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Rivers in Bihar UPSC NOTE


Rivers in Bihar


  • The river Gandak, is also known as the Gandaki and Narayani River in Nepal. 

  • It is a significant river that flows through the northern part of India and Nepal.

  • The river Gandak originates at an altitude of 7620 m above main sea level in the north of Dhaulagisi in Tibet near Nepal border.

  • 445 kilometers running through India and 185 kilometers in Nepal.

  • The river flows through the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and joins the Ganges near Patna just downstream of Hajipur.

Rivers in Bihar


  • The major tributaries of the Gandak River include the Mayangadi, Bari, Trisuli, Panchand, Sarhad, Budhi Gandak.

  • Valmiki National Park and Tiger Reserve in Bihar is located on the banks of this river.

Rivers in Bihar


  • The Bagmati River flows through the Kathmandu valley of Nepal, separating the cities of Kathmandu from Patan, before flowing through Madesh Province of southern Nepal and joins the Kamla River in the Indian state of Bihar. 

  • It is considered holy by both Hindus and Buddhists.

  • According to the Nepalese Hindu tradition, the dead body must be dipped three times into the Bagmati river before cremation, so that the reincarnation cycle may be ended.

Rivers in Bihar


  • Resistant rock strata interrupt the flow in places, including at Pashupatinath Temple.

Rivers in Bihar


  • Adhwara group of river originates from the foothills of Nepal. 

  • The vast tract of very fertile land in North Bihar lying between river Kamla and Bagmati is known as the Adhwara Sub-Basin. 

  • This basin is traversed by a network of river namely Adhwara, Jamura, Sikau, Burhand, Khiroi, Singhi, Marha, Rato Dhaus and Darbhanga Bagmati. 

  • After traversing the whole basin interconnected finally form two distinct drainage channels namely Khiroi and Darbhanga Bagmati. 

Rivers in Bihar


  • The Kamala originates in Nepal at an elevation of 1,200 metres.

  • During the monsoon the river swells up and thus causes devastating river bank erosion.

  • It enters Indian territory in Madhubani district in Bihar.

  • A barrage known as Kamala barrage has been constructed by the State Government near Jainagar.

  • The main tributaries of the Kamala River are the Tao, Baijnath Khola, Mainawati, Dhauri, Soni, Balan, Trisula, and Chadaha.

Rivers in Bihar


  • The Kosi or Koshi is a transboundary river which flows through China, Nepal and India.

  • The Kosi River is known as the "Sorrow of Bihar"

  • It drains the northern slopes of the Himalayas in Tibet and the southern slopes in Nepal.

  • The Kosi River is also known as Saptakoshi for its seven upper tributaries.

  • The river Kosi is formed by the confluence of three streams namely the Sun Kosi, the Arun Kosi and Tamur Kosi all taking their origin in the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet. 

Rivers in Bihar


  • The Saptakoshi crosses into northern Bihar, India where it branches into distributaries before joining the Ganges near Kursela in Katihar district.

  • Kamala, Bagmati (Kareh) are the major tributaries of Kosi River in India, besides minor tributaries such as Bhutahi Balan.

  • The Kosi River catchment covers six geological and climatic belts varying in altitude, comprising the Tibetan plateau, the Himalayas, the Himalayan mid-hill belt, the Mahabharat Range, the Siwalik Hills and the Terai.

Rivers in Bihar


  • The Kosi alluvial fan is one of the largest in the world.

Rivers in Bihar


  • The Mahananda River is a trans-boundary river that flows through Bihar and West Bengal, and Bangladesh. 

  • It is an important tributary of the Ganges.

  • The Mahananda river system consists of two streams- one is locally known as Fulahar river and the other Mahananda.

  • Fulahar originates from mountainous region of Himalayas in Nepal and traverses through the Indian state of Bihar and merges with Ganges in left opposite to Rajmahal.

Rivers in Bihar


  • The Mahananda originates in the Himalayas: near Chimli, east of Kurseong in Darjeeling district. 

  • It flows through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and descends to the plains near Siliguri.

Causes of flood in Bihar 

  • Rivers like Gandak, Bagmati-Adhwara, Kamla, Kosi and Mahananda originate in Nepal, and heavy rainfall in the neighbouring country leads to floods in Bihar’s northern districts such as Madhubani, Araria, Kishanganj, Sitamarhi, Supaul and Madhepura.

  • During the monsoon season, Kosi river picks up a heavy silt load, which it redeposits at times, causing it to change its channel. This leads to flooding in India with extreme effects.

Steps taken to prevent flood in Bihar 

  • Anti-erosion work at 298 places with high chances of flooding.

  • Early warning system to minimise the impact of floods.

  • Government will also be using a new application, Befikr, which will provide real-time information about floods. People can also use the app to share problems and the government will look into them.

  • Kosi Barrage, also called Bhimnagar Barrage, in the Indo-Nepal border. It is an irrigation, flood control and hydropower generation project on the Kosi River.

Way forward 

  • Build a dam in Nepal to prevent floods in Bihar.

  • A high-rise dam to control the discharge of water — water in the dam can also be used for irrigation and diverted to drought-hit regions.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Rivers in Bihar UPSC NOTE
Rivers in Bihar UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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