Top 10 Longest Rivers in India Right Know

A river is a natural flowing water body that is composed of generally fresh water. Rivers usually flow towards an ocean, a sea, or another river. The river is composed of water that comes from different sources and is a part hydrological cycles. Most of the rivers begin as small streams and they gradually increase in size as the water content increases. Most of the Indian states depend on rivers for water for numerous purposes like irrigation, drainage, food, transportation, and many other activities.

India has many rivers. Most of the rivers in India flow into the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. There are also rivers that flow into the neighboring countries too.

The lengths of each river vary according to the area it covers. In India Rivers are considered to be holy and has a very strong religious significance.

10. Tapi river

  • Length –  724 Kms
  • Flows through – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat.
  • Source – Satpura Range

This river flows through central India and flows westwards before draining into the Arabian Sea. The river is named after the goddess Tapi, the daughter of Surya, the Sun god. This river is one of the only three rivers in India that flows from east to west.

9. The great Kaveri river

  • Length – 800 Kms
  • Country – India
  • Source – Western Ghats, Karnataka

The river Kaveri is one of the holiest rivers in south India. The Doddabetta is the highest point of this river and it flows to south and east through Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This river is the major source of water for Tamil Nadu for irrigation and for hydroelectric power plants.

8. Mahanadi

  • Length – 858 Kms
  • Country – India
  • Source – Sihawa, Chhattisgarh 

This river is one of the major rivers that flow through East Central India. The river flows through few states like Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The source of water for these rivers is from several mountain streams and rain and it is pretty difficult to pinpoint a precise source of water for these rivers.

7. Narmada River

  • Length – 1312 Kms
  • Country – India
  • Source – Narmada Kund, Amarkantak Plateau

This river is also known as Rewa and it flows through central India. The Narmada River is the 5th longest river in India. This river is also called the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the only three rivers that flow from east to west in India and one of the rivers that flow in a Rift Valley. The name Narmada is a Sanskrit word that means “the Giver of Pleasure”

6. Yamuna river

  • Length – 1376 Kms
  • Country – India
  • Source – Yamunotri

This river is often referred to as Jamuna. This river creates a border between Uttarkand and Himachal Pradesh. It is also the largest tributary of the river Ganges. The name Yamuna according to Hindu mythology is derived from the name Yama, Yama is the daughter of Sun God. There is a sacred belief that bathing in this river frees the torments of death.

5. Krishna river

  • Length – 1400 Kms
  • Country – India
  • Source – Mahabaleshwar

This is the fourth longest river in India. The Krishna River flows through two main states, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This is one of the longest rivers of central-southern India and the delta of this river is considered as the most fertile regions in India.

4. Godavari river

  • Length – 1465 Kms
  • Country – India
  • Source – Brahmagiri Mountain

This river is one of the most sacred rivers in India. This river has been mentioned in several Hindu scriptures. The delta of this river has the 2nd largest mangrove formation in India. The river flows through states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Puducherry.

3. Ganga river

  • Length – 2525 Kms
  • Flows through countries – India and Bangladesh
  • Source – Nanda Kot, Nanda Devi, Gangotri Glacier, Satopanth Glacier, Kamet

This river is also known as the Ganges and it flows through two countries India and Bangladesh. The Ganga River divides into two branches, one branch is called Hugly River that flows to West Bengal and the second branch is called the Padma that flows to Bangladesh. This river is the largest river in terms of discharge. This river is one of the sacred rivers to Hindus and is worshipped as the goddess Ganga.

2. Brahmaputra

  • Length – Total 2900 Kms, 725 Kms in India.
  • Flows through countries – China, India, Bangladesh
  • Source – Himalayas

This river is known as the lifeline of Assam. It originates from the Angsi Glacier. The Brahmaputra River is one of the major rivers of the Asian region and flows through India’s neighboring countries too. The lower reaches of the river is sacred for Hindus and the name the Brahmaputra means son of Brahma and this is one of the few rivers in India with a male name.

1. Indus


  • Length – 3180 Kms
  • Flows through countries – Pakistan, India, China, and Afghanistan
  • Source – Sengge Zangbo and Gar Tsangpo

This river is one of the longest rivers in Asia. It flows through many major countries and cities. The river was known to ancient Hindus as Sindhu and was derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu that means ocean. This river is also a sacred river for Indians and is mentioned several times in Hindu scriptures. The river flows toward the Arabian Sea and discharges there.

The rivers listed below are some of the longest rivers in India; however, few of the people argue that Indus and Brahmaputra are not the longest because the major part of these rivers flows through other countries. But most of the prominent and well-known sites like “Wikipedia” and “Maps of India” have listed them as the longest and largest rivers in India. Most of these rivers are the main source of water for different states and has, therefore, gave rise to disputes between states. Example Kaveri River dispute and Narmada River dispute.

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