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RIVERS IN MAHARASHTRA

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» West India
» Maharashtra
Location : Maharashtra
Major Rivers: Godavari And Krishna
Important Tributaries Of River Godavari: Wardha, Wainganga, And Penganga


Maharashtra presents an interesting range of landforms. The Narmada River, flowing into the Arabian Sea through a rift valley, marks a part of the northern boundary of the State. The other rift valley, of the Tapti River, also flowing into the Arabian Sea, marks the other part of the northern boundary. These two river valleys are separated by a horst known as the Satpura Range.

South of the Tapti valley, stretches the Konkan coastland along the Arabian Sea flanked in the east by an escarpment known as the Sahyadri Mountain or the Western Ghats. The foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains reach within 6.4-km of the Arabian Sea in the Konkan. The Konkan coastland is narrow, interspersed with hilly spurs from the Sahyadri mountains and is drained by many small swift west-flowing rivers - of these, the Ulhas in the north is the biggest.

The Sahyadri Mountains run like a wall with a north-south trend, almost continuously for 640-km. But several passes through it provide important road and rail links between the coastlands and the interior. The eastern slopes of the Sahyadris descend gently to the Deccan Plateau sculptured by the east sloping valleys of the Godavari, Bhima, and Krishna rivers. The inter-fluves of these rivers form the Mahadeo, Ajanta, Balaghat, and other hill ranges.

These hill ranges and valleys within Maharashtra are formed of trap lava with thickness reaching close to 3,050 m in places. Differential erosion of the lava results in characteristic step-like flanks with tabletop appearance in many hills. In the east, beyond Nagpur, the trap country ends, yielding to landforms made of ancient crystalline rocks. From the Mahadeo hills and the Maikal range further east, many important tributaries of the Godavari River flow towards the southeast, of which the Wardha, Wainganga, and the Penganga are the most important. This region abounds in lakes. Further east, the country is rugged with many hills covered with forests and is relatively inhospitable.

GODAVARI

Godavari River rises near Nasik in Maharashtra at an elevation of 1067m and flows for a length of about 1,465-km before out falling into the Bay of Bengal. The principal tributaries of the river are the Parvara, the Purna, the Manjra, the Penganga, the Wardha, the Wainganga, the Indravati and the Kolab.

Godavari Basin extends over an area of 312,812 km2, which is nearly 9.5% of the total geographical area of the country. The basin lies in the states of Maharashtra (152,199 km2), Andhra Pradesh (73,201 km2), Madhya Pradesh (65,255 km2), Orissa (17,752 km2) and Karnataka (4,405 km2). Godavari River has a catchments area of 31.3 m.ha. The Godavari basin consists of large undulating plains divided by low flat-topped hill ranges. The important soil types found in the basins are black soils, red soils, lateritic soils, alluvium, mixed soils and saline and alkaline soils.

An average annual surface water potential of 110.5 km3 has been assessed in this basin. Out of this, 76.3 km3 is utilisable water. Cultivable area in the basin is about 18.9 Million ha, which is 9.7% of the total cultivable area of the country.

Present use of surface water in the basin is 41.0 km3. Live storage capacity in the basin has increased significantly since independence. From just about 1.6 km3 in the pre-plan period, the total live storage capacity of the completed projects has increased to 19.5 km3.

In addition, a substantial storage quantity of over 10.6 km3 would be created on completion of projects under construction. An additional storage to the tune of over 8.2 km3 would become available on execution of projects under consideration. The hydropower potential of the basin has been assessed as 5091 MW at 60% load factor. Asia's largest Lift irrigation project named "Vishnupuri Prakalp" is constructed on the river just 5-km away from Nanded city.

KRISHNA

Krishna River rises in the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 1337m just north of Mahabaleshwar, about 64-km from the Arabian Sea and flows for about 1400-km and outfalls into the Bay of Bengal. The principal tributaries joining Krishna are the Ghataprabha, the Malaprabha, the Bhima, the Tungabhadra and the Music.

Krishna Basin extends over an area of 258,948 km2, which is nearly 8% of total geographical area of the country. The basin lies in the states of Karnataka (113,271 km2), Andhra Pradesh (76,252 km2) and Maharashtra (69,425 km2). Krishna River has a catchments area of 25.9 m.ha.

Most part of this basin comprises rolling and undulating country except the western border, which is formed by an unbroken line of ranges of the Western Ghats. The important soil types found in the basin are black soils, red soils, laterite and lateritic soils, alluvium, mixed soils, red and black soils and saline and alkaline soils.

An average annual surface water potential of 78.1 km3 has been assessed in this basin. Out of this, 58.0 km3 is utilisable water. Culturable area in the basin is about 20.3 Million ha, which is 10.4% of the total culturable area of the country. Present use of surface water in the basin is 50.0 km3.

Live storage capacity in the basin has increased significantly since independence. From just about 3.2 km3 in the pre-plan period, the total live storage capacity of the completed projects has increased to 34.5 km3. In addition, a substantial storage quantity of over 4.9 km3 would be created on completion of projects under construction. An additional storage to the tune of over 0.1 km3 would become available on execution of projects under consideration. The hydropower potential of the basin has been assessed as 2997 MW at 60% load factor.

THE TRIBUTERIES

Manjira
Major tributary of Godavari, arising in Balaghat hills. It contributes to around 6% of the total waters of Godavari. Manjira River flows along the eastern boundary of the Nanded district towards the north. Later it meets the Godavari. Manyad and Lendi are the tributaries of the river.

Mula And Mutha
Pune centre is bordered on the north by the River Mula and to the west by the River Mutha - the two join in the Northwest to form the Mutha-Mula, at Sangam Bridge (previously Wellesley Bridge).

Penganga
Penganga River is one of the tributaries of Godavari River. Kayadhu is the tributary of this river. It flows along the northern boundary of the Nanded district and a huge amount of land is irrigated by a project named " Upper Penganga Prakalp" built on this river. The famous Sahastrakund falls on this river.

RIVER PURNA
The river Purna which is tributary of Godavari, rises in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh and flows due west across Akola district into Buldana district of Maharashtra. It passes from east to west through the northern part of the Parbhani district and joins the Godavari at Kantheshwar in Purna Taluka.

The chief tributaries of the Purna on the south bank are the Pendhi, Uma, Katepurna, Nirguna and Man. The Katepurna, the largest of all tributaries, rises within a few kilometres of Washim and flows across the eastern side of Akola tehsil and the northwestern corner of Murtizapur. Major Dams on the Purna River are Yeldari Dam (Hydroelectric Power Station) in Jintur Tehsil of Parbhani district.

TAPI RIVER
Tapi Basin extends over an area of 65,145 km2, which is nearly 2.0% of total geographical area of the country. The basin lies in the states of Maharashtra (51,504 km2), Madhya Pradesh (9,804 km2) and Gujarat (3,837 km2).

Tapi River rises near Multai in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh at an elevation of about 752 m and flows for about 724 km before outfalling into the Arabian Sea through the Gulf of Cambay. Its principal tributaries are the Purna, the Girna, the Panjhra, the Vaghur, the Bori and the Aner.

The basin consists plain areas, which are broad and fertile, suitable for cultivation. The principal soils found in the basin are black soils, alluvial clays with a layer of black soil above.

An average annual surface water potential of 18 km3 has been assessed in this basin. Out of this 14.5 km3 is utilisable water. Cultivable area in the basin is about 4.3 Million ha, which is 2.2% of the total cultivable area of the country.

Present use of surface water in the basin is 4.5 km3. Live storage capacity in the basin has increased significantly since independence. From just about 0.05 km3 in first-plan period, the total live storage capacity of the completed projects has increased to 8.5 km3. In addition, a storage quantity of over 1.0 km3 would be created on completion of projects under construction. An additional storage to the tune of over 2.0 km3 would become available on execution of projects under consideration. The hydropower potential of the basin is 119.7 MW at 60% load factor.

TAPTI RIVER
Like Narmada, Tapti also terminates into the Arabian Sea. It has its origin in Madhya Pradesh near a place called Pachmari. Though smaller than Narmada, Tapti is a rich source of alluvium and produces good agricultural soil. It enters at sea near Surat.

Wardha:
Wardha is the tributary of River Godavari. It originates from the Mutai plateau of the Satpuda range and flows along the entire northern and western border of the Wardha district.

The main tributaries are Bor, Dham, Pothra, Asoda and Wunna. Upper Wardha Dam is situated at Simbhora, 8-km towards the East from Morshi and 56-km from Amravati. It is build up on the Wardha River. It is an earthen dam with height of 36m and 7-km length and on the boundary of Amravati and Wardha Districts. It irrigation capacity is nearly 75,000 Hectors of land in these two districts. A tourism centre is being developed at this site. It is now named as Nal - Damyanti Sagar.

Pench And Kanhan:
The chief rivers of the eastern tract are the Pench and Kanhan, both of which flow down from the Saptura range in the Chindward district and meet near Kamptee when they are also joined by the Kolar. The Kanhan entering the Jalna district near Bargaon takes a south easterly course past Khapa to Kamptee where it receives the Pench and Kolar. In its subsequent course it marks the boundary of the Ramtek tehsil, and after receiving the Nag river near the hills of Bhivakund, finally empties into the Wainganga at Gondpipri in Bhandara.

Mira:
It is an important tributary of Bhima River. It flows along the northern boundary of Satara district and latter southeastwards.

Sina:
A tributary of Bhima River, it flows from north to southeast parallel to Bhima, drains eastern Karmala, Central Madha, Barshi, eastern Mohol and Sholapur North and South.

Vaitarna:
Vaitarna is the principal river of Thane district. It rises in the Tryambak hills in the Nashik district opposite the source of Godavari and enters Thane at Vihigaon near Kasara. It has a length of 154-km, of its tributaries the Pinjal, the Surya and Tansa are important.

Wainganga:
Wainganga is the tributary of River Godavari. Wainganga River receives numerous tributaries on either bank and drains the western, central and eastern regions of the Chandrapur and Nagpur district. The chief tributaries of the Wainganga are Garhavi, Khobragadi, Kathani and Potphondi on the left bank and Andhari on the Right Bank.

Nira:
Nira a tributary of Bhima River and it flows in southern boundaries of Pune for a considerable distance.



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