Himalayan Rivers vs Peninsular Rivers: Difference and Comparison

Rivers play a very important role in India. They are the chief source of irrigation, the source for drinking purposes as well as providing fertile soil.


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Below is the comparison between Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers, which helps in better understanding their characteristics and facts.

Key Takeaways

  1. Himalayan rivers originate from the Himalayas and flow through the northern plains. In contrast, Peninsular rivers originate from the Western Ghats and flow through the Deccan Plateau and into the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea.
  2. Himalayan rivers have a higher water discharge and are snow-fed, while Peninsular rivers have a lower water discharge and are rain-fed.
  3. Himalayan rivers are seasonal, with peak flows during the monsoon season, while Peninsular rivers are perennial.

Himalayan Rivers vs Peninsular Rivers

Himalayan rivers originate from the Himalayan Mountain range, which spans across the northern part of India and possesses a higher volume of water flow than peninsular rivers. Peninsular rivers have their origin in the Deccan plateau, in southern India, and have a relatively lower water flow.

Himalayan Rivers vs Peninsular Rivers

Himalayan rivers are the ones that arise from the northern Himalayan ranges. Their origin is in the northern region of India.

Peninsular rivers are the ones that arise from the Peninsular Plateau region. Most of them flow from west to east. Their origin is in the plateau region of India.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHimalayan RiversPeninsular Rivers  
SourceThey are snow-fed rivers formed by melting glaciers of the Himalayan mountain rangeThey are rain-fed rivers. The central highland and also peninsular plateau
Delta formationThey form fertile deltasThey mostly form estuaries which are comparatively less fertile
Nature of riversThey are perennial rivers since they are formed by melting glaciersThey are non- perennial rivers, also known as seasonal rivers.  They do dry up during certain parts of the year since rain is the main source
ValleysThese rivers generally flow through deep and V-shaped valleysThese rivers generally flow through comparatively shallow and U-shaped valleys
DrainageFall under the category of antecedent drainage type. It forms a dendritic drainage pattern due to its flowing motion from the mountains.Falls under the category of consequent drainage type. Generally forms radial drainage patterns due to their downward flow in all directions

What are Himalayan Rivers?

The three main rivers of the Himalayan river system are the Ganga, the Brahmaputra, and the Indus. Due to the high rate of snow melting, the Himalayan Rivers get flooded every year.

These rivers generally have large basins and also large catchment areas and carry huge amounts of water and silt. The deltas formed are very fertile due to the silt it carries down from mountains.

They have long and deep courses. They are considered as the young rivers. The peninsular rivers are comparatively shorter and shallower in course.

himalayan rivers

What are  Peninsular Rivers?

The main Peninsular rivers are Godavari, Kaveri, Tapi, Mahanadi, Krishna, and Tapi. The Godavari is the largest peninsular river in India.

They have comparatively smaller basins and catchment areas. They flow towards the Bay of Bengal and are considered old rivers.

They lack alluvial deposits due to the area through which they flow and hence the deltas are not much fertile.

It forms valleys that are U-shaped and shallow.

peninsular rivers

Main Differences Between Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers

These two types of rivers have different origins. The source for the Himalayan Rivers is the Himalayan Mountain Range in the north.

  1. Talking about basins, the Himalayan Rivers comprise large basins and catchment areas. The Peninsular Rivers do have basins but are comparatively smaller than the Himalayan Rivers.
  2. The three most important rivers under the Himalayan Rivers are Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Indus.
Difference Between Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009254118300846
  2. https://www.fisheriesjournal.com/archives/2016/vol4issue5/PartH/4-5-61-894.pdf

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