(Last Updated on : 13/06/2013)
The Mahanadi River rises in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh
and then flows in the eastward direction, cutting a ravine in the Eastern Ghat
. Before joining the Bay of Bengal
at False Point through several channels, the river enters the plains of Orissa
and forms a delta. This delta is one of the largest mangrove forests in peninsular India, and also a rice producing area. The term 'Mahanadi' means Great River and it is truly one of the largest rivers in southeast India and the sixth largest in India. The Tel and the Hadso are the main tributaries of the Mahanadi. Maharashtra
and Orissa share are drained by the Mahanadi.
The river flows for 560 miles (900 kilometers) and the drainage area of the river is estimated to be 51,000 square miles (132,100 square kilometers). The world's largest earthen dam Hirakud Dam
is built across this river in Sambalpur
. The dam controls the flow of Mahanadi and produces hydroelectricity. The Mahanadi River is one of the most active silt-depositing streams in India. It also supplies several irrigation canals, near Cuttack. The popular pilgrimage destination, Puri
is located at one of its mouth.