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Godavari River

Godavari (Dakshin Ganga)
The Mouth of the Godavari river (East) emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
Country India
States Maharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry (Yanam)
Region Southern India, Western India
 - left Purna, Pranahita, Indravati, Sabari, Taliperu, Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha, Dudhana
 - right Pravara, Manjira, Pedda Vagu, Manair, Kinnerasani
Cities Nashik, Nanded, Nizamabad, Rajamundry
 - location Brahmagiri Mountain, Tryambakeshwar, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
 - elevation 920 m (3,018 ft)
 - coordinates
 - location Antarvedi into Bay of Bengal, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates  [1]
Length 1,465 km (910 mi)
Basin 312,812 km2 (120,777 sq mi)
 - average 3,505 m3/s (123,778 cu ft/s) [2]
Discharge elsewhere (average)
 - Polavaram (1901-1979) 3,061.18 m3/s (108,105 cu ft/s) [3]
Path of the Godavari through the South Indian Peninsula

The Godavari is the second longest river in India after the river Ganges. It starts in Maharashtra and flows for 1,465 kilometres (910 mi) into the Bay of Bengal via the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It forms one of the largest river basins in India. [4]


  • Course 1
  • Settlements along the Godavari 2
  • Godavari Image Gallery 3
  • Dams and bridges along the river 4
    • Old Godavari Bridge 4.1
    • Godavari Bridge 4.2
    • Godavari Arch Bridge 4.3
  • Significance 5
    • Religious significance 5.1
    • Ecological significance 5.2
    • Other significance 5.3
  • Places of interest 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The Godavari originates 80 kilometres (50 mi) from the Arabian Sea in the Western Ghats of central India near Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra. It flows for 1,465 kilometres (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 watercourses that widen into a large river delta and flow into the Bay of Bengal.[5] [6]

The Godavari River has a drainage 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. Major tributaries of the river include the Purna (South), Pravara, Indravati, Manjira River, Bindusara River, Sabari River, Wainganga, and Wardha River.[7]

Settlements along the Godavari

Statue of Mother Godavari at Rajahmundry Railway station

In Maharashtra:

In Telangana:

In Andhra Pradesh:

In Puducherry:

Godavari Image Gallery

Dams and bridges along the river

A barrage (dam) was built on the river at Dowleswaram by Sir Arthur Cotton in 1852. It was damaged in 1987 floods, and rebuilt as a barrage and roadway soon after and named after him. The roadway connects Dowleswaram in East Godavari and Vijjeswaram in West Godavari.

There is also a large dam built just after the source of the river at Trimbakeshwar. The dam is in the town of Gangapur, which literally means 'a town on a river'. The dam provides drinking water to the residents of Nashik and also supplies water to the thermal power station situated downstream at Eklahare, which provides power to the town.

There is another multipurpose project on the Godavari River named Sriram Sagar Project on the borders of Adilabad and Nizamabad District. It is in the town of Pochampad, 60 km away from Nizamabad. It irrigates 4 districts of Telangana and supplies power.

The Jayakwadi dam near Paithan is one of the largest earthen dams in India. This dam was built to address the problem of drought in Marathwada region and the problem of flooding along the bank of river. Two 'left' and 'right' canals provide the irrigation to fertile land up to Nanded district. This dam has contributed to industrial development of Aurangabad Maharashtra. Asia's Largest Lift Irrigation project,the Vishnupuri Prakalp has been constructed on the river at a distance of 5 km from the city Nanded.

There are 3 railway 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)

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

This bridge constructed over a quarter of a century ago, serves as both a railway bridge and as a roadway between the East Godavari and West Godavari Districts.

Godavari Arch Bridge

This bridge was completed in 1987, was built upstream of the earlier bridges.


Religious significance

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 its banks of the river.

A legend has it that the Sage Gautama lived in the Brahmagiri Hills at Trayambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The Rishi kept his stock of rice in a granary. Once, a cow entered his granary and ate up the rice. When the Rishi tried to ward the cow away with darbha grass, it fell dead. The Rishi wished to atone for the sin of ‘Gohatya’ - killing a sacred cow. He prayed to Lord Shiva and requested him to divert the river Ganges to purify his hermitage. Lord Shiva was pleased with the Rishi so appeared in his Triambaka manifestation and diverted the river Ganges to flow past his homestead.

Ecological significance

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 tidal waves thus protecting the nearby villages.

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).[8]

Other significance

One of the ships of the Indian Navy has been named INS Godavari after the river.

Places of interest

Sites of pligramage include:

  • Basar (originally, Vyasara) - Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari in Adilabad district, Telangana. It is 210 km 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 senerio, and thus the place came to be known as Vyasara.
  • 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 localled 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 kilometers away from Karimnagar city, 115 km away from Warangal city.
  • Konaseema - Picturesque delta of Godavari.
  • Nanded - Takht 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.
  • Pattiseema - A village where a Hindu temple is located on a small hill on an island in the river.
  • Rajahmundry - A town 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 Telugu. The Godavari Pushkaralu is a major local festival that is staged every 12 years.
  • Trimbakeshwar - One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva.

See also


  1. ^ Godāvari River at GEOnet Names Server
  2. ^ Kumar, Rakesh; Singh, R.D.; Sharma, K.D. (2005-09-10). "Water Resources of India". Current Science (Bangalore: Current Science Association) 89 (5): 794–811. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  3. ^ "Sage River Database". Retrieved 2011-06-16. 
  4. ^ "River Godavari". Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  5. ^ "Ponnaiyar". Person unknown. Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  6. ^ "Godavari River". Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  7. ^ "Rivers of Western Ghats". Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  8. ^ Venkateshwarlu, K. (2012-05-03). "Godavari". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 

External links

  • Rivers Network : Godavari watersheds webmap
  • Godavari River in 1911
  • Nashik City
  • Contrasting Behavior of Osmium in the Godavari River Estuary, India, 2001 [1]
  • River Basin Report: Godavari River [2]
  • Variations of Monsoon Rainfall in Godavari River Basin [3]
  • [4]
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