Godavari River

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Coordinates: 17°0′N 81°48′E / 17.000°N 81.800°E / 17.000; 81.800
Godavari (Dakshin Ganga)
River
Godavari satellite view.jpg
The Mouth of the Godavari river (East) emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
Country India
States Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh
Region Southern India, Western India
Tributaries
 - left Purna, Pranahita, Indravati, Sabari, Taliperu
 - right Pravara, Manjira, Pedda Vagu, Manair, Kinnerasani
Cities Nashik, Nanded, Rajamundry
Source
 - location Brahmagiri Mountain, Tryambakeshwar, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
 - elevation 920 m (3,018 ft)
 - coordinates 19°55′48″N 73°31′39″E / 19.93000°N 73.52750°E / 19.93000; 73.52750
Mouth
 - location Antarvedi into Bay of Bengal, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 17°0′N 81°48′E / 17.000°N 81.800°E / 17.000; 81.800 [1]
Length 1,465 km (910 mi)
Basin 312,812 km2 (120,777 sq mi)
Discharge
 - 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 (Marathi : गोदावरी)(Telugu: గోదావరి) is a river in the south-central India. It starts in the western state of Maharashtra and flows through the southern state Andhra Pradesh before reaching the Bay of Bengal. It forms one of the largest river basins in India. With a length of 1465 km, it is the second longest river in India, after the Ganges. It originates near Trimbak in Nashik District of Maharashtra state. It flows east across the Deccan Plateau into the Bay of Bengal near Yanam and Antarvedi in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.[4]

The Godavari is a major waterway in central India, originating in the Western Ghats Trimbakeshwar, in the Nashik Subdivision or District Of Maharashtra and flowing eastward across the Deccan Plateau through the state of Maharashtra. It is known as dakshin ganga (Southern Ganges) because it originates from the river Ganga (underground water) near Trimbak in Nashik. It enters Andhra Pradesh at Basar in Adilabad district. While passing through Andhra Pradesh it touches Dharmapuri a small village where pilgrims visit ancient Hindu temples and bathe in the river. It crosses the Deccan Plateau and then turns southeast until it splits into two watercourses that empty into the Bay of Bengal.[5] Basara, on the banks of Godavari in Adilabad District, is known for its temple to the Goddess Saraswati and is the second temple for the Goddess in India.

Rajahmundry, is the second largest city (after Nashik) on the banks of Godavari. At Rajahmundry, the river Godavari at its widest at approximately 5 km from Rajahmundry to the other bank at Kovvur.

The Sri Ram Sagar Project which was constructed on this river (1964–69) serves the irrigation needs of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Warangal districts.

Although the river arises only 80 kilometres from the Arabian Sea, it flows 1,465 km to empty into the Bay of Bengal. Just above Rajamundry, there is a dam that provides water for irrigation. Below Rajahmundry, the river divides into two streams that widen into a large river delta which has an extensive navigable irrigation-canal system, Dowleswaram Barrage that links the region to the Krishna River delta to the southwest.[6]

The Godavari River has a drainage area of 312,812 km². Furthermore, the drainage ares covers nearly one-tenth of the area of India and is greater than the areas of England and Ireland put together. The major tributaries of the river such as Purna (South), Pravara, Indravati, Manjira River, Bindusara River, Sabari RiverWainganga, and Wardha discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system.[7]

Major towns and cities along Godavari[edit]

Statue of Mother Godavari at Rajahmundry Railway station

In State of Maharashtra:

  • Nashik (Famous holy city and Kumbhamela site)
  • Trimbakeshwar (10th Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva)
  • Kopargaon
  • Puntamba - A place of pilgrimage with a number of ancient temples including the last resting place (Samadhi) of Sant Changdev
    Dried up Godavari as seen from the Changdeo temple
    in Puntamba.
  • Paithan (Ancient capital of Satvahan dynasty, Holy town)
  • Gangakhed
  • Nanded (Famous for Sachkhand Gurudwara)
  • Sironcha (Town situated near the confluence of Godavari and Pranahita rivers)

In Andhra Pradesh:

In Puducherry:

Godavari Image Gallery[edit]

Dams and bridges along the river[edit]

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 northern Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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

Significance[edit]

Religious significance[edit]

The River is sacred to Hindus and has several pilgrimage centers on its banks. It has been held as a special place of pilgrimage for many thousands of years. Many famous personalities, including Baladeva (5000 years ago) and more recently Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (500 years ago) have bathed in her waters as an act of worship. Every twelve years, Pushkaram fair is held on its banks of the river. Scores of people have a holy dip in the sacred waters of the river to purify themselves of all their sins.

Legend has it that Sage Gautama lived on 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 Durbha grass, it fell dead. The Rishi wanted to relieve himself of the sin of ‘Gohatya’. He worshipped Lord Shiva and requested him to bring the Ganga to purify his hermitage. Lord Shiva pleased with the Rishi appeared as Triambaka and brought along the river Ganga. Since the Ganga was brought down to Triambakeshwar by Sage Gautama, it is known here as Gautami. It is also known because the river helped Sage Gautama to relieve his sins.

Ecological significance[edit]

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[edit]

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

Places of interest[edit]

Like any other major rivers in India, the banks of this river also have many pilgrimage sites.

  • Basar (originally, Vyasara) - Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari, in Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh. 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, and thus the place came to be known as Vyasara.
  • Bhadrachalam - Hindu Temple of Lord Rama.
  • Dharmapuri, Andhra Pradesh - 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. (border of Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra). 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 - Centre for Telugu Literature. A town that symbolises Telugu Culture. It is the native of Aadikavi Nannaya, one of the writers of kavitrayam. Famous for the Godavari Pushkaralu - an event that happens once in every 12 years, celebrated with pomp and glory and attended by lakhs of people from all round the world. A bath in Godavari during the pushkaram period is said to be equivalent to bathing in the holy River Ganges.
  • Trimbakeshwar - One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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". rainwaterharvesting.org. 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[edit]