Drainage System: The flow of water through well-defined channels is known as drainage and the network of such channels is called a ‘drainage system’. The drainage system of an area is the outcome of the geological time period, nature and structure of rocks, slope, topography, amount of water flowing, and the periodicity of flow. An elevated area that separates two drainage basins is called a ‘water divide’.
Drainage System of India
The world’s largest drainage basin is the Amazon river and in India, the river Ganga has the largest river basin. There are some different drainage patterns which are as follows:
- Dendritic Drainage System: The drainage system resembling the branches of a tree is known as dendritic.
- Radial Drainage System: When the rivers originate from a hill and flow in all directions, the drainage pattern is known as radial.
- Trellis Drainage System: When the primary tributaries of a river flow parallel to each other and secondary tributaries join them at right angles, the pattern is known as a trellis.
- Centripetal Drainage System: When the rivers discharge their waters from all directions in a lake or depression, the pattern is known as centripetal.
Different Drainage System of India
Indian Drainage System is ancient and divided into two types which are based on the discharge of water (orientation to the sea).
- The Arabian Sea drainage
- The Bay of Bengal drainage
These two drainage systems are separated from each other through the Delhi ridge, the Aravallis, and the Sahyadris. Nearly 77% of the drainage is oriented toward the Bay of Bengal while 23% discharges its water into the Arabian Sea.
In this article, we are providing detailed information related to the Indian Drainage System which includes their types, their route, and their categories. The drainage system of India which is by the river is divided into two major groups:
- The Himalayan Rivers
- The Peninsular Rivers
The Himalayan Rivers
- Maximum Himalayan rivers are perennial and have water throughout the year. These rivers’ main source of water is rain as well as melted snow from the mountains.
- These rivers pass through the giant carved out by the erosional activity carried on simultaneously with the uplift of the Himalayas. Besides deep gorges, these rivers also form V-shaped valleys, rapids, and waterfalls in their mountainous course.
- In the middle and the lower courses (plains), these rivers form meanders, oxbow lakes, and many other depositional features in their floodplains. These rivers have the tendency to shift their courses frequently e.g, river Kosi which is referred to as the sorrow of Bihar is known for changing its course frequently. The river carries a huge quantity of sediments from its upper reaches and deposits it in the plains. The course gets blocked and consequently, the river changes its course.
- The three major river systems of the Himalayan drainage systems are the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.
The Peninsular Rivers
- The Peninsular drainage system is older than the Himalayan.
- Most of the Peninsular rivers are seasonal, as their flow depends largely on the rainfall of the region.
- The Peninsular rivers have shorter and shallower courses as compared to the Himalayan rivers.
- Most of the major Peninsular rivers, except Narmada and Tapi, flow towards the Bay of Bengal (west to east). The Chambal, the Sindh, the Betwa, the Ken and the Son originating in the northern part of the Peninsula belong to the Ganga river system. The other important rivers of the Peninsular drainage are the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Kaveri.
- The Western Ghats act as a water divide between the major Peninsular rivers, discharging their water in the Bay of Bengal and the small rivulets joining the Arabian Sea.
- The Peninsular rivers are characterized by fixed courses, the absence of meanders, and the non-perennial flow of water.
- The Narmada and Tapi flow through the rift valley.
Here is the list of rivers flowing from east and west flowing rivers. Candidate must refer to this, This will help for the competitive exams for general knowledge. The below table shows the details. The rivers and their origins are mentioned below.
- Shetrunji – near Dalkahwa in Amreli district (Gujarat).
- Bhadra – Aniali village in Rajkot district (Gujarat).
- Dhadhar – near Ghantar village in PanchMahal district (Gujarat).
- Vaitarna – Trimbak Hills in Nasik District (Maharashtra).
- Kalinadi – Belgaum district and falls in Karwar Bay.
- Bedti – Hubli Dharwar (Karnataka).
- Sharavati – Shimoga district of Karnataka.
- Mandovi and Juari are the two important rivers of Goa.
- Bharathapuzha – near Anamalai hills. The river is also known as Ponnani.
- Periyar – Sivagiri Hills of Western Ghats. It is an important river in Kerala.
- Pamba – It flows in Kerala and falls in the Vembanad lake.