Godavari River

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the river in India. For other uses, see Godavari (disambiguation).
Dakshina Ganga
Godavari satellite view.jpg
The Mouth of the Godavari river (East) emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
Country India
States Maharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry (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 19°55′48″N 73°31′39″E / 19.93000°N 73.52750°E / 19.93000; 73.52750
 - 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; 81.800Coordinates: 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)
 - 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 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, only the Ganges and Yamuna rivers have more catchment area than it, and its catchment area is the largest of peninsular India.[4]


The Godavari originates 80 kilometres (50 mi) from the Arabian Sea in the Western Ghats of central India near Nasik 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 Coverage 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]

After crossing Rajahmundry, the Godavari splits into two distributary branches which are called Vriddha Gautami (Gautami Godavari) and Vasishta Godavari. Again the branch Gautami splits into two branches namely Gautami and Nilarevu. Similarly the Vasishta splits into two branches named Vasishta and Vainateya. These four distributary mouths which join the Bay of Bengal at different places form a delta of length 170 km along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. This delta along with the delta of the Krishna River is called the Rice Granary of South India. [8]


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 the banks of the river.

A legend has it that the Sage Gautama lived in the Brahmagiri Hills at Trayambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The couple lived the rest of their lives in the then village "Govuru" which is now called "Kovvur"[Cow = ఆవు/గోవు] after the British rule. Ahalya lived in a nearby place "Thagami" which in due course of time changed to the name "Thogummi" .The Rishi as a reason for Annadanam(The nature of giving away food), started cultivating rice crops and other crops. Once, a holy cow(maaya-dhenu) created by Lord Ganesh on the wish of munis, which resembled a normal cow entered his abode and started spoiling the rice while he was meditating. Knowing that a cow shall not be treated harshly, he put the dharbha grass on the cow and to his surprise it fell dead. The munis and muni-patnis said “we thought that Gautama maharshi is an Uttama, but he did Go-hatya!”. The Rishi wished to atone for the sin of ‘Gohathya’ - killing a sacred cow. He went to Nashik and did Tapas to Lord Tryambakeshwar(Lord Shiva) on the advice of the other rishis. The rishi requests the lord to release him from the sin by making the River Ganges flow over the cow. Lord Shiva was pleased with the Rishi and diverted the river Ganges to flow over the cow where it died which is in "Govuru". The River Godavari is thus born in Nashik and flowing past the village Kovvur and merge with the Bay of Bengal at last.

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).[9]

Other significance[edit]

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

Settlements along the Godavari[edit]

Statue of Mother Godavari at Rajahmundry Railway station

In Maharashtra:

In Telangana:

In Andhra Pradesh:

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

Places of interest[edit]

Sites of pligramage include:

  • Antarvedi, East Godavari(Antarvedi is famous for the Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries. There is also a temple of Lord Siva that is older than Narasimha Swamy temple. The temple's idol of Lord Siva was installed by Lord Srirama.
  • 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 scenario, 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 - 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.
  • Kovvur - A village where cows resided and a place where the maaya-dhenu fell dead. Foot prints of the maaya-dhenu were seen even today in the famous place Kovvur called "Goshpadakshetram" also called "Gopadala Revu" where the foot prints of the holy cow are seen near the temple of Lord Shiva. Also a village which is the reason for the birth of river Godavari. Famous for a Sanskrit school which has been built 63 years back.
  • 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]


  1. ^ Godāvari River at GEOnet Names Server
  2. ^ Kumar, Rakesh; Singh, R.D.; Sharma, K.D. (2005-09-10). "Water Resources of India" (PDF). Current Science (Bengaluru: 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. ^ Kakani Nageswara Rao, et al.; Holocene environmental changes of the Godavari Delta, east coast of India, inferred from sediment core analyses and AMS 14C dating, Geomorphology, 175-176 (2012) pp.163–175
  9. ^ Venkateshwarlu, K. (2012-05-03). "Godavari". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 

External links[edit]