Ganga river system: Tributaries & River valley projects

It originates from Gangotri glacier near Gaumukh in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand. It forms various prayags (confluence of two rivers) as shown below:

image 140

Alaknanda + Dhauliganga = Vishnuprayag

Alaknanda + Pindar = Karnaprayag

Alaknanda + Mandakinin = Rudraprayag

Alaknanda + Bhagirathi = Devaprayag

When Ganga reaches West Bengal, it gets divided into two distributaries called Bhagirathi and Hugli. Damodar river is the tributary of Hugli. The main river goes into Bangladesh where it is first called Meghna and then Padma which then enters into Bay of Bengal. 

Ganga and its tributaries


  • Originates near Yamnotri glacier in Banderpunch range.
  • Longest tributary of Ganga; Joins it as a right bank tributary near Prayagraj.

Tributaries of Yamuna:

  • Tons originates in Himalayas.
  • Along with Tons, other left bank tributaries of Yamuna are Hindon, Karen, Sangar and Rind.
  • Four rivers originating in Vindhyas join Yamuna as its right bank tributaries- Chambal, Sind, Betwa Ken.
  • Chambal originates from a place near Mhow on Malwa plateau. It is famous for Badland topography (Ravines). Rivers like Banas, Shipra, Kalisindh and Parvati are its tributaries. 
  • Ken originates from Kaimur hills in Satna (M.P) and joins Yamuna near Banda. 
Other right bank tributaries of Ganga
KarmanasaOrigin from Kaimur range Makes boundary of Bihar and UP.
PunpunOrigin from plateaus of MP.
SonAlso known as gold river or ‘Swarna nadi’ Origin from Amarkantak Joins Ganga near PatnaRiver Rihand and North Koel are its main tributaries.
image 141
Left bank tributaries of Ganga
RamgangaOriginates near Nainital and joins Ganga near Kannauj
GomatiOriginates from distt of Pilibhit and joins Ganga near Ghazipur.
Lucknow and Jaunpur are situated on its banks.
GhaghraOriginates from Mapcha chung glacier in Tibet.
In Nepal it is known as Karnali.
It joins Ganga near Chapra.
River Sharda, Rapti and Chhoti Gandak are its tributaries.
KosiOrigins in NepalIts mainstream is river Arun which originates from Gosainthan peak in TibetIt is famous for changing its courses
MahanandaOriginates from Darjeeling hills
Last left bank tributary of Ganga


Tehri projectConstructed at confluence of Bhilangana and Bhagirathi.
Region is prone to earthquake (Zone V).
Ramganga projectOn river Ramganga
Tanakpur projectOn river Kali
Rihand projectConstructed in Sonebhadra district of U.P
The reservoir is named Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar.
Bansagar project On son river in Sahdol, MP.
Matatila projectOn river Betwa Joint project of UP & MP.
Chambal projectJoint project of Rajasthan and M.P Three dams are built:
Gandhi Sagar at Chaurasigarh,
M.P Rana Pratap Sagar at Rawatbhata,
Rajasthan Jawahar Sagar at Kota, Rajasthan
Damodar valley projectMultipurpose project Main dam is built on Panchet hills. Dams have also been built at ayyar, Bermo and Tenughat Dams at tilaiya, bal Pahari and maithon have been built on river Barakar (most prominent tributary of Damaodar river)
Mayurkashi projectIn Jharkhand also known as Canada dam

Read also: Indus River System


What is the Ganga River System?

The Ganges River originates in the Himalayas Mountains in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India, receiving the right-bank tributary, the Yamuna.

Which two streams join to form Ganga?

Alaknanda and Bhagirathi are the two headstreams of the Ganga.

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