The Godavari River is the second largest river in India, originating near Trimbak in the Nashik District of Maharashtra state. It flows east through the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to empty into the Bay of Bengal to the west of the Indian sub-continent. The Godavari River is sacred to Hindus and has several pilgrimage centers on its banks.
A major waterway
A major waterway of central India, the Godavari originates in the Western Ghats and flows eastward across the Deccan Plateau between the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Leaving Andhra Pradesh the river turns, flowing to the southeast until it empties into the Bay of Bengal through two mouths. Its tributaries include the Manjira, Indravati, Bindusara and Sabari Rivers. Although the river arises only 80 kilometres from the Arabian Sea, on the West side of India, it flows 1,465 km to empty into the Bay of Bengal.
Just above Rajahmundry the mighty river has been damed to provide water for both irrigation and the generation of hydro-electricity. Most of the river’s water is drawn for irrigation purposes. Below Rajahmundry, the river divides into two streams that widen into a large river delta which has an extensive navigable irrigation-canal system. Called the Dowleswaram Barrage this canal system links the region to the Krishna River delta to the southwest.
The Godavari River has a drainage area of 4,405 sq.km that includes more that one state. The Manjra river is its major tributary.
River Basin and Tributaries
- Manjira River
- Indravati River
- Pranahita River
- Wainganga River
- Wardha River
- Kinnerasani River
- Sileru River
- Sabari River
Major Towns and Cities along the river
Places of interest
Like any other of the major rivers in India, the banks of this river have many pilgrimage sites.
- Trimbakeshwar - One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient tenple of Lord Shiva.
- Nasik - One of the four Kumbh Mela, Hindu pilgrimage place.
- Bhadrachalam - Hindu Temple of Lord Rama.
- Rajahmundry - Center for Telugu Literature. A town that symbolises Telugu Culture, this city is the birthplace of aadikavi nannaya, one of the writers of the kavitrayam. This City is also famous for the Godavari Pushkaralu - an event that happens once in every 12 years, celebrated with pomp and glory, attended by lakhs of people from all around the world. A bath in the Godavari during the pushkaram period is said to be equivalent to bathing in the holy river Ganga.
- Pattiseema - a village where a Hindu temple sits on a small hill on an island near rajahmundry in the river.
- Basar (originally, Vyasara) - Sri Gyana Saraswathi temple is situated on the banks of Godavari, in Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh. It is 210 km from the state capital of Hyderabad and accessible by road and rail (nearest major station: Nizamabad, although Basar also has a station).
It is believed that the sage Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata on the banks of Godavari at this location, and thus the place came to be known as Vyasara.