The Indian river have been classified into two major drainage systems.

Himalayan River System

  1. They are Perennial rivers originating from glaciers.
  2. Rivers form valleys by the process of erosion.
  3. The rivers are ideal for irrigation purposes as they pass through plain fertile tracts.
  4. These rivers have meandering courses which shift over time.

Most of the Himalayan Rivers are perennial. This means they have water throughout the year. This is because most of these rivers originate from the glaciers and snowy peaks. They also receive water from the rainfall. The main river system in this category are:

  1. The Indus River System - Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and Satluj
  2. The Ganga Rivers System - Yamuna, Ramganga, Ghaghara, Gomti, Gandak and Kosi
  3. The Brahmaputra River System Dibang, Lohit, Tista and Meghna

Peninsular Drainage System

Most of the Peninsular rivers flow eastwards and enters into Bay of Bengal. Only Narmada and Tapi rivers flow westwards of the Western Ghats. They are good for generating hydro power because these rivers form rapids and water falls. The major peninsular rivers are Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri.