For Prelims: Characteristics of a river

For Mains: Economic significance of the river, types of rivers, and Origin and history of Godavari river. 

Why in news?

When the Godavari River's flood level at Bhadrachalam, Telangana, reached 50 feet and the river's flow reached 13 lakh cubic seconds, officials recently issued a second warning.

Previously, officials issued the first warning level (43 feet) due to the Godavari's rising flood level. The river bund settlements in Andhra Pradesh have been put on high alert.

The Godavari tributaries are in spate, and the water level is rising as a result of strong inflows from the catchment areas. 

Why is the Godavari river overflowing?

  • As a result of heavy rains in the Upper Godavari Basin catchment areas.
  • Medigadda Barrage's water release is reversing as all reservoirs receive an inflow of water.
  • Release of water from Karnataka's Krishna Basin, Almatti, Narayanpur, and Tungabhadra projects, which receive the majority of the inflows into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh projects.
    • Additionally, the flood at the Srisaialam reservoir (a hydroelectric power plant) was over 3.60 lakh cusecs, and the discharge was over 3.17 lakh cusecs.

What do we need to know about the Godavari river?

  • The third-largest river in India is the Godavari, which is the largest river in the peninsula.
  • 3,12,812 square kilometers make up the river's catchment area, which is dispersed among the states of Maharashtra (48.6%), Andhra Pradesh (23.4%), Madhya Pradesh (10.0%), Chattisgarh (10.9%), Orissa (5.7%), and Karnataka (1.4%).
  • In the Maharashtra Nasik district, close to Thriambak Hills, in the Western Ghats, the river Godavari rises at a height of 1,067 meters. It enters the Bay of Bengal after traveling about 1,465 km in a general southeast direction. 
  • The Satmala Hills in the north, the Ajanta Range and the Mahadeo Hills in the south, the Eastern Ghats in the east, and the Western Ghats in the west, all encircle the basin.

Source of Godavari river

  • The Godavari River originates in Maharashtra near Nasik at Trimbakeshwar, and it flows for approximately 1465 km before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

Drainage Basin of Godavari river

  • In addition to smaller portions in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and the Union territory of Puducherry, the Godavari basin spans the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.

Rainfall pattern in the basin. 

  • The Southwest monsoon is when the Godavari basin experiences its heaviest rainfall. 
  • The Sahyadri Range, which is almost an uninterrupted barrier ranging in height from 600 meters to 2100 meters, blocks the monsoon currents from reaching the peninsula's west coast from the west and south-west.
  • The orography of the region heavily influences rainfall, which causes variations in precipitation. The monsoon wind loses a significant portion of its moisture when it passes over the Ghats.
  • Along with monsoon depressions, which move west-northwest across the Orissa coast, some rain also falls on the northeastern portion of the Godavari basin.
  • A 129 km length of the Western Ghats' high rainfall zone supplies drainage to the Godavari.
  • In this reach, the annual rainfall ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 mm. The amount of rain falls quickly to less than 600 mm east of the western ghats. 
  • The period from June to September sees the most rainfall across the entire basin. 
  • The Southwest monsoon, which begins in mid-June and lasts until mid-October, brings 84% of the average annual rainfall to the Godavari basin as a whole.
  • Due to the influence of the cyclonic storms, which primarily pass through the Indravati and Pranhita sub-basins, during the same period, these sub-basins receive up to 86% and 88% of the annual rainfall, respectively. 

Cultural Significance of Godavari river

  • On the banks of the Godavari River in Nashik, the Kumbh Mela also takes place.
    • The Shipra River in Ujjain, the Ganges in Haridwar, and the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and the fabled Saraswati River in Prayag are additional locations for the Kumbh.

Industries based on the Godavari river

  • There are numerous industries, particularly in the automotive sector, in Nashik and Aurangabad.
  • The majority of the industries in the basin are based on agricultural products, including sugar and oil extraction, cotton spinning and weaving, and rice milling.
  • In the basin, there are also some minor engineering and cement industries.

Important projects associated with the Godavari


  • Sriram sagar project (srsp)