Godavari River

The Godavari is India's second longest river after the Ganga. Its source is in Triambakeshwar, Maharashtra.[3] It flows east for 1,465 kilometres (910 mi) draining the states of Maharashtra (48.6%), Telangana (18.8%), Andhra Pradesh (4.5%), Chhattisgarh (10.9%),, Odisha (5.7%), and Karnataka (1.4%) emptying into Bay of Bengal through its extensive network of tributaries.[4] Measuring up to 312,812 km2 (120,777 sq mi), it forms one of the largest river basins in the Indian subcontinent, with only the Ganges and Indus rivers having a larger drainage basin.[5] In terms of length, catchment area and discharge, the Godavari river is the largest in peninsular India, and had been dubbed as the Vridha Ganga – Ganges.[6]

The river has been revered in Hindu scriptures for many millennia and continues to harbour and nourish a rich cultural heritage. In the past few decades, the river has been barricaded by a number of barrages and dams, restricting its flow. The river delta supports 729 persons/km2 – nearly twice the density average for the nation, and has been categorized as having substantial to greater risk of flooding with rising sea levels.[7][8]

Dakshin Ganga
Dummugudem Barrage on Godavari Khammam District
Godavari River
Path of the Godavari through the South Indian Peninsula
StateMaharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry (Yanam)
RegionSouth India, Western India
Physical characteristics
 - locationBrahmagiri Mountain, Tryambakeshwar, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
 - coordinates19°55′48″N 73°31′39″E / 19.93000°N 73.52750°E
 - elevation920 m (3,020 ft)
 - location
Antarvedi into Bay of Bengal, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India
 - coordinates
17°0′N 81°48′E / 17.000°N 81.800°ECoordinates: 17°0′N 81°48′E / 17.000°N 81.800°E[1]
 - elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Length1,465 km (910 mi)
Basin size312,812 km2 (120,777 sq mi)
 - average3,505 m3/s (123,800 cu ft/s)
 - locationPolavaram (1901–1979)[2]
 - average3,061.18 m3/s (108,105 cu ft/s)
 - minimum7 m3/s (250 cu ft/s)
 - maximum34,606 m3/s (1,222,100 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 - leftBanganga, Kadva, Shivana, Purna, Kadam, Pranahita, Indravati, Taliperu, Sabari
 - rightNasardi, Darna, Pravara, Sindphana, Manjira, Manair, Kinnerasani


Godavari- river basin
Godavari river basin.
Godavari satellite view
Godavari River delta extending into the Bay of Bengal (upper river in image).
Bhadrachalam during 2005 floods
Bhadrachalam Temple during 2005 floods[9]

The Godavari originates in the Western Ghats of central India near Nashik in Maharashtra, 80 km (50 mi) from the Arabian Sea. It flows for 1,465 km (910 mi), first eastwards across the Deccan Plateau then turns southeast, entering the West Godavari district and East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, until it splits into two distributaries that widen into a large river delta at Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage in Rajamahendravaram and flow into the Bay of Bengal.[10]

The Godavari River has a coverage area of 312,812 km2 (120,777 sq mi), which is nearly one-tenth of the area of India and is greater than the areas of England and Ireland put together. The river basin is considered to be divided into 3 sections:

These put together account for 24.2% of the total basin area.[11] The rivers annual average water inflows are nearly 110 billion cubic metres.[12] Nearly 50% of the water availability is being harnessed. The water allocation from the river among the riparian states are governed by the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal. The river has highest flood flows in India and experienced recorded flood of 3.6 million cusecs in the year 1986 and annual flood of 1.0 million cusecs is normal.[13][14]

Within Maharashtra

In Maharashtra state where it takes origin, the river has an extensive course, the upper basin (origin to its confluence with Manjira) of which lies entirely within the state, cumulatively draining an area as large as 152,199 km2 (58,764 sq mi) – about half the area of Maharashtra.[15] Within Nashik District the river assumes a north-easterly course till it flows into the Gangapur Reservoir created by a dam of the same name. The reservoir along with the Kashypi Dam provides potable water to Nashik, one of the largest cities located on its banks. The river as it emerges through the dam, some 8 km (5.0 mi) upstream from Nashik, flows on a rocky bed undulated by a series of chasms and rocky ledges, resulting in the formation of two significant waterfalls – the Gangapur waterfalls and the Someshwar Waterfalls, the latter, located at Someshwar and more popularly known as the Dudhsagar Waterfall[16] About 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Gangapur the river passes the town of Nashik where it collects its effluents in the form of the river Nasardi on its right bank.

About 0.5 km (0.31 mi) south direction from Nashik, the river bends sharply to the east, washing the base of a high cliff formerly the site of a Mughal fort, but which is now being eaten away by the action of floods. About 25 km (16 mi) below Nashik is the confluence of the Godavari and one of its tributaries, the Darna river. The stream occupies, for nine months in the year, a small space in a wide and gravelly bed, the greyish banks being 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) high, topped with a deep layer of black soil. A few kilometres after its meeting with the Darna, the Godavari swerves to the north-east, till the Banganga, from the north-west, meets it on the left. The course of the main stream then tends more decidedly south. At Nandur-Madhmeshwar, the Kadva, a second large affluent, brings considerable increase to the waters of the Godavari. The river begins its southeasterly course characteristic of rivers of the Deccan Plateau. The river beyond exits the Niphad Taluka of Nashik and enter the Kopargaon taluka, Ahmednagar District. Within Ahmednagar the river quickly completes its short course, flowing alongside the town of Kopargaon and reaching Puntamba. Beyond this the river has been deployed as a natural boundary between the following districts :

  • Ahmednagar and Aurangabad: Along the boundary here, it receives its first major tributary Pravara River, draining the former district, the confluence located at Pravarasangam. By virtue of a sub-tributary of Pravara – Mandohol, which originates in Pune District – the basin impinges the Pune District. The river at Paithan has been impounded by the Jayakwadi Dam forming the NathSagar Reservoir. Kalsubai located in Godavari basin, is the highest peak in Maharashtra.
  • Beed and Jalna
  • Beed and Parbhani: Located along here is its merger with Sindphana, an important tributary[17] which drains a considerably large area within Beed. The sub-tributary river Bindusara forms a landmark at Beed.

The river beyond, near the village Sonpeth, flows into Parbhani. In Parbhani District, River Godavari flows through Gangakhed taluka. As mentioned above Godavari is also called Dakshinganga so the city is called as Gangakhed ( meaning a village on the bank of Ganga ) . As per Hindu rituals this place is considered quite important for after death peace to flow ashes into the river it .

Its course is relatively non-significant except for receiving two smaller streams – Indrayani and Masuli – merging at its left and right banks respectively. Within the last taluka of the district Parbhani, Purna, the river drains a major tributary of the same name: Purna[18]

It then exits into the neighboring district of Nanded where 10 km (6.2 mi) before reaching the town Nanded, is impounded by the Vishnupuri Dam and thus with it, bringing Asia's largest lift irrigation projects to life. A little downstream from Nanded, the river receives Asna, a small stream, on its left bank.It then runs into the controversial Babli project soon ends its course within Maharashtra, albeit temporarily, at its merger with a major tributary – Manjira.

The river after flowing into Telangana, re-emerges to run as a state boundary separating the Mancherial, Telangana from Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. At the state border, it runs between Sironcha and Somnoor Sangam receiving one tributary at each of those nodal points – the Pranhita and subsequently the Indravati.

Within Telangana

Road Bridge over Godavari River at Bhadrachalam
Road Bridge over Godavari River at Bhadrachalam

Godavari enters into Telangana in Nizamabad district at Kandakurthy where Manjira, Haridra rivers joins Godavari and forms Triveni Sangamam. The river flows along the border between Nirmal and Mancherial districts in the north and Nizamabad, Jagityal, Peddapalli districts to its south. About 12 km (7.5 mi) after entering Telangana it merges with the back waters of the Sriram Sagar Dam. The river after emerging through the dam gates, enjoys a wide river bed, often splitting to encase sandy islands. The river receives a minor but significant tributary Kadam river. It then emerges at its eastern side to act as state border with Maharashtra only to later enter into Bhadradri Kothagudem district. In this district the river flows through an important Hindu pilgrimage town – Bhadrachalam.

The river further swells after receiving a minor tributary Kinnerasani River and exits into Andhra Pradesh.

Within Andhra Pradesh

Early morning in Godavari 02
The river at Papi Hills in Andhra Pradesh.
Yanam Godavari
The river near Yanam.

Within the state of Andhra Pradesh, it flows through hilly terrain of the Eastern Ghats known as the Papi hills which explains the narrowing of its bed as it flows through a gorge for a few km, only to re-widen at Polavaram. Before crossing the Papi hills, it receives its last major tributary Sabari River on its left bank. The river upon reaching the plains begins to widen out until it reaches Rajamahendravaram City. Arma Konda (1,680 m (5,510 ft)) is the highest peak in the Godavari river basin as well as in Eastern Ghats.[19]

Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage was constructed across River Godavari in Rajamahendravaram City.At Rajamahendravaram, the Godavari splits into two branches which are called Vriddha Gautami (Gautami Godavari) and Vasishta Godavari. Again the Gautami branch splits into two branches namely Gautami and Nilarevu. Similarly, the Vasishta splits into two branches named Vasishta and Vainateya. These four branches which join the Bay of Bengal at different places, are forming a delta of length 170 km (110 mi) along the coast of the Bay of Bengal and is called the Konaseema region. This delta along with the delta of the Krishna River is called the Rice Granary of South India.[20]


The major tributaries of the river can be classified[21] as the left bank tributaries which include the Purna, Pranhita, Indravati and Sabari River covering nearly 59.7% of the total catchment area of the basin and the right bank tributaries Pravara, Manjira, Manair together contributing 16.1% of the basin.

Pranhita is the largest tributary covering about 34% of its drainage basin. Though the river proper flows only for 113 km (70 mi), by virtue of its extensive tributaries Wardha, Wainganga, Penganga, the sub-basin drains all of Vidharba region as well as the southern slopes of the Satpura Ranges. Indravati is the 2nd largest tributary, known as the "lifeline" of the Kalahandi, Nabarangapur of Odisha & Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. Due to their enormous sub-basins both Indravati and Pranhita are considered rivers in their own right. Manjira is the longest tributary and holds the Nizam Sagar reservoir. Purna is a prime river in the water scarce Marathwada region of Maharashtra.

Drainage Basin of Godavari[22]

  Upper, Middle and Lower Basins of Godavari (24.2%)
  Pranhita (34.87%)
  Indravati (12.98%)
  Manjira (9.86%)
  Sabari (6.53%)
  Purna (4.98%)
  Manair (4.18%)
  Pravara (2.08%)
Major Tributaries of Godavari River
Tributary Bank Confluence Location Confluence Elevation Length Sub-basin area
Pravara Right Pravara Sangam, Nevasa, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra 463 m (1,519 ft) 208 km (129 mi) 6,537 km2 (2,524 sq mi)
Purna Left Jambulbet, Parbhani, Marathwada, Maharashtra 358 m (1,175 ft) 373 km (232 mi) 15,579 km2 (6,015 sq mi)
Manjira Right Kandakurthi, Renjal, Nizamabad, Telangana 332 m (1,089 ft) 724 km (450 mi) 30,844 km2 (11,909 sq mi)
Manair Right Arenda, Manthani, Karimnagar, Telangana 115 m (377 ft) 225 km (140 mi) 13,106 km2 (5,060 sq mi)
Pranhita Left Kaleshwaram, Mahadevpur, Karimnagar, Telangana 99 m (325 ft) 113 km (70 mi) 109,078 km2 (42,115 sq mi)
Indravati Left Somnoor Sangam, Sironcha, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra 82 m (269 ft) 535 km (332 mi) 41,655 km2 (16,083 sq mi)
Sabari Left Kunawaram, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh 25 m (82 ft) 418 km (260 mi) 20,427 km2 (7,887 sq mi)

Other than these 7 principal ones, it has many smaller but significant ones draining into it. Indravati river flood waters overflows in to the Jouranala which is part of Sabari basin. A barrage at 19°7′19″N 82°14′9″E / 19.12194°N 82.23583°E is constructed across the Indravati river to divert Indravati water in to Sabari river for enhanced hydro power generation.

Religious significance

Godavari Statue at Gangadwar Triambak
Godavari Statue at Gangadwar, worshiped as origin of Godavari, Triambak
Godavari matha statue
Goddess Godavari

The river is sacred to Hindus and has several places on its banks, that have been places of pilgrimage for thousands of years. Amongst the huge numbers of people who have bathed in her waters as a rite of cleansing are said to have been the deity Baladeva 5000 years ago and the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago. Every twelve years, Pushkaram fair is held on the banks of the river.

Sculpture depicting govu vatsa and gowthama legend
Sculpture depicting govu vatsa and gowthama legend about birth of Godavari River

A legend has it that the sage Gautama lived in the Brahmagiri Hills at Tryambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The couple lived the rest of their lives in the then village called Govuru, known as Kovvur ("cow") since the British rule. Ahalya lived in a nearby place called Thagami (now Thogummi). The sage, as a reason for the practice of annadanam ("giving away food" to the needy), started cultivating rice crops and other crops. Once, the god Ganesha, on the wish of the munis, sent a miraculous cow maaya-dhenu, which resembled a normal cow. It entered the sage's abode and started spoiling the rice while he was meditating. Since cattle is sacred to Hindus and shall always be treated with respect, he put the dharbha grass on the cow. But, to his surprise, it fell dead. Seeing what happened before their eyes, the munis and their wives cried out, "We thought that Gautama-maharishi is a righteous man, but he committed bovicide (killing of a cow or cattle)!". The sage wished to atone for this grievous sin. Therefore, he went to Nashik and observed tapas to Lord Tryambakeshwara (a manifestation of the god Shiva), on the advice of the munis, praying for atonement and asking Him to make the Ganges flow over the cow. Shiva was pleased with the sage and diverted the Ganges which washed away the cow and gave rise to the Godavari river in Nashik. The water stream flowed past Kovvur and ultimately merged with the Bay of Bengal.

Settlements along the Godavari


  • Nashik (Holy city and site of Simhastha Kumbha Mela bathing festivals)
  • Trimbakeshwar (shrine to the Jyotirlinga of the god Shiva)
  • Kopargaon
  • Puntamba – A place of pilgrimage with a number of ancient temples including the last resting place (Samadhi) of Sant Changdev in Puntamba.This town is located in Rahata Taluka of Ahmednagar district and 18 km from holy place of shree saibaba Shirdi. The only temple attributed to Kartik Swamy ( Elder son of Lord Shiva) is located here on bank of river Godavari). River godavari which had entered in kopargapn taluka of Ahmednagar from Niphad taluka of Nashik is natural frontier between Aurangabad and Ahmednagar districts of Maharashtra onwards until it enters in confluence with river Pravara at Pravarasangam village which comes under Newasa taluka a town where famous Bhakti saint Shree sant Dhnyaneshwar had written critic on Bhagavatgeeta ' Dnyaneshwari'.
  • Paithan (Ancient capital of the Satavahana dynasty)
  • Gangakhed
  • Nanded (Location of the Hazur Sahib Nanded Sikh gurdwara)
  • Sironcha (Town situated near the confluence of Godavari and Pranahita rivers)


Kaleshwara Mukteswara Swamy Temple

Andhra Pradesh

Antarvedi temple on the banks of Godavari in Andhra pradesh
Antarvedi temple
Sunset view of Godavari river from Rajahmundry
Sunset view of Godavari river and bridge from Rajahmundry


Places of interest

Sites of pilgrimage include:

  • Basar (originally, Vyasara) – Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari in Adilabad district, Telangana. It is about 210 km (130 mi) from state capital Hyderabad and accessible by road and rail (nearest major station: Nizamabad, although Basar station also exists). It is considered that the sage Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata on the banks of Godavari at this location near Harsha house it is the beautiful scenario, and thus the place came to be known as Vyasara.
  • Kandhakurthi - Thriveni sangamam where three rivers join. Godavari, Manjira River and Haridra River.
  • Bhadrachalam – Hindu Temple of Lord Rama.
  • Dharmapuri, Telangana – Hindu Temple of Lord Narasimha. Godavari flows from north to south in Dharmapuri, hence the river is locally called 'Dakshina Vahini' [South Flowing]
  • Kaleshwaram – Sri Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy Temple is situated here on the banks of Triveni sangamam of rivers godavari and pranahita. It is 125 kilometres away from Karimnagar city, 115 km away from Warangal city.
  • Trimbakeshwar – One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva.
  • NandedTakht Sri Hazur Sahib, one of the five most sacred places in Sikhism.
  • Nashik – One of the four Sinhastha Kumbh Mela, Hindu pilgrimage place.
  • Paithan – Saint Eknath's native place, famous Jayakwadi dam, and a beautiful garden named after Sant Dnyneshwar.
Araku Valley Scenic View Visakhapatnam District
Scenic View of Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh
  • Antarvedi, East Godavari (Antarvedi is famous for the Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries. There is also a temple of Lord Siva that is older than Narasimha Swamy temple. The temple's idol of Lord Siva was installed by Lord Srirama.
  • Konaseema – Delta of Godavari.
  • Pattiseema – A village where a Hindu temple is located on a small hill on an island in the river.
  • Kovvur – A village where cows resided and a place where the maaya-dhenu fell dead. Footprints of the maaya-dhenu were seen even today in the famous place Kovvur called "Goshpadakshetram" also called "Gopadala Revu" where the footprints of the holy cow are seen near the temple of Lord Shiva. Also a village which is the reason for the birth of river Godavari. Famous for a Sanskrit school which has been built 63 years back.
  • Rajamahendravaram – A city known for its role in Telugu culture and birthplace of writers such as Nannaya, one of the Kavitrayam trinity of poets who translated the Mahabharata into It is known for Floriculture,Tourism, Industries and its Heritage The Godavari Pushkaralu is a major local festival that is staged every 12 years.
  • Deomali peak located in the Godavari basin is the highest peak (1672 m msl) in Odisha state.

Flora and fauna

  • The Krishna Godavari Basin is one of the main nesting sites of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle. Godavari is also a home to the endangered fringed-lipped carp (Labeo fimbriatus).[23]
  • The Coringa mangrove forests in the Godavari delta are the second largest mangrove formation in the country. Part of this has been declared as the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, renowned for reptiles. They also provide an important habitat to a wide variety of fish and crustaceans. These forests also act as barriers against cyclones, tropical storms, and storm surges, thus protecting the nearby villages.
  • The Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary is another haven for birds located near the town of Paithan spread across the back waters of the NathSagar Reservoir formed by impounding the Godavari by the massive Jayakwadi Dam. Its 341 km2 area is dotted by islands within the reservoir which serve as nesting sites for the birds.[24]
  • The Nandurmadmeshwar Bird Sanctuary is located along the back waters of the Godavari river near Nashik at its confluence with Kadva River.[25] It is known as the Bharatpur of Maharashtra for the wide diversity of bird life that it harbours.

The following are few other wildlife sanctuaries located in the river basin.


Duduma Waterfalls is 175 metres (574 ft) high and one of the highest waterfalls in southern India. It is located on the Sileru river which forms boundary between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states. The following are few other waterfalls located in the river basin

Panoramic view of downstream pond below the Chitrakoote Falls
Panoramic view of downstream pond below the Chitrakoote Falls


Godavari Bridge
Havelock Bridge on the left and Godavari Arch Bridge on the right

There are 4 bridges spanning the river between East Godavari and West Godavari districts.

  1. Old Godavari Bridge (also known as Havelock bridge, and named after then Madras governor)
  2. Godavari Bridge (also known as Rail-cum-road bridge and Kovvur-Rajahmundry Bridge)
  3. Godavari Arch Bridge (also known as New railway bridge)
  4. Fourth Bridge (also known as new road bridge)
  • Old Godavari Bridge

Construction of this bridge started in 1876, and was completed in 1897. It was constructed under the supervision of F.T. Granville Walton who had constructed the Dufferin Bridge over the Ganges, and Granville Mills, both British engineers. Spanning over 3 km in length, it linked the East Godavari and West Godavari districts. The bridge has been a vital link enabling trains to run between Chennai and Howrah. Trains continued over the bridge for a century until 1997, when train services over the bridge were suspended after the construction of two additional bridges.

  • Godavari Bridge

Construction of this bridge started in 1970, and was completed in 1974. It serves as both a railway and a roadway between the East Godavari and West Godavari Districts.

  • Godavari Arch Bridge

This bridge was completed in 1997, was built upstream of the earlier bridges.

  • Fourth Bridge

This bridge is the newest. It was opened to public from Godavari Pushkaras 2015. This is a road connectivity bridge link supposed to ease traffic flow between Rajamundry and Kovvur


Jayakwadi Dam
An upstream view of Jayakwadi Dam.
Dowleswaram Barrage
Dowleswaram Dam near Rajahmundry on the river.

The main Godavari River up to the confluence with Pranhita tributary is dammed fully to utilize the available water for irrigation. However, its main tributaries Pranhita, Indravati and Sabari which join in the lower reaches of the basin, carry three times more water compared to main Godavari. In 2015, the water surplus Godavari River is linked to the water deficit Krishna River by commissioning the Polavaram right bank canal with the help of Pattiseema lift scheme to augment water availability to the Prakasam Barrage located in Andhra Pradesh. More dams are constructed in the Godavari River basin than in any other river basin of India.[26] The following are the few dams located in the river basin:

  • Gangapur Dam : This is a large earth fill dam with gross water storage of 215.88 million cubic metres,[27] and located 10 km (6.2 mi) upstream from Nashik city. The reservoir known as the Gangapur Bandh Sagar provides drinking water to the Nashik city and also supplies water to the thermal power station situated downstream at Eklahare.
  • Jayakwadi dam : Located near Paithan, it is one of the largest earthen dams in India. This dam was built to address the dual problems of flooding along the banks, during monsoon months, and that of drought, rest of the year, in the Marathwada region. Two 'left' and 'right' canals provide the irrigation to fertile land up to Nanded district. This dam has contributed to industrial development of Aurangabad and Jalna, Maharashtra.[28] Majalgaon Dam is also constructed under Jayakwadi stage 2 to expand the irrigation potential further in Parbhani, Nanded and Beed districts.
  • Vishnupuri barrage: Asia's Largest Lift Irrigation project, the Vishnupuri Prakalp[29] has been constructed on the river at a distance of 5 km (3.1 mi) from the city Nanded.
  • Ghatghar Dam was built for hydro power generation by diverting the water of Pravara tributary outside Godavari river basin to a west flowing river which joins Arabian sea.
  • Upper Vaitarna reservoir was built across west flowing Vaitarna river merging some part of Godavari river catchment area. Godavari water impounded in this reservoir is diverted outside the river basin for Mumbai city drinking water supply after generating hydro power.
  • Sriram Sagar Dam : This is another multipurpose project on the Godavari River on the borders of Adilabad and Nizamabad District. It is near the town of Pochampad, 60 km away from Nizamabad. It has been described by The Hindu as a "lifeline for a large part of Telangana".[30] It serves the irrigation needs in Karimnagar, Warangal, Adilabad, Nalgonda, and Khammam districts and also generates power.
  • Dowleswaram Barrage was built by Sir Arthur Cotton in 1852. It got damaged in 1987 floods, and rebuilt as a barrage cum roadway soon after and named after him. The roadway connects Dowleswaram in East Godavari and Vijjeswaram in West Godavari. The irrigation canals of this barrage also form part of National Waterway 4.

Hydro power stations

Indiravati Dam
Upper Indiravati power house

The Godavari River is one of the rivers whose water energy is least harnessed for generating hydro electricity.[31] The 600 MW capacity Upper Indravati hydro power station is the biggest hydro power station which diverts Godavari River water to the Mahanadi River basin.[32] The following is the list of hydro electric power stations excluding small and medium installations.

Hydroelectric power stations on Godavari river
Name of the project Rated Power (in MW)
Upper Indravati 600
Machkund 120
Balimela 510
Upper Sileru 240
Lower Sileru 460
Upper Kolab 320
Pench 160
Ghatghar pumped storage 250
Polavaram (under construction) 960

Geology and sediment transfer in the Godavari Drainage Basin

Generalized Geological Map of Godavari Drainage Basin
Generalized Geological Map of Godavari Drainage Basin

The primary/initial catchment of the Godavari drainage basin is largely represented by the basalt of the Deccan Volcanic Province (~50% of the total basin area). This is followed by the Precambrian granites and gneisses of the eastern Dharwar Craton, sandstones, shales and limestones of the Gondwana Supergroup, various sedimentary units of Cuddapah and Vindhyan basins, charnockites and khondalites of the Proterozoic Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt and the sandstones of the Rajahmundry Formation.[33] The Godavari River carries the largest sediment load among the peninsular rivers and the majority of the mass transfer in Godavari occurs during the monsoon.[34] Mineral magnetic studies of the Godavari River sediments suggest that the floodplains in the entire stretch of the river are characterized by a Deccan basalt source. The bed loads on the other hand are of sourced from local bedrock. Influx of Deccan source in the Godavari River up to the delta regions and possibly in the Bay of Bengal off the Godavari, therefore, can be related to the intensive chemical weathering in the Deccan basalts.[35] Abrupt increase in δ13C values and decrease in TOC content accompanied with a significant increase in ferrimagnetic mineral concentration in Bay of Bengal sediments from ~3.2 to 3.1 cal. ka BP reflected a shift of organic carbon and sediment source and a severe decline in vegetation coverage. Such phenomena indicate intensified deforestation and soil/rock erosion in the Deccan Plateau producing higher ferrimagnetic mineral inputs, which is in agreement with significant expansion of agricultural activities in the Deccan Chalcolithic cultural period.[36]

Mineral deposits

Godavari river basin is endowed with rich mineral deposits such as oil & gas, coal, iron, limestone, manganese, copper, bauxite, granite, laterite, etc. The following are the few noted deposits:

Ecological concerns

The Godavari river at Puntamba in January
Dried up Godavari exposing flood basalt river bed as seen from the back of Changdev temple in Puntamba

The frequent drying up of the Godavari river in the drier months has been a matter of great concern. Indiscriminate damming along the river has been cited as an obvious reason. Within Maharashtra sugarcane irrigation has been blamed as one of the foremost causes.[37]

In 2013, the river was at its all-time low in the Nizamabad district of Telangana. This had hit the growth of fish, making the life of fishermen miserable.The water-level was so low that people could easily walk into the middle of the river. Shortage in rainfall and closure of the controversial Babli project gates in Maharashtra was thought to have affected the water flow in the river and water availability to the Sriram Sagar Project except during above 20% excess monsoon (i.e. one out of four years) years.[38]

A study has found that the delta is at a greater risk as the rate of sediment aggradation (raising the level of the delta through sediment deposition) no longer exceeds relative sea-level rise.[39] It further states that the suspended sediment load at the delta has reduced from 150·2 million tons during 1970–1979 to 57·2 million tons by 2000–2006,[40] which translates into a three-fold decline in the past 4 decades. Impacts of this can be seen in destroyed villages like Uppada in Godavari delta,[41] destruction of Mangrove forests and fragmentation of shoreline – possibly a fallout of dam construction.

Said to further epitomise the insensitivity towards Godavari, is the Polavaram Project which is touted to be gigantic – both in terms of size and violations.[42] Deemed as being pointless and politically driven,[43] the project raises questions about environmental clearance, displacement of upstream human habitations,[44] loss of forest cover, technicalities in the dam design which are said to play down flood threats and unsafe embankments.

High alkalinity water is discharged from the ash dump areas of many coal fired power stations into the river which further increases the alkalinity of the river water whose water is naturally of high alkalinity since the river basin is draining vast area of basalt formations.[45] This problem aggravates during the lean flow months in entire river basin. Already the Godavari basin area in Telangana is suffering from high alkalinity and salinity water problem which is converting soils in to unproductive sodic alkali soils.[46] The following are the few coal fired power stations located in the river basin:

Thermal power stations in Godavari river basin
Name of Power Station Rated Power (in MW)
Koradi Thermal Power Station 2,600
Khaparkheda Thermal Power Station 1,340
Tirora Thermal Power Station 3,300
Butibori Power Project 600
RattanIndia Nashik TPS 1,350
Chandrapur STPS 3,340
Mauda Super Thermal Power Station 1,000
Parli Thermal Power Station 1,130
Dhariwal Power Station 300
Nashik Thermal Power Station 910
Wardha Warora Power Plant 540
Pench Thermal Power Plant 1,320
Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power 1,320
NTPC Ramagundam 2,600
Kothagudem Thermal Power Station 1,720
Kakatiya Thermal Power Station 1,100
Ramagundam B Thermal Power Station 60
Manuguru Heavy water plant's power station N/A
Singareni thermal power station 1,800
Bhadradri Thermal Power Plant 1,080

In popular culture

One of the ships of the Indian Navy has been named INS Godavari after the river. Godavari is also the codename of some variants of AMD APU chips.

See also


  1. ^ Godāvari River at GEOnet Names Server
  2. ^ "Sage River Database". Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
  3. ^ "Godavari river basin map"
  4. ^ "Integrated Hydrological DataBook (Non-Classified River Basins)" (PDF). Central Water Commission. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  5. ^ "Basins -".
  6. ^ "Dakshina Ganga (Ganga of South India) – River Godavari". Important India. 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  7. ^ http://www.igbp.net/download/18.62dc35801456272b46d4b/1398850074082/NL82-Deltas_infographic.pdf
  8. ^ South Asia Network on Dams Rivers and People (2014). "Shrinking and Sinking Deltas: Major role of Dams in delta subsidence and effective sea level rise" (PDF). Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  9. ^ "India: Andhra Pradesh Flood 2005 situation report, 21Sep 2005". 29 May 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Godavari basin status report, March 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Rivers of Western Ghats". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  12. ^ "Spatial variation in water supply and demand across river basins of India" (PDF). IWMI Research Report 83. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  13. ^ "When Bhadrachalam was under a sheet of water". The Hindu. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Water flow data at Polavaram". Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2015-10-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Nashik". Nashik Directory. Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  17. ^ "Beed district". Government of Maharashtra. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Subbasin of Godavari". Hydrology and Water Resources Information System for India. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  19. ^ Kenneth Pletcher (2010). The Geography of India: Sacred and Historic Places. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 28. ISBN 978-16-1530-142-3.
  20. ^ Kakani Nageswara Rao, et al.; Holocene environmental changes of the Godavari Delta, east coast of India, inferred from sediment core analyses and AMS 14C dating, Geomorphology, 175–176 (2012) pp.163–175
  21. ^ Central Water Commission (2012). "Integrated Hydrological Data Book (Non-classified river basins)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Hydrology and water resources information for India". www.nih.ernet.in. National Institute of Hydrology, India. Archived from the original on 21 April 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  23. ^ Venkateshwarlu, K. (2012-05-03). "Godavari". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  24. ^ Maharashtra Forest Department. "Aurangabad Circle". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  25. ^ Nashik. "Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  26. ^ "Dams in Godavari basin". Retrieved 2015-10-17.
  27. ^ "Dams in Nashik District". National Informatics Centre (NIC), Collectorate, Nashik. Archived from the original on 2013-08-10. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
  28. ^ vijdiw. "Jaikwadi Dam and Its Nath Sagar Reservoir". authorstream.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Vishnupuri barrage B00473". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  30. ^ Maharashtra projects hit Sriram Sagar project inflows: BJP. The Hindu, May 16, 2005
  31. ^ "Power Houses in Godavari Basin". Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  32. ^ "Upper Indravati Power_House PH01496". Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  33. ^ Kulkarni, Y. R.; Sangode, S. J.; Meshram, D. C.; Patil, S. K.; Dutt, Yatindra (2014-04-01). "Mineral magnetic characterization of the Godavari river sediments: Implications to Deccan basalt weathering". Journal of the Geological Society of India. 83 (4): 376–384. doi:10.1007/s12594-014-0054-x. ISSN 0016-7622.
  34. ^ Bikshamaiah, G.; Subramanian, V. (1980-04-01). "Chemical and sediment mass transfer in the Godavari River basin in India". Journal of Hydrology. 46 (3): 331–342. doi:10.1016/0022-1694(80)90085-2.
  35. ^ Kulkarni, Y. R.; Sangode, S. J.; Meshram, D. C.; Patil, S. K.; Dutt, Yatindra (2014-04-01). "Mineral magnetic characterization of the Godavari river sediments: Implications to Deccan basalt weathering". Journal of the Geological Society of India. 83 (4): 376–384. doi:10.1007/s12594-014-0054-x. ISSN 0016-7622.
  36. ^ Cui, Meng; Wang, Zhanghua; Nageswara Rao, Kakani; Sangode, S J; Saito, Yoshiki; Chen, Ting; Kulkarni, Y R; Naga Kumar, K Ch V; Demudu, G (2017-06-29). "A mid- to late-Holocene record of vegetation decline and erosion triggered by monsoon weakening and human adaptations in the south-east Indian Peninsula". The Holocene. 27 (12): 1976–1987. doi:10.1177/0959683617715694. ISSN 0959-6836.
  37. ^ Pawar, Yogesh (18 March 2013). "Krishna, Godavari basins drying up". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  38. ^ J. Keller, A. Keller and G. Davids. "River basin development phases and implications of closure" (PDF). Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  39. ^ R Prasad (2009-09-21). "Sinking Indian deltas put millions at risk". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  40. ^ South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (2014). "Godavari's Story". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  41. ^ B Hema Malini; K Nageswara Raol (10 November 2004). "Coastal erosion and habitat loss along the Godavari delta front – a fallout of dam construction (?)" (PDF). Current Science. 87 (9): 1232. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  42. ^ Mahapatra, Richard (2011). "Polavaram fraud". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  43. ^ Times of India (5 July 2015). "Polavaram dam works to begin on Oct. 22". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  44. ^ Rediff News (29 May 2014). "Telangana bandh over Modi govt's ordinance on Polavaram". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  45. ^ Chemical weathering in the Krishna Basin and Western Ghats of the Deccan Traps, India
  46. ^ "Alkalinity and salinity bane of soil in T state". Retrieved 23 October 2015.

External links

Banganga River (Maharashtra)

Banganga is a small tributary of the Godavari River in the Nashik district, in the state of Maharashtra in western India.The Banganga rises a little to the north-west of Ramsej hill and flows in a general easterly course, passing by Ozar where a dam crosses it to divert the water into canals on both sides for irrigation. After passing Sukene it joins the Godavari. In 2012, the Ozar panchayat, citing safety issues, urged the authorities to construct a bridge over the Banganga River.

Dowleswaram Barrage

The Dowleswaram Barrage was an irrigation structure originally built in 1850 on the lower stretch of the Godavari River before it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It was rebuilt in 1970 when it was officially renamed the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage / Godavari Barrage.

Godavari Fourth Bridge

The Godavari Fourth Bridge or Kovvur–Rajahmundry 4th Bridge is built across Godavari River in Rajahmundry, India. This dual bridge connects Kovvur in West Godavari district to Diwancheruvu in East Godavari district via Rajahmundry bypass express road.

Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects

The Godavari River has its catchment area in seven states of India: Maharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha. The number of dams constructed in Godavari basin is the highest among all the river basins in India. Nearly 350 major and medium dams and barrages had been constructed in the river basin by the year 2012.


Chintalapudi lift

Uttarrandhra Sujala Sravanthi lift

Balimela Reservoir

Upper Kolab

Dummugudem Lift Irrigation Schemes

Nizam Sagar

Sriram Sagar or Pochampadu

Kakatiya Canal

SRSP Flood Flow Canal

Manjara Dam

Manjira Reservoir

Singur Dam

Shanigaram Reservoir

Lower Manair Dam

Mid Manair Dam

Upper Manair Dam


Taliperu Project

Babli barrage or Babhali

Devadula lift irrigation project

Polavaram Project

Inchampalli Project


Alisagar lift irrigation scheme


Sri Komaram Bheem Project

Lower Tirna

Siddeshwar or Purna

Yeldari Dam

Godavari Canal

Mula Dam

Bhandardara Dam

Isapur Dam or Upper Penganga

Upper Dudhana Dam

Jaikwadi or Paithon

Upper Pravara

Upper Indravati dam

Upper Wain Ganga (Bheemgarh Dam)

Upper Wardha Dam

Lower Wardha Dam

Majalgaon Dam

Ghatghar Dam

Upper Vaitarana Dam

Vishnupuri Barrage

Sirpur Dam or Bagh reservoir

Gosi kd Dam or Gosi Kund dam

Totladoh Dam

Yeldari Dam

Kamthikhairy Dam or Pench dam

Erai Dam

Tultuli Dam

Arunawati Dam

Lower Wunna Dam or Wadgaon

Manar Dam

Lower Pus Dam

Ramtek Dam

Pench diversion Project, Madhya Pradesh

Kinnerasani River

Kinnerasani' is an important tributary of Godavari flowing through the Warangal and Bhadradri districts of Telangana and West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

In the Khammam District, a dam known as the Kinnerasani Dam is built on this river. The back waters of the dam are surrounded by verdant hills and come to be protected under the precincts of the Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary.

The river drains on the right bank of Godavari in Telangana and forms common boundary between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states before its confluence with main Godavari river.


Konaseema is the Delta region of the Godavari river in East Godavari District of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, India. Regarded as East Kerala due to its similarities to the Kerala backwaters. It is often termed as "God's Own Creation". It is surrounded by tributaries of the Godavari River and the Bay of Bengal.

After crossing Rajahmundry, the Godavari splits into two branches which are called Vriddha Gautami (Gautami Godavari) and Vasishta Godavari. The Gautami further splits into two branches, namely Gautami and Nilarevu. Similarly the Vasishta splits into two branches named Vasishta and Vainateya. These four branches, which join the Bay of Bengal at different places, form a delta of length 170 km (110 mi) along the coast of the Bay of Bengal and is called the Konaseema region.

Amalapuram is the major town in Konaseema, other towns are Razole, Ravulapalem, Kothapeta and Mummidivaram,. This region is mostly known for its coconut trees and paddy fields.Konaseema coconuts are exported to various places of India and the price of coconuts is less as the production is more.

Entrance of Konaseema region has been beautifully decorated, it symbolizes tourists that they are entering green land called Konaseema

The below arch is located in Ravulapalem to Amalapuram route

List of dams and reservoirs in India

This page shows the state-wise list of dams and reservoirs in India. It also includes . Nearly 3200 major / medium dams and barrages had been constructed in India by the year 2012.

Maner River

The Maner river or Manair or Maneru (Marathi : मानेर)(Telugu: మానేరు) is a tributary to the Godavari River in India. The Lower Maner Dam built across this river provides drinking water to Karimnagar, Telangana and also to the NTPC power plant at Ramagundam. Mid Manair Dam was constructed at Manvada village near Sircilla and upper Manair Dam was constructed during Nizam period near Narmala village in Gambhiraopet mandal of Karimnagar district.

Manjira River

The Manjra also spelled Manjeera,Manjiira is a tributary of the river Godavari. It passes through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana. It originates in the Balaghat range of hills near Ahmednagar district at an altitude of 823 metres (2,700 ft) and empties into the Godavari River. It has a total catchment area of 30,844 square kilometres (3,084,400 ha).Tributaries

Manjra is the main river which Its origin is near the Gaukhadi Village of Beed district. The river flows from the northern boundaries of the Osmanabad district and cutting across the Latur district goes to Bidar district Karnataka State and finally Telangana. It flows on the Balaghat plateau along with its tributaries: Terna, Tawarja and Gharni. The other three tributaries of Manjira are Manyad, Teru and Lendi which flow on the northern plains.

Terna River :This is the main tributary of Manjira which flows on the southern boundary of the Ausa taluka .

Manyad : This river takes its origin at Dharmapuri in Beed district and flows through the Ahmadpur taluka into Nanded district.

Lendi : The river has its origin in Udgir taluka and flowing through the Ahmadpur taluka joins the Tiru river in Nanded district .

Gharni : The river has its origin near Wadval and flows through Chakur taluka.

Tawarja : Tawarja originates near Murud in Latur taluka and joins the Manjara river at Shivani on the Latur-Ausa boundary.Nizam Sagar was constructed across the Manjra River between Achampeta and Banjapalle villages of the Nizamabad district in Telangana, India. The most outstanding feature of the project is the gigantic masonry dam sprawling across the river for 3 kilometers with a motorable road of 14 feet width.

The Singur Reservoir on Manjra River in Medak District is the main drinking water source for the Medak and Nizamabad districts as well as the adjoining twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Manjra river is also serving for Bidar city.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the upper reaches of the Manjira in Maharashtra suffered environmental degradation which increased run-off, as opposed to ground water recharge, and increased erosion and silting.

Pranhita River

Pranhita is the largest tributary of Godavari River covering about 34% of its drainage basin conveying the combined waters of the Penganga River, Wardha River and Wainganga River.By virtue of its extensive network of tributaries, the river drains all of Vidarbha region in Maharashtra as well as the southern slopes of the Satpura Ranges. It flows along the border of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra and Adilabad district in Telangana. The Pranhita sub-basin is the 7th largest in India, measuring about 1,09,078 km2 making it larger than the individual basins of significant rivers like the Narmada and Cauvery.

Pravara River

Pravara is the smallest of the major tributaries of Godavari river located in Maharashtra, India. Among the 7 major tributaries, it is the only tributary which originates in the Western Ghats akin to Godavari. Also, it is the only major tributary of Godavari to have both its source and confluence located within the same district - Ahmednagar.

Purna River (tributary of Godavari)

The Purna River is a major left-bank tributary of Godavari River originating in the Ajanta Range of hills in Aurangabad District, Maharashtra.The river lies in the rain shadow region of Maharashtra, on the Deccan Plateau, flowing through the districts of Aurangabad, Buldana, Jalna, Hingoli and Parbhani with a large catchment area measuring about 15,579 km2.This enormous catchment area is often tagged as a sub-basin of Godavari River and along with its tributaries forms a dendritic drainage pattern. It is a prime river in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra running for about 373 km before it confluences with Godavari River south of Purna city in the Parbhani district.

Shivana River

Shivna Nadi is a minor but important tributary of Godavari lying entirely within Aurangabad district, Maharashtra.It rises in the Kannad taluka, from the south-western slope of the Ajanta Hills which also holds the origin to another major tributary Purna.

Sileru River

Sileru River is a tributary of Sabari River. It originates in Andhra Pradesh and also flows through Odisha before merging with Sabari. Sabari river crosses the border into Andhra Pradesh to merge with Godavari river. Sileru (known as Machkund in its upper reaches) river joins Sabari river tri-junction boundary point of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.habby

Sriram Sagar Project

The Sri Rama Sagar Project (Telugu: శ్రీరాంసాగర్ ప్రాజెక్టు), also known as the Pochampadu Project is an Indian flood-flow project on the Godavari. The Project is located in Nizamabad district, 3 km away from National Highway 44. It has been described by The Hindu as a "lifeline for a large part of Telangana".Sriramsagar is an irrigation project across river Godavari in Telangana to serve irrigational needs in Karimnagar, Warangal, Adilabad, Nalgonda, and Khammam districts. It also provides drinking water to Warangal city. There is a hydroelectric plant working at the dam site, with 4 turbines each with 9 MW capacity generating 36 MW.

Taliperu River

Taliperu is a river in the Godavari system originating in the Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. It is a left-bank tributary of Godavari River, draining into it through a confluence located near Cherla in the Khammam District in Telangana.

The river has been harnessed for agricultural purposes through extensive canal systems developed in that region. A dam known as the Taliperu Project has been built on the river for this purpose. The water impounded by it is known as the Taliperu Reservoir, which is a medium irrigation project located at Cherla Village and Mandal, Khammam District, Telangana. This project utilizes about 5.0 TMC of water and creates 24500 Acres of Ayacut in both Cherla and Dummugudem Mandals, Khammam District.

Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple

Tryambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Trimbakeshwar tehsil in the Nashik District of Maharashtra, India, 28 km from the city of Nashik and 40 km from nashik road. It is dedicated to the god Shiv and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, where the Hindu genealogy registers at Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra are kept. The origin of the sacred Godavari river is near Trimbak.

Kusavarta, a kunda (sacred pond) in the temple premises is the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The current temple was built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao (Nanasaheb).

Wainganga River

Wainganga IAST: Wainganga is a river in India, originating in the Mahadeo Hills in Mundara near village Gopalganj in Seoni Madhya Pradesh. It is a tributary of the Godavari River. The river flows south in a winding course through the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, roughly 579 km (360 mi). After joining the Wardha River, the united stream, which is known as the Pranahita River, empties into the Godavari River at Kaleshwaram, Telangana.

Wardha River

The Wardha River (Varada River, is one of the biggest rivers in Vidarbha region in India. The Wardha River joins the Wainganga River south of Chamorshi and forms the Pranahita River at Adilabad District, Telangana.

Indus River Basin
Ganges River Basin
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Kaveri River Basin
Tapi River Basin
Mahi River Basin
Sabarmati River Basin
Meghna River Basin
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Godavari basin
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features / regions
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productivity & ecology
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Hydrography of surrounding areas
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