Longest River in India: Check Top 10 Longest River in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Dec 30, 2021, 5:45

India and its rivers keep the country fertile, industrially developed, and agriculturally suitable, thus forming its lifeline. Its ten longest rivers are often worshipped as goddesses by the Indian people. 

Rivers in India can be divided into two categories: Himalayan rivers and peninsular rivers. About 90% of India's rivers flow into the eastern part of India, towards the Bay of Bengal. The remaining 10% of the rivers flow into the western part of India, towards the Arabian Sea. 

List of the Top 10 Longest Rivers in India

Here is the list of the top 10 longest rivers in India in terms of total length.

The 10 longest rivers in India

Sr. No.

River

Length in India (km)

Total Length (km)

1.

Ganga

2525

2525

2.

Godavari

1464

1465

3.

Krishna

1400

1400

4.

Yamuna

1376

1376

5.

Narmada

1312

1312

6.

Indus

1114

3180

7.

Brahmaputra

916

2900

8.

Mahanadi

890

890

9.

Kaveri

800

800

10.

Tapti

724

724

Descriptive Information about Longest Rivers in India

1. Ganges River

Origin: Gangotri

Adjoining states: Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal

Discharges in: Bay of Bengal

Known in India as the Ganga, the Ganges is the most sacred river in Hindu belief and the longest river surrounded by the Indian subcontinent. 

2. Godavari River

Origin: Near Nashik, Maharashtra

Adjoining cities: Nasik, Nandedo, Rajahmundry

Discharges in: Bay of Bengal

The Godavari also called the Dakshinganga or South Ganges is India's second longest river in length. The river is sacred to Hindus, and its banks have several places that have been travel destinations for many years.

3. Krishna River

Origin: the Western Ghats at an altitude of about 64 km from the Arabian Sea and about 1337 m north of Mahabaleshwar.

Adjoining states: Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh.

Krishna is the third-longest river in India in terms of length and the fourth-longest river in India in terms of water inflow and river basin area.

4. Yamuna River

Origin: Yamunotri Glacier in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.

Adjoining states: Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh

The Yamuna, also known as Jamuna, has religious significance.

5. Narmada River

Origin: Near Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh

Discharges in: Arabian Sea

The Narmada River, also known as Rewa, formerly known as Nerbudda, is considered one of the most sacred waters. For Hindus, the Narmada River is one of India's seven heavenly waterways. 

6. Indus River

Origin: Towers on the northern slopes of Mount Kangrinboqe in Tibet near Lake Manasarover.

Adjoining cities: Leh and Skardu

Discharges in: Arabian Sea

The history of the name of India is related to Indus, and it is also known as the home of the Indus Valley civilization. The river enters Pakistan and its total length is 3180 kilometres. However, the distance covered within India is only 1,114 kilometres.

7. Brahmaputra River

Origin: Kangrinboqe region of the Himalayas

Discharges in: Bay of Bengal

The Brahmaputra is the second river that springs from the Mansarovar Mountains. It comes from the Ansi Glacier near Lake Mansarovar in Tibet, China. Its total length in India is only 916 kilometres.

8. Mahanadi River

Origin: Raipur, Chhattisgarh

Discharges in: Bay of Bengal

The Mahanadi River has historically been famous for its breathtaking floods. Therefore, it was called the 'distress of Odisha'. In any case, the development of Hirakud Dam has changed the situation significantly. Today, streams are well managed by waterways and dam systems.

9. Kaveri/Cauvery River

Origin: Tarakaveli, Kodagu district, Karnataka, in the Bramagiri hills of the Western Ghats

The Kaveri River, also called Cauvery, is a holy river in South India that is also significant for its irrigation canal project.

10. Tapti/Tapi River

Origin: Satpura Range

Tributaries: Purna, Gomai, Gilna, Pedi, Panzara, Bray, Anurati, Arna, Vagur, Suki, Sipna

Discharges into: Gulf of Khambhat (Arabian Sea)

Adjoining states: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat

The Tapi River is one of three rivers that originates from the Indian Peninsula and flows from east to west.

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FAQs Related to Longest River in India

Q.1. Which is the longest river in India?

The longest river in India is River Ganga, with a total length of 2525 km.

Q.2. Which river is the longest tributary of the Ganges?

The Yamuna River is the longest tributary of the Ganges and does not flow directly into the sea.

Q.3. What is the significance of the Narmada River in India?

It is known as the 'Lifeline of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat' due to its significant contributions to these states. It flows westwards, unlike the other rivers in our country.

Posted by:

Neha DhyaniNeha DhyaniMember since Jul 2017
An IT engineer turned Writer, Neha is a versatile content creator at ‘Gradeup’, who covers news and top stories of the education sector. She has been in the industry since 2015. She is passionate about her work, however, when she isn’t crafting content, she’s probably reading, playing badminton, watching YouTube or just lazing around. Her email address is neha.dhyani@gradeup.co.