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Which is the largest drainage system in India?

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The largest drainage system in the context of India is Ganga. In India, large and small gutters make up the drainage system. Rush is the result of the evolution of the three major physiographic units, as well as the characteristics and nature of rushing. The Himalayan drainage system includes the Ganga, the Indus, and the Brahmaputra swash basins. The peninsular table is drained by Narmada, Tapi, Kaveri, Godavari, Mahanadi, and Krishna. 

India’s 90 percent of total face water is drained into the Bay of Bengal and the rest is in the Arabian Sea. The ridge of water extending through the Western Ghats, Aravalli, and Yamuna Sutlej Peak separates drainage systems flowing into the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The Indian drainage system consists of a large number of small and big gutters. It’s the outgrowth of the evolutionary process of the three major physiographic units and the nature and characteristics of rush.

Largest Drainage System in India

Largest Drainage System in India

Drainage System of India

A drainage system is a network of analogous channels designed to transfer water through well-defined channels. The drainage system of an area is the outgrowth of the geological time period, nature and structure of jewels, pitch, topography, the amount of water flowing, and the periodicity of flux.  The area drained by a single swash system ( swash and its feeders ) is called its drainage receptacle. An elevated area ( mountain or a highland) that separates two drainage basins is called a “ water peak”. The world’s largest drainage receptacle is the Amazon swash and in India, the swash Ganga has the largest swash receptacle. 

Different Drainage Patterns

  • Dendritic: Branches formed a drainage system called dendritic drainage. For instance, gutters in the northern plains form drainage systems. Example: The Mississippi River system in the United States, Ganga River system.
  • Radial: Radial drainage occurs when gutters come from a hill and run in all directions simultaneously. The Amarkantak range, for example, forms gutters. Example: Narmada River in central India.
  • Trellis: A kiosk pattern is one that has the primary feeders parallel to each other and the secondary feeders at right angles to them. Example: rivers in the Deccan Plateau, such as the Krishna and Godavari rivers
  • Centripetal: In a lake or depression, centripetal discharge occurs when the gutters discharge their water from all directions at the same time. Example: River Sabarmati and the Luni.
  • Rectangular pattern: This pattern features a network of rivers and streams that flow in a rectilinear or right-angled pattern. It occurs in areas with highly jointed or faulted bedrock. Example:  The Chambal River and its tributaries.
  • Deranged pattern: This pattern lacks a consistent or organized structure, typically due to disruptive factors such as glaciation or tectonic activity. It is common in regions with recent geological disturbances. Example:  The region of Kerala in southern India.
  • Parallel pattern: In this pattern, rivers flow roughly parallel to each other without significant tributaries. It commonly occurs in steep, narrow valleys with uniform rock structures. Example: The Tapti River in western India.

The largest drainage system in India

Ganga River System

The Ganga is the public stream and furthermore the biggest waterway framework in India. The Ganga sluice frame comprises both enduring as well as non-perpetual aqueducts which start in the Himalayas (north) and the Peninsula (south) independently. The raceway Ganga is the joined sluice of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda, which meets close to Devprayag. It starts from Gangotri Glacier in Uttarakhand.

The Gangotri Glacier manages the Bhagirathi, which is the headwaters of the Ganges River. In Uttarakhand, it is connected to the Alaknanda by Devprayag. After descending from the mountains into the plains at Haridwar, the Ganga emerges. The Yamuna originates in the Himalayas, where the Yamunotri Glacier meets the river Yamuna. Water runs out of the Yamunotri Glacier in the Himalayas, which rises up the Yamuna River. At Allahabad, it meets the Ganga River.

The Ghaghara, the Gandak, and the Kosi ascend in the Nepal Himalayas. The feeders which come from the peninsular uplands incorporate the Chambal, the Betwa, and the Son. These waterways don’t convey a lot of water in them. From West Bengal to Farakka, the Ganga flows eastward. It is at this point that the Ganga Delta reaches its northernmost point. The Ganga flows eastward throughout West Bengal to Farakka. In this region, the Ganga Delta reaches its northernmost extent. From here, the stream bifurcates. The length of the Ganga is north of 2500 km.

  • It is a transboundary waterway that courses through India and Bangladesh. Length – approx. 2525 km.
  • In India, the Ganga stream bowl covers an area of roughly 8.6 lakh square kilometers. There is 110 km in Uttarakhand, 1450 kilometers in Uttar Pradesh, 445 kilometers in Bihar, and 520 kilometers in West Bengal.
  • It begins in the Gangotri glacier mass close to Gaumukh of Uttarakhand (Uttarkashi area), here it is known as Bhagirathi. 
  • At Devprayag, Bhagirathi meets Alaknanda and from that point, it is known as the Ganga. 
  • Alaknanda starts in the Satopanth ice sheet above Badrinath. The five intersections known as the Panch Prayag are along the Alaknanda. 
  • Vishnuprayag is the spot of the conjunction of the Dhauliganga waterway and the Alaknanda stream. 
  • Nandaprayag is the spot of the conjunction of the Mandakini waterway and the Alaknanda stream. 
  • Karnaprayag is the spot of the juncture of the Pindar stream with the Alaknanda waterway. 
  • Rudraprayag, the spot of the intersection of the Mandakini stream/Kali Ganga with the Alaknanda waterway. 
  • Devprayag is the spot at the intersection of the Bhagirathi stream with the Alaknanda waterway. 
  • Taking its origin from the mountains, the Ganga emerges from the fields at Haridwar.
  • The Ganga at first streams in the southern heading, then, at that point, in the southeast course up to Mirzapur and afterward in the east bearing in the Bihar fields. 
  • The Ganga streams eastwards to Farakka in West Bengal. At Farakka, its distributary, Bhagirathi-Hooghly streams southwards through deltaic fields to the Bay of Bengal close to Sagar Island. 
  • In the wake of entering Bangladesh, the primary part of the Ganga is known as the Padma which meets the Jamuna stream (the biggest distributary of the Brahmaputra waterway). Padma Waterway meets Meghna (the second biggest distributary of  Brahmaputra) and from now on, it is known as Meghna Stream and goes into the Bay of Bengal. 
  • Located at the confluence of the Brahmaputra and the Ganga, the Sundarbans Delta is a delta formed by the combination of both waterways. Sundarban Delta is the largest and fastest-growing delta in the world. There is also a Royal Bengal tiger that lives there.
  • Right bank feeders of Ganga – the Yamuna (which is joined by the Tons, the Chambal, the Sindh, the Betwa, and the Ken on its right bank which begins from the Peninsular Plateau. To its left side bank it is joined by the Hindan, the Rind, the Sengar, the  Varuna, and so on), the Tamas, the Son, and the Punpun. 
  • Left bank feeders of Ganga – the Ramganga, the Gomati, the Ghaghara, the Gandak, the Kosi, and the Mahanadi. 

Feeders of Ganga 

The significant affluent of Ganga are the Gomati, the Ramganga, the Ghaghara, the Kosi, the Mahanadi, and the Gandak, In close propinquity to the Sagar Island, the sluice eventually empties into the Bay of Bengal.

It originates in the Yamunotri ice mass, which lies on the western pitches of the Bandarpunch range ( km) and is the westernmost and one of the longest effluents of the Ganga. A special form takes place at Prayag (Allahabad) where the swash joins the Ganga. It’s joined by the Chambal, the Sind, the Betwa, and the Ken on its right bank which starts from the Peninsular position while the Hindan, the Rind, the Sengar, the Varuna, and so on go on with it to its left side bank. A lot of its water takes care of the western and eastern Yamuna and the Agra aqueducts for water system purposes.

  1. The Chambal ascends near Mhow in the Malwa position of Madhya Pradesh and aqueducts northwards through an ocean upwards of Kota in Rajasthan, where the Gandhisagar levee has been erected. From Kota, it crosses down to Sawai, Madhopur, Dholpur, and Bundi and, incipiently joins the Yamuna. The Chambal is famed for its barren wasteland geology called the Chambal Ravines.
  2. The Gandak contains two streams, in particular Kaligandak and Trishulganga. Between Dhaulagiri and Mount Everest in the Nepalese Himalayas, it spirals around Nepal’s focal point before entering the Ganga plain in the Champaran region of Bihar, where it meets the Ganga at Sonpur near Patna.
  3. The Ghaghara begins in the ice wastes of Mapchachungo. In the wake of gathering the waters of its affluents-Tila, Seti and Beri, it emerges from the mountain, cutting a profound ocean at Shishapani. The sluice Sarda (Kali or Kali Ganga) goes on with it in the plain before it at long last meets the Ganga at Chhapra.
  4. The Kosi is a predecessor waterway with its source toward the north of Mount Everest in Tibet, where its standard Arun rises. It is joined by the Tamur Kosi from the east and the Sun Kosi from the west after crossing the Central Himalayas in Nepal.
  5. The Ramganga is also a little sluice thrusting in the Garhwal pitches near Gairsain. It adjusts its direction toward the southwest bearing posterior to crossing the Shivalik and goes into the fields of Uttar Pradesh near Najibabad. At long last, it joins the Ganga close to Kannauj.
  6. The Damodar involves the eastern edges of the Chotanagpur Plateau where it moves through a broken valley and incipiently joins the Hugli.
  7. The Barakar is its primary feeder. The Damodar Valley Corporation, a multipurpose venture, currently controls the Damodar Valley. It used to be known as the ‘distress of Bengal.
  8. The Sarda or Saryu River rises in Nepal Himalayas in the Milan ice mass, where it is known as Goriganga. On the Indo-Nepal line, it is known as Kali or Chauk, where it joins the Ghaghara.
  9. The Mahananda is one more significant feeder of the Ganga ascending in the Darjeeling slopes. As the last left bank feeder in West Bengal, it feeds the Ganga.
  10. The Son is a significant right-bank confluent of the Ganga River. It’s an enormous south bank confluent of the Ganga, starting in the Amarkantak position. Posterior to shaping a progression of falls at the edge of the position, it arrives at Arrah, west of Patna, to join the Ganga.

Related Links

  1. Drainage System of India
  2. Drainage and Drainage Basin
  3. Water Divide

FAQs on Largest Drainage System in India

Q 1. Which is the largest drainage system?


The largest drainage system is the Amazon river.

Q 2. Which is the second largest drainage system in India?


The second largest drainage system in India is the Godavari River system.

Q 3. Which country has the largest drainage system?


The Amazon situated in northern South America is the largest river basin in the world.

Last Updated : 02 Jun, 2023
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