The Peninsular Rivers:-
- The Peninsular drainage system predates the Himalayan drainage system. The broad, largely-graded shallow basins and the maturity of the rivers attest. The Western Ghats, which run close to the western shore, serve as a water divide between the major Peninsular Rivers, which discharge their water into the Bay of Bengal and enter the Arabian Sea as minor rivulets. Except for the Narmada and Tapi, the most of the Peninsular Rivers flow from west to east.
- The Peninsular drainage system predates the Himalayan drainage system. The broad, largely-graded shallow basins and the maturity of the rivers attest to this. The Western Ghats, which run close to the western shore, serve as a water divide between the major Peninsular Rivers, which discharge their water into the Bay of Bengal and enter the Arabian Sea as minor rivulets. Except for the Narmada and Tapi, the most of the Peninsular Rivers flow from west to east.
- The Ganga river system includes the Chambal, Sind, Betwa, Ken, and Son, all of which originate in the northern region of the Peninsula. The Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri are the other important river systems in the peninsular drainage. Peninsular rivers are distinguished by their stable path, lack of meanders, and non-perennial water flow. However, the Narmada and Tapi rivers, which flow across the rift valley, are outliers.
Peninsular Drainage System Evolution
Geological occurrences in the distant past shaped Peninsular India’s current drainage systems:
• During the early tertiary period, the Peninsula’s western flank subsided, resulting in its submergence beneath the sea. In general, it has disrupted the river’s symmetrical layout on both sides of the original watershed.
• Upheaval of the Himalayas caused by subsidence on the peninsular block’s northern flank, which resulted in trough faulting. The Narmada and Tapi rivers flow across faults, filling the original fractures with sediment. As a result, alluvial and deltaic deposits are scarce in these rivers.
• During the same period, a slight tilting of the peninsular block from northwest to south-eastern imparted orientation to the entire drainage system towards the Bay of Bengal.
- The Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri, Narmada, Tapi, and Luni, which are mentioned below, are the primary river systems of the peninsular drainage:
- The Godavari is also known as the Dakshin Ganga since it is the greatest peninsular river system. It originates in Maharashtra’s Nasik area and empties into the Bay of Bengal. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh are all served by its tributaries. Its main tributaries are the Penganga, the Indravati, the Pranhita, and the Manjra.
- In its lower levels to the south of Polavaram, where it forms a magnificent gorge, the Godavari is vulnerable to strong floods. Only the deltaic stretch is passable. After Rajamundri, the river divides into multiple branches, forming a vast delta.
The Krishna:The Krishna River, which rises near Mahabaleshwar in Sahyadri, is the second largest east-flowing Peninsular River. It has a total length of 1,401 kilometers. Its main tributaries are the Koyna, Tungbhadra, and Bhima.
The Mahanadi: It springs near Sihawa in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur region and flows across Orissa before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. It stretches for 851 kilometers and has a catchment area of 1.42 million square kilometers. In the lower reaches of the river, some navigation takes place. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh account for 53% of the drainage basin of this river, while Orissa accounts for 47%.
The Kaveri: It rises in the Brahmagiri highlands (1,341m) in Karnataka’s Kogadu district. It stretches over 800 kilometers and drains an area of 81,155 square kilometers. The river carries water throughout the year with significantly less variation than the other Peninsular Rivers because the upper catchment region receives rainfall during the southwest monsoon season (summer) and the lower catchment area during the northeast monsoon season (winter). The Kabini, Bhavani, and Amravati are three of its major tributaries.
The Narmada: It flows in a rift valley between the Satpura range in the south and the Vindhyan range in the north, forming a spectacular gorge in marble rocks and the Dhuandhar waterfall near Jabalpur. It begins on the western face of the Amarkantak plateau at a height of around 1,057 m. It flows for around 1,312 kilometers until meeting the Arabian Sea south of Bharuch, forming a large 27-kilometer-long estuary. It has a catchment area of 98,796 square kilometers. On this river, the Sardar Sarovar Project has been built.
The Tapi: The Tapi is the other major west-flowing river. It comes from Multai, in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district. It stretches for 724 kilometers and drains 65,145 square kilometers. Maharashtra has around 79 percent of the basin, Madhya Pradesh has 15%, and Gujarat has the remaining 6%.
The Luni: Located west of the Aravali, it is Rajasthan’s largest river system. It starts at Pushkar and splits into two streams, the Saraswati and the Sabarmati, which meet at Govindgarh. Luni is the river that emerges into Aravali from this point. It flows west till it reaches Telwara, then turns southwest to join the Rann of Kuchchh. The river system as a whole is ephemeral.