Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Indian sub continent has a vast network of perennial rivers which are considered sacred in Hinduism.

The various rivers have different legends about their origins.

The different sacred rivers of India are :

Ganga/River Ganga
Ganga is one of the longest rivers of the world and an integral part of Hinduism.

River Bhagirathi originates in the Gangotri Glacier of Himalayas and joins with River Alaknanda to form the River Ganga.

It flows through the Northern Plains of India forming a rich network of tributaries and streams and ultimately ends in the Bay of Bengal.

Ganga has an exalted status in the Hindu religion.

The holy waters of River Ganga are utilised for baptisms of children and the last remains of an individual are also released in to the river.

It is said that the River Ganga takes the soul to the doors of Heaven.

Ganga water is an essential ingredient of every religious offering like “Prasadam” and “Panchamrit“.

Legends about River Ganga are interwoven into the fabric of Hindu culture.

It is said that Ganga was the second daughter of Meru (Himalayas) and resided in Heaven.

On Earth, there was a king called Sagara who had sixty thousand and one sons.

The sixty thousand sons were cursed by Sage Kapila and their souls would never be released unless their remains were washed by holy waters of Ganga.

The great grandson of Sagara – Bhagirath did severe penance to propitiate Goddess Ganga to come to Earth.

However, the impact of Ganga arriving on Earth would be very huge and could not be borne by Mother Earth.

So Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva to help him.

Finally, the river came down and fell into Shiva’s hair and then Earth.

The place is presumed to be the Gangotri Glacier.

Bhagirath led the way to the place where the ashes of sixty thousand of his ancestors lay.

Thus, they were liberated and Ganga formed an ocean here called the Gangasagar of modern day.

This is the place where Ganga meets the bay of Bengal.

Jamuna/River Yamuna

Yamuna or Jamuna originates in the Champasar Glacier in Uttaranchal, India.

It flows through the northern plains and joins River Ganga at Prayag/Allahbad/Sangam.

It is a major tributary of River Ganga.

The River Yamuna is considered holy in conjunction with Rivers Ganga and Saraswati whom the river meets at Prayag.

It is said that a dip in the holy waters of Prayag/Allahbad helps in attainment of salvation.

River Yamuna criss crosses the entire northen plains and its waters are extensively used for irrigation.

Legends say that River Jamuna/Yamuna and Yama (God of Death) are the offspring of Surya(Sun) and therefore, anyone taking a dip in the River Yamuna should not fear death.

Yamuna is also said to be the consort of Shri Krishna.

She went around him and then descended to Eath to free people from the fear of death.

Jamuna is also said to have emerged from the left side of Lord Krishna and after flowing through the plains, the river ascends again as stream to flow towards “Baikuntha” (Abode of Lord Krishna).

Saraswati RiverSaraswati/River Saraswati

Saraswati is no longer in existence and is said to have originated from Saraswati-Rupin Glacier confluence at Naitwar in Uttaranchal.

There are numerous references to the River Saraswati in the ancient and Vedic texts.

Saraswati is also said to join the Ganga and Yamuna rivers at Prayag/Allahabad making it the holiest of all confluences that leads to salvation of human soul.

It is believed that Saraswati had three tributaries Sutlej, Drishadvati and Yamuna.

They flowed together along a channel, presently known as the Ghaggar River.

The river finally ended in the Arabian Sea through the Rann of Kutch.

Saraswati was considered the seventh river of the Vedic Sapta Sindhu river system.

Legends state that Aryans fought with the non-Aryan tribes on the banks of River Saraswati.

 Lord Vishnu requested Saraswati to disappear underground.

Thus, the tribals were deprived of water and were forced to abandon the area.

So Saraswati is also known as Prithudhar (subjugator of Aryans).

Sindhu River Sindhu/River Indus

The legendary River Sindhu/Indus formed an integral part of the Sapt Sindhu River system.

The basin of this river gave birth to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.

Indus rises in Tibet near the Mansarovar Lake, flows west through Kashmir and Pakistan and then empties itself in Arabian Sea through the Rann of Kutch.

River Indus provides the key water source for the economy of India and Pakistan.

It is considered auspicious because of the Hindu belief that Aryans settled on the banks of Sindhu and thus, Hinduism started.

River Sindhu is one of the foremost rivers to be treated as a male.

Brahmaputra RiverBrahmaputra/River Brahmaputra

The Brahmaputra means the “Son of Brahma” and the river rises in Jima Yangzong glacier near Mount Kailash in the northern Himalayas.

It enters India in the far eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh after traveling hundreds of miles across Tibet as the River Tsangpo.

This is one of the largest rivers of the world and ends in Bay of Bengal.

It acts as a good source of water for irrigation, fishing, rituals and for navigation.

According to Kalika Purana, there lived a sage

named Shantanu and his wife Amogha.

They prayed to Lord Brahma for a son and Lord Brahma impressed with their piety, blessed them with his son whom he wanted to create for the benefit of humanity.

Shantanu placed the son – Brahmaputra amidst the holy mountains of Kailash, Gandhamadana, Jarudhi, and Sambaka.

Brahmaputra assumed the form of a large mass of water where the Gods and heavenly maidens would have their bath.

Thus, Brahmaputra is also a male river.

Godavari RiverGodavari/River Godavari

The River Godavari rises at Triambak village(Triambakeshwar Jyotirlinga) in Nasik, in Maharashtra.

Godavari flows southeast across south-central India into Andhra Pradesh and empties into the Bay of Bengal.

It is considered a sacred river in South India.

At Dhavaleswaram, Andhra pradesh, River Godavari splits into Gautami and Vasista, thus forming a very fertile delta.

Godavari ends into Bay of Bengal.

Godavari is believed to grant a new direction to every life and absolve people of their sins.

It is used for irrigation purposes, for baptisms and for releasing the ashes of dead people.

Legends tell the story of Godavari as being brought to Earth at Triambak mountain in Maharashtra by Rishi Gowtama.

The story behind the descent of Godavari to Earth is that Gowtama was married to the beautiful Ahalya and Lord Indra lusted after her.

Once, Indra assumed the disguise of Gowtama and led Ahalya in his embrace.

The enraged rishi cursed his wife who became a rock and was absolved by Lord Rama. Indra was cursed with a life of diseases and he did severe penance to overcome that curse.

His penance ended with a dip in the holy Godavari which had been brought to Earth at Gowtama’s insistence.

Narmada RiverNarmada/River Narmada

River Narmada is one of the most sacred rivers of Central India and it rises in the Amarkantak Hills of Madhya Pradesh.

This river flows from east to west and empties in the Arabian Sea in the Bharauch district of Gujarat.

Merely by seeing the Narmada, a man is freed from all his sins and becomes pure.

Once, Lord Shiva sat on the peak of Amarkantak Hills in a beautiful trance that gave birth to a female form.

He named her “Narmada” since she had inspired “Narma” (tenderness) in his heart. He also blessed her with lifelong freedom.

However, the Gods tried to capture her and she slipped through their fingers taking the form of the River Narmada.

AdiShankaracharya met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of river Narmada.

Kaveri RiverKaveri/Cauvery River

Cauvery (Lopamudra devi, Brahma’s daughter, wife of Agastya Muni) River Kaveri originates at Talakaveri in the Western Ghats, Karnataka.

It flows south and across the southern Deccan plateau through the southeastern lowlands.

Kaveri makes a huge delta and empties into the Bay of Bengal.

The legend of the Cauvery tells the tale of a girl called Lopamudra, the daughter of Brahma.

However, Brahma allowed Sage Kavera-muni to adopt her.

She resolved to become a river to purify all sins and to obtain blessings for her adoptive father.

It is said that even Ganga resorts to going underground once an year to the source of the Kaveri, to purge herself from the pollution contracted from the crowd of sinners who have bathed in her waters.

Krishna/RiverKrishna/River Krishna

Krishna originates at Mahabaleswar in Maharashtra and meets the sea in the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladevi in Andhra Pradesh.

The traditional source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Mahabaleshwar.

The waters of River Krishna are considered sacred for religious rituals and for releasing ashes of the dead people.

The river irrigates a huge land area and makes a fertile delta.

Legends state that the River Krishna is Lord Vishnu himself who turned into a river due to a curse on the Trimurti by Devi Savitri (Goddess Parvati).

It is said that its tributaries Venna and Koyana are said to be Siva and Brahma themselves.

7 rivers that indian consider sacred

In India, rivers are not just any ordinary water bodies.

Apart from being an important source of living for many, these rivers are of spiritual importance.

Here, people worship rivers as deities and their own mothers.

Every river in India has its own importance, and most of the holy sites or places of spiritual importance are situated on the banks of holy rivers.  

Generally, River Ganga is considered to be the holiest river in India but there are six more sacred rivers.

So, let us look at the sacred rivers of India. 

River Ganga 

The holiest of all Rivers in India, Ganga is worshipped as a mother and a deity in many parts of India. Originating from Gaumukh in Uttarakhand, it is also the longest river in the country. 

 Many cities are located on the banks of River Ganga, including Varanasi, an important place of worship for Indians. Also, it is a common belief that those who take a dip in the holy water of River Ganga are absolved from their accrued sins.  

River Yamuna 

Originating from Champasar Glacier in Uttarakhand, River Yamuna has a special mention in the Hindu mythology. Like River Ganga, Yamuna is also revered as a Gagna, and it is believed that the river is a form of Goddess Yamuna, who is believed to be a consort of Lord Krishna.  

There are many holy cities on the banks of River Yamuna, including Mathura. Also, the one of the seven wonders of the world, the greatest symbol of love, the magnificent Taj Mahal is located on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra.  

River Saraswati 

This is one of the oldest rivers in India, and it has its mention in the vedas. However, the sad part is, this river does not physically exist in India. However, people still believe that this river still flows underground and meets Ganga and Yamuna at the confluence point, i.e., the Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj (former Allahabad). The point of confluence of these three rivers is considered a sacred site for the Hindu community.

River Narmada 

Originating from Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, River Narmada flows between the Satpura and the Vindhya Mountain ranges in the southwestern direction and finally meets the Gulf of Khambhat, an inlet of Arabian Sea.  

River Narmada is one of the only three major rivers in the Indian peninsula that runs from east to west along with Mahi and Tapti Rivers. One of the most important places of worship for the Hindu community, Omkareshwar Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated on the banks of Narmada River in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. 

Another interesting thing about this holy river is that according to legends, it descended straight from the sky upon the orders of Lord Shiva. Also, it is a popular belief that just the sight of this holy river can purify the human soul.  

River Kaveri 

River Kaveri or River Cauvery is one of the most prominent rivers in south India and sacred rivers of India that flows along the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In many parts of Karnataka, people refer to this holy river as Dakshin Ganga or the Ganges of the South.  

River Kaveri finds its place in both Tamil and Kannada literature. Throughout its history, the river has inspired many poets, artists, philosophers and writers who have contributed greatly to the culture, and spiritual wisdom of India

River Godavari 

River Godavari originates near Trimbakeshwar in Nashik and flows towards the east into the Bay of Bengal. It is the second largest river in India and holds great importance spiritually and in the daily lives of the people. One of the biggest attractions near this river is the Kumbh Mela, which is held in Nashik.  

River Kshipra 

River Kshipra flows through the Malwa Plateau and then joins the River Chambal The holy city of Ujjain is located on the banks of River Kshipra, which is known for being on the 12 Jyotirlingas of India as Mahakaleshwar. Every 12 years, Ujjain hosts the Kumbh Mela festival, which attracts millions of tourists and devotees from all over the world to take a dip in the river and wash away all their previous sins.  

So, there you have a list of the seven most sacred rivers of India. Plan a tour to one of these holy rivers near your city with your family. Apart from exploring the various tourist sites and temples near these rivers, it is also a great way to teach your children about the importance and significance of these rivers in Indian culture.

Hinduism considers 12 rivers as sacred.

These rivers are:

  • Ganga (Ganges): The most sacred river in Hinduism, the Ganga is said to have originated from the hair of Lord Vishnu. It is believed to wash away sins and bestow moksha (liberation from the cycle of reincarnation). The Ganga is also a major source of water for irrigation and drinking water.
  • Yamuna: The Yamuna is the holiest river after the Ganga. It is said to be the daughter of the sun god Surya and is associated with the goddess Yamuna. The Yamuna is also a major source of water for Delhi and Agra.
  • Indus: The Indus is the third holiest river in Hinduism. It is said to have originated from the Himalayas and is associated with the god Shiva. The Indus is also an important river for agriculture and transportation.
  • Narmada: The Narmada is the fourth holiest river in Hinduism. It is said to have originated from the Amarkantak mountain range and is associated with the god Shiva. The Narmada is also a major source of water for Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
  • Godavari: The Godavari is the fifth holiest river in Hinduism. It is said to have originated from the Brahmagiri hills in Andhra Pradesh and is associated with the goddess Saraswati. The Godavari is also a major source of water for Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Krishna: The Krishna is the sixth holiest river in Hinduism. It is said to have originated from the Western Ghats in Maharashtra and is associated with the god Krishna. The Krishna is also a major source of water for Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
  • Kaveri: The Kaveri is the seventh holiest river in Hinduism. It is said to have originated from the Brahmagiri hills in Karnataka and is associated with the goddess Parvati. The Kaveri is also a major source of water for Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.
  • Saraswati: The Saraswati is a mythical river that is mentioned in the Vedas. It is said to have been a major river in ancient India, but it is now dry. The Saraswati is associated with the goddess Saraswati, who is the goddess of knowledge, learning, and music.
  • Sapta Sindhu: The Sapta Sindhu literally means “seven rivers” in Sanskrit. It refers to the seven rivers that flow through the Punjab region of India. These rivers are the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, and Satluj.
  • Sarayu: The Sarayu is a river that flows through the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar. It is associated with the god Vishnu and is said to have healing properties.
  • Shipra: The Shipra is a river that flows through the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is associated with the god Shiva and is said to have purifying powers.
  • Pranhita: The Pranhita is a river that flows through the states of Maharashtra and Telangana. It is associated with the god Vishnu and is said to have medicinal properties.

The 12 holy rivers of India are considered sacred because they are believed to have purifying and healing powers.

They are also associated with gods and goddesses, and are believed to bring good fortune to those who bathe in them.

Hindus often travel to these rivers to perform religious rituals and to seek blessings.

The 12 holy rivers of India are an important part of Hindu culture and tradition.

They are a source of water, livelihood, and spirituality for millions of people.

They are also a reminder of the beauty and power of nature.

River Goddesses in Hindu Mythology

Rivers have played a pivotal role in the evolution of Indian civilization.

During ancient times when technology was not as advanced as it is today, people used to dwell along river banks for easy access to water that would be used for drinking, bathing, irrigation, transportation, and also as a food source.

In India, all the rivers except the Brahmaputra, are revered as goddesses for their feminine nature of sustaining life.

India not only derives its name from the river Indus (Sindhu), but it is also the foundation of Hinduism, a faith practised by the majority of the country’s population. According to the Vedas, Saptanadi or the seven sacred rivers of the subcontinent are Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Indus or Sindhu, Narmada, Godavari, and Kaveri.

Out of these, Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati also play a significant role as river goddesses in Hindu mythology.


Goddess Ganga is frequently shown as having fair skin, seated on a crocodile, holding a water lily in one hand and the musical instrument lute in the other. As it is regarded as the purest river, there are several stories of her origin in Hindu mythology, but the most popular is the one in which Lord Shiva uses his matted locks to control her fierce water currents as she descends to Earth.

The tale of Ganga’s descent to earth begins with Lord Rama’s forefather, King Sagar’s desire to perform a horse sacrifice to please Gods and gain more power. Fearing that he would be overthrown, Lord Indra, the King of Gods, stole the horse that was supposed to be sacrificed and tied it outside Sage Kapil’s monastery. Realizing that his horse was missing, the king sent his sons to seek for it.

After searching for sometime, the princes found it at the sage’s residence. They assumed that the sage had stolen it and began to abuse him verbally while trying to free the horse. Disturbed by their unruly behaviour, the sage used his yogic powers and burned them into ashes.

Worried, King Sagar requested his grandson, Prince Anshuman to search for the princes. As he reached Sage Kapil’s ashram, he found a pile of ash and the horse and understood what had happened. Anshuman met the sage, begged for his forgiveness, and asked for the deceased princes’ salvation.

The sage claimed that only Goddess Ganga, who lived in the heavens, could wash away their sins and free them. Prince Anshuman and his son Dilip tried multiple times to please Lord Brahma, but all in vain. However, Prince Bhagirathan, Anshuman’s grandson, performed rigorous penance and convinced the Lord to send Goddess Ganga to Earth. Brahma agreed, but Ganga thought it was an insult to descend Earth. She resolved to increase her water currents so much that it could destroy anything that came her way.

Prince Bhagirathan realized her power and prayed to Lord Shiva to let the River flow through his matted hair. Pleased, Lord Shiva contained Goddess Ganga in his hair and was titled Ganagadharan. When Ganga finally descended from the heavens, the water touched the ashes, and all the forefathers of King Bhagirathan attained salvation. Even today, thousands of people visit the river to purify themselves and pray for their sins to be forgiven. She also appears in the famous epic Mahabharata as the wife of King Shantanu and mother of Bhishma.


The Yamuna is the second most revered river in Hinduism and the principal tributary of Ganga. She is depicted as having a dark skin complexion, holding a pot in her arms, and standing on a tortoise.

In Hindu Mythology, she is the daughter of Surya, the Sun God and Sanjana, the Goddess of Dawn and clouds, and the twin sister of Yama, the God of death. The tale of Yamuna’s birth is quite an interesting one.

Surya’s wife, Sanjana, could not tolerate the bright light emitting out of her husband. Despite being told not to resist, she could not help but blink, as Surya’s rays were extremely powerful. He felt insulted and announced that their son would be called Yama, which means restraint, and their daughter would be called Yamuna, who would be worshipped till the end of time.

Due to his bright rays, Sanjana could not bear to live with Surya anymore and left her Chhaya, i.e. shadow, in her place. After Chhaya gave birth to her own children, she started mistreating Yama and Yamuna. Fed up of being treated badly, Yama stomped on Chhaya’s foot. She felt offended and cursed him that his legs would decay, be infested with maggots, and that nobody could save him from the curse.

The Yamuna could not bear to see her brother suffer to death, so she descended to Earth and started praying for him with all her heart and soul. After realizing that she could not save him, she became so distressed that her tears formed into a river and started destroying life on the planet. This river came to be known and worshipped as ‘Yamuna’.

As Yamuna cried uncontrollably, the Gods and Goddesses realized that she was stuck in time. The night did not exist, and there was only one day that lasted forever, i.e. ‘today’. So, they decided to create darkness, and for the first time, the sunset. With time, Yamuna gradually overcame her grief and recovered. The river, which was created by her flow of tears, calmed down and instead became a source of life and livelihood.


Goddess Saraswati is frequently depicted in Hinduism wearing a white saree, with four arms holding a Veena, a book, a rosary, and a pot, and seated on a lotus by the side of a river. These symbols reflect several attributes of the Goddess, including knowledge, truth, wisdom, and speech. She is a member of the Trinity of Goddesses, along with Lakshmi and Parvati, parallel to the Trinity of Gods, consisting of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva).

In the Rigveda, Saraswati is depicted as the River of Knowledge. It is believed that Lord Brahma, the Creator, attempted to create the universe but realized that the entire cosmos went haywire due to his lack of knowledge and planning. As he wished for the attainment of the Right Knowledge, Goddess Saraswati emerged from his mouth. She helped him to create the universe in an orderly fashion. She then turned into a river and spread knowledge as she flowed but dried up as centuries passed.

According to the Padma Purana, a battle between the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas led to widespread bloodshed and destruction. As a result, a fire called Vadav-Agni was born. It consumed everything that came its way. The Gods sought help from Lord Shiva, who was highly disturbed by the devastation caused on the planet. Shiva felt that requesting Goddess Saraswati to immerse the Vadav-Agni in the ocean would be a good idea.

When they approached Saraswati, she refused to comply unless the request came from Brahma. So, Brahma asked her to turn into a river and carry the fire to the ocean. She transformed herself into the Saraswati river and originated from the Plaksha, the holy fig tree. She flowed north towards Pushkar and then finally entered the ocean, where she doused the great fire.

These stories highlight how Hindu mythology explains the key principles and concepts of life in a simple manner in the Vedas.

The mythologies of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati impart learnings that can be applied in real life too.

For instance, the story of Ganga teaches us about ambition, strength, and detachment, whereas the tale of Yamuna is about devotion towards her brother and healing with time. Saraswati teaches us that there is a solution for each problem if it is dealt with courage.

The point where the three rivers merge at Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh is known as ‘Triveni Sangam’ and is considered a holy place where one can attain salvation.

12 Holy Rivers in Hinduism

In Hinduism, rivers are often represented as deities.

The emergence of human civilization and the early development of culture took place on the banks of the river.

In Rigveda, the residence of Aryans has been called the ‘Saptasindhu’ region. In the River Sukta of Rigveda, the description of the rivers flowing in Arya Nivas is found, which are the main ones:- Kumbha (Kabull River), Krugu (Kurram), Gomati, Sindhu,Sutlej, Jhelum, Saraswati, Yamuna and Ganges.

Rivers of Bharatavarsha

A small part of the whole of Jambudvipa was Bharatavarsha and a small part of the whole of Bharatavarsha was Aryavarta.

Narmada and Godavari in the middle of India, and Krishna and Kavari in the south.

On one side of India, the Indus River and its tributaries flow and on the other side, the Brahmaputra and its tributaries flow.

Between the two, the waters of the Ganges lie in the heart of India. This whole area connected with all three and their tributaries was called Bharatavarsha.

Kumbha, Krugu, Gomti, Sindhu, Parushni, Shutudri, Sutlej, Vivasta, Saraswati, Yamuna, Ganga, Narmada, Mahanadi, Brahmaputra, Tapti, Krishna, Godavari, Kaveri, and Brahmaputra are considered as the main rivers of India.

Sindhu River

Sindhu without Hindhu is the same as the body without soul, words without meaning. Before the Ganges, only Sindhu was glorified in Hindu culture.

Hindus have a history from Sindhu only.

The Indus River has the greatest importance in India and Hindu history.

This river, 3,600 kilometers long and several kilometers wide, is mentioned in many places in the Vedas.

Vedic religion and culture originated and expanded on the banks of this river. Sindhu has been given the noun of a great river in Walmiki’s Ramayana.

The description of the Sindhu River is found in the Jain text Jambudvi Papragyapati.

Tributaries of Indus

The western side tributaries of Indus – Kubha Suva Stu, Kumu, and Gomati are also mentioned in Rigveda.

The tributaries of this river are Vitasta, Chandrabhaga, Iravati, Vipasa, and Shutudri.

Shutudri is the largest tributary in it.

Asia’s largest Bhagada-Nangal dam is built on the Shutudri river itself. Jhelum, Chinaba, Ravi, Vyas, and Sutlej are the major tributaries of the Sindh River.

Besides these, there are other tributaries like Gilgit, Kabul, Swat, Kurram, Tochi, Gomal, Sangar, etc.

Jhelum River

Sri Nagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is situated on the banks of the Vistasta (Jhelum) River, a tributary of the Indus.

The Jhelum River originates from the Sheshna Ga spring in the Himalayas, flows through Kashmir, reaches Pakistan, and joins the Sachchinab near Jhang Maghi or Na Nagar.

The flow path of Jhelum which was in ancient China is almost still the same only the course of the course near Chinaba-Jhelum Sangam has changed. This river flows for 2,130 km.

This unique Kashmir valley of natural beauty has been formed by the river Jhelum itself.

Swa Yambhuva Manu, the first Manu of the tradition of 14 Manus, and his wife Shatarupa used to reside near the Vitasta river. Manav is believed to have originated near this river.

Vitasta is nowadays called the Jhelum river.

The battle of Porus and Sikandar took place near this river.

This river originates from the middle of the Kashmir valley and divides it into two parts.

Saraswati River

Saraswati also has the same status as the Indus River. It has been described as Annavati and Udakavati in Rigveda. There are many names for the river Saraswati in Mahabharata, Plakshwati river, Vedasmriti, Vedavati, etc. In the Rigveda, the Saraswati river has been described as flowing ‘to the east of the Yamuna’ and ‘to the west of the Sutlej’.

The Saraswati river has been told to dry up in the desert in Tandaya and Jaimi Ni ya Brahmana. In the Mahabharata, there is a description of the Saraswati river disappearing at a place called ‘Vi Na Shan’ in the desert. It was on the banks of this river that there was Brahma Vart, there was Kurukshetra, but today it is burnt there. According to Vedic scriptures, the story of rivers on earth begins with Saraswati. Saraswati, the best among the rivers, first appeared from Brahma Sarovar in Pushkar.

Curse on Saraswati river

Due to the curse of Utathya Muni in the desert, Saraswati disappeared underground and started flowing into the mountains. Saraswati flowing from west to east reached Naimisha Ranya in the far east. Because of reaching Saraswati Kunj with its 7 streams, that area of Naimisha Ranya was called ‘Sapta Sarasvat’. Here Saraswati appeared in the name of Aruna on the call of sages. Aruna descended on earth as the 8th stream of Saraswati. Aruna appeared and joined Kosi river.

River Ganga

In the Vedas and Puranas, the river Ganges has been described as the most sacred among all rivers. In some legends, the goddess Ganga is the daughter of Himavan (an incarnation of the Himalayas) and Mainavati (an Apsara). She is the sister of Goddess Parvati. She is the goddess of chastity and purity, as people believe that bathing in the Ganges washes away sins and helps in attaining salvation. His ride is a creature named Makara.

A legend in the Bhagavata Purana and the Devi Bhagavata Purana describes Ganga as originally one of the three wives of Vishnu, along with Lakshmi and Saraswati. Amid the conversation, Saraswati noticed that Ganga was playfully looking at Lakshmi and Vishnu behind her back. Frustrated, Saraswati unleashes fierce anger against Ganga and accuses her of stealing Vishnu’s love. When Ganga appealed to her husband to help her, he chose to remain neutral and did not want to participate in the feud between his three wives, whom he loved equally.

When Lakshmi tried to appease Saraswati’s anger by reasoning, the jealous goddess became angry with him as well and accused him of being unfaithful to her. He cursed Lakshmi to be born as Tulsi to plant saplings on the earth. Ganga, now enraged that Lakshmi had been cursed because she had protected her, cursed Saraswati that she would descend on earth as a river. Saraswati issued the same curse against the Ganges, telling her that sinners would be cleansed of their sins by her waters.

Legend of Ganga

One of the major legends of Ganga is her descent from Swarga, the heaven of the gods.

King Bhagiratha of the Solar dynasty is said to have performed penance to please Ganga and requested her to descend from heaven to earth to free the souls of his ancestors who had perished in Patiala.

He informed her that her descent would be so powerful that if she landed directly on his land the earth would be flooded, and so he told her to request Shiva’s help.

Bhagiratha performed another penance to please the destroyer god, and Shiva agreed to assist him.

When Ganga descended on Earth, Shiva captured her water in his locks and gently released it on Earth.

Heeding Bhagiratha’s request, she went down to Patala to ritually purify the souls of her ancestors and then flowed into the ocean.


Yami is the incarnation of the river Yamuna.

She is said to be the daughter of the sun god Surya and the cloud goddess Saranyu.

She is the goddess of life, and the twin sister of Yama, the god of the underworld.

His siblings include Tapati, another river goddess. In later texts, he is known as Kalindi.

In the Bhagavata Purana, in a legend related to canal irrigation, the god Balarama once expressed his desire to play with some women in the river Yamuna.

When he asked Goddess Yamuna to come near him, she refused to leave his side.

So, Balarama used his plow and forcibly dragged the river goddess to the garden where he was standing.


Tapti refers to the personification of the Tapti River. Said to be the daughter of Surya and the younger sister of Savitri, she is married in Hindu texts to a king named Samvaran.

Narmada River

Narmada River is also called Rewa River. This river originates from the Amarkantak region of the Maikal hill range of Vindhya Chal of Madhya Pradesh and passes through Sindhusagar (Arabian Gulf) in Gujrat. It fall in Nemavar is situated in the middle of it. Nemavar was called Naimisha Ranya Kshetra in ancient China where sages and sages used to do penance.


The largest river of Chhattisgarh and Orissa was the origin of Mahanadi Chitro Tapala. Apart from this, it is also known by the names of Maha Nanda and Nilo Tapala. The origin of the Maha River is a mountain named Sihawa, located in the Paddhatari district near Raipur. The flow of this river is from south to north. This river is also called the ‘Ganga of Chhattisgarh’.

Godavari River

Because of the association with Gautama, it was also called Gautami. Godavari is a major river in South India. It originated from Tri Yambak mountain under the mountain range of Western Maghta, which is located in Maharashtra. Here is the Tri Yambakkeshwar Tirth which is in the district of Naik. The longest channel of the river is approximately 900 miles.

Prominent among the tributaries of Godavari are Pranahita, Indra Vati, and Manjra. This river flows through Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and joins the Bay of Bengal near the city of Rajahmundry. The main branches of this river are:- Gautami, Vasistha, Kaushiki, Atreyi, Vriddhagautami, Tulya, and Bharadwaji.

Krishna River

Krishna River is an important river of South India, it originates from the mountain Mahabaleshwar (Maharashtra) in the Western Ghats. This river is the second-largest river in India. It is in Maharashtra

After traveling 303 km, 1300 km in Andhra Pradesh, and 480 km in Karnataka, it joins the Bay of Bengal.


The description of Ka Veri, which is called the Ganga of the South, appears again and again in many Puranas. Ka Veri is considered a very holy river. Harangi, Hemvati, Noyil, Amravati, Simsa, Laxmanati Artha, Bhava Ni, and Ka Bini are the main rivers that join the Kaveri River. A detailed description of the kaveri one of this major rivers of the South has been given in the Vishnu Purana.

It originates from the southern end of the Sahyadri Mountains and flows in the south-east direction through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu covering a route of about 800 km to the Bay of Bengal near Veripatnam. There is a dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the distribution of its waters.


The name of Burma was earlier Brahmavarta because of Brahmaputra. Today it is called Myanmar. Brahmaputra is said to be the son of Brahma (God), that is why he is also called Brahmaputra.

Pushkaram Rivers – The 12 Rivers Where Pushkara is Held

Pushkara, or Pushkarams, is a popular Hindu ritual and festival which is held along 12 rivers. A Pushkaram along a particular takes place once in 12 years when Jupitar (Brihaspati) enters a particular zodiac. Here are the names of 12 rivers that play host to Pushkaram or Pushkara – the river festival.

Pushkaram Rivers

  1. Ganga River
  2. Narmada or Reva River
  3. Saraswati
  4. Yamuna or Jamna
  5. Godavari
  6. Krishna
  7. Cauvery or Kaveri
  8. Bhima or Bhimarathi River (Tambraparni)
  9. Pushkara Vahini (Brahmaputra)
  10. Tungabhadra
  11. Sindhu or Indus
  12. Parineeta (Sapranitantasi) (Pranahita)

Jupiter enters a particular Zodiac sign and the Pushkaram is held during the period in which Jupiter travels through the Zodiac.

Name of The River              Zodiac sign
Ganges                                Aries
Narmada                             Taurus
Saraswati                            Gemini
Yamuna                               Cancer
Godavari                              Leo
Krishna                                Virgo
Kaveri                                  Libra
Tambraparni                        Scorpio
Brahmaputra                       Sagittarius
Tungabhadra                        Capricorn
Indus                                     Aquarius
Pranahita                              Pisces