Rivers of Chhattisgarh adorn the Indian state and shapes the affluence of the region. The rivers of Chhattisgarh are of much significance to the state from a stand point of economic, social, political and religious views. Chhattisgarh, situated amidst lush green hills and plateaus, is interspersed with several rivers that flow through the state. Due to the presence of natural drainage systems, Chhattisgarh is blessed abundantly with prolific and fertile plains.

There is a huge demand for water required for irrigation and cultivation. Most of the major towns and cities of the state have emerged on the banks of the rivers. Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, is situated on the banks of Kole River. Moreover, Maniyari River flows through Taalagaon, Jagdalpur is placed on the river banks of Indravati Riverand Bilaspur is located near river Arpa.

Numerous religious and pilgrimage destinations have also emerged near these rivers. Danteshwari temple in Dantewada is located on the confluence of two rivers, namely Dankini and Shankini Rivers. Moreover, Rajim is situated on the confluence of the rivers Sondhul, Mahanadi and Pairi. The Rivers of Chhattisgarh have become a major tourist attraction in the state due to the various beautiful waterfalls and stunning rapids in the rivers.

The most significant rivers of Chhattisgarh are Narmada River, Mahanadi, Godavari RiverIndravati and few more. The state is manly drained by these rivers and their tributaries, distributaries and streams. The Mahanadi River basin, which is segregated by the Chota Nagpur Plateau and the Satpura Range, is considered as the central portion of the state. Northern region of the state includes the Indo-Gangetic Plain where as the southern part comprises of the Godavari river and tributaries.

The State is divided in to five river basins. Mahanadi Basin drains out 75,858.45 Sq km, Godavari Basin drains out 38,694.02 Sq km, Ganga Basin drains out 18,406.65 Sq km, Brahmani Basin drains out 1,394.55 Sq km and Narmada Basin drains out 743.88 Sq km of catchment area in the state.



  1. Mahanadi Basin

River Mahanadi, draining the vast central region of Chhattisgarh state, forms the most important and biggest water body of the state. This river system collects almost all the rainwater of the basin and carries it to the Bay of Bengal. The volume of water varies considerably between the rainy and the dry season. The Mahanadi, after collecting a number of streams in the Kanker tehsil, flows towards the north traversing Raipur district in a northeast direction for about 204 kms, until it is met from the west by its biggest tributary, the Seonath.

The portion of Mahanadi Basin located in Chhattisgarh is divided further into a few more basins. The Chhattisgarh Basin lies in the central districts, in the north are the Raigarh basin, HasdoRampur basin and the Korba, and in the south is the Kanker basin. The Chhattisgarh Basin, formed by the Mahanadi and its main tributary Seonath, drains the central districts of Rajnandgaon, Durg, Raipur and southern Bilaspur, and is the most extensive and agriculturally rich region in the state.

It is referred to as the `rice bowl’ of the country and supports a large chunk of the population of the state. Paradoxically, this is also the area of greatest drought related distress. Most of the tributaries of Mahanadi join in from the western and northern side. The major ones among these are Maini, Kelo, Mand, Baroi and Hasdo


Seonath Sub Basin(Shivnath river)

Shivnath river originates from Panabaras hill 624 m above from sea level in AmbagarhChowki division of Rajnandgaon District of chattisgarh.

Shivnath River is the biggest tributary of Mahanadi river, which it joins in Khargahni in Bilaspur district in Chhattisgarh, India. It has a total course of 290 km. Shivnath could also mean a lord shiva for the Hindu religion .

Hasdeo Sub Basin

Hasdeo River, a major tributary of the Mahanadi, is one of the important rivers of Chhattisgarh. It flows towards south of the state,through KoriyaBilaspur and Korba Districts. During its course, this river merges with its tributaries such as Gej and the Chornai on the left bank and the Tan and the Ahiran on the right before it meets the Mahanadi .Hasdeo has a total length of 245 km and has its origin in Mendra village. Other tributaries of Hasdeo include Jhumka and Bania. Along the river lie rocks and hilly areas, thin forest areas and important settlements such as Sonhat, Ghugra, Manendragarh, Kosgain, Korba and Champa.



Mand Sub Basin

The Mand River is a tributary of the Mahanadi in India. It joins the Mahanadi in Chandrapur, in Maharashtra, 28 km from the Odisha border and before the river reaches the Hirakud Dam.

The river, whose total length is 241 km, rises to an elevation of about 686 m in Surguja district in Chhattisgarh. It receives the drainage of the southern part of the Mainpat Plateau, an area of about 5200 km.

Ib Sub Basin

Ib River is a tributary of Mahanadi river in North-Eastern Central India. It joins Mahanadi river flowing directly into the HirakudReservoir.The river originates in hills near Pandrapet at an elevation of 762 metres (2,500 ft). It passes through Raigarh district and Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh and Jharsuguda and Sundargarh District of Odishaand finally meets Mahanadi at Hirakud Dam in the state .

Pairi sub Basin

Pairi River is one of the important tributaries of Mahanadi and it joins the Mahanadi near Rajim, Gariaband district in Chhattisgarh, India. Originating in the Bhatigarh hills (493m) located near Bindravagarh of Raipur district, the river flows southwards and meets the Mahandi near Rajim. The river forms a catchment area of 3000 sq km in Raipur district.

Jonk sub Basin

Flowing via the mountainous areas of the Mahasamund through Raipur district, the river goes eastwards to join the Mahanadi from Shivrinarayan. Its drainage area is 2480 square km in Raipur district.



Kelo Sub Basin

This river originates in the Gharghoda tehsil’s Ludega hills located in the Raigarh district. Flowing from north to south from the Gharghoda and Raigarh districts, it reaches a place named MahadevPali in the state of Orissa and joins the Mahanadi river.

Tel Sub Basin

Tel is an important tributary of Mahanadi. It flows just eight kilometres away from the town of Titilagarh. This significant tributary of the Mahanadi river meets the main river at Sonpur or Subarnapur. The convergence of the two rivers offers a remarkable view against a colorful landscape. Baidyanath temple, which is famous for the Kosaleshwar Shiva temple, is located on the left bank of the Tel River.

  1. Godavari Basin

Indravati Sub Basin

The Indravati river is the principal subsidiary of the Godavari river and the largest river in Bastar district. Its origin is in the Kalahandi plateau of Orissa. After completing a distance of about 370km in Bastar, and flowing from east to west, it joins the Godavari river. This river creates the spectacular Chitrakote waterfall, about 35 miles west from Jagdalpur.

Sabari Sub Basin

The origin of this river is in the Bailadila hill near Dantewada. It then flows through the south-eastern boundary of Bastar into Andhra Pradesh and joins the Godavari river in Kunavaram. In Bastar district the Shabari river flows at a length of 150km, in which it forms a catchment area of 5680 km.

  1. Ganga Basin

The Ganges catchment system is spread for about 15% of the state. Under this flow field, 5% is in Bilaspur district, 14% is in Raigarh district and 8% is in Surguja district.



The river Sone is an important right bank tributary of the river Ganga. It originates from Amarkantak high lands in hills of Maikala range in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh at an elevation of 640 m and latitude 20°44’ N and longitude 82°4’E. The river outfalls into the Ganga at about 16 km. upstream of Patna at latitude 25°14’ N and longitude 84°42’ E . The total length of the river is 881 km. The total catchment area of river system is 70,055 sq.km.

The catchment of the whole river system is surrounded by the Vindhachal range in the North, the Punpun river system and the Chotanagpur plateau on the East, the Baghelkhand plateau and the Mahadeva hills on the South and the forest clad Maikal and Bhamver ranges on the West .

Kanhar, Rihand, Gopad, Banas, Bijal are its other tributaries.


Kanhar River

Flowing from the North-West of Bilaspur district, through the Khudiya plateau, it finally falls from a mountainous region named Bakhona. The origination point of this river is 1012m high. From here it takes a northern course to the Samari Tehsil, where it falls into a 60m high waterfall called Kothri. After which, it joins the Son river on the borders of Satna and Son district. The Kanhar river forms a catchment area of 3030sq km in the Surguja district. SindurGalphula, Datram, Pengn, ect are its major tributaries.




Rihand River

This river stems from the 1088m high Matringa hills located in Mainpat plateau of the Surguja district. Flowing towards north from its point of origin, the river creates the Surguja basin. That’s why it is called the lifeline of Surguja district. It has the largest catchment area of 145km. A dam called the Rihand has been constructed over it in the Mirzapur region. After reaching the Rihand basin, it finally enters Uttar Pradesh and joins the Son river. Ghunghuta, Morni, Mahan, Surya, Gobri, etc are its main tributaries. The Rhand river’s principal subsidiary is Naida.



  1. Brahmini Basin

The Brahmani is formed by the confluence of the rivers South Koel and Sankh near the major industrial town of Rourkela . The Sankh has its origins near the JharkhandChhattisgarh border, not far from the Netarhat Plateau. The South Koel too arises in Jharkhand, near Lohardaga, on the other side of a watershed that also gives rise to the Damodar River. Both of these sources are in the Chota Nagpur Plateau. The site of the Brahmani’s origin is mythologically reputed to be the place where Sage Parashara fell in love with the fisherman’s daughter, Satyavati who later gave birth to Ved Vyasa, the compiler of the Mahabharata. The place is thus called Ved Vyasa.[

  1. Narmada Basin

Narmada originates from the Satpura range in Amarkantak of Chhattisgarh. The Narmada River moves from east towards west and reaches the Arabian Sea. In Chhattisgarh, it is also known as Reva, and the sacred river is believed to be associated with Lord Shiva. The people of the region believe that viewing Narmada River is considered as an auspicious sight and thus it is a well renowned religious and pilgrimage site.

Other important Rivers

Tandula River

This is Shivnath’s main tributary. Its origin is in the hills of Kanker district’s Bhanupratappur tehsil.

Kharun River

Flowing from the south-east of Durg district, 80 km northwards to a place named Somnath near Simga, the river falls into Shivnath. This river forms a drainage area of 180 sq km in Durg district and 2700 sq km in Raipur district.

Borai River

The Borai River stems from the Korba plateau. Flowing southwards from its origin, it joins the Mahanadi River. It is one of the major tributaries of the Shivnath river.


Doodh River

15km from Kanker district are the Malajkundam hills, the source of this river have been located here. From here it flows eastward and joins the Mahanadi River.


ankini and Shankini River

These two rivers are the main tributaries of the Indravati. The Dankini River originates in the Dangri-Dongri and the Shankhini river originates in the Bailadila mountains. The Dankini and Shankini River blend into each other at Dantewada.


Bagh River

This river originates from a plateau located in the Rajnandgaon district. This river forms the border of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.


Narangi River

This river emerges from the Kondagaon tehsil of Bastar district. It then merges into the Indravati river near Chitrakote waterfall.


Kotri River

The river emerges in the high grounds of Durg district, and joins the Indravati river in Kanker district. Its largest catchment area is in the Rajnandgaon district.


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