[UPSC] Himalayan Rivers of India, All Details & Top MCQs

In this section, you will read about Himalayan rivers of India. At the end, you will also get to solve some top MCQs on the topic.

Himalayan Rivers of India | Himalayan Drainage System

The rivers originating from the Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan regions consist of three river systems, namely:
(i) the Indus System,
(ii) the Ganga System, and
(iii) the Brahmaputra System.

Features of Himalayan Rivers

  1. They are perennial rivers fed by both – Melting of Glaciers & Precipitation.
  2. They pass through giant gorges and form V shaped valleys, rapids & water falls.
  3. They lead to the formation of depositional features like flat valleys, oxbow lakes, flood plains and braided channels.
  4. They show meandering in plains.

The Indus System

Indus, also known as Sindhu, is the westernmost of the Himalayan rivers in India.

It originates in Kailash mountain range in Tibet from a glacier near Bokar Chu.

It is known as ‘Singi Khamban; or Lion’s mouth in Tibet.

After flowing in the northwest direction between the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, it passes through Ladakh and Baltistan.

The river passes only through the Leh district in India and it receives Panjnad near Mithankot.

Some of its famous tributaries are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Satluj. They are discussed below.

1. Jhelum

It originates from a spring In Verinag which is situated in the foothills of PirPanjal.

It is also known as Vitasta and Hydaspes. Srinagar city is situated on its banks.

2. Chenab

It is formed by two head streams called Chandra & Bhaga, and is therefore also known as ChandraBhaga.

It is the largest tributary of Indus river and flows for about 1180km before entering Pakistan.

It is famous for power projects like Baglihar, Dulhasti and Salal power projects.

3. Ravi

It is also known as Iravati and rises west of the Rohtang pass in Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh.

4. Beas

It originate from the Beas Kund near the Rohtang Pass.

It meets the Satluj river near Harike in Punjab Plains.

5. Satluj

It is known as Langchen Khambam and originates from Rakas lake near Mansarovar in Tibet.

It flows almost parallel to the Indus for about 400 km before entering India, and comes out of a gorge at Rupar.

It flows through Shipki La pass and is an antecedent river.

Bhakra Nangal dam is fed by this river.

The Ganga System

It is formed by two head streams called Bhagirathi and Alaknanda, which meet at Devaprayag.

It rises in the Gangotri glacier near Gaumukh and has a total length of 2525 m.

Ganga flows through Uttarakhand (110 km) and Uttar Pradesh (1,450 km), Bihar (445 km) and West Bengal (520 km), before draining into Bay of Bengal near Sagar Island.

Bhagirathi and Hugli are its two important distributaries.

Its tributaries include Gandhak, Ghagra, Kosi, Ram Ganga, Damodhar, Son and Yamuna. They are discussed below.

1. Gandhak

It originates in Nepal Himalayas and joins Ganga at Sonpur near Patna.

It has two headstreams called Kali Gandhak & Trishul Ganga.

2. Ghagra

It originates from the glaciers of Mapchachungo and its important tributaries are Tila, Seti and Beri.

Ghagra meets Ganga at Chhapra and before that it is joined by Kali river.

3. Kosi

It originates in Tibet and is an antecedent river.

It is joined by the Son Kosi from the West and the Tamur Kosi from the east and It forms Sapta Kosi after uniting with the river Arun.

4. Ram Ganga

It originates in Garhwal hills and joins Ganga near Kannauj.

5. Damodar

It was once known as “sorrow of Bihar”, as it used to cause devastating floods in Bihar.

It rises in the Palamu hills of Chota Nagpur Plateau and flows through Jharkhand and West Bengal befor joining Hugli.

Barakar river is its main tributary.

It is also known as Damuda.

6. Son

It is a perennial river that flows through Central India.

It originates near Amarkantak Hill and is the 2nd-largest southern (right bank) tributary of Ganga after the Yamuna River.

It is also knows as Sone river and flows through Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

It joins Gamga near Arrah, west of Patna in Bihar.

7. Yamuna

It originates from Yamunotri Glacier (in Banderpunch Range of Lower Himalayas) and is the western most and the longest tributary of Ganga.

It joins Ganga at Prayagraj (earlier Allahabad) after flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.

Chambal, Sindh, Betwa and Ken are its important tributaries.

8. Chambal River

It originates near Mhow from Singar Chouri peak in the Malwa plateau of Madhya Pradesh.

It is a tributary of Yamuna, which itself is a tributary of Ganga. It meets Yamuna in Etawah district.

It is a rain fed river and Banas, Kali Sindh, Parbati are its important tributaries.

Gandhi Sagar Dam, Rana Pratap Sagar Dam, Jawahar Sagar Dam, and Kota Barrage are important dams on it.

Chambal is famous for badland topography called “the ravines of Chambal”.

The Brahmaputra System

The length of Brahmaputra river is about 2900 km and it is among the top 10 longest rivers of the world. In India it flows for 916 km.

It originates from the Chemayungdung glacier of the Kailash range near the Mansarovar lake.

It flows eastward through Tibet where it is called Tsangpo (meaning Purifier). In Tibet, it has a famous tributary called Rango Tsangpo.

It creates a deep gorge in central Himalayas near Namcha Barwa, and then enters India west of Sadiya town in Arunachal Pradesh. In Arunachal Pradesh, it is known as Siang or Dihang.

In Bangladesh, the Tista joins it on its right bank from where the river is known as the Jamuna.

It finally merges with the river Padma, which falls in the Bay of Bengal.

Its left bank tributaries are Siang, Dibang, Lohit, Dhansiri and Kopili.

Its right bank tributaries are Subansiri, Kameng, Manas, Sankosh, Raidak and Tista.

Indian Geography MCQs On Himalayan Rivers

This is a set of important MCQs On Himalayan Rivers of India. Solve these Best MCQs On Indian Rivers (Himalayan) to check and enhance your level of preparation for competitive exams.

This website provides you chapter wise and Topic wise Indian geography MCQs, Indian polity MCQs, Indian History MCQs for your UPSC, SSC preparation.

Which of the following is not the right bank tributary of Brahamputra?

  1. Subansiri
  2. Manas
  3. Tista
  4. Kalang


Which of the following rivers of India are the International rivers?

  1. Indus
  2. Ganga
  3. Brahamputra
  4. Godavari
  1. all of them
  2. only 1,2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 3
  4. only 1,3 and 4

Only 1, 2 and 3

Where does the Brahamputra pierce the Greater Himalyas?

  1. near Namcha Barwa
  2. near Chotanagpur plateau
  3. near Amarkantak plateau
  4. near Jalpaiguri

near Namcha Barwa

Which one of the following is true about the river Barak?

  1. It is called Surma in Bangladesh
  2. Barak and Padma together form Meghna
  1. Both of them
  2. None of them
  3. Only 1
  4. Only 2

Both of them

Which of the following is/are correct?

  1. Mazuli island is in Godavari river.
  2. Mazuli Island is the largest riverine island of India
  3. Mazuli island is a district.
  1. all of them
  2. only 2 and 3
  3. only 2
  4. only 1 and 3

Only 2 and 3. It is in River Brahamputra

The depth of Indus Gorge is?  (it is a deep gorge cut by Indus near Nanga Parbat)

  1. 4500m-5200m
  2. 8000m-8300m
  3. 7200m
  4. 3100m


Shyok, a tributary of Indus, originates from?

  1. Siachen glacier
  2. Baltaro glacier
  3. Bokar chu glacier
  4. Hisparo glacier

Siachen Glacier

What is the name of River Indus in Tibet?

  1. Singhi Khamban
  2. Yarlang tsangpo
  3. Tsangpo
  4. Langechen Khamban

Singhi Khamban

On which of the following tributaries of River Indus, was the Battle of Hydaspes fought?

  1. Jehlum
  2. Chenab
  3. Ravi
  4. Satluj


Among the tributaries of the Indus, which one is the main river of Kashmir Valley?

  1. Jehlum
  2. Satluj
  3. Chenab
  4. Ravi


Coming from north to south, what is the proper arrangement of the given tributaries of Indus river?

  1. Jehlum, Chenab, Ravi, Satluj
  2. Jehlum, Chenab, Satluj, Ravi
  3. Jehlum, Satluj, Ravi, Chenab
  4. Chenab, Jehlum, Ravi, Satluj

Jehlum, Chenab, Ravi, Satluj

From which of the following glaciers does the River Indus originate?

  1. Bokar Chu glacier
  2. Baltaro Glacier
  3. Hisparo Glacier
  4. Biafo Glacier

Bokar Chu glacier

Where does the river Indus originate?

  1. Mt Kailash
  2. Mt Rakaposhi
  3. Mt Abu
  4. Mt Everest

Mt Kailash

Consider the following statements about the Himalayan rivers and answer which one among them is/are true?

  1. most of them originate on the northern slopes of the Tibetan Highlands.
  2. they display a strong meandering tendency in plains.
  1. both of them
  2. none of them
  3. only 1
  4. only 2

Only 2

Which of the following is true about Himalayan Rivers?

  1. they are in their youthful stage.
  2. most of them are antecedent rivers.
  1. both of them
  2. none of them
  3. only 1
  4. only 2

Both of them

Which of the following is/are antecedent rivers?

  1. Indus
  2. Satluj
  3. Ganga
  4. Teesta
  1. all of them
  2. only 1,2 and 3
  3. only 2,3 and 4
  4. only 1 and 2

All of them

What is Brahmaputra in Tibet known as ?

  1. Tsangpo
  2. Singee khambam
  3. Langechen khambam
  4. none


Which is the last north bank tributary of Ganga?

  1. Mahananda river
  2. Ken river
  3. Kosi river
  4. Son river

Mahananda River

Which of the following rivers is known as “Sorrow of Bihar”?

  1. Kosi
  2. Gandak
  3. Teesta
  4. Damodar


Which of the following is true?

  1. Karnali river originates from Gurla Mandhata peak.
  2. River Kosi is an antecedent river.
  3. Majuli is the largest riverine island in Asia.
  1. all of them
  2. only 2
  3. only 2 and 3
  4. only 1 and 2

All of them

Which of the following is true about Chambal river?

  1. it has led to badland topography in Chambal area.
  2. Gandhi sagar and Jawahar sagar are located across it.
  1. Both of them
  2. None of them
  3. Only 1
  4. Only 2

both of them

Which of the following is not a tributary of Yamuna?

  1. Chambal
  2. Sind
  3. Betwa
  4. Kaldan


Which is the western most tributary of Ganga?

  1. Yamuna
  2. Chambal
  3. Sind
  4. RamGanga


Where does Ganga debouch into plains?

  1. At Haridwar
  2. At Devprayag
  3. At Praygraj
  4. At Malda

At Haridwar

Where does Bhagirathi meet Alaknanda?

  1. Devprayag
  2. RudraPrayag
  3. Prayagraj
  4. None


Ganga originates in the form of two head streams known as:

  1. Chandra and Bhaga
  2. Bhagirathi and Alaknanda
  3. Bhagirathi and Hugli
  4. Bhaga and Bhagirathi

Bhagirathi and Alaknanda

River Sutlej enters India through?

  1. Shipki la pass
  2. Bara lacha la pass
  3. Khardungla pass
  4. Rohtang pass

Shipki la pass

The name of Sutlej in Tibet is?

  1. Singhi Khamban
  2. Yarlang Tsangpo
  3. Tsangpo
  4. Langechen Khambeb

Langechen Khambeb

Which of the following tributaries of Indus originates in Tibet?

  1. Jehlum
  2. Chenab
  3. Ravi
  4. Satluj


Which of the following is true about Chenab river?

  1. it originates in the form of two head streams, Chandra and Bhaga
  2. it originates from Siachen Glacier
  1. Both of them
  2. None of them
  3. Only 1
  4. Only 2

only 1

These were some important MCQs on Himalayan Rivers of India for competitive exams. We are sure that you will find these MCQs on Indian Rivers useful and hope that you will share them with your friends.

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