Tributaries of Ganga River

The main tributaries of Ganga River are as follows:

Son River

Son River is largest of southern tributaries of Ganga that originates near Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh near the source of Narmada River, and flows north-northwest through Madhya Pradesh before turning sharply eastward where it encounters the southwest-northeast-running Kaimur Range.

  • The Son parallels the Kaimur hills, flowing east-northeast through Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar states to join the Ganga just above Patna. Geologically, the lower valley of the Son is an extension of the Narmada Valley, and the Kaimur Range an extension of the Vindhya Range.
  • Chief tributaries of Son river are Rihand and the North Koel. The Son has a steep gradient (35–55 cm per km) with quick run-off and ephemeral regimes, becoming a roaring river with the rain-waters in the catchment area but turning quickly into a fordable stream.
  • The Rihand River is a tributary of the Son River and flows through the Indian states of Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. It rises in Chhattisgarh at Matiranga hills and there is a Rihand Dam that was constructed at Pipri in Sonbhadra district of Mirzapur division in 1962 for hydropower generation. The reservoir of this dam is called Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar. Rihand meets Son at Sonbhadra of Uttar Pradesh.

Ghaghara River

Karnali or Ghaghara originates in glaciers of Mapchachungo on the Tibetan Plateau near Lake Mansarovar, cuts through the Himalayas in Nepal and joins the Sarda River at Brahmaghat in India.

With a length of 507 kilometers it is the largest river in Nepal. The total length of Ghaghara River up to its confluence with the Ganga at Doriganj in Bihar is 1,080 kilometers.

It is the largest tributary of the Ganga by volume and the second longest tributary of the Ganga by length after Yamuna.

In Chinese it is called K’ung-ch’iao Ho, in Nepali it is called Kauriala and Karnali.

  • Before Ghaghara joins the Ganga, river West Rapti joins it as an important tributary.
    • West Rapti is known as “Gorakhpur’s Sorrow”.
      • West Rapti is itself tributed by Rohni River in Gorakhpur.

Gomti River

The Gomti originates from Gomat Taal which formally known as Fulhaar jheel, near Madho Tanda, Pilibhit, India.

It extends 900 km through Uttar Pradesh and meets the Ganga River near Saidpur, Kaithi in Ghazipur.

Yamuna River

India’s Yamuna River is largest tributary of Ganga River, while Bangladesh’s Jamuna River is largest distributary channel of the Brahmaputra River. Origin of Yamuna is at Yamunotri Glacier on the south western slopes of Banderpooch peak in the Lower Himalayas in Uttarakhand. From there it travels a total length of 1,376 kilometers before merging with the Ganga at Triveni Sangam or Prayag at Allahabad.