12 Difference Between Himalayan And Peninsular Rivers (With Comparison Chart)

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Himalayan Rivers

The Himalayan region is known as the water tower of Asia. The four main Himalayan Rivers are the Indus, the Ganga, Barak and the Brahmaputra.  These rivers are long and are joined by many tributaries from the Himalayan region especially from Bhutan and Nepal.

The major Himalayan Rivers rise north of the mountain ranges and flow through deep gorges that generally reflect some geologic structural control such as a fault line. The rivers of the Indus system as a rule follow northwesterly courses whereas those of the Ganges-Brahmaputra systems generally take easterly courses while flowing through the mountain region.

Features Of Himalayan Rivers

  • Himalayan rivers originate from the Himalayan mountain ranges.
  • The Himalayan Rivers show the distinct structures on plains such as Oxbow lakes, meanders, multiple layers of alluvium e.t.c.
  • These rivers are seasonal in nature as they receive water only from the monsoon rain.
  • These rivers are generally described as antecedent rivers because they maintain their original course and pattern in spite of the changes in the rock topology.
  • Himalayan rivers are well-suited for Navigation as they flow over plain areas.  
  • Presence of water in the Himalayan Rivers is throughout the year because their source of water for these rivers is rain as well as mountains.
  • Most of the Himalayan Rivers flow towards the west.
  • Basin or catchment area of Himalayan Rivers is extensive and spread over thousands of kilometers.
  • Himalayan rivers have larger floodplains.
  • Himalayan rivers form V-shaped valleys.
  • The mouth of Himalayan Rivers form big deltas.
  • The bedrocks of these rivers are soft, sedimentary and easily erodible.
  • They are longer and larger than the peninsular rivers.
  • The Himalayan Rivers form deltas due to the nature of the deposition of sediments. These deltas are fertile and support large scale agriculture.

Peninsular Rivers

The Western Ghats which runs from north to south close to the western coast forms the main water divide between the major Peninsular Rivers, discharging their water in the Bay of Bengal and small rivulets joining the Arabian sea. The major rivers of the Peninsular which flow from west to east into the Bay of Bengal include the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri. Due to gradient of the land Narmada and the Tapi are the only river which flow in the opposite direction (west). Peninsular rivers are characterized by fixed course, absence of meanders and non-perenial flow of water. These rivers receive water both from the monsoons and snow-melt. The perennial nature of these rivers makes them useful for irrigation.

Features Of Peninsular Rivers

  • Peninsular rivers originate from the peninsular plateaus in India.
  • Peninsular rivers do not show structures such as meanders as their sediments carrying and depositing capacity is very low.
  • These rivers are perennial in nature and receive water both from the monsoon and the melting of the snow.
  • They are consequent rivers i.e they flow in the direction of the slope.
  • Peninsular Rivers are not suitable for navigation as they flow over uneven land in plateau areas.
  • These rivers have small basins and catchment areas.  
  • Most of the peninsular rivers flow towards the east (Narmada and Tapti).
  • The source of peninsular rivers is only rain and therefore they do not flow for the whole year. Even the large peninsular rivers which cause floods during rains, dry up during winters.
  • The basin or catchment area of peninsular rivers is comparatively lesser.  
  • Peninsular rivers have smaller floodplains.
  • Peninsular rivers form wide U-shaped valleys.
  • Some peninsular rivers form small rivers whereas others form estuaries.
  • The bedrocks of these rivers are hard and not easily erodible.  
  • They are comparatively smaller and shorter than Himalayan Rivers.
  • The peninsular rivers show both deltas as well as estuaries. The west-flowing peninsular rivers mostly form estuary whereas east-flowing rivers form deltas.

Also Read: Difference Between Block And Granular Disintegration

Difference Between Himalayan And Peninsular Rivers In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON HIMALAYAN RIVERS PENINSULAR RIVERS
Origin Himalayan rivers originate from the Himalayan mountain ranges. Peninsular rivers originate from the peninsular plateaus in India.  
Description These rivers are generally described as antecedent rivers because they maintain their original course and pattern in spite of the changes in the rock topology. They are consequent rivers i.e they flow in the direction of the slope.  
Nature These rivers are seasonal in nature as they receive water only from the monsoon rain.   These rivers are perennial in nature and receive water both from the monsoon and the melting of the snow.  
Structures The Himalayan Rivers show the distinct structures on plains such as Oxbow lakes, meanders, multiple layers of alluvium e.t.c.   Peninsular rivers do not show structures such as meanders as their sediments carrying and depositing capacity is very low.  
Suitability For Navigation Himalayan rivers are well-suited for Navigation as they flow over plain areas.    Peninsular Rivers are not suitable for navigation as they flow over uneven land in plateau areas.  
Basins And Catchment Areas Himalayan Rivers have large basins and catchment areas. These rivers have small basins and catchment areas. 
Direction Of Flow Most of the Himalayan Rivers flow towards the west. Most of the peninsular rivers flow towards the east (Narmada and Tapti).  
Source of Water Presence of water in the Himalayan Rivers is throughout the year because their source of water for these rivers is rain as well as mountains.   The source of peninsular rivers is only rain and therefore they do not flow for the whole year. Even the large peninsular rivers which cause floods during rains, dry up during winters.  
Floodplains Himalayan rivers have larger floodplains. Peninsular rivers have smaller floodplains.
Valleys Himalayan rivers form V-shaped valleys. Peninsular rivers form wide U-shaped valleys.
Bedrocks The bedrocks of these rivers are soft, sedimentary and easily erodible. The bedrocks of these rivers are hard and not easily erodible.   
Length They are longer and larger than the peninsular rivers. They are comparatively smaller and shorter than Himalayan Rivers.
Deltas The Himalayan Rivers form deltas due to the nature of the deposition of sediments. These deltas are fertile and support large scale agriculture.   The peninsular rivers show both deltas as well as estuaries. The west-flowing peninsular rivers mostly form estuary whereas east-flowing rivers form deltas.