The peninsular drainage system is older than the Himalayan drainage system as the peninsular river is a largely graded shallow valley.
Evolution of peninsular drainage system:
Three geological events shaped the drainage system:
- Subsidence of western part of peninsular undersea in the tertiary period.
- The upheaval of the Himalayas and the northern part of peninsular subsidence.
- Tilting of the peninsular block from northwest to southeast direction leads to the flow of drainage system towards the Bay of Bengal.
- River system;
East Flowing river or river discharging in the bay of Bengal:
The following are the east-flowing river from north to south:
- Damodar river
- Mahanadi river
- Godavari river
- Krishna river
- Cauvery river
Peninsular River System
- It is the largest west flowing river of the peninsular region flowing through a rift valley between the Vindhya (north) and the Satpura Range (south).
- It rises from Maikala range near Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh.
- Major Tributaries of the river are Hiran, Orsang, Barna and Kolar.
- The Narmada basin covers parts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
- The Sardar Sarovar Project has been constructed on this river.
- Another important westward flowing river, originates from the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh in the Satpura ranges.
- It flows in a rift valley parallel to the Narmada but is much shorter in length.
- Its basin covers parts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
- It rises in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh and runs through Odisha to discharge its water into the Bay of Bengal.
- 53% of the drainage basin of this river lies in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, while 47% lies in Odisha.
- Major tributaries: Seonath, Hasdeo, Mand, Ib, Jonking and Tel rivers.
- Its basin is bounded by the Central India hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and east and by the Maikala range on the west.
- It is the largest Peninsular river system and is also called the “Dakshin Ganga”.
- It rises in the Nasik district of Maharashtra and discharges its water into the Bay of Bengal.
- Its tributaries run through the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
- Penganga, Indravati, Pranhita, and Manjra are its principal tributaries.
- Krishna is the second largest east flowing Peninsular river which rises near Mahabaleshwar in Sahyadri.
- Koyna, Tungbhadra and Bhima are its major tributaries.
- It flows through the states Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
- Kaveri rises in Brahmagiri hills of Kodagu district in Karnataka.
- It is a sacred river of southern India.
- Its important tributaries are Arkavathi, Hemavathi, Bhavani, Kabini and Amravati.
- It flows in a southeasterly direction through the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and drains into Bay of Bengal through Pondicherry.
Significance of Peninsular Drainage
- The Peninsular rivers exclusively acquire water from rainfall, and water flows in these rivers only during the rainy season. As a result, these rivers are either seasonal or non-perennial.
- As a result, these rivers are far less suitable for irrigation.
- The Peninsular rivers exclusively acquire water from rainfall, and water flows in these rivers only during the rainy season.
- The rivers of the Peninsular travel through rather shallow valleys. These are valleys that have been graded to some extent. There is little erosional activity in the rivers.
- Estuaries are formed by several Peninsular rivers, such as the Narmada and the Tapi.
- Deltas are formed by other rivers such as the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery.
- Several minor streams running westward from the Western Ghats join the Arabian Sea without forming a delta.
- The plateau’s hard granite surface and non-alluvial composition leave limited room for the creation of meanders. As a result, the rivers of the Peninsular Plateau have very straight courses.
Read Also : Himalayan Drainage System