(Last Updated on : 24/02/2015)
Indian rivers hold huge significance in the lives of Indian people. They are the sources for irrigation
, drinking water
, transport, generation of electricity, and the livelihoods for a large number of people. Often referred to as the land of rivers, India has been blessed with several water bodies that enhance the beauty of the country. Besides this, the Indian rivers are wrapped in mythology
and legends. The three major Indian Rivers are Ganga River
, Yamuna River
and Saraswati River
. However, the Indian geography comprises of several other rivers too, for instance, Brahmaputra River
, Krishna River
, Kaveri River
, Narmada River
Origin of Indian Rivers
As far as the origin of Indian rivers is concerned, there are primarily three watersheds: Himalayas
and the Karakoram ranges
; Vindhya Mountain range
, Satpura Mountain Range
and the Chota Nagpur Plateau
; and the Western Ghats Mountain Range
in India. The Indian rivers can also be broadly divided into Himalayan Rivers
, Coastal Rivers and Deccan Rivers
. With changing times, the role of the Indian rivers has also undergone sea changes. Rivers like Alaknanda River
and others in contemporary India are utilized for adventure sports, for instance, river rafting, kayaking
etc. The gushing streams of these Indian rivers make them apt for promoting such adventure sports.
Historical and Religious Significance of Indian Rivers
Huge historical and religious significance are associated with most of the Indian Rivers. Whilst at one hand the Indian rivers render a picturesque beauty to Indian landscape, these are also the source of irrigation, hydroelectricity, transportation and other practical purposes. From times immemorial, the Indian rivers have been one of the popular ways of travelling across the country. The Ganga River has been a popular waterway that connected several Indian regions. Besides this, it is also considered a holy river; rather the holiest in the subcontinent. It is popularly said that the river has the prowess to wash away all sins. One of the legendary Indian rivers Ganga originates in the Himalaya Mountains and gushes down to the plains. Most of the religious places in North India are either situated on the banks of Ganges or nearby. It is also known as Bhagirathi River
. Other Indian mythological rivers comprise Yamuna, Narmada, Rupa
, mythological river
, Kaveri and others.
In fact the Indian rivers act as the main source of sustenance for many people. There are fishermen, boatmen, farmers and others whose livelihoods depend on the Indian rivers. India Rivers are main sources of irrigation. As a result the crops are largely dependent on them. Moreover the lands lying in proximity to the Indian rivers are considered to have rich soils. Hence these lands are primarily used for agriculture
; making these the main source of income for many farmers. Depending on such several factors the Indian rivers are worshipped across the country. For instance the holy water of the Ganges is used for worshipping the deities and a dip into river Yamuna frees one's spirit of all sins.
Role of Indian Rivers in Economy
Apart from nourishing the Indian flora and fauna
, the rivers and their tributaries are largely responsible for attracting tourists from across the world. Thus, it would not be wrong to state that the Indian rivers have an indispensable role to play in the Indian economy. A host of dams
and the multipurpose river valley projects in India have been developed on the river systems that include the Brahmaputra River System, Narmada River System, Tapti River
System, Godavari River
System, Krishna River
System, Kaveri River System and Mahanadi River
System. The Indian rivers are easily the oldest witnesses of the evolution of the civilization.
Hence, the Indian rivers are significant historically, religiously and culturally. Even the damming around has not altered their inherent nature. The Indian rivers spring up from the mountains
and flow with the same force as they did several years ago. Twisting between the valleys the Indian Rivers come down to the plains and nourish the lands with vitality and fertility.