Godavari River

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This article is about the river in India. For other uses, see Godavari (disambiguation).
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, Telangana, 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 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]

etymology[edit]

The Godavari is said to be a corruption of gaudavati or Godavadi both of which also are place names. The suffix vati also appears in other river names like Drishadvati and Sarasvati.

Course[edit]

The Godavari originates just 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 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 early 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 RiverWainganga, and Wardha.[7]

Settlements along the Godavari[edit]

Statue of Mother Godavari at Rajahmundry Railway station

In Maharashtra:

In Telangana:

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 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[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]

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, 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 Telangana 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 - 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[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]