What Major Bodies of Water Are in India?


India is bordered by the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea; combined, these bodies of water account for over 7,000 kilometers of coastline. The major bodies of water within the borders of India include the Brahmaputra River system, the Ganga Bhagirathi Hooghly River, and the West Coast Canal. The largest freshwater lake in India is Wular Lake.

The Brahmaputra River system stretches from the cities of Sadiya to Dhubri. The Ganga Bhagirathi Hooghly River stretches between Allahabad in Uttar Predesh and Haldia in West Bengal. The Ganges River, the most major portion of the river system, begins at the merging of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda Rivers and eventually flows in to the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges River is the third largest river in the world by discharge. The Ganges branches off into the Hooghly River at Pakur in the southeast portion of India; the Hooghly River is the Ganges’ first distributary. The West Coast Canal stretches from Kottapuram to Kollam.

In total, India contains over 14,500 kilometers of navigable waterways. All of India’s rivers originate in either the Vindhya and Satpura Mountain ranges, Karakoram and Himalayan Mountain ranges, or Sahyadri and Western Ghats Mountain ranges. The most important gulfs in India are the Gulf of Kutch, the Gulf of Cambay and the Gulf of Mannar.