india: geographical features

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India: Geographical Features : 

India: Geographical Features

Rivers of India : 

Rivers of India

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The rivers of India play an important role in the lives of the Indian people. The river systems provide irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation, electricity, and the livelihoods for a large number of people all over the country. This easily explains why nearly all the major cities of India are located by the banks of rivers. The rivers also have an important role in Hindu mythology and are considered holy by all Hindus in the country. Seven major rivers along with their numerous tributaries make up the river system of India. Most of the rivers pour their waters into the Bay of Bengal; however, some of the rivers whose courses take them through the western part of the country and towards the east of the state of Himachal Pradesh empty into the Arabian Sea. Parts of Ladakh, northern parts of the Aravalli range and the arid parts of the Thar Desert have inland drainage.

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1. The Himalaya and the Karakoram ranges 2. Vindhya and Satpura ranges and Chotanagpur plateau in central India 3. Sahyadri or Western Ghats in western India All major rivers of India originate from one of the three main watersheds:

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India is sometimes referred to as the "Land of Rivers". The multitude of tributaries and the close binding of Indian civilization and culture to the local rivers is the reason for this characterization. Travel anywhere in India and one is overcome by how much the rivers influence the economy and local cultures. Indeed, Indians have worshipped rivers as a form of Mother Goddess from ancient times. Rivers of India

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Indus River System The Indus River originates in the northern slopes of the Kailash range near Lake Mansarovar in Tibet. Although most of the river's course runs through neighboring Pakistan, a portion of it does run through Indian territory, as do parts of the courses of its five major tributaries, listed below. These tributaries are the source of the name of the Punjab region of South Asia; the name is derived from the Persian words Punj ("five") and aab ("water"), hence the combination of the words (Punjab) means "five waters" or "land of five waters". 1. Beas The Beas originates in Beas Kund, lying near the Rohtang pass. It runs past Manali and Kulu, where its beautiful valley is known as the Kulu valley. It joins the Sutlej river near Harika, after being joined by a few tributaries. The total length of the river is 615 .

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2. Chenab The Chenab originates from the confluence of two rivers, the Chandra and the Bhaga, It is also known as the Chandrabhaga in Himachal Pradesh. It runs parallel to the Pir It enters the plains of Punjab near Akhnur and is later joined by the Jhelum. It is further joined by the Ravi and the Sutlej in Pakistan. 3. Jhelum The Jhelum originates in the south-eastern part of Kashmir, in a spring at Verinag situated at the foot of the Pir Panjal in the south-eastern part of the valley of Kashmir in India. It flows through Srinagar and the Wular lake before entering Pakistan through a deep narrow gorge.

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4. Ravi The Ravi originates near the Rotang pass in the Himalayas and follows a north-westerly course. It turns to the south-west, near Dalhousie, and then cuts a gorge in the Dhaola Dhar range entering the Punjab plain near Madhopur. It flows as a part of the Indo-Pakistan border for some distance before entering Pakistan and joining the Chenab river. 5. Sutlej The Sutlej originates from the Rakas Lake, which is connected to the Manasarovar lake by a stream, in Tibet. It enters Pakistan near Sulemanki, and is later joined by the Chenab. It has a total length of almost 1500 km.

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The Ganges (pronounced Hindi: गंगा Gaṅgā, as in most Indian languages) is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent, flowing east through the Gangetic Plain of northern India into Bangladesh. The 2,510 km (1,560 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state of India, and drains into the Sunderbans delta in the Bay of Bengal. It has long been considered a holy river by Hindus and worshiped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has also been important historically: many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Patliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Allahabad, Murshidabad, and Calcutta) have been located on its banks. The Ganges Basin drains 1,000,000-square-kilometre (390,000 sq mi) and supports one of the world's highest density of humans. The average depth of the river is 52 feet (16 m), and the maximum depth, 100 feet (30 m). The Ganges

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Although many small streams comprise the headwaters of the Ganges, the six longest headstreams and their five confluences are given both cultural and geographical emphasis (see the map showing the headwaters of the river). The Alaknanda river meets the Dhauliganga river at Vishnuprayag, the Nandakini river at Nandprayag, the Pindar river at Karnaprayag, the Mandakini river at Rudraprayag and finally the Bhagirathi river at Devprayag, to form the mainstem, the Ganges. The Bhagirathi is the source stream; it rises at the foot of Gangotri Glacier at Gaumukh, at an elevation of 3,892 m (12,770 ft). The headwaters of the Alaknanda are formed by snowmelt from such peaks as Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Kamet.

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After flowing 200 km through its narrow Himalayan valley, the Ganges debouches on the Gangetic Plain at the pilgrimage town of Haridwar. There, a dam diverts some of its waters into the Ganges Canal, which irrigates the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh. The Ganges, whose course has been roughly southwestern until this point, now begins to flow southeast through the plains of northern India. Further, the river follows an 800 km curving course passing through the city of Kanpur before being joined from the southwest by the Yamuna at Allahabad This point is known as the Sangam at Allahabad. Sangam is a sacred place in Hinduism. According to ancient Hindu texts, at one time a third river, the Sarasvati, met the other two rivers at this point.

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Joined by numerous rivers such as the Kosi, Son, Gandaki and Ghaghra, the Ganges forms a formidable current in the stretch between Allahabad and Malda in West Bengal. On its way it passes the towns of Kanpur, Soron, Kannauj, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna,Ghazipur,Bhagalpur,Mirzapur,Ballia, Buxar , Saidpur, and Chunar.At Bhagalpur, the river meanders past the Rajmahal Hills, and begins to run south. At Pakur, the river begins its attrition with the branching away of its first distributary, the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly which goes on to form the Hooghly River. Near the border with Bangladesh the Farakka Barrage, built in 1974, controls the flow of the Ganges, diverting some of the water into a feeder canal linking the Hooghly to keep it relatively silt-free. river system. After entering Bangladesh, the main branch of the Ganges is known as the Padma River until it is joined by the Jamuna River, the largest distributary of the Brahmaputra. Further downstream, the Ganges is fed by the Meghna River, the second largest tributary of the Brahmaputra, and takes on the Meghna's name as it enters the Meghna Estuary. Fanning out into the 350 km wide Ganges Delta, it finally empties into the Bay of Bengal. Only two rivers, the Amazon and the Congo, have greater discharge than the combined flow of the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Surma-Meghna.

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There are two major dams on the Ganges. One at Haridwar diverts much of the Himalayan snow-melt into the Upper Ganges Canal, built by the British in 1854 to irrigate the surrounding land. This caused severe deterioration to the water flow in the Ganges, and is a major cause for the decay of Ganges as an inland waterway. The other dam is a serious hydroelectric affair at Farakka, close to the point where the main flow of the river enters Bangladesh, and the tributary Hooghly (also known as Bhagirathi) continues in West Bengal past Calcutta. This barrage, which feeds the Hooghly branch of the river by a 26 mile long feeder canal, and its water flow management has been a long-lingering source of dispute with Bangladesh,

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A branch of the Hooghly, the Damodar, flows south and enters the Bay of Bengal at the growing port of Haldia. It has the large hydroelectric dam called Damodar Valley Project, built on the lines of the Tennessee Valley Authority. There is also a controversial dam at Tehri, on the Bhagirathi, one of the main source rivers of Ganges. Another dam is proposed to be built on the upper reaches of a tributary of the Ganges, Mahakali, This Indo-Nepal project, the Pancheswar dam, proposes to be the highest dam in the world and will be built with US collaboration. The upper and lower Ganga canal, which is actually the backbone of a network of canals, runs from Haridwar to Allahabad, but maintenance has not been very good. Tehri Dam is also constructed on Bhagirathi river, tributory of ganga. Main purpose was to supply water to New Delhi.

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The Ganges Basin with its fertile soil is instrumental to the agricultural economies of India and Bangladesh. The Ganges and its tributaries provide a perennial source of irrigation to a large area. Chief crops cultivated in the area include rice, sugarcane, lentils, oil seeds, potatoes, and wheat. Along the banks of the river, the presence of swamps and lakes provide a rich growing area for crops such as legumes, chillies, mustard, sesame, sugarcane, and jute. There are also many fishing opportunities to many along the river, though it remains highly polluted. Tourism is another related activity. Three towns holy to Hinduism – Haridwar, Allahabad, and Varanasi – attract thousands of pilgrims to its waters. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims arrive at these three towns to take a dip in the Ganges, which is believed to cleanse oneself of sins and help attain salvation. The rapids of the Ganges also are popular for river rafting, attracting hundreds of adventure seekers in the summer months. Muslims from India & Bangladesh often do wudu, a religious cleansing of the body for prayer in the Ganges River.

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The Brahmaputra,[also called Tsangpo-Brahmaputra, is a trans-boundary river and one of the major rivers of Asia. From its origin in southwestern Tibet as the Yarlung Zangbo River, it flows across southern Tibet to break through the Himalayas in great gorges and into Arunachal Pradesh where it is known as Dihang. It flows southwest through the Assam Valley as Brahmaputra and south through Bangladesh as the Jamuna (not to be mistaken with Yamuna of India). There it merges with the Ganges to form a vast delta. About 1,800 miles (2,900 km) long, the river is an important source for irrigation and transportation. Its upper course was long unknown, and its identity with the Yarlung Tsangpo was only established by exploration in 1884-86. The Brahmaputra

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This river is often called Tsangpo-Brahmaputra river. The average depth of river is 124 feet (38 m) and maximum depth is 380 feet (120 m). In Bangladesh the river merges with the Ganges and splits into two: the Padma and Meghna River. When it merges with the Ganges it forms the world's largest delta, the Sunderbans. The Sunderbans is known for tigers, crocodiles and mangroves. While most Indian and Bangladeshi rivers bear female names, this river has a rare male name, as it means "son of Brahma" in Sanskrit (putra means "son"). The Brahmaputra is navigable for most of its length. The lower part reaches are sacred to Hindus. The river is prone to catastrophic flooding in spring when the Himalayan snows melt. It is also one of the few rivers in the world that exhibit a tidal bore.

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The Yarlung Tsangpo originates in the Jima Yangzong glacier near Mount Kailash in the northern Himalayas. It then flows east for about 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi), at an average height of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), and is thus the highest of the major rivers in the world. At its easternmost point, it bends around Mt. Namcha Barwa, and forms the Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon which is considered the deepest in the world. River course Until Indian independence in 1947, the Brahmaputra was used as a major waterway. In the 1990s, the stretch between Sadiya and Dhubri in India was declared as National Waterway No.2., and it provides facilities for goods transportation. Recent years have seen a modest spurt in the growth of river cruises with the introduction of the cruise ship, "Charaidew," by Assam Bengal Navigation

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As the river enters Arunachal Pradesh, it is called Siang and makes a very rapid descent from its original height in Tibet, and finally appears in the plains, where it is called Dihang. It flows for about 35 kilometres (22 mi) and is joined by two other major rivers: Dibang and Lohit. From this point of confluence, the river becomes very wide and is called Brahmaputra. It is joined in Sonitpur District by the Jia Bhoreli (named the Kameng River where it flows from Arunachal Pradesh) and flows through the entire state of Assam. In Assam the river is sometimes as wide as 10 kilometres (6.2 mi). Between Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur districts the river divides into two channels---the northern Kherkutia channel and the southern Brahmaputra channel. The two channels join again about 100 kilometres (62 mi) downstream forming the Majuli island. At Guwahati near the ancient pilgrimage center of Hajo, the Brahmaputra cuts through the rocks of the Shillong Plateau, and is at its narrowest at 1 kilometre (1,100 yd) bank-to-bank. Because the Brahmaputra is the narrowest at this point the Battle of Saraighat was fought here. The first rail-cum-road bridge across the Brahmaputra was opened to traffic in April 1962 at Saraighat.

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The Kaveri River, also spelled Cauvery in English, is one of the major rivers of India, which is considered sacred by Hindus. The origin of the river is traditionally placed at Talakaveri, Kodagu district in the Western Ghats in the state of Karnataka, flows generally south and east through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and across the southern Deccan plateau through the southeastern lowlands, emptying into the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths. The Kaveri River basin is estimated to be 27,700 square miles (72,000 km2) with many tributaries including the Shimsha, the Hemavati River, the Arkavathy River, Honnuhole River, Lakshmana Tirtha River, Kabini River, Bhavani River, the Lokapavani River, the Noyyal River and the Amaravati River. The Kaveri

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Rising in southwestern Karnataka state, it flows southeast some 475 mi (765 km) to enter the Bay of Bengal. East of the city of Mysore it forms the island of Shivanasamudra, on either side of which are the scenic Shivanasamudra Falls that descend about 320 ft (100 m). The river is the source for an extensive irrigation system and for hydroelectric power. The river has supported irrigated agriculture for centuries and served as the lifeblood of the ancient kingdoms and modern cities of South India.

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The river is considered to rise at Talakaveri in the Brahmagiri hills in Kodagu, though there is not a flow at this point all year round. The river Kaveri – one of the seven sacred rivers (sapta sindhu) of India – is one of the most important rivers in south India. The source occurs at a point where the Western Ghats join the Bengunad range. The Kannike, another stream which rises nearby joins Kaveri at the foot of the hill in a village named Bhagamandala. A third river, the Sujyothi, is also said to join Kaveri here, unseen. The Kaveri forms the principal drainage of Kodagu, and is already a major river when it leaves the Western Ghats near Kushalanagara.

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After the river leaves the Kodagu hills and flows onto the Deccan plateau, the Kabani River joins the Kaveri River at Tirumakudal Narasipur in Karnataka, it forms two islands, Srirangapatna and Shivanasamudra. At Sivasamudra Island the river drops 320 ft (98 m), forming the famous Shivanasamudra Falls known separately as Gagana Chukki and Bhara Chukki. Asia's first hydroelectric plant (built in 1902) was on the left falls and supplied power to the city of Bangalore. In its course through Karnataka, the channel is interrupted by twelve "anicuts" (dams) for the purpose of irrigation. From the anicut at Madadkatte, an artificial channel is diverted at a distance of 72 miles (116 km), irrigating an area of 10,000 acres (40 km²), and ultimately bringing its water supply to the town of Mandya.

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The cities of Bangalore,] Mandya and Mysore depend almost entirely on the Kaveri for their drinking water supply. In fact, the river is called Jeevanadhi which, in Kannada, means a river supporting life. The river enters Tamil Nadu through Dharmapuri district leading to the flat plains where it meanders. It drops into the Hogenakkal Falls just before it arrives in the town of Hogenakal in Tamil Nadu. The three minor tributaries , Palar, Chennar and Thoppar enter into the Kaveri on her course, above Stanley Reservoir in Mettur, where the dam has been constructed. The Mettur Dam joins the Sita and Pala mountains beyond that valley through which the Kaveri flows, up to the Grand Anicut. The dam in Mettur impounds water not only for the improvement of irrigation but also to ensure the regular and sufficient supply of water to the important Hydro-Electric generating station at Mettur. The river further runs through the length Erode district where river Bhavani, which running through the breadth of the district, merges with it. The confluence of the rivers Cauvery, Bhavani and Akash Ganga (imaginary) is at the exact place of Bhavani Kooduthurai or Tiriveni Sangamam, Northern a part of Erode City.

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While passing through Erode, two more tributaries merge. Noyyal and Amaravathi join it before it reaches Tiruchirapalli district. Here the river becomes wide, with a sandy bed, and flows in an easterly direction until it splits into two at upper Anicut Mukkombu about 14 kilometres west of Thiruchirappalli. The northern branch of the river is called the Coleroon or Kollidam while the southern branch retains the name Kaveri and then goes directly eastwards into Thanjavur District. These two rivers join again and form the Srirangam island near Tiruchirapalli. The primary uses of Kaveri are providing water for irrigation, water for household consumption and the generation of electricity. An estimate at the time of the first Five Year Plan puts the total flow of the Kaveri at 12 million acre-feet(15 km³), of which 60% was used for irrigation. [ The Torekadanahalli pumpstation sends 540 Mld (million liters per day) of water from Kaveri 100 km to Bangalore. The water for the Kaveri is primarily supplied by monsoon rains.

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Dams, such as the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam and Mettur Dam, and those on its tributaries such as Banasura Sagar Dam project on a Kabini River tributary, store water from monsoon periods and release the water during the dry months. Even so, during the months of February-May, water levels are often quite low, and in some channels and distributaries riverbeds may become dry. Flow generally begins to increase in June or July. However, in some years when rains are light, the low river level can lead to agricultural distress in areas dependent upon the Kaveri for irrigation. The hydroelectric plant built on the left Sivanasamudra Falls on the Kaveri in 1902 was the first hydroelectric plant in Karnataka. The Krishna Raja Sagara Dam has a capacity of 49 tmc ft. and the Mettur Dam which creates Stanley Reservoir has a capacity of 93.4 tmc ft. (thousand million cubic ft) In August 2003, inflow into reservoirs in Karnataka was at a 29 year low, with a 58% shortfall. Water stored in Krishna Raja Sagara amounted to only 4.6 tmc ft.

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The Chenab River is formed by the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers at Tandi located in the upper Himalayas in the Lahul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, India. In its upper reaches it is also known as the Chandrabhaga. It flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, forming the boundary between the Rechna and Jech interfluves (Doabs in Persian). It is joined by the Jhelum River at Trimmu and then by the Ravi River Ahmedpur Sial. It then merges with the Sutlej River near Uch Sharif, Pakistan to form the Panjnad or the 'Five Rivers', the fifth being the Beas River which joins the Satluj near Ferozepur, India. The Chenab then joins the Indus at Mithankot, Pakistan. The total length of the Chenab is approximately 960 kilometres. The waters of the Chenab are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty. The Chenab

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The river was known to Indians in the Vedic period as Chandrabhaga (Sanskrit: चंद्रभाग), also Ashkini (Sanskrit: अश्किनि) or Iskmati (Sanskrit: इस्कामति) and as Acesines to the Ancient Greeks. In 325 BC, Alexander the Great allegedly founded the town of Alexandria on the Indus (present day Uch Sharif or Mithankot or Chacharan in Pakistan) at the confluence of the Indus and the combined stream of Punjab rivers (currently known as the Panjnad River)[ The Chenab has the same place in the consciousness of the people of the Punjab as, say, the Rhine holds for the Germans, or the Danube for the Austrians and the Hungarians. It is the iconic river around which Punjabi consciousness revolves, and plays a prominent part in the tale of Heer Ranjha, the Punjabi national epic and the legend of Sohni Mahiwal.

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This river has been in the news of late due to the steps taken by the Indian government to build a number of hydropower dams along its length (in India) most notably the Baglihar hydel power project(expected time of completion 2008). This is a result of the Indus Basin Project. These planned projects on Chenab have been hotly contested by Pakistan which says that India is breaking the terms and clauses of the Indus water treaty by storing and channelling the waters of this river, a claim totally rejected by the Indian government.

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The Godavari

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The Godavari is a river that runs from western to southern India and is considered to be one of the big river basins in India. It originates near Trimbak in Nashik District of Maharashtra state and flows east across the Deccan Plateau into the Bay of Bengal near Rajahmundry in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

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Course The Godavari River is a major waterway in central India, originating in the Western Ghats Trimbakeshwar,in the Nashik Subdivision or District Of Maharashtra and flowing eastwardly across the Deccan Plateau through the state of Maharashtra.It is the second largest river in India. It is known as dakshin ganga. It enters Andhra pradhesh at Kandhakurthi in Nizamabad District, crosses the Deccan Plateau and then turns to flow in a southeast direction until it empties into the Bay of Bengal through two mouths. Basara, on the banks of Godavari in Adilabad District, is home to a famous temple for Goddeses Saraswati and is only to the second temple for the Goddess in India

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The Sri Ram Sagar Project which was constructed on this river (1964-69) serves the irrigation needs of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Warangal districts. Dharmapuri, with a temple dedicated to Lord Sri Laxmi Narasimhaswamy, is the second temple town that also attracts pilgrims from Maharashtra.

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Although the river arises only 80 kilometres from the Arabian Sea, it flows 1,465 km to empty into the Bay of Bengal. Just above Rajamundry, there is a dam that provides water for irrigation. Below Rajahmundry, the river divides into two streams that widen into a large river delta which has an extensive navigable irrigation-canal system, Dowleswaram Barrage that links the region to the Krishna River delta to the southwest.

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The Godavari River has a drainage area of 3,42,812 km² that includes more than one state which is nearly one-tenth of India and is greater than the areas of England and Ireland put together. The Pravara, Indrawati, Wainganga, Waradha, Pench, Kanhan and Penuganga rivers, discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system. Its tributaries include Indravati River, Manjira River, Bindusara River and Sabari River.

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The Coringa mangrove forests in the Godavari delta are the second largest mangrove formation in the country. Part of this has been declared as the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, renowned for its reptiles. Ecological significance The Krishna Godavari basin is one of the main nesting sites of the endangered Olive Ridley turtle. The mangroves also provide an important habitat to a wide variety of fish and crustaceans. These forests also act as barriers against cyclones, tropical stroms and tidal waves thus protecting the nearby villages.

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Major towns and cities along the river In Maharashtra In Andhra Pradesh Nashik Trimbakeshwar Kopargaon Paithan Gangakhed Nanded Sironcha Basara, Adilabad (Gnana Saraswati Temple) Nirmal, Adilabad (Nirmal Toys) Goodem gutta, Adilabad (Temple) Dharmapuri. Karimnagar (Narasimha Swamy Temple) Kaleshwaram, Karimnagar (Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy (Siva) Temple) Manthani, Karimnagar (Gautameshwara Swami(Siva) Temple, Sri Rama, Sarswathi Temples) Mancherial, Adilabad Godavarikhani, Karimnagar Bhadrachalam, Khammam Rajamundry, East Godavari Kovvuru, West Godavari Tallapudi, West Godavari Narsapur, West Godavari Antarvedi, East Godavari

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Dams and bridges along the river A barrage was built on the river at Dowleswaram by Sir Arthur Cotton in 1852.As it was damaged in 1987 floods,it was rebuilt as a barrage and roadway during 1987 and named after him. The roadway connects Dowleswaram in East Godavari and Vijjeswaram in West Godavari. There is also a big dam built just after the source of the river at Trimbakeshwar. The dam is in the town of Gangapur, which literally means a town on a river. The dam provides drinking water to the residents of Nashik and also supplies water to the thermal power station situated downstream at Eklahara, which provides power to the town. There is another multipurpose project on the Godavari River named Sriram Sagar Project on the borders of Adilabad and Nizamabad District. It is in the town of Pochampad, 60 km away from Nizamabad. It irrigates 4 districts of Northern Telangana Region of Andhra Pradesh and supplies power.

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The Jayakwadi dam near Paithan is one of the largest earthen dam in India. This dam was built to address the problem of drought in Marathwada region and problem of flood along the bank of river. Two 'left' and 'right' canals provide the irrigation to fertile land up to Nanded district. This dam has major contribution in industrial development of Aurangabad Maharashtra. There are 3 railway bridges which are connected in between East Godavari and West Godavari districts. -Havelock bridge (Named after the then Madras Governor) -Rail-cum-road bridge -New railway bridge

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The Sutlej The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroad region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the Vindhya Range south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan. The Sutlej is sometimes known as the Red River. It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River Its source is at Lake Rakshastal in Tibet near Mount Kailas, and it flows generally west and southwest entering India through the Shipki La pass in Himachal Pradesh. It waters the ancient and historically important region of Greater Punjab. The region to its south and east is arid, and is known as the Great Indian Desert or Thar Desert.

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The Sutlej Valley from Rampur ca. 1857

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The Sutlej joins with the Beas River in Hari-Ke-Patan, Amritsar, Punjāb, India, and continues southwest into Pakistan to unite with the Chenab River, forming the Panjnad River south of ancient Multān. The Panjnad joins the Indus River at Mithankot. Indus then flows through a gorge near Sukkur, flows through the fertile plains region of Sindh, and terminates in the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Pakistan.

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The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, and are mostly diverted to irrigation canals in India. A huge, multipurpose Bhakra-Nangal Dam has been built on the Sutlej by the Indian government. There are several major hydroelectric projects on the Sutlej, e.g. the 1000MW Karcham-Wangtoo HEP. There has been a proposal to build a 214-kilometre (133 mi) long heavy freight canal, known as the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL), in India to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. However, the proposal met obstacles and was referred to the Supreme Court. The Sutlej was known as Śutudri in the Vedic .

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The Sutlej, along with all of the Punjab rivers, is thought to have drained east into the Ganges prior to 5 mya. There is substantial geologic evidence to indicate that prior to 1700 BC at the latest, Sutlej was an important tributary of the Ghaggar-Hakra River (possibly through the Saraswati river) rather than the Indus with various authors putting the redirection from 2500-2000 BC or 5000-3000 BC. Geologists believe that tectonic activity created elevation changes which redirected the flow of Sutlej from the southeast to the southwest. The mighty Saraswati then began to dry up, causing desertification of Cholistan and the eastern part of the modern state of Sindh. The desertification resulted in abandonment of numerous ancient human settlements along the banks of Saraswati[

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There is some evidence that the high rate of erosion caused by the modern Sutlej River has influenced the local faulting and rapidly exhumed rocks above Rampur. This would be similar to, but on a much smaller scale then, the exhumation of rocks by the Indus River in Nanga Parbat, Pakistan. The Sutlej river also exposes a doubled inverted metamorphic gradient The source of the Sutlej is just west of Mt. Kailash in western Tibet. This is roadless area, and was first explored by kayak and raft by Russian and German teams in 2004. The largest modern industrial city along the Sutlej banks is Ludhiana.

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The Krishna River is one of the longest rivers in central-southern India (about 1300 km in length). The Krishna

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It rises at Mahabaleswar in Maharashtra in the west and meets the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi in Andhra Pradesh, on the east coast. It also flows through the state of Karnataka. The delta of the river is one of the most fertile regions in Bharat and was the home to ancient Satavahana and Ikshvaku sun dynasty, kings. Vijayawada is the largest city on the River Krishna. The delta of the river is one of the most fertile regions in Bharat and was the home to ancient Satavahana and Ikshvaku sun dynasty, kings. Vijayawada is the largest city on the River Krishna.

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Ecologically, this is one of the disastrous rivers in the world, in that it causes heavy soil erosion during the monsoon season. It flows fast and furious, often reaching depths of over 75 feet (23 m). Ironically, there is a saying in Marathi (language of Maharashtra) "sunt vaahate Krishnamaai" which means "quiet flows Krishna". This term is also used to describe how a person should be, as quiet as Krishna. But, in reality, Krishna causes a high degree of erosion between June and August. During this time, Krishna takes fertile soil from Maharashtra, Karnataka and western Andhra Pradesh towards the delta region.

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Tributaries Its most important tributary is the Tungabhadra River, which is formed by the Tunga River and Bhadra River that originate in the Western Ghats. Other tributaries include the Koyna River, Bhima River (and its tributaries such as the Kundali River feeding into the Upper Bhima River Basin), Malaprabha River, Ghataprabha River, Yerla River, Warna River, Dindi River, Musi River and Dudhganga River.

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The rivers Koyna River, Vasna, Panchganga River, Dudhganga, Ghataprabha River, Malaprabha River and Tungabhadra River join Krishna from the right bank; while the Yerla River, Musi River, Maneru and Bhima rivers join the Krishna from the left bank. Three tributaries meet Krishna river near Sangli. Warana River meets Krishna river near Sangli at Haripur. This spot is also known as Sangameshwar. Panchganga River meets Krishna river at Narsobawadi near Sangli. Sangameswaram of Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh is a famous pilgrim center for Hindus where Tungabhadra and Bhavanasi rivers join krishna. sangameswaram temple is now drowned in the Srisailam reservoir and visible for devotees only during summer when the reservoir's water level comes down[

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Dams Basava Sagar Dam Almatti Dam Srisailam Dam Nagarjuna Sagar Dam Prakasham Barrage Jurala Dam Dhom Dam Narayanpur dam

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Krishna Basin Krishna Basin extends over an area of 258,948 km² which is nearly 8% of total geographical area of the country. The basin lies in the states of Andhra Pradesh (113,271 km²), Karnataka (76,252 km²) and Maharashtra (69,425 km²). Krishna river rises in the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 1337 m just north of Mahabaleshwar, about 64 km from the Arabian Sea and flows for about 1400 km and outfalls into the Bay of Bengal. The principal tributaries joining Krishna are the Ghataprabha, the Malaprabha, the Bhima, the Tungabhadra and the Musi. An average annual surface water potential of 78.1 km³ has been assessed in this basin. Out of this, 58.0 km³ is utilisable water. Culturable area in the basin is about 203,000 km², which is 10.4% of the total culturable area of the country.

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The Yamuna is the largest tributary river of the Ganges (Ganga) in northern India. Originating from the Yamunotri Glacier at a height 6,387 mtrs., on the south western slopes of Banderpooch peaks, in the Lower Himalayas, it travels a total length of 1,376 kilometers (855 mi) and has a drainage system of 366,223 km2, 40.2% of the entire Ganga Basin, before merging with the Ganges at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad, the site for the Kumbha Mela every twelve years. The Yamuna

Slide 56: 

It crosses several states, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, passing by Himachal Pradesh and later Delhi, and meets several of its tributaries on the way, including Tons, its largest and longest tributary, Chambal, which has its own large basin, followed by Sindh, the Betwa, and Ken. Just like the Ganges, the Yamuna too is highly venerated in Hinduism and worshipped as goddess Yamuna, throughout its course. In Hindu mythology, she is the daughter of Sun God, Surya, and sister of Yama, the God of Death, hence also known as Yami, and according to popular legends, bathing in its sacred waters frees one from the torments of death . Most importantly it creates the highly fertile alluvial, 'Yamuna-Ganga Doab' region between itself and the Ganges in the Indo-Gangetic plain. Nearly 57 million people depend on the Yamuna waters. With an annual flow of about 10,000 cubic metres (cum) and usage of 4,400 cum (of which irrigation constitutes 96 per cent), the river accounts for more than 70 per cent of Delhi’s water supplies.

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The water of Yamuna is of "reasonably good quality" through its length from Yamunotri in the Himalayas to Wazirabad in Delhi, about 375 km, where the discharge of waste water through 15 drains between Wazirabad barrage and Okhla barrage renders the river severely polluted after Wazirabad in Delhi. One official describes the river as a "sewage drain" with biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) values ranging from 14 to 28 mg/l and high coliform content. There are three main sources of pollution in the river, namely households and municipal disposal sites, soil erosion resulting from deforestation occurring to make way for agriculture along with resulting chemical wash-off from fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides and run-off from commercial activity and industrial sites.

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The source of Yamuna lies in the Yamunotri Glacier at a height 6,387 mtrs., on the south western slopes of Banderpooch peaks, which lie in the Mussoorie range of Lower Himalayas, in the Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand, north of Haridwar. Yamunotri temple, a shrine dedicated to the goddess, Yamuna is one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism, and part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra circuit. Also standing close to the temple, on its 13 km trek route, that follows the right bank of the river, lies the Markendeya Tirtha, where the sage Markandeya wrote the Markandeya Purana.

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From here it flows southwards, for about 200 km through the Lower Himalayas and the Shivalik Hills Range and morainic deposited are found in its steep Upper Yamuna valley, highlighted with geomorphic features such as interlocking spurs, steep rock benches, and stream terraces. Large terraces formed over a long period of time can be seen in the lower course of the river, like ones near Naugoan. An important part of its early catchment area totalling 2,320 km² lies in Himachal Pradesh, and an important tributary draining the Upper Catchment Area is the Tons, Yamuna's largest and longest tributary, which rises from the Hari-ki-dun valley and holds water more than the main stream, which it merges after Kalsi near Dehradun. The entire drainage system of the river stretches all the way between Giri-Sutlej catchment in Himachal and Yamuna-Bhilangna catchment in Garhwal, indeed the southern ridge of Shimla is also drained into this system.

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Other tributaries in the region are the Giri, Rishi Ganga, Kunta, Hanuman Ganga and Bata tributaries, which drain the Upper Catchment Area of the vast Yamuna basin. Thereafter the river descends on to the plains of Doon Valley, at Dak Pathar near Dehradun. Here through a weir dam, the water is diverted into a canal for power generation, little further down where Yamuna is met by the Assan River, lies the Assan barrage, which hosts a Bird Sanctuary as well. After passing the Sikh pilgrimage town of Paonta Sahib, it reaches Tajewala in Yamuna Nagar district, of Haryana, where a dam built in 1873, is the originating place of two important canals, the Western Yamuna Canal and Eastern Yamuna Canal, which irrigate the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The Western Yamuna Canal (WYC) crosses Yamuna Nagar, Karnal and Panipat before reaching the Haiderpur treatment plant, which supplies part of municipal water supply to Delhi, further it also receives waste water from Yamuna Nagar and Panipat cities. Yamuna is replenished again after this by seasonal streams and groundwater accrual, in fact during the dry season, it remains dry in many stretches from Tajewala till Delhi, where it enters near Palla village after traversing 224 km.

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The Yamuna also creates natural state borders between the Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand states, and further down between the state of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Along with Ganga to which run almost parallel after it touches the Indo-Gangetic plain, the largest alluvial fertile plain in the world, it creates the Ganga-Yamuna Doab region spread across 69,000 km2, one-third of the entire plain, and today known for its agricultural outputs, prominent among them is the cultivation of Basmati Rice. The plain itself supports one-third of India's population through its farming.

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Subsequently, it flows through the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, before merging with the Ganges at a sacred spot known as Triveni Sangam in Allahabad after traversing a distance of 1,376 kilometers (855 miles). Here pilgrims travel by boats to platforms erected mid stream to offer prayers. During the Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years, the ghats around the Sangam are venue of large congregation of people, who take dip in the sacred waters of the confluence. The cities of Baghpat, Delhi, Noida, Mathura, Agra, Firozabad, Etawah, Kalpi, Hamirpur, Allahabad lie on its banks. At Etawah, it meets it another important tributary, Chambal, followed by a host of tributaries further down, including, Sindh, the Betwa, and Ken.

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Tons River, Yamuna's largest and longest tributary, rises in the 20,720 ft (6,315 meters) high Bandarpoonch mountain, and has a large basin in Himachal Pradesh. It meets Yamuna below Kalsi near Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Hindon River, originates in the Saharanpur District, from Upper Shivalik in Lower Himalayan Range, is entirely rainfed and has a catchment area of 7, 083 km2, traverses 400 km through Muzaffarnagar District, Meerut District, Baghpat District, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, before joining Yamuna just outside Delhi. Tributaries

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Ken River, flows through Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, it originates near village Ahirgawan in Jabalpur district and travels a distance of 427 km, before merging with the Yamuna at Chilla village, near Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, and has an overall drainage basin of 28,058 km2. Chambal River, known as Charmanvati in ancient times, flows through Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, with a drainage basin of 143,219 km2 and traverses a total distance of 960 km, from its source in Vindhya Range, near Mhow and support hydro-power generation at Gandhi Sagar dam, Rana Pratap Sagar dam and Jawahar Sagar dam, before merging into the Yamuna south east of Sohan Goan, in Etawah district, shortly there after followed by another tributary, the Sindh River.

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The importance of Yamuna in the Indo-Gangetic Plains is enhanced by its many canals, some dating back to as early as 14th century CE by Tughlaq dynasty, which built the Nahr-i-Bahisht (Paradise), parallel to the river, it was later restored and extended by the Mughals in the first half of seventeenth century, by engineer Ali Mardan Khan, starting from Benawas where the river enters the plains and terminating near the Mughal capital, Shahjahanabad, the present city of Delhi [21]. Irrigation As the Yamuna enters the Northern plains near Dak Pathar at a height of 790 meters, two canals namely, the Eastern and Western Yamuna Canals commence from the Assan barrage about 11 kilometers from Dak Pathar in Doon Valley, the canals irrigate vast tracts of lands in the region, then once its passes Delhi, it feeds the Agra Canal built in in 1874, which starts from Okhla barrage beyond the Nizamuddin bridge, and the high land between the Khari-Nadi and the Yamuna and before joining the Banganga river about 20 miles below Agra. Thus during the summer season, the stretch above Agra resembles a minor stream.

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A heavy freight canal, known as the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL), is being built westwards from near its headwaters through the Punjab region near an ancient caravan route and highlands pass to the navigable parts of the Sutlej-Indus watershed. This will connect the entire Ganges, which flows to the east coast of the subcontinent, with points west (via Pakistan). When completed, the SYL will allow shipping from India's east coast to the west coast and the Arabian sea, drastically shortening shipping distances and creating important commercial links for north-central India's large population. The canal starts near Palla village near Delhi, and was to transfer Haryana's share of 3.5 MAF from Indus Basin, though state of Haryana has completed its portion, Punjab is against its construction, and the state legislature passed the "Punjab Termination of Agreement Act 2004", which declared earlier agreements null and void.

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The catchment area of the river, especially till its touches the plains, is replete with Alpine, semi alpine, temperate and sub-tropical vegetation, and vast areas are under forest over, and supports extensive animal life. Yamuna is the frontier of the Asian Elephant. West of the Yamuna, there are no elephants to be found over 900 km of the western Himalayas and their foothills. The forests of the lower Yamuna offer ideal corridors for elephant movement. The principal forests to be found here are of sal , khair (acacia) , and sissoo (rosewood) trees, and the Chir Pine forests of the Shivalik Hills. Geography and wildlife

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The Narmada is a river in central India and the fifth largest river in the Indian subcontinent. Narmada is a Sanskrit word meaning 'the Giver of Pleasure'[3]. It forms the traditional boundary between North India and South India and flows westwards over a length of 1,312 km (815.2 mi) before draining through the Gulf of Cambey (Khambat) into the Arabian Sea, 30 km (18.6 mi) west of Bharuch city of Gujarat. The Narmada

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It is one of only three major rivers in pensinsular India that runs from east to west (largest west flowing river) along with the Tapti River and the Mahi River. It is the only river in India that flows in a rift valley flowing west between the Satpura and Vindhya ranges although the Tapti River and Mahi River also flow through rift valleys but between different ranges. It flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh (1,077 km (669.2 mi)), Maharashtra, (74 km (46.0 mi))– (35 km (21.7 mi)) border between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and (39 km (24.2 mi) border between Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and in Gujarat (161 km (100.0 mi)).

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The source of the Narmada is a small tank called Narmada Kund located on the Amarkantak hill (1,057 m (3,467.8 ft)), in the Shahdol District of eastern Madhya Pradesh. The river descends from the Amarkantak hill range at the Kapildhara falls over a cliff and meanders in the hills flowing through a tortuous course crossing the rocks and islands up to the ruined palace of Ramnagar. Between Ramnagar and Mandla, (25 km (15.5 mi)), further southeast, the course is comparatively straight with deep water devoid of rocky obstacles. The Banger joins from the left. The river then runs north–east in a narrow loop towards Jabalpur. Close to this city, after a fall of some (9 m (29.5 ft)), called the Dhuandhara, the fall of mist, it flows for (3 km (1.9 mi)), in a deep narrow channel through the magnesium limestone and basalt rocks called the Marble Rocks; from a width of about 90 m (295.3 ft), above, it is compressed in this channel of (18 m (59.1 ft)), only. Beyond this point up to its meeting the Arabian Sea, the Narmada enters three narrow valleys between the Vindhya scarps in the north and the Satpura range in the South. The southern extension of the valley is wider at most places. These three valley sections are separated by the closely approaching line of the scarps and the Satpura hills.

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Emerging from the Marble Rocks the river enters its first fertile basin, which extends about 320 km (198.8 mi), with an average width of 35 km (21.7 mi), in the south. In the north, the valley is limited to the Barna–Bareli plain terminating at Barkhara hills opposite Hoshangabad. However, the hills again recede in the Kannod plains. The banks are about (12 m (39.4 ft)) high. It is in the first valley of the Narmada that many of its important tributaries from the south join it and bring the waters of the northern slopes of the Satpura hills. Among them are: the Sher, the Shakkar, the Dudhi, the Tawa (biggest tributary) & the Ganjal. The Hiran, the Barna, the Choral, the Karam and the Lohar are the important tributaries joining from the north.

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Below Handia and Nemawar to Hiran fall (the deer's leap), the river is approached by hills from both sides. In this stretch the character of the river is varied. The Omkareshwar island, sacred to the Lord Shiva, is the most important river island in Madhya Pradesh. At first, the descent is rapid and the stream, quickening in pace, rushes over a barrier of rocks. The Sikta and the Kaveri join it below the Khandwa plain. At two points, at Mandhar, about40 km (24.9 mi), below Nemawar, and Dadrai, 40 km (24.9 mi), further down near Punasa, the river falls over a height of about 12 m (39.4 ft).

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A few kilometres further down near Bareli and the crossing ghat of the Agra to Mumbai road, National Highway No 3, the Narmada enters the Mandleshwar plain, the second basin about 180 km (111.8 mi) long and 65 km (40.4 mi) wide in the south. The northern strip of the basin is only 25 km (15.5 mi). The second valley section is broken only by Saheshwar Dhara fall. The early course of about 125 km (77.7 mi) up to Markari falls is met with a succession of cataracts and rapids from the elevated table land of Malwa to the low level of Gujarat plain. Towards the west of this basin, the hills draw very close but soon dwindle down.

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Below Makrai, the river flows between Vadodara district and Narmada district and then meanders through the rich plain of Bharuch district of Gujarat state. The banks are high between the layers of old alluvial deposits, hardened mud, gravels of nodular limestone and sand. The width of the river spans from about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) at Makrai to 3 km (1.9 mi) near Bharuch and to an estuary of 21 km (13.0 mi) at the Gulf of Khambat. An old channel of the river, 1 km (0.6 mi) to 2 km (1.2 mi) south from the present one, is very clear below Bharuch. The Karanjan and the Orsing are the most important tributaries in the original course. The former joins at Rundh and the latter at Vyas in Vadodara district of Gujarat, opposite each other and form a Triveni (confluence of three rivers) on the Narmada. The Amaravati and the Bhukhi are other tributaries of significance. Opposite the mouth of the Bhukhi is a large drift called Alia Bet or Kadaria Bet.

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The tidal rise is felt up to 32 km (19.9 mi) above Bharuch, where the neap tides rise to about a metre and spring tide 3.5 m (11.5 ft). The river is navigable for vessels of the burthen of 95 tonnes (i.e., 380 Bombay candies) up to Bharuch and for vessels up to 35 tonnes (140 Bombay candies) up to Shamlapitha or Ghangdia. The small vessels (10 tonnes) voyage up to Tilakawada in Gujarat. There are sand bases and shoals at mouth and at Bharuch. The nearby island of Kabirvad, in the Narmada River, features a gigantic Banyan tree, which covers 10,000 square metres (2.5 acres).

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Narmada basin The Narmada basin, hemmed between Vindya and Satpuda ranges, extends over an area of 98,796 km2 (38,145.3 sq mi) and lies between east longitudes 72 degrees 32' to 81 degrees 45' and north latitudes 21 degrees 20' to 23 degrees 45' lying on the northern extremity of the Deccan Plateau. The basin covers large areas in the states of Madhya Pradesh (86%), Gujarat (14%) and a comparatively smaller area (2%) in Maharashtra. In the river course of 1,312 km (815.2 mi) explained above, there are 41 triburaries, out of which 22 are from the Satpuda range and the rest on the right bank are from the Vindhya range.

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The basin has five well defined physiographic regions. They are:(1) The upper hilly areas covering the districts of Shahdol, Mandla, Durg, Balaghat and Seoni, (2) The upper plains covering the districts of Jabalpur, Narsimhapur, Sagar, Damoh, Chhindwara, Hoshangabad, Betul, Raisen and Sehore, (3) The middle plains covering the districts of East Nimar, part of west Nimar, Dewas, Indore and Dhar, (4) The lower hilly areas covering part of the west Nimar, Jhabua, Dhulia, Narmada and parts of Vadodara, and (5) the lower plains covering mainly the districts of Narmada Bharuch, and parts of Vadodara. The hill regions are well forested. The upper, middle and lower plains are broad and fertile areas, well suited for cultivation. The Narmada basin mainly consists of black soils. The coastal plains in Gujarat are composed of alluvial clays with a layer of black soils on the surface.

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The valley experiences extremes of hydro-meteorological and climatic conditions with the upper catchment having an annual precipitation in the range of1,000 mm (3.3 ft) to 1,850 mm (6.1 ft) and with half or even less than half in its lower regions (650 mm (2.1 ft)–750 mm (2.5 ft)); the diversity of vegetation from lushgreen in the upper region to dry deciduous teak forest vegetation in the lower region is testimony to this feature. The Irrigation Commission (1972) identified the Narmada basin in Madhya Pradesh as drought affected and a large part of North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch as semi-arid or arid scarcity regions on account of extreme unreliability of rainfall, rendering them ‘chronically’ drought prone and subject to serious drinking water problems.

Slide 79: 

The Peninsular Plateau The Peninsular Plateau is a table land composed of old crystalline, igneous and sedimentary rocks. It’s a part of the oldest landmass on the surface of the Earth. It has broad and shallow valleys, rounded hills

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The plateau consists of two broad divisions Central Highlands Deccan Plateau

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Central highlands lies to the north of Narmada river. It consists of Malwa Plateau also The extend of central highlands is from Vindhya to Aravalli. The slope of central highlands is from south-west to North-east. The rivers, Chambal, Sind, Betwa and Ken flow According to the slope of the plateau.

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Central highlands are wider in the west and narrower in the east. The eastward extension of the plateau is called, Bundelkhand Baghelkhand

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The Chota Nagpur Plateau is the eastward extension Of central highlands The Chota Nagpur Plateau is drained by Damodar river

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The Deccan Plateau is a triangular Landmass lying To the south of the Narmada river

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The Deccan Plateau is volcanic in origin and the soil Is black in colour. This black colour comes from the igneous rocks from which the soil has been formed. The Aravalli Range lies to the western and northwestern margins of the plateau. Aravalli is the oldest mountain range in Indian subcontinent.

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The Deccan Plateau is higher in the west and gently Slopes to the east. The Deccan Plateau has a eastern extension known as Meghalaya.

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The three prominent hill ranges in this region from West to east are, Garo Hills Khasi Hills Jaintia Hills

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The Western & Eastern Ghats The western and Eastern Ghats are the edges of the Deccan Plateau in both the directions. The western Ghats lie parallel to the western coast. The western Ghats are continuous and can be crossed through passes only.

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The three prominent passes in the Western Ghats are, Thal Ghat Bhor Ghat Pal Ghat

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The height of the western Ghats ranges from 900m to 1600m The height of the eastern Ghats is about 600m only. The eastern Ghats stretches from Mahanadi Valley to the Nilgiri Hills in the south. The eastern Ghats are discontinuous and are cut by the rivers

Slide 91: 

The Height of the western Ghats increases Gradually. The Highest peaks include, Anai Mudi (2695m) Dodda Betta(2637m) Mahendragiri (1501m) is the highest peak in the Eastern Ghats

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Thank you