Indus River System:
The Indus originates in the northern slopes of the Kailash range in Tibet near Lake Manasarovar. It enters Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir.
It has a large number of tributaries in both India and Pakistan and has a total length of about 2897 km from the source to the point near Karachi where it falls into the Arabian Sea. The main tributaries of the Indus in India are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.
The Jhelum originates in the south-eastern part of Kashmir, in a spring at Verinag.
The Chenab originates from the confluence of two rivers, the Chandra and the Bhaga, which themselves originate from either side of the Bara Lacha Pass in Lahul. It is also known as the Chandrabhaga in Himachal Pradesh.
The Ravi originates near the Rotang pass in the Kangra Himalayas and follows a north-westerly course
The Beas originates in Beas Kund, lying near the Rohtang pass It joins the Sutlej river near Harika, after being joined by a few tributaries. The total length of the river is 615 km.
The Sutlej originates from the Rakas Lake, which is connected to the Manasarovar lake by a stream, in Tibet.
Ganga River System:
- It is 2525 km long
- Ganga is the longest river of India in term of total drainage area .
- The Ganga, originates from Gangotri named as Bhagirathi which combine with Alaknanda at Devprayag to form Ganga.
Tributaries of Ganga:
- Yamuna ( 1375 km ) is its most important tributary (on right bank). It rises at the Yamunotri glacier in Uttarakhand. It runs parallel to Ganga for 800km and joins it at Allahabad. Important tributaries of Yamuna are : a) Chambal ( 1050 km ) which rises from Vindhyas hill near Indore(M.P), Betwa ( 480 km ) .
- Ghaghra ( 1080 km ), Originated from Tibetan Plateau near Lake Mansarovar.
- Son ( 780 km ),which rises from Amarkantak Plateau(M.P)
- Gandak ( 425 km ),Originates from Nhubine Himal Glacier in the Mustang region of Nepal
- Kosi ( 730 km ),Kosi is infamous as ‘Sorrow of Bihar. This river is also called as “Saptkoshi”. Originated from hills of Nepal and Tibet.
- Gomti ( 805 km ), originated from Gomat Taal near Pillibhit(U.P), India.
- Damodar ( 541 km ). Damodar gets the name ‘Sorrow of Bengal’ as these cause floods in these regions.Originated from Chota Nagpur Plateau(Jharkhand).
Brahmaputra River System:
- The Brahmaputra originates in the Mansarovar lake, also the source of the Indus and the Satluj.
- It is slightly longer than the Indus, but most of its course lies outside India.
- In Tibet, the river is known as the Tsangpo. There, it receives less volume of water and has less silt.
- The shifting of the channels of the river is also very common. The fury of the river during rains is very high. It is known for creating havoc in Assam and Bangladesh. At the same time, quite a few big pockets suffer from drought.
- It has a total length of 2900 km
- Important Tributaries : Subansiri, Kameng, Dhansiri, Manas, Teesta.
- In Bangladesh, Brahmaputra is known by the name of Jamuna while Ganga gets the name Padma. Their combined stream is known as Meghna .