Peninsular Rivers

The peninsular Rivers in India include the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Narmada, and Tapti or Tapi. Together they drain a significant portion of rural India. These rivers carry both religious and cultural significances in the lives of Indian people.

Peninsular Rivers in India

Peninsular India is sapped by five important river systems and they are as follows:

  • Godavari
  • Mahanadi
  • Penner
  • Krishna
  • Cauvery

The geography and weather of Peninsular India are two superseding forcible checks influencing the rivers of Pensinsular India. Through influencing the flora and soil of the territory, the weather and geography become two important deciding elements of the sedimentological natures and the entire procedure of soil corrosion, silting, and transfer factors in every catchment area of the river.

The spare flora of the flat terrain has a lot of differences with the reasonably abundant flora of the river basins. Given below are the brief accounts of some important peninsular rivers in India:


The weather of the Cauvery River Valley is controlled by the rains during the monsoon months. The larger part of the yearly rainfall is caused because of the northeast monsoon. The distant northwestern portion of the catchment area features a perhumid weather, which moves to the east into moist subhumid, humid, semidry, and arid subhumid areas.

The geography of the catchment area is primarily created from Precambrian stones, mostly Peninsular granitic Gneiss, Dharwars, Closepet Granite, and the Charnockites (Krishnan, 1968). The metamorphic stones of the Dharwars are made up of slates, phyllites, biotite, schists with chlorite, staurolite, garnet, silllimanite, kyanite, and hornblende. Along with these stones, there are quartzite and greenstones. The upper levels of the catchment area feature the Closepet Granite, which is pink colored granite comprising mostly plagioclase, quartz, perthite, microcline, biotite, subordinate hornblende, apatite, rutile, seasonal fluorite and zircon.

On the major portion of the Cauvery River Valley, the peninsular gneisses and granites consist of hornblende granitic gneiss adamellite, biotite granitic gneiss, diorite, granodiorite, and pegmatite. The Charnockites are restricted to the Nilgiri Mountain Range in the middle of the catchment area. The Charnockites comprise olivine norites, gabbros, and pyroxene - hypersthene granulites.

Cretaceous deposits appear in the shoreline areas and comprise of coralline limestone, conglomeratic sandstone, and shale.

The Cauvery River is also known as the Kaveri River. It is one of the rivers, which is considered as holy by the Hindus. The source of the river is located at Talakaveri in the Kodagu District in Karnataka, in the Western Ghats Mountain Range. The river traverses the south Deccan terrain to the plains in the southeast. The river ultimately pours into the Bay of Bengal via two main mouths. The length of the Cauvery River is 765 km.


The Godavari is the longest and biggest river in South India. It is also named as the Dakshina Ganga. Following the Ganga, the Godavari is the second longest river in India. The river has its origin in Nashik District of Maharashtra. The river pours into the Bay of Bengal.

The weather of the Godavari River catchment area is extremely humid round the year and it is controlled by the southwest and northeast monsoons. The delta territory is semidry with a mean yearly precipitation of 1,042 mm. The highest temperature has been recorded in the month of May and it is 37.3°C. January is the coolest month with an average daily maximum temperature of 26.9°C and an average daily lowest temperature of 19.2°C.

The higher levels of the Godavari catchment area are encompassed by the Deccan Traps, which is made up of minerals such as augite, hypersthene, enstatite, diopside, epidote, magnetite, zircon, biotite, apatite, rutile, and chlorite. The central portion of the valley is mostly made up of Dharwars and Archean sandstones comprising quartzites, phyllites, granites, and amphiboles. The downriver portion of the central valley is covered predominantly by the Vindhyan and Cuddapah metasediments along with stones of the Gondwana Cluster. The Vindhyan and Cuddapahs are made up of granites, quartzites, limestones, shales, and conglomerates.

The Gondwanas are mostly made up of silts with a certain degree of dense coal layers. The Eastern Ghats reign the lower portion of the catchment area and are mostly created from the Khondalites, which consist of quartz- garnet - feldspar - silllimanite gneisses, calc-granulites, quartzite, and charnockites. In the shoreline areas, the Tertiary Rajahmundry granites outgrow.


The weather of the Mahanadi River basin in the north mostly features a subtropical weather. The average temperature during the summer months is approximately 29°C and the average temperature in the winter months is 21°C. Most of the rainfall takes place during July to September and the amount of rainfall ranges between 800 and 1200 mm. In the months of January and February, the rainfall is below 50 mm.

The Mahanadi River is a major River in eastern India . The river is 900 km long. Mahanadi traverses states like Chhatisgarh, Orissa, and Jharkhand. The catchment area of the river covers approximately 132,100 km2.


The Krishna River is one of the important Rivers in South India . The river is also known as Krishnaveni. The Krishna traverses the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. The tributaries of the Krishna River are as follows:

Andhra Pradesh
  • Akeru River
  • Munneru River
  • Musi River
  • Paleru River
  • Vedavathi River
  • Tungabhadra River
  • Suvarnamukhi River
  • Bhavanasi River in Kurnool District
  • Avathi River
  • Veda River
  • Tunga River
  • Varada River
  • Bhadra River

Maharashtra and Karnataka
  • Sina River
  • Bhima River
  • Mula-Mutha River
  • Nira River
  • Mutha River
  • Mula River
  • Kamini River
  • Chandani River
  • Bori River
  • Moshi River
  • Bhogwati River
  • Man River
  • Kundali River
  • Indrayani River
  • Ghod River
  • Kumandala River
  • Pavna River
  • Bhama River
  • Ghataprabha River
  • Malaprabha River
  • Koyna River
  • Varma River
  • Venna River

The weather of the catchment area of the Krishna River is controlled by the southwest monsoon, which is responsible for majority of the rainfall in the entire area. High water levels are noticed in the months of August to November and low water levels are noticed in the months of April to May at Vijayawada (AP). Varieties of weather conditions vary from arid subhumid to per humid in the west through semidry in the middle and eastern portions of the valley. You will find very dry weather in the south central portion of the valley.

The geographical features of the catchment area are controlled by the Deccan Traps in the northwestern region, and by the Cuddapah Group in the east. The Vindhyan Mountain Range (east central) and the Dharwars (southwest central) comprise an essential portion of the rocky outgrowths. The deltaic territory is mostly made up of Pleistocene to current substances.


The Narmada is one of the most beautiful Rivers in Western India . The river has its source in the Amarkantak Hill. The river is also known as Rewa. The Narmada is the 5th biggest river in India. The river passes across the Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges. The catchment areas of the river are spread out in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. The Narmada River has a lot of religious significance and a number of forests, anthropological sites, and wildlife parks are situated on the riverbanks.


The Tapi or Tapti River is one of the main rivers of peninsular India. The river originates from the East Satpura Mountain Ranges, in south Madhya Pradesh. The river finishes its itinerary into the Gulf of Khambat, close to the Surat City in Gujarat. The river traverses the Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat states of India. There are a number of tourist attractions on the riverbanks of the Tapi River.

Peninsular Rivers are mostly fed by rain

The rivers on the Indian peninsular terrain are mostly rain fed. At the time of summer, their discharge is significantly decreased. Some of their tributaries even get dehydrated, only to be rejuvenated in the monsoon. The catchment area of the Godavari River in the peninsula is the biggest in India, covering a territory of about 10% of the entire nation.

India’s most sacred river is the Narmada. Tapti and Narmada runs almost parallely but pour themselves out in inverse ways. The two streams make the basin resourceful in fertile soil and teakwood jungles wrap most of the soil.

In spite of the fact that seaward rivers pour down the crests of the Western Ghat Mountain Ranges into the Arabian Sea in rapids during the monsoon, they stop to run once the monsoon is over. In west Rajasthan, torrents such as the Sambhar are mostly seasonal in nature, flowing into the interior valleys and saltwater bodies. The Luni in the Rann of Kutch is the only river that runs across the salty arid region.

Because of the severe summer in India, people can’t tour by tiny vessels and flatboats round the year even on huge rivers such as the Ganga and the Yamuna. In Kolkata, where the depth of Ganga is quite significant and the water doesn’t desiccate, Kidderpore works as a wharf for tiny vessels and ferryboats approaching from the Bay of Bengal.

Last Updated on March 13, 2020