River system: Geography of Rajasthan
May 28, 2019
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The Location of the great Indian watershed and the existence of the Aravalli axis greatly influence the drainage system of Rajasthan. The drainage to the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea gets divide due to the Great Indian watershed which runs along the Aravali axis from the Sambhar Lake southward to Ajmer. From here before proceeding towards the southwest of Udaipur city the line runs to southwest, a few kilometers east of Beawar and to Deogarh and Kumbhalgarh further extending to in the west, past Udai sagar and runs to southeast to Bari Sadri, from Choti Sadri to Pratapgarh.
Smaller streams and their tributaries drain the west and south of the Aravalli axis. Rivers Luni, Sukri, Banas, Sabarmati and Mahi are most significant. These streams are non-perennial in nature. On the eastern side of the watershed, the river Chambal is joined by the river Banas along with its main tributaries like Khari, Moshi and Morel on the left bank and Berach, Bajasen and Golwa on the right. The river Chambal ultimately joins the river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh.
The inland drainage system is the most characteristic feature of the drainage system of Rajasthan which is that nearly 60.2 per cent of the area of the state. Nearly all this area lies west of the Aravalli range. In this part Kanti basin, Sota and Sahibi basin, Barrah basin of the Luni basin are found in large number of separate drainage basins. The desert tract in the western part soaks all the water of these rivers.
The river Luni which rises at Ana Sagar at Ajmer is the only significant water course in this area is and flows towards the southwest for a distance of about 32 km through the districts of Jodhpur, Barmer and Jalore in the semi-arid tract west of the Aravalli range., the river has a small catchment area of about 32 sq km at the source at Talod Road. A small tributary joins from the Pushkar valley and the basin of the river widens. Near Ajmer, the river flows down the Aravalli slope and after 10km flows towards the southwest. This river drains the total catchment area of about 34,866.40 sq kilometers. As it is a rain-fed stream the river is choked with advancing sands at many places during the dry season. When the river is carrying maximum water during the monsoon season it is not able to cut the Aeolian deposits. It receives many smaller hill torrents from the western slope of the Aravalli range, like Lalri, Ghuhia, Bandi, Sukri, Jawai, Jojri and Sagai, all joining on the left bank. All these streams contribute to the sub-soil within its bend. Up to Balotra the water of river Luni but lower down it becomes more and more saline till the river drains near the Rann of Kutch. The river Luni increases in width at Jodhpur district rather than deepening the bed. This is because the floods develop so quickly due to the nature of rainfall that the river has no time to rub the bed. The River Luni spills over the country and occasionally damages the railway line to which it actually runs parallel from Luni Junction to Gole during the rainy season.
The southern and the eastern part of Rajasthan, south, southeast and east of the Aravalli range receives more than 80 cm rainfall and has some important streams.
The river Chambal is the largest stream and is joined by some tributaries like the Banas, the Kali Sindh, and the Parbati. The river Chambal is a perennial river while its tributaries might occasionally turn completely dry and exhibit their stony beds.
The river Chambal rising from the northern flanks of the Vindhyan scarps near Manpur (884.4 m) in the south of Mhow runs for about 325 km through a long narrow and steep gorge which overhangs the valley on both the sides rising about 60m to 90 m above the valley floor. The river falls at 505 m near Chaurasigarh to Kota.
The river Chambal is joined by its first major tributary – river kali Sindh near Monera village. Another tributary Parbati joins about 48 km downstream. Taking a straight course for about 212 km, it bends southeast at Pinahat and flows to join the river Yamuna near Murad ganj, after a total run of about 965 kilometres. For a length of about 153 km the river flows entirely in Rajasthan. The river forms the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh from Palia to Pinahat for about 241 km. it forms the boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh Before joining the river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh. In Rajasthan two other tributaries Kurai and Banas join the Chambal River on the left bank.
The Banas River flows through the heart of the Mewar Plains. Its chief tributaries are Berach, Kothari, Khari, Dhoond and Morel. The river Banas rises from the catchment area lying between Kankroli and Nathdwara and flows towards the east as far as Mandalgarh and further it flows towards the northeast up to Tonk where it again turns towards the east and finally this river turns at right angles and flows south to join the river Chambal. The upper reaches of this stream are hilly and have good rainfall.
1. Rivers that drain in the Bay of Bengal
- In the ancient time, it was called “Charmanyavati”.
- It originates from Janapao Hills near Maanpur in Mahu, Madhya Pradesh.
- It enters in Rajasthan near Chaurasigarh and makes the border of Kota and Bundi.
- It passes through Sawai Madhopur, Karauli and Dhaulpur and finally meets in Yamuna River.
- Gandhi sagar, Jawahar sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar Dam and Kota Barrage Dam are built on this river.
- Banas, Kalisindh and Parvati are its tributaries.
- Length- 965 Km & Length in Rajasthan-370Km
Parwati- Kalisindh-Chambal link
The proposed Parwati- Kalisindh-Chambal link is one of the big projects being planned in the basin which will divert surplus waters of Parwati and Kalisindh to the Rana Pratap Sagar or Gandhi Sagar dam.
- It originates from Khamnor Hill near Kumbhalgarh in Rajsamand.
- It travels through Gogunda Plateau, Nathdwara, Rajsamand, Rel Magara, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Tonk and in Sawai Madhopur, it join the Stream of Chambal River.
- It is also called ‘Hope of Forest (Van Ki Asha)’.
- Bedach, Kothari, Khari, Mainal, Bandi, Dhundh and Morel are the tributaries of Banas River.
Banas River Basin
Banas lies completely within Rajasthan and has the largest catchment area (45,833 square km) in Rajasthan. Banas drains the east slope of the central portion of the Aravalli Range, and the basin includes all or part of Pali, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Tonk, Ajmer, Bhilwara, Bundi, Chittorgarh, Dausa, Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur districts.
Kali Sindh River
- It originates in dewas in Madhya Pradesh.
- It passes through Jhalawar and Baran districts and meets Chambal River in Narena.
- It is tributary of Chambal & it meet near Nonera village in Baran.
- Paravan, Ujaad, Niwai and Aahu are its tributary rivers.
Parban River is a tributary of Kali Sindh and it originates in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh. Parban flows through Sehore, Shajapur and Rajgarh districts in Madhya Pradesh. It covers Jhalawar, Kota; Baran districts of Rajasthan and meets Kali Sindh in Baran district of Rajasthan.
- It originates in Sihor region of Madhya Pradesh and flows in Baran and meets Chambal River near Paliya, Sawai Madhopur.
- Origin- Northern slopes of Vindhyan Range Length in State- 65 Km
- It is the tributary of Chambal and it meet near Poh village
- It Originates from Gogunda Hills, North of Udaipur
- Districts- Udaipur, Chittorgarh
- It is also known as Aayar River
- It is a tributary of Banas River & it meet near Bigod.
It is known by name of Aayar River. It is called Berach after appearing from Udai Sagar Lake near Udaipur. It flows northeast through Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Bhilwara districts, joining the Banas near Bigod village of Bhilwara district.
Berach has significant historical significance with banks of Ahar having thrown up evidences of settlements dating back to the Harappan and pre-Harappan era’s cultural levels, thus exhibiting connection with Indus Valley civilization. Additionally, evidences of big palaces were found at Nagri, an ancient site around 16 km from Chittorgarh.
- Originates from Bhilwara and meets Chambal near Lakheri in Bundi.
- Mej River is a left bank tributary of Chambal River.
- It originates near Mandalgarh in Bhilwara and joins Chambal in Kota. The catchment area of Mej River extends over Bhilwara, Bundi and Tonk districts of Rajasthan.
Vapani (Bahyani) River
- Originates near Haripura village of Chittorgarh district and meets Chambal near Bhaisroadgarh.
Origin- Hills of Sawai Madhopur district
Districts- Karauli and Bharatpur
Dam- Panchna Dam in Sawai Madhopur Band Baretha has been built over it to tame its water.
It is a tributary of Yamuna River & it meet in Agra district.
It changes its course in many years.
- It originates from Bairath Hills of Jaipur district.
- Then it moves towards the east in Sawai Madhopur and then in Bharatpur meets in the Yamuna.
- Banganga River Basin is located in the northeastern part of Rajasthan state with a total catchment area of 8,878.7 sq km. It is bounded by Ruparail and Sabi in its north; and the Shekhawati Basin in its west and the Gambhir and Banas River Basins in its south-southwest. The eastern border of the basin is marked by the Yamuna River Basin in Uttar Pradesh. Administratively, Banganga River Basin extends over parts of Alwar, Jaipur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur Districts.
2. Rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea
- It originates from Naag Hills of Ajmer, after that it moves towards Jodhpur, Pali, Barmer, and Jalore and enters in Gujarat in Kutchh.
- It travels almost 320 km.
- Its water is sweet up to Balotara and then it becomes salty.
- Jawai, Liladi, Mithadi, Sukhadi, Bandi and Saagi are its tributaries.
- Pali city is situated on the bank of Bandi River.
- Sheoganj city is on the banks of Jawai River.
- Jalore is on the bank of Sukri River
- It began its journey from Mahu Hills of Madhya Pradesh and enters Rajasthan in Banswara district.
- The Mahi Bajaj Sagar Multipurpose project has been constructed on it near Borkhera village
- It forms the border between Banswara and Dungarpur and enters Gujarat and ends its journey in Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay).
- Mahi Bajaj Sagar Dam is constructed on this river near Banswara.
- Its main tributaries are Soma, Jakham, Anas, Chap and Moren.
- It originates near Udaipur and flows in Sirohi and then enters in Gujarat and ends its journey in Gulf of Cambay.
- At the initial stage, it is called Vakal River.
3. Inland Rivers
- It originates from Khandela Hills of Sikar district.
- District- Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Churu.
- Finally terminates in the sand dunes of Churu
- It travels 100 km and flowing from Sikar and Jhunjhunu, disappeared in the desert land.
Sota Sabi River
- Origin- Sota from the hills of Bairath, Sabi from Sewar hills
- In Rewari & Gurgaon it causes floods.
- It originates from Sevar Hills and flows in banasur, Bahrod, Kishangarh, Mandawar and Tijara and disappeared in Haryana.
Kakani or Kakneya River
- Originates from Kotari village and disappear after travelling some distance.
- Origin- Kotari village
- District- Jaisalmer
- Fall into- Bhuj Lake.
- It flows only during rainy season
- It is considered the oldest river of India, i. e. Saraswati.
- It flows from Haryana to Hanumangarh, Ganganagar Suratgarh, and Anupgarh and enters in Pakistan.
- Origin- Kalka Hills (Himachal Pradesh) Length- 465 Km
- It often causes floods during heavy rainfall It enters Rajasthan in Tibbi Tehsil (Ganganagar)
- It finally enters into the Bhawalpur district of Pakistan where it lost in the vast array of sand dune.
- It is also called Dead River.
Khari River- Origin- Hills of Bijral village, North of Rajsamand district and it meets near Banas River near Deoli (Tonk).
Dai River originates in the southeastern slopes of the Aravalli Range, near Nasirabad Tehsil of Ajmer. It flows southeast and then east in Ajmer District and for a short distance through Tonk District, before joining Banas River near Bisalpur village in Tonk District.
Dheel River originates in the plains near Bauli village in Tonk District. It flows generally from north to south through Jaipur, Tonk and Sawai Madhopur. It joins the Banas near Philpura village in Sawai Madhopur district. River Gudia is its tributary.
One branch of River Morel originates in the hills near Dharla and Chainpura villages in Bassi Tehsil of Jaipur District and the second branch makes by receiving water from the catchment area of foothills of Paplaj Mataji mountains, district Dausa.
It flows southeast and then southwest to meet river Dhund, and then again southeast through Jaipur, Dausa and Sawai Madhopur, joining Banas river near Hadoli of Sawai Madhopur District.
The River Kalisil originates in the hills near Rajpura village in Sawai Madhopur District. The river flows generally southwest, partly through hills and partly in the plains of Sawai Madhopur District, finally joining the Morel River.
Sarasvati and Drishadvati: Ancient Indian River
(O Sarasvati, you the best of mothers, the best of rivers, the best of gods! Although we are of no repute, mother, grant us distinction.)
During the vedic civilization, Aryans developed Rigveda, which describes about the ” Sapta Sindhu ” the seven rivers of NW India , traced from east to west as Sarasvati, Satadru ( Sutlej ), Vipasa (Beas), Parosni (Ravi) , Asikni (Chenab) Vitasta (Jhelum) and Sindhu (Indus) which started flowing consequent on the melting of the Himalayan glaciers at the end of Pleistocene.
Sarasvati River system is sequenced as Sutlej-Markanda-Drishadvati-Ghaggar-Hakra river channels which constituted the hydrological flows of Vedic Sarasvati River system traceable upstream: from
- Sarasvati creek starting from Ad Badri at the foothills of the Siwalik ranges and Extending into the Bata Valley in upper reaches of the Himalayas, traceable into the Rupin-Supin glaciers close to Yamunotri glaciers.
- Another glacier source from ManaSarovar yielded the River Sutlej which was a tributary of Vedic Sarasvati River System joining the latter southwards from Ropar at Shatrana (50 km. South of Patiala).
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