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Mahananda River

Coordinates: 24°29′24″N 88°18′14″E / 24.49000°N 88.30389°E / 24.49000; 88.30389
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Mahananda River
People collecting stone at Mahananda River in Tetulia, Panchagarh District, Bangladesh with Kangchenjunga in the background
CountriesIndia and Bangladesh
StatesWest Bengal (India)
Bihar (India)
DivisionsRangpur (Bangladesh)
Rajshahi (Bangladesh)
DistrictsDarjeeling (India), Jalpaiguri (India)
Uttar Dinajpur (India)
Kishanganj (India)
Purnia (India)
Katihar (India)
Malda (India)
Panchagarh (Bangladesh)
Nawabganj (Bangladesh)
CitiesKurseong (India)
Siliguri (India)
English Bazar(India)
Godagiri (Bangladesh)
Physical characteristics
SourcePaglajhora Falls, Darjeeling hills in the Himalayas
 • location
Godagiri, Nawabganj District, Bangladesh
 • coordinates
24°29′24″N 88°18′14″E / 24.49000°N 88.30389°E / 24.49000; 88.30389
Length360 km (220 mi)
Basin size20,600 km2 (8,000 sq mi)
Basin features
 • leftTangon River, Nagar River (Rangpur)
 • rightMechi River, Kankai River, Balason River, Kalindi River

The Mahananda (/məˌhɑːˈnʌndə, ˌmɑːhə-/ mə-HAH-NUN-də, MAH-hə-) is a trans-boundary river that flows through the Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal before crossing into Bangladesh. It is an important tributary of the Ganges.


Mahananda river, view from captain mohiudding jahangir (bir shreshtha) bridge at Nawabganj district

The Mahananda river system consists of two streams- one is locally known as Fulahar river and the other Mahananda.[1] The Fulahar originates in the Himalayas in Nepal and traverses through the Indian state of Bihar and merges with the Ganges in left opposite to Rajmahal.[2] The Mahananda originates in the Himalayas: Paglajhora Falls on Mahaldiram Hill near Chimli, east of Kurseong in Darjeeling district at an elevation of 2,100 metres (6,900 ft).[3][4][5] It flows through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and descends to the plains near Siliguri. It touches Jalpaiguri district.[4][6]

It enters Bangladesh near Tentulia in Panchagarh District, flows for 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) after Tentulia and returns to India.[7] After flowing through Uttar Dinajpur district in West Bengal and Kishanganj, Purnia and Katihar districts in Bihar, it enters Malda district in West Bengal.[8][9] The Mahananda divides the district into two regions — the eastern region, consisting mainly of old alluvial and relatively infertile soil is commonly known as Barind (Barendrabhumi), and the western region, which is further subdivided by the river Kalindri into two areas, the northern area is known as "Tal". It is low-lying and vulnerable to inundation during rainy season; the southern area consists of very fertile land and is thickly populated, being commonly known as "Diara".[10]

It joins the Ganges at Godagiri in Nawabganj district in Bangladesh.[3]

Basin data[edit]

The total length of the Mahananda is 360 kilometres (220 mi),[11] out of which 324 kilometres (201 mi) are in India and 36 kilometres (22 mi) are in Bangladesh.

The total drainage area of the Mahananda is 20,600 square kilometres (8,000 sq mi) out of which 11,530 square kilometres (4,450 sq mi) are in India.[3]


The main tributaries of the Mahananda are Balason, Mechi, Kankai[3] and River Kalindri. At the East of the confluence of the Kalindri and the Mahananda lies the Old Malda town. In the Siliguri area it has three tributaries called the Trinai, Ranochondi and the pair of Chokor and Dauk taken as a single tributary.[4]


  1. ^ Momin, Hassan; Biswas, Rubia; Tamang, Chandrakala (1 February 2022). "Morphological analysis and channel shifting of the Fulahar river in Malda district, West Bengal, India using remote sensing and GIS techniques". GeoJournal. 87 (1): 197–213. doi:10.1007/s10708-020-10248-7. ISSN 1572-9893.
  2. ^ "Mahananda Basin". Archived from the original on 14 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Sharad K. Jain; Pushpendra K. Agarwal; Vijay P. Singh (2007). Hydrology and Water Resources of India. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 360. ISBN 978-1-4020-5180-7.
  4. ^ a b c "Rivers in Siliguri". Mahananda River. Siliguri on line. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Rivers". Darjeeling News.Net. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary". nature beyond. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  7. ^ "News from Bangladesh". Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Uttar Dinajpur district". Uttar Dinajpur district administration. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Kishanganj district". Kishanganj district administration. Archived from the original on 8 April 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Malda district". Malda district administration. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Mahananda River". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 14 May 2010.

External links[edit]