Indian Geography : Rivers & Mountains of India

By Asha Gupta|Updated : December 11th, 2021

Complete coverage of syllabus is a very important aspect for any competitive examination but before that important subject and their concept must be covered thoroughly. In this article, we are going to discuss the fundamental of Indian Geography: Rivers & Mountains of India.

Rivers & Mountains of India

Indian River System:

The total yield of water in the rivers of India is 18, 58,100 million cubic meters. There is a total of 14 major river basins, 49 medium river basins and hundreds of minor river basins.

On the basis of the origin, the rivers of India are divided into the Himalayan Rivers and the Peninsular Rivers.


    • Major Tributaries:
      • Jhelum- It originates from a spring at Verinag in Jammu and Kashmir
      • Chenab- It originates near the Bara Lapcha La pass in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
      • Ravi- It originates from the Kullu hills near the Rohtang pass in Himachal Pradesh Beas- It originates from the Rohtang pass near the river Ravi.
      • Sutlej- Originates from the Mansarovar- Raka lake near Darma pass in Tibet.
    • Major Tributaries:
      • Subansiri,
      • Dhansiri,
      • Kemeng,
      • Teesta and
      • Manas.
    • Major Tributaries:
      • Yamuna- It originates from the Yamunotri glacier in the Garhwal range of Uttarakhand.
      • Chambal- It originates near Mhow in the highlands of Janapao Hills near Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
      • Son- It originates from the Amarkantak plateau in Madhya Pradesh.
      • Damodar- It originates from the hills of the Chota Nagpur plateau in the Palamau district of Jharkhand. It is also known as Sorrow of Bengal.
      • Ramganga- It originates from the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.
      • Ghagra- It originates from the south of the Mansarovar near Gurla Mandhoa peak in Tibet.
      • Gandak- Originates near the Tibet- Nepal border.
      • Kosi- It consists of seven Himalayan tributaries. It is also known as Sorrow of Bihar.
      • Hooghly- It flows through Kolkatta.


  • The East Flowing Rivers
    • Mahanadi
    • Godavari
    • Krishna
    • Cauvery
  • West Flowing Rivers
    • Narmada
    • Tapti
    • Sharavati

The Great Mountain: Himalayas

The total area of the Himalayas is nearly 5, 00,000 square km. The length of the Himalayas is approx. 2400. However, the width of the Himalayas varies in different places.


The Great Himalayas or the  Himadari:

The average height of the land is more than 6000 meters. The Great Himalayas are around 25 km wide. Some of the world highest peaks also lie here which are more than 8000 meters in altitude such as Mt. Everest/ Sagarmatha/Chomo Langma (8848 meters) in Nepal, Kanchenjunga (8598 meters) in India Dhaulagiri (8172 meters) in Nepal, Annapurna (8078 meters0 in Nepal etc.

Lesser Himalayas or the Himachal:

The average height of the land in the lesser Himalayas varies from 3000 meters to 5000 meters. Some of the important mountain ranges lie here such as Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, Nag Tibba, Mussoorie and Mahabharat ranges.

The Outer Himalayas or the Shivalik

The average height of the land in the outer Himalayas is around 1300 meters above sea level. The outer Himalayas are known by different names such as the Jammu Hills (Jammu and Kashmir), Dundwa (Uttarakhand), Churia Muria (Nepal), Abor and Mishmi (Arunachal Pradesh).

The Peninsular Mountains

  • The Aravalli
  • The Vindhyas
  • The Satpura
  • Western Ghats (Sahyadri)

Eastern Ghat Mountains

  • The Eastern Hills or the Purvanchal
  • The Nilgiris or the Blue Mountains
  • Cardamom Hills or the Ealaimalai


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