Rivers and their Places of Origin

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Origin of Rivers

Here are the different processes through a river may originate.

  1. Rainfall and precipitation: Rivers originate from places of heavy rainfall especially at high altitude. Small streams or rivulets formed by the accumulation of rainfall flow downward and collect more water from other catchment areas to emerge as major rivers.
  2. Springs and groundwater: Some rivers originate from springs, which are natural outlets where groundwater emerges onto the surface. Springs can occur when underground water sources intersect the land surface, resulting in a continuous flow of water that forms a stream or river.
  3. Lakes and reservoirs: Rivers can also originate from lakes or reservoirs. When the water level in a lake or reservoir exceeds its outlet capacity, the excess water flows out and begins a downstream journey as a river.
  4. Glacial meltwater: Glaciers are a significant source of river formation, particularly in mountainous regions. When glaciers melt, the resulting water flows down the slopes, gathering into streams and rivers.
origin of river

RiverPlace of origin
GangaGangotri (Uttarakhand)
YamunaYamunotri (Uttarakhand)
IndusMansarovar (Tibet)
NarmadaMaikal Hills, Amarkantak (MP)
Tapi/TaptiSatpura Range, Betul (MP)
MahanadiNagri Town (Chhattisgarh)
BrahmaputraAngsi glacier (Tibet)
SutlejMt Kailash (Tibet)
JhelumVernag (Jammu & Kashmir)
BeasRohtang Pass (Himachal Pradesh)
GodavariNasik (Maharashtra)
KrishnaMahabaleshwar (Maharashtra)
CauveryBrahmagiri Hills, Coorg (Karnataka)
SabarmatiUdaipur, Aravalli Hills (Rajasthan)
RaviChamba (Himachal Pradesh)
PennarNandi Hills, Chickballapur (Karnataka)
LuniPushkar, Aravalli Hills (Rajasthan)
ChambalJanapav, Indore, Vindhyas (MP)
TeestaTso Lhamo or Cholamu Lake (Sikkim)
RangeetRathong Glacier (Sikkim)

River water disputes and State involved

DisputeStates Involved
Krishna Water disputeAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra
Mahadayi/Mandovi Water disputeGoa, Karnataka and Maharashtra
Vansadhara Water disputeAndhra Pradesh and Odisha
Cauvery Water disputeTamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry
Babhali Barrage issueAndhra Pradesh and Maharashtra
Mulla Periyar Dam issueTamilnadu and Kerala
Mahanadi Water disputeChhattisgarh and Odisha

Test Yourself on Origin of Rivers


1. Which river has its origin in Mansarovar lake, Tibet?

2. River Krishna originates from which place in Maharashtra?

3. Which river orginates from the Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan?

4. From which place does river Narmada originate?

5. Which river originates from Tso Lhamo lake in Sikkim?

6. Which river rises near the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh?

7. Mahanadi river originates in which state?


Test Yourself

Which of the following rivers originate outside India?

Click on all possible answers

Origin of River

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