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The Godavari (Marathi:गोदावरी,Telugu:గోదావరి) is a river that runs from western to southern Indiamarker and is considered to be one of the big river basins in India. It originates near Trimbakmarker in Nashikmarker District of Maharashtramarker state and flows east across the Deccan Plateaumarker into the Bay of Bengalmarker near Rajahmundrymarker in East Godavarimarker district of Andhra Pradeshmarker.


The Godavari River is a major waterway in central Indiamarker, originating in the Western Ghats Trimbakeshwar,in the Nashik Subdivision or District Of Maharashtra and flowing eastwardly across the Deccan Plateau through the state of Maharashtra.It is the second largest river in India.It is known as dakshin ganga. It enters Andhra pradhesh at Kandhakurthi in Nizamabad District, crosses the Deccan Plateau and then turns to flow in a southeast direction until it empties into the Bay of Bengal through two mouths.Basara, on the banks of Godavari in Adilabad District, is home to a famous temple for Goddeses Saraswati and is only to the second temple for the Goddess in India.

The Sri Ram Sagar Project which was constructed on this river (1964-69) serves the irrigation needs of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Warangal districts.

Dharmapuri, with a temple dedicated to Lord Sri Laxmi Nrusimhaswamy, is the second temple town that also attracts pilgrims from Maharashtra.

Although the river arises only 80 kilometres from the Arabian Seamarker, it flows 1,465 km to empty into the Bay of Bengal. Just above Rajamundry, there is a dam that provides water for irrigation. Below Rajahmundry, the river divides into two streams that widen into a large river delta which has an extensive navigable irrigation-canal system, Dowleswaram Barragemarker that links the region to the Krishna River delta to the southwest.

The Godavari River has a drainage area of 3,42,812 km² that includes more than one state which is nearly one-tenth of India and is greater than the areas of England and Ireland put together. The Pravara, Indrawati, Wainganga, Waradha, Pench, Kanhan and Penuganga rivers, discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system. Its tributaries include Indravati Rivermarker, Manjira River, Bindusara River and Sabari River.

Religious Significance

The Godavari River is sacred to Hindus and has several pilgrimage centers on its banks. It has been held as a special place of pilgrimage for many thousands of years. Many famous personalities, including Baladeva (5000 years ago) and more recently Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (500 years ago) have bathed in her waters as an act of worship.

Every twelve years, Pushkaram fair is held on its banks of the river. Thousands of people have a holy dip in the sacred waters of the river to purify themselves of all their sins.

Legend has it that Sage Gautama lived on the Brahmagiri Hills at Triambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The rishi kept his stock of rice in a granary. Once, a cow entered his granary and ate up the rice. When the rishi tried to ward the cow away with Durbha grass, it fell dead. The rishi wanted to relieve himself of the sin of ‘Gohatya’. He worshipped Lord Shiva and requested him to bring Ganga to purify his hermitage. Lord Shiva pleased with the rishi appeared as Triambaka and brought along river Ganga. Since Ganga was brought down to Triambakeshwar by Sage Gautama, she is known here as Gautami. She is also known as Godavari because the river helped Sage Gautama to relieve his sins.

Ecological Significance

The Coringa mangrove forests in the Godavari delta are the second largest mangrove formation in the country. Part of this has been declared as the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, renowned for its reptiles. They also provide an important habitat to a wide variety of fish and crustaceans. These forests also act as barriers against cyclones, tropical stroms and tidal waves thus protecting the nearby villages.

The Krishna Godavari basin is one of the main nesting sites of the endangered Olive Ridley turtle.

Major towns and cities along the river

In Maharashtramarker:

In Andhra Pradeshmarker:

Dams and bridges along the river

A barrage was built on the river at Dowleswarammarker by Sir Arthur Cotton in 1852.As it was damaged in 1987 floods,it was rebuilt as a barrage and roadway during 1987 and named after him. The roadway connects Dowleswarammarker in East Godavarimarker and Vijjeswaram in West Godavarimarker.

There is also a big dam built just after the source of the river at Trimbakeshwarmarker. The dam is in the town of Gangapur, which literally means a town on a river. The dam provides drinking water to the residents of Nashik and also supplies water to the thermal power station situated downstream at Eklahara, which provides power to the town.

There is another multipurpose project on the Godavari River named Sriram Sagar Project on the borders of Adilabad and Nizamabad District. It is in the town of Pochampad, 60 km away from Nizamabad. It irrigates 4 districts of Northern Telangana Region of Andhra Pradesh and supplies power.

The Jayakwadi dammarker near Paithanmarker is one of the largest earthen dam in India. This dam was built to address the problem of drought in Marathwada region and problem of flood along the bank of river. Two 'left' and 'right' canals provide the irrigation to fertile land up to Nanded district. This dam has major contribution in industrial development of Aurangabad Maharashtramarker.

There are 3 railway bridges which are connected in between East Godavari and West Godavari districts.
  1. Havelock bridge (Named after the then Madras Governor)
  2. Rail-cum-road bridge
  3. New railway bridge

  • Havelock bridge
Started in 1876 and from 19th century onwards it's been helping in transportation between the old Madras state to Calcuttamarker. The first Godavari rail bridge was built in 1897, under the supervision of Granville Mills and Er.Walton, British engineers, across the mighty River Godavari connecting East Godavari with West Godavari. Stretching for three kilometres, constructed with stone masonry and steel girders, this bridge served the trains plying between Chennaimarker and Howrahmarker. With the increased traffic in goods and passengers, a rail-cum-road bridge was built a quarter century ago across the downstream of the river. Since this first rail bridge outlived its purpose by serving for more than 100 years, train services on this bridge were suspended in 1997 with the commissioning of the third Godavari bridge. Today, the first Godavari bridge still stands as a monument of human endeavor and skill.
  • Rail-cum-road bridge

This bridge is constructed to serve as both a Railway bridge and as a Road way between the East Godavari and West Godavari Districts.
  • New Railway Bridge
This bridge was started in 1997, built across the Upstream of the river.

Places of interest

Like any other major rivers in India, the banks of this river also has many pilgrimage sites.

  • Trimbakeshwarmarker - One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva.
  • Nashikmarker - One of the four Sinhastha Kumbh Mela, Hindu pilgrimage place.
  • Paithanmarker - Saint Eknath's native place, famous Jayakwadi dammarker, and a beautiful garden name as Sant Dnyneshwar Udyan.
  • Nandedmarker - Takht Sri Hazur Sahibmarker, One of the five most sacred places in Sikhism.
  • Bhadrachalammarker - Hindu Temple of Lord Rama.
  • Rajahmundrymarker - Center for Telugu Literature. A town that symbolises Telugu Culture. It is the native of Aadikavi Nannaya, one of the writers of kavitrayam. Famous for the Godavari Pushkaralu - an event that happens once in every 12 years, celebrated with pomp and glory and attended by lakhs of people from all round the world. A bath in Godavari during the pushkaram period is said to be equivalent to bathing in the holy River Ganga.
  • Pattiseema - A village where a Hindu temple is located on a small hill on an island in the river.
  • Basar (originally, Vyasara) - Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari, in Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh. It is 210 km from state capital Hyderabad and accessible by road and rail (nearest major station: Nizamabad, although Basar station also exists). It is considered 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.
  • Kaleshwaram - Sri Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy Temple is situated here on the banks of Triveni sangamam of rivers godavari and pranahita. (border of Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra). It is 125 kilometers away from Karimnagar, 115 km away from Warangal city.
  • Antarvedimarker - Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple.

See also


External links

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