Rivers and Drainage System of Haryana

Rivers and Drainage System of Haryana

Drainage systems of Haryana

  • Drainage systems, also known as river systems, are the patterns formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular drainage basin.
  • They are governed by the topography of the land, whether a particular region is dominated by hard or soft rocks, and the gradient of the land.


  • Haryana has no perennial rivers of its own.
  • The important rivers flowing through the State are the Yamuna, the Saraswati and the Ghaggar.
  • Several small streams also flow through the state namely, the Markanda, the Sahibi and Indori.
  • The Yamuna enters the State near Kalesar and is the source of irrigation for large tracts of farmland in the state.
  • Its waters flow in districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Hissar and Rohtak through the western Yamuna canals.
  • The seasonal river called Saraswati originates from the large depression at Kalawar in the north of the Mustafabad Pargana of Jagadhri. The Ghaggar rises in the outer Himalayan ranges between the Yamuna and the Sutlej.

The Yamuna River in Haryana

  • Yamuna River forms the eastern boundary of Haryana with Uttar Pradesh.
  • Yamuna enters Haryana near the Kalesar forest in Yamunanagar district.
  • It flows south along the districts of Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, and exits Haryana near Hasanpur in district Faridabad. Yamuna, also called as Jamuna, originates from the Bundar Poonch glaciers in district Uttarkashi and rises from Jamnotri in the Himalayas.
  • River Tons, which flows along the boundary of Himachal Pradesh , west of district Tehri Garhwal joins Yamuna River at Kalsi and thereafter enters the plains.
  • From Kalsi, the river flows along the boundary of Himachal Pradesh, Near Mathura, Yamuna turns southeastward and passes through Agra, Firozabad, and Etawah.
  • Below Etawah, it receives a number of southern tributaries, the largest of which are the Chambal, the Sindh, the Betwa, and the Ken.
  • Near Allahabad , after a course of about 855 miles (1,376 km), the Yamuna joins the Ganges River; their confluence is a sacred place to Hindus

The Ghaggar River in Haryana

  • The Ghaggar River is an intermittent river that flows in India and Pakistan. The river flows only during the monsoon season.
  • It rises from the Shivalik Range of northwestern Himachal Pradesh. The river then flows through Pinjore in Haryana to meet River Saraswati.
  • After passing through Ambala and Hisar districts of Haryana, it disappears into the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. Its total length is about 467km from its source.
  • This seasonal river feeds two irrigation canals that extend into Rajasthan.
  • The Hakra, which flows in Pakistan, is the continuation of the Ghaggar River in India and the twosome is called the Ghaggar-Hakra River.
  • Several historians identify Ghaggar with the Vedic Sarswati River.
  • Along the banks of the Ghaggar river, many settlements of Indus Valley Civilization have been excavated.

The Saraswati River in Haryana

  • Saraswati is believed to have originated from the Har-ki-Dun glacier in west Garhwal (Uttaranchal).
  • It flowed parallel to the river Yamuna for some distance and later joined it, proceeding south as the Vedic Saraswati.Rivers and Drainage System of Haryana
  • The seasonal rivers and rivulets, including Ghaggar, joined Saraswati as it followed the course of the present river through Punjab and Haryana.
  • River Sutluj, the Vedic Shatadru, joined the river Saraswati as a tributary at Shatrana, approximately 25km south of Patiala.
  • Saraswati then followed the course of Ghaggar through Rajasthan, Gujarat and Hakra in Bhawalpur before emptying into the Rann of Kutch via Nara in Sindh province, running parallel to the Indus River.
  • It has been established that the river Saraswati, carrying the waters of three perennial and numerous seasonal rivers, was a mighty river in the Vedic times.

The Markanda River in Haryana

  • Markanda, a tributary of theYamuna River, is a small river of Nahan area, in the Sirmaur District of Himachal Pradesh.
  • After leaving Himachal Pradesh, the river flows through Haryana near Ambala. The Markanda river’s ancient name was Aruna.
  • It originates from the southern face of the lower Himalayas on the western extremity in the Paonta Valley.
  • It flows across the Ambala and Karnal districts. Its surplus water finds its way into Sanisa lake, where it joins the Saraswati.
  • This rain- fed river has a very low flow in the winters and summers, but during the monsoon, water level rises abruptly.

The Sahibi River in Haryana

  • The Sahibi originates in the Mewat hills near Jitgarh and Manoharpur about 133km from Jaipur in Rajasthan.
  • Gathering volume from about a hundred tributaries, it attains voluminous proportions, forming a broad stream around Alwar and Patan.
  • On reaching Rohtak, it branches off into two smaller streams, finally reaching the outskirts of Delhi, and flowing into the Yamuna.

The Indori River in Haryana

  • This river raises near the old fort of Indora in the Mewat hills.
  • The main branch flows into the Sahibi River.
  • It flows northwards from the south. The seasonal rivers of Haryana flow only in the rainy season

Detailed Explanation of Yamuna River Basin

  • River Yamuna, with a total length of 1376 km, rises from Yamunotri glacier in the Bandarpunch range of Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand.
  • Together with river Ganga in which it merges at Prayag (Allahabad) it forms the vast Ganga -Yamuna doab (flood plains) which are the well known fertile plains of north India.
  • River Yamuna basin, spread over some 366,220 sq km, lies in the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh (HP), Uttar Pradesh (UP), Haryana, NCT of Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Water Development in Haryana

  • Haryana is one of India’s major irrigating states, with approximately 2.9 mha under surface irrigation.
  • Haryana, from being a food deficit state in 1966 at the time of its inception, has now emerged as a major contributor to the national pool of food grains.
  • Agriculture accounts for 31% of the state GDP and, along with Punjab, Haryana led India’s Green Revolution.
  • Grain yields are some 30-40% above the national average and with just 1.4% of India’s area, this small state provides 30% of the national procurement of wheat and 10% of its rice.
  • Development of water for irrigation can be cited as one of the major contributor to Haryana’s agricultural success.
  • Western Yamuna Canal (WYC) with majority of its command area falling in Haryana and a liberal use of ground water can be considered to be the most significant influences on the agricultural turn-around in the state of Haryana.



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