains
into a large water body such as a lake or a sea
or an ocean. The area drained by a single river
system is called a drainage basin. A closer
observation on a map will indicate that any
elevated area, such as a mountain or an upland,
separates two drainage basins. Such an upland
is known as a water divide (Figure 3.1).
The world’s largest drainage
basin is of the Amazon river
Figure 3.2 : A Gorge
subcontinent. Accordingly, the Indian rivers
are divided into two major groups:
? the Himalayan rivers; and
? the Peninsular rivers.
Apart from originating from the two major
physiographic regions of India, the Himalayan
and the Peninsular rivers are different from
each other in many ways. Most of the
Himalayan rivers are perennial.  It means
that they have water throughout the year.
These rivers receive  water from rain as well
as from melted snow from the lofty
mountains. The two major Himalayan rivers,
the Indus and the Brahmaputra originate
from the north of the mountain ranges. They
have cut through the mountains making
gorges. The Himalayan rivers have long
courses from their source to the sea. They
perform intensive erosional activity in their
upper courses and carry huge loads of silt
and sand. In the middle and the lower courses,
these rivers form meanders, oxbow lakes, and
many other depositional features in their
3
? Which river has the largest basin in India?
DRAINAGE SYSTEMS IN INDIA
The drainage systems of India are mainly
controlled by the broad relief features of the
Stream  A
Stream B
18 CONTEMPORARY INDIA
floodplains. They also have well-developed
deltas (Figure 3.3).
A large number of the Peninsular rivers are
seasonal, as their flow is dependent on rainfall.
During the dry season, even the large rivers
have reduced flow of water in their channels.
The Peninsular rivers have shorter and
shallower courses as compared to their
Himalayan counterparts. However, some of
them originate in the central highlands and flow
towards the west. Can you identify two such
large rivers? Most of the rivers of peninsular
India originate in the Western Ghats and flow
towards the Bay of Bengal.
The Himalayan Rivers
The major Himalayan rivers are the Indus, the
Ganga and the Brahmaputra. These rivers are
long, and are joined by many large and
important tributaries. A river alongwith its
tributaries may be called a river system.
The Indus River System
The river Indus rises in Tibet, near Lake
Mansarowar. Flowing west, it enters India in the
Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. It forms
a picturesque gorge in this part. Several
tributaries, the Zaskar, the Nubra, the Shyok
and the Hunza, join it in the Kashmir region.
The Indus flows through Baltistan and Gilgit and
emerges from the mountains at Attock. The
Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab and the
Jhelum join together to enter the Indus near
Mithankot in Pakistan. Beyond this, the Indus
flows southwards eventually reaching the
Arabian Sea, east of Karachi.   The Indus plain
has a very gentle slope. With a total length of
2900 km, the Indus is one of the longest rivers
Source of River
Upper Course
Middle Course
Ox-Bow Lake
Lower
Course
Meander
Delta
Figure 3.3 : Some Features Made by Rivers
Drainage Patterns
The streams within a drainage basin form
certain patterns, depending on the slope
of land, underlying rock structure as well
as the climatic conditions of the area.
These are dendritic, trellis, rectangular,
and radial patterns.  The dendritic pattern
develops where the river channel follows
the slope of the terrain. The stream with
its tributaries resembles the branches of
a tree, thus the name dendritic. A river
joined by its tributaries, at approximately
right angles, develops a trellis pattern. A
trellis drainage pattern  develops where
hard and soft rocks exist parallel to each
other. A rectangular drainage pattern
develops on a strongly jointed rocky
terrain. The radial pattern develops when streams flow in different
directions from a central peak or dome like structure.
A combination of several patterns may be found in the same drainage basin.
DRAINAGE 19
Figure 3.4 : Major Rivers and Lakes
20 CONTEMPORARY INDIA
of the world.  A little over a third of the Indus
basin is located in India in the states of Jammu
and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and the Punjab
and the rest is in Pakistan.
? According to the regulations
of the Indus Water Treaty (1960), India can use
only 20 per cent of the total water carried by Indus
river system. This water is used for irrigation in
the Punjab, Haryana and the southern and
western parts of Rajasthan.
The Ganga River System
The headwaters of the Ganga, called the
‘Bhagirathi’ is fed by the Gangotri Glacier and
joined by the Alaknanda at Devaprayag in
Uttarakhand. At Haridwar the Ganga emerges
from the mountains on to the plains.
The main tributaries, which come from the
peninsular uplands, are the Chambal, the
Betwa and the Son. These rise from semi arid
areas, have shorter courses and do not carry
much water in them. Find out where and how
they ultimately join the Ganga.
Enlarged with the waters from its right and
left bank tributaries, the Ganga flows
eastwards till Farakka in West Bengal. This is
the northernmost point of the Ganga delta. The
river bifurcates here; the Bhagirathi-Hooghly
(a distributary) flows southwards through the
deltaic plains to the Bay of Bengal. The
mainstream, flows southwards into
Bangladesh and is joined by the Brahmaputra.
Further down stream, it is known as the
Meghna. This mighty river, with waters from
the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra, flows into
the Bay of Bengal. The delta formed by these
rivers is known as the Sunderban delta.
? The Sundarban Delta derived
its name from the Sundari tree which grows well in
marshland.
?  It is the world’s largest and fastest growing delta.
It is also the home of Royal Bengal tiger.
The  length of the Ganga is over 2500 km.
Look at figure 3.4; can you identify the type of
drainage pattern formed by the Ganga river
system? Ambala is located on the water divide
between the Indus and the Ganga river systems.
The plains from Ambala to the Sunderban
stretch over nearly 1800 km, but the fall in its
slope is hardly 300 metres. In other words, there
is a fall of just one metre for every 6 km.
Therefore, the river develops large meanders.
The Brahmaputra River System
The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet east of
Mansarowar lake very close to the sources of
the Indus and the Satluj. It is slightly longer
than the Indus, and most of its course lies
outside India. It flows eastwards parallel to
the Himalayas. On reaching the Namcha
Barwa (7757 m), it takes a ‘U’ turn and enters
India in Arunachal Pradesh through a gorge.
Here, it is called the Dihang and it is joined
by the Dibang, the Lohit, and many other
Figure 3.5 : Confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda at
Devaprayag
The Ganga is joined by many tributaries
from the Himalayas, a few of them being major
rivers such as the Yamuna, the Ghaghara, the
Gandak and the Kosi. The river Yamuna rises
from the Yamunotri Glacier in the Himalayas.
It flows parallel to the Ganga and as a right
bank tributary, meets the Ganga at Allahabad.
The Ghaghara, the Gandak and the Kosi rise
in the Nepal Himalaya. They are the rivers,
which flood parts of the northern plains every
year, causing widespread damage to life and
property but enriching the soil for the extensive
agricultural lands.
Page 5


Water Divide
Sream A
Sream B
Figure 3.1 : Water Divide
DRAINAGE
T
he term drainage describes the river
system of an area. Look at the physical
map. You will notice that small streams
flowing from different directions come together
to form the main river, which ultimately drains
into a large water body such as a lake or a sea
or an ocean. The area drained by a single river
system is called a drainage basin. A closer
observation on a map will indicate that any
elevated area, such as a mountain or an upland,
separates two drainage basins. Such an upland
is known as a water divide (Figure 3.1).
The world’s largest drainage
basin is of the Amazon river
Figure 3.2 : A Gorge
subcontinent. Accordingly, the Indian rivers
are divided into two major groups:
? the Himalayan rivers; and
? the Peninsular rivers.
Apart from originating from the two major
physiographic regions of India, the Himalayan
and the Peninsular rivers are different from
each other in many ways. Most of the
Himalayan rivers are perennial.  It means
that they have water throughout the year.
These rivers receive  water from rain as well
as from melted snow from the lofty
mountains. The two major Himalayan rivers,
the Indus and the Brahmaputra originate
from the north of the mountain ranges. They
have cut through the mountains making
gorges. The Himalayan rivers have long
courses from their source to the sea. They
perform intensive erosional activity in their
upper courses and carry huge loads of silt
and sand. In the middle and the lower courses,
these rivers form meanders, oxbow lakes, and
many other depositional features in their
3
? Which river has the largest basin in India?
DRAINAGE SYSTEMS IN INDIA
The drainage systems of India are mainly
controlled by the broad relief features of the
Stream  A
Stream B
18 CONTEMPORARY INDIA
floodplains. They also have well-developed
deltas (Figure 3.3).
A large number of the Peninsular rivers are
seasonal, as their flow is dependent on rainfall.
During the dry season, even the large rivers
have reduced flow of water in their channels.
The Peninsular rivers have shorter and
shallower courses as compared to their
Himalayan counterparts. However, some of
them originate in the central highlands and flow
towards the west. Can you identify two such
large rivers? Most of the rivers of peninsular
India originate in the Western Ghats and flow
towards the Bay of Bengal.
The Himalayan Rivers
The major Himalayan rivers are the Indus, the
Ganga and the Brahmaputra. These rivers are
long, and are joined by many large and
important tributaries. A river alongwith its
tributaries may be called a river system.
The Indus River System
The river Indus rises in Tibet, near Lake
Mansarowar. Flowing west, it enters India in the
Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. It forms
a picturesque gorge in this part. Several
tributaries, the Zaskar, the Nubra, the Shyok
and the Hunza, join it in the Kashmir region.
The Indus flows through Baltistan and Gilgit and
emerges from the mountains at Attock. The
Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab and the
Jhelum join together to enter the Indus near
Mithankot in Pakistan. Beyond this, the Indus
flows southwards eventually reaching the
Arabian Sea, east of Karachi.   The Indus plain
has a very gentle slope. With a total length of
2900 km, the Indus is one of the longest rivers
Source of River
Upper Course
Middle Course
Ox-Bow Lake
Lower
Course
Meander
Delta
Figure 3.3 : Some Features Made by Rivers
Drainage Patterns
The streams within a drainage basin form
certain patterns, depending on the slope
of land, underlying rock structure as well
as the climatic conditions of the area.
These are dendritic, trellis, rectangular,
and radial patterns.  The dendritic pattern
develops where the river channel follows
the slope of the terrain. The stream with
its tributaries resembles the branches of
a tree, thus the name dendritic. A river
joined by its tributaries, at approximately
right angles, develops a trellis pattern. A
trellis drainage pattern  develops where
hard and soft rocks exist parallel to each
other. A rectangular drainage pattern
develops on a strongly jointed rocky
terrain. The radial pattern develops when streams flow in different
directions from a central peak or dome like structure.
A combination of several patterns may be found in the same drainage basin.
DRAINAGE 19
Figure 3.4 : Major Rivers and Lakes
20 CONTEMPORARY INDIA
of the world.  A little over a third of the Indus
basin is located in India in the states of Jammu
and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and the Punjab
and the rest is in Pakistan.
? According to the regulations
of the Indus Water Treaty (1960), India can use
only 20 per cent of the total water carried by Indus
river system. This water is used for irrigation in
the Punjab, Haryana and the southern and
western parts of Rajasthan.
The Ganga River System
The headwaters of the Ganga, called the
‘Bhagirathi’ is fed by the Gangotri Glacier and
joined by the Alaknanda at Devaprayag in
Uttarakhand. At Haridwar the Ganga emerges
from the mountains on to the plains.
The main tributaries, which come from the
peninsular uplands, are the Chambal, the
Betwa and the Son. These rise from semi arid
areas, have shorter courses and do not carry
much water in them. Find out where and how
they ultimately join the Ganga.
Enlarged with the waters from its right and
left bank tributaries, the Ganga flows
eastwards till Farakka in West Bengal. This is
the northernmost point of the Ganga delta. The
river bifurcates here; the Bhagirathi-Hooghly
(a distributary) flows southwards through the
deltaic plains to the Bay of Bengal. The
mainstream, flows southwards into
Bangladesh and is joined by the Brahmaputra.
Further down stream, it is known as the
Meghna. This mighty river, with waters from
the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra, flows into
the Bay of Bengal. The delta formed by these
rivers is known as the Sunderban delta.
? The Sundarban Delta derived
its name from the Sundari tree which grows well in
marshland.
?  It is the world’s largest and fastest growing delta.
It is also the home of Royal Bengal tiger.
The  length of the Ganga is over 2500 km.
Look at figure 3.4; can you identify the type of
drainage pattern formed by the Ganga river
system? Ambala is located on the water divide
between the Indus and the Ganga river systems.
The plains from Ambala to the Sunderban
stretch over nearly 1800 km, but the fall in its
slope is hardly 300 metres. In other words, there
is a fall of just one metre for every 6 km.
Therefore, the river develops large meanders.
The Brahmaputra River System
The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet east of
Mansarowar lake very close to the sources of
the Indus and the Satluj. It is slightly longer
than the Indus, and most of its course lies
outside India. It flows eastwards parallel to
the Himalayas. On reaching the Namcha
Barwa (7757 m), it takes a ‘U’ turn and enters
India in Arunachal Pradesh through a gorge.
Here, it is called the Dihang and it is joined
by the Dibang, the Lohit, and many other
Figure 3.5 : Confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda at
Devaprayag
The Ganga is joined by many tributaries
from the Himalayas, a few of them being major
rivers such as the Yamuna, the Ghaghara, the
Gandak and the Kosi. The river Yamuna rises
from the Yamunotri Glacier in the Himalayas.
It flows parallel to the Ganga and as a right
bank tributary, meets the Ganga at Allahabad.
The Ghaghara, the Gandak and the Kosi rise
in the Nepal Himalaya. They are the rivers,
which flood parts of the northern plains every
year, causing widespread damage to life and
property but enriching the soil for the extensive
agricultural lands.
DRAINAGE 21
tributaries to form the Brahmaputra in
Assam.
?  Brahmaputra is known as
the Tsang Po in Tibet and Jamuna in Bangladesh.
In Tibet the river carries a smaller volume of
water and less silt as it is a cold and a dry area.
In India it passes through a region of high rainfall.
Here the river carries a large volume of water and
considerable amount of silt. The Brahmaputra
has a braided channel in its entire length in
Assam and forms many riverine islands. Do you
remember the name of the world’s largest riverine
island formed by the Brahmaputra?
Every year during the rainy season, the
river overflows its banks, causing widespread
devastation due to floods in Assam and
Bangladesh. Unlike other north Indian rivers
the Brahmaputra is marked by huge deposits
of silt on its bed causing  the river bed to rise.
The river also shifts its channel frequently.
The Peninsular Rivers
The main water divide in Peninsular India is
formed by the Western Ghats, which runs from
north to south close to the western coast.  Most
of the major rivers of the Peninsula such as
the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and
the Kaveri flow eastwards and drain into the
Bay of Bengal. These rivers make deltas at
their mouths. There are numerous small
streams flowing west of the Western Ghats.
The Narmada and the Tapi are the only long
rivers, which flow west and make esturies.  The
drainage basins of the peninsular rivers are
comparatively small in size.
The Narmada Basin
The Narmada rises in the Amarkantak hills
in Madhya Pradesh. It flows towards the west
in a rift valley formed due to faulting. On its
way to the sea, the Narmada creates many
picturesque locations. The ‘Marble rocks’,
near Jabalpur where the Narmada flows
through a deep gorge, and the ‘Dhuadhar
falls’ where the river plunges over steep rocks,
are some of the notable ones.
All the tributaries of the Narmada are very
short and most of these join the main stream
at right angles. The Narmada basin covers parts
of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
The Tapi Basin
The Tapi rises in the Satpura ranges, in the
Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. It also flows
in a rift valley parallel to the Narmada but it is
much shorter in length. Its basin covers parts
of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The coastal plains between Western Ghats
and the Arabian sea are very narrow. Hence,
the coastal rivers are short. The main west
flowing rivers are Sabarmati, Mahi,
Bharathpuzha and Periyar. Find out the states
in which these rivers drain the water.
The Godavari Basin
The Godavari is the largest Peninsular river.
It rises from the slopes of the Western Ghats
in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. Its
length is about 1500 km.  It drains into the
Bay of Bengal. Its drainage basin is also the
largest among the peninsular rivers.  The
basin covers parts of Maharashtra (about 50
per cent of the basin area lies in Maharashtra),
Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra
Pradesh. The Godavari is joined by a number
of tributaries such as the Purna, the Wardha,
the Pranhita, the Manjra, the Wainganga and
the Penganga.  The last three tributaries are
very large. Because of its length and the
area it covers, it is also known as the
‘Dakshin Ganga’.
The Mahanadi Basin
The Mahanadi rises in the highlands of
Chhattisgarh. It flows through Odisha to reach
the Bay of Bengal.  The length of the river is
about 860 km. Its drainage basin is shared by
Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand,
and Odisha.
The Krishna Basin
Rising from a spring near Mahabaleshwar, the
Krishna flows for about 1400 km and reaches
the Bay of Bengal.  The Tungabhadra, the
Koyana, the Ghatprabha, the Musi and the
Bhima are some of its tributaries.  Its drainage
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