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Longest River in India 2023, Top 10 Rivers Name List

Longest River in India 2023

Indian rivers are the veins of its landscapes, coursing through a diversity of geography and culture. These waterways hold more than just freshwater, they hold essence of the nation’s history, spirituality and livelihoods. From the grand Ganges, revered as a goddess, to the mystical Yamuna, each river has its own significance. Providing water for agriculture, transportation and daily needs, these rivers sustain life across the subcontinent.

These rivers can be broadly categorized into two types: Himalayan Rivers, which flow perennially, and Peninsular Rivers, which are fed by rainfall. An overwhelming majority, approximately 90%, of these rivers flow in an eastern direction, ultimately draining into the Bay of Bengal. The remaining 10% take a western course, emptying into the Arabian Sea.

Indian rivers are integral to one another. They comprise the lifeline of the country as because of them the land remains fertile and suitable for agriculture. The top ten longest rivers are often worshipped as goddesses by the people of India.

The Top Ten Longest Rivers of India according to their length in Kms

River Length in India (km) Total Length (km)
Ganga 2525 2525
Godavari 1464 1465
Krishna 1400 1400
Yamuna 1376 1376
Narmada 1312 1312
Indus 1114 3180
Brahmaputra 916 2900
Mahanadi 890 890
Kaveri 800 800
Tapti 724 724

Top 10 Longest Rivers in India in detail

India’s top 10 longest rivers carve unique stories across its geography. From the longest river Ganga to the smallest Tapi River, these waterways sustain life, culture and history. The details of Top-10 longest rivers in India are:

1. Ganga River

  • Length (Km): 2525
  • Origin (Source): Gangotri

River Ganga with a length of 2525 km is the longest river of India as it flows entirely through the mainland. It originates from the Gangotri Glacier. The left bank tributaries of River Ganga are Ramganga, Garra, Gomti, Gharghara, Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Koshi, and Mahananda and the right bank tributaries are Yamuna, Tamsa, Son, Punpun, Kiul, Karmanasa and Chandan. The river discharges its water into the Bay of Bengal. The states that are covered by this waterbody are Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal.

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2. Godavari River

  • Length (Km): 1464
  • Origin (Source): Originates near Nasik in Maharashtra

Godavari River with a length of 1464 km is the longest river in peninsular India. It originates from Nashik in Maharashtra. It begins from Triambakeshwar, Nasik in Maharashtra and traverses via Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, after which it finally meets with the Bay of Bengal. The left bank tributaries of the Godavari are Banganga, Kadva, Shivana, and Purna and the right bank tributaries are Nasardi, Darna, and Pravara. The river discharges itself into the Bay of Bengal.

3. Krishna

  • Length (Km): 1400
  • Origin (Source): Originates in the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 1337 m. just north of Mahabaleswar, about 64 km from the Arabian Sea.

River Krishna with a length of 1400 km originates from the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 1337 metres from the sea level about 64 km from the Arabian Sea. The left bank tributaries of the river are Bhima, Dindi Musi, Paleru, and Munneru and the right bank tributaries are Vienna, Koyna, and Panchganga. Krishna discharges its water into the Bay of Bengal.  It serves as one of the prominent sources of irrigation for the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

4. Yamuna River

  • Length (Km): 1376
  • Origin (Source): Originates from the Yamunotri glacier at the Banderpoonch peak in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand

River Yamuna with a length of 1376 km originates from the Yamunotri glacier at the Banderpoonch peak in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is the main tributary of the River Ganga. The left bank tributaries of Yamuna are Hindon, Sharda and the right bank tributaries are Chambal, Betwa and Ken. The major states through which the river flows are Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

5. Narmada River

  • Length (Km):  1312
  • Origin (Source): Originates near Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh

The source of the 1312 km-long River Narmada is the Amarkantak Peak in Madhya Pradesh. Left bank tributaries of Narmada are Burhner, Banjar, Sher and Karjan. The right bank tributaries are Hiran, Tendoni, and Choral. It discharges its water into the Arabian Sea. It is also known as the “Life Line of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat” for its huge contribution to the state of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

6. Indus River

  • Length (Km): 1114
  • Origin (Source): Originates in the northern slopes of the Kailash range in Tibet near Lake Manasarovar.

Indus is the longest river in terms of the distance it covers i.e. 3180 km. However, its distance covered within India is only 1,114 kilometers. But a major portion of the river flows through present-day Pakistan. The source of the river is the Northern slopes of the Kailash range in Tibet near Manasarovar. Major Cities located on the banks of Indus are: Leh, and Skardu. The left bank tributaries of Indus are Zanskar, Suru, Soan, Jhelum, Chenab and Luni. The right bank tributaries are Shyok, Hunza, Gilgit, Gomal and Zhob. Indus drains its water into the Arabian Sea.

7. Brahmaputra River

  • Length (Km): 2900
  • Origin (Source): Originates from Kailash ranges of Himalaya

Brahmaputra River with a length of 2900 km originates from the Kailash Ranges of the Himalayas in Tibet.  Its total length within India is only 916 kilometres. It enters India through Arunachal Pradesh. The left bank tributaries of the river are Dibang, Lohit, Dhansiri and the right bank tributaries are Kameng, Manas, Jaldhaka, Teesta and Subansiri.

The Brahmaputra enters Bangladesh as Jamuna and then joins Padma (the Ganges in India) before emptying itself into the Bay of Bengal. The Majuli or Majoli is a river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam and in 2016 it became the first island to be made a district in India. It had an area of 880 square kilometres at the beginning of the 20th century.

8. Mahanadi River

  • Length (Km): 890
  • Origin (Source):  Originates from Raipur district of Chhattisgarh

The 890 km-long Mahanadi River originates in the Raipur district of Chhattisgarh. Its left bank tributaries are Mand, Ib, and Hasdeo and right bank tributaries are Ong and Parry. The Mahanadi discharges its water into the Bay of Bengal. Hence it was called ‘the distress of Odisha’. Anyway, the development of the Hirakud Dam has enormously modified the circumstance.

9. Cauvery River

  • Length (Km): 800
  • Origin (Source): Originates at Talakaveri in Coorg District of Karnataka in the Brahmagiri Range of hills in the Western Ghats

The 800 km-long Cauvery River originates from the Brahmagiri Range of the Western Ghats in the Coorg District of Karnataka. There is Harangi Reservoir on its left bank. The main right bank tributary is Lakshmana Tirtha. Cauvery discharges its water into the  Grand Anicut (South). Before emptying into the Bay of Bengal, Tamil Nadu, the river breaks into a large number of distributaries forming a wide delta called the “garden of southern India.”

10.  Tapi River

  • Length (Km): 724
  • Origin (Source): Satpura Range

The 724 km-long Tapi River originates from the Satpura Range. Its tributaries are Purna and Girna. It discharges its water into the Gulf of Khambhat (Arabian Sea). It runs through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat and has six tributaries.

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FAQs

Which is the longest river in India?

River Ganga with a length of 2525 km is the longest river of India as it flows entirely through the mainland. It originates from the Gangotri Glacier.

What are the major rivers that flow through the Indian subcontinent?

India is home to numerous rivers, but some of the major ones include the Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Yamuna, Narmada, Indus, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Cauveri and Tapi.

Which river is known as the “Life Line of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat”?

The Narmada River is often referred to as the “Life Line of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat” due to its significant contributions to these states.

How long is the Krishna River?

The Krishna River spans a length of about 1,400 km, originating from the Western Ghats in Maharashtra.

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