Which Rivers flows through Rift Valleys in India?

By Devyani Singh|Updated : July 11th, 2022

The two major rivers that flow through rift valleys are Tapi and Narmada. Damodar River is another river that flows through a rift valley. Rift valleys can be defined as low-land regions that are made by the movement of the tectonic plates of the Earth. 

Rift Valleys can be found on land and on the ocean floor. The ones on land are caused by the movement of tectonic plates while the ones on the ocean floor are a product of seafloor spreading.

Name the Rivers Which Flows in Rift Valleys?

There are three rivers that flow through rift valleys in India, these are Tapi, Narmada, and Damodar. 


  • Tapi is an important river in the west of the country. 
  • Originating from Multai, a part of the Betul district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, it is 724 km in length and drains a 65,145 sq. km area. 
  • While most of its basin (79%) is in the state of Maharashtra, Tapi has 15% of its basin in Madhya Pradesh and only 6% in Gujarat. 


  • Narmada river finds its origin in the Amarkantak Plateau’s western flank from a height that is about 1057m above sea level. 
  • It flows through the rift valley formed between the Vindhyan range and Satpura. 
  • It meets into the Arabian Sea after flowing for about 1312 km while forming an estuary that is 27 km long. 
  • The Sardar Sarovar Project is built on this river. 


  • The Rift valley that the Damodar river flows through is a product of down warping that finds its origin in the Chota Nagpur Plateau. 
  • The river flows into the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal 
  • Often called the ‘Sorrow of Bengal’, it flows into Ganga’s tributary Hoogly.

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FAQs about Rivers flowing through Rift Valleys in India

  • There are 3 rivers in total that flow through rift valleys in India, namely Tapi, Damodar and Narmada 

  • The Great Rift Valley is the most famous rift valley on Earth that stretches from Mozambique to the Middle East. 

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