Class 9 Geography

The Peninsular Rivers

Most of the Peninsular Rivers are seasonal because they depend on rainfall for water. These rivers have shorter and shallower courses, compared to the Himalayan rivers. Most of the major rivers of the Peninsula flow eastwards and drain into the Bay of Bengal. These rivers make deltas at their mouths.

The Narmada and Tapi are the only long rivers, which flow westwards and make estuaries. The drainage basins of the peninsular rivers are smaller in size.

The point where a river meets an ocean is called estuary. The landform formed due to deposition of silt near estuary is called delta. An estuary may or may not have a delta.

The Narmada Basin

Narmada Tapi Mahanadi River System Map

The Narmada rises in the Amarkantak hills in the Madhya Pradesh. The Narmada basin covers parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. All the tributaries of the Narmada are very short. Most of the tributaries join the Narmada at right angles. This means that the Narmada basin has Trellis drainage pattern.

The Tapi Basin

The Tapi rises in the Satpura ranges, in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. The basin of Tapi covers parts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The Godavari Basin

This is the longest Peninsular river. Its drainage basin is also the largest among the peninsular river basins. The Godavari is about 1500 km long. It originates from the slopes of the Western Ghats in Nasik district of Maharashtra and drains into the Bay of Bengal. The Godavari basin covers parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Purna, Wardha, Pranhita, Manjra, Wainganga and Penganga are the main tributaries of Godavari.

The Mahanadi Basin

This river originates in the highlands of Chhattisgarh and drains into the Bay of Bengal. It is about 860 km long. The Mahanadi basin covers Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa.

The Krishna Basin

Krishna Kaveri River System Map

The Krishna originates near Mahabaleshwar and drains into the Bay of Bengal. It is about 1400 km long. Tungbhadra, Koyana, Ghatprabha, Musi and Bhima are some of its tributaries. The Krishna basin covers Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The Kaveri Basin

The Kaveri originates in the Brahmagiri range of the Western Ghats and drains into the Bay of Bengal. It is about 760 km long. Amravati, Bhavani, Hemavati and Kabini are its main tributaries. The Kavery basin covers Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.


A large water body which is surrounded by land is called a lake. Most of the lakes are permanent, while some contain water only during the rainy season. Lakes are formed by the action of glaciers and ice sheets, by wind, river action and by human activities.

Ox-bow Lake

This type of lake is formed when a meandering river is cut off from the mainstream. The shape of this lake resembles an ox-bow or horse-shoe.


When the lake is formed by spits and bars in coastal areas, it is called a lagoon. Chilika lake, Pulicat lake, Kolleru lake, etc. are examples of lagoon.

Glacial Lake

A lake formed by melting of glacier is called a glacial lake. Most of the lakes in the Himalayan region are glacial lakes.

Wular lake (Jammu & Kashmir) is the largest freshwater lake in India. It was formed by tectonic activity.

Benefits of a Lake

A lake helps in preventing flood by regulating the flow of river. During dry seasons, a lake helps to maintain an even flow of the river. Lakes can also be used for generating hydel power.

Role of rivers in the economy

Rivers have been the centre of human civilization since ancient times. Even today, many big cities are situated on the bank of a river. River water is used for irrigation, navigation, hydroelectricity, fisheries, etc.

River Pollution

The growing domestic, municipal, industrial and agricultural demand for water from rivers naturally affects the quality of water. As a result, more and more water is being drained out of the rivers reducing their volume. On the other hand, a heavy load of untreated sewage and industrial effluents are emptied into the rivers. This affects not only the quality of water but also the self-cleansing capacity of the river.