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.
Major rivers flowing in Andhra pradesh
(1) Godavari :The Godavari River rises in northwestern Maharashtra state in the Western Ghats range, only about 50 miles (80 km) from the Arabian Sea, and flows for most of its course generally eastward across the broad plateau of the Deccan (peninsular India). After traversing central Maharashtra it enters northern Telangana state northwest of Nizamabad and continues through a broad valley and, for a short stretch, forms the border with Madhya Pradesh state to the north. The river then turns southeastward for the last 200 miles (320 km) of its course, flowing through a gap in the Eastern Ghats ranges and then across Andhra Pradesh state before reaching the Bay of Bengal. There it empties via its two mouths: the Gautami Godavari to the north and the Vasishta Godavari to the south.
Within the state of Andhra Pradesh, it flows through hilly terrain of the Eastern Ghats known as the Papi hills which explains the narrowing of its bed as it flows through a gorge for a few km, only to re-widen at Polavaram. Before crossing the Papi hills, it receives its last major tributary Sabari River on its left bank. The river upon reaching the plains begins to widen out until it reaches Rajamundry. Arma Konda or Jindhagada Peak (1,680 m (5,510 ft) above msl) located near Paderu is the highest peak in the Godavari river basin as well as in Eastern Ghats.
After crossing Rajahmundry, the Godavari splits into two branches which are called Vriddha Gautami (Gautami Godavari) and Vasishta Godavari. Again the Gautami branch splits into two branches namely Gautami and Nilarevu. Similarly the Vasishta splits into two branches named Vasishta and Vainateya. These four branches which join the Bay of Bengal at different places, are forming a delta of length 170 km (110 mi) along the coast of the Bay of Bengal and is called the Konaseema region. This delta along with the delta of the Krishna River is called the Rice Granary of South India.
(2) Krishna river : The Krishna River is the fourth-biggest river in terms of water inflows and river basin area in India, after the Ganga, Godavari and Brahmaputra. The river is almost 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) long. The river is also called Krishnaveni. It is a major source of irrigation for Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.Krishna enters Andhra Pradesh near Deosugur in Raichur district and meanders through Mehbubnagar, Kurnool, Guntur and Krishna districts. The river merges into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi. Two dams, Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar are constructed across the Krishna River. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is world’s tallest masonry dam (124 meters).
(3) Penna river
The Penna is a river of southern India. The Penna rises on the hill of Nandi Hills in Chikballapur District of Karnataka state, and runs north and east through the state of Andhra Pradesh to empty into the Bay of Bengal. It is 597 kilometres (371 mi) long, with a drainage basin covering 55,213 km2 , 6,937 km2 in Karnataka and 48,276 km2 in Andhra Pradesh.
The Kolar Plateau forms the divide between the Penna watershed and those of the Kaveri, Ponnaiyar, and Palar rivers to the south. The Penna drains the northern portion of the plateau, which includes parts of Kolar and Tumkur districts in Karnataka. The Krishna River and its tributaries drain the Deccan plateau to the west and north of the Penna’s watershed, and the low Erramala hills forms the northern divide of the Penna basin. The upper watershed of the Penna includes Cuddapah District, central and eastern Anantapur District, the southern part of Kurnool District, northwestern Chittoor District. The main tributaries of the Penna are the Jayamangali, Kunderu and Sagileru from the north, and the Chitravathi, Papagni and Cheyyeru from the south. The Penna then flows east through a gap in the Eastern Ghats ranges onto the plain of Coastal Andhra, flowing through Nellore city before it empties into the Bay of Bengal at a place called Utukuru, 15 km east of Nellore.
(4) vedavathi river : The Vedavathi is a river in India. It rises from the Western Ghats and flows through the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh . The Vedavathi is also called the Hagari in parts of Andhra Pradesh. Two rivers, the Veda and Avathi, arise in the eastern part of the Sahyadri Hill range, flow east, and join concert near Pura to form the Vedavathi.The river has a cultural significance, with the people along the belt of the Hagari depending entirely on the river for most of their needs. Bhairivani Tippa Reservoir is built across this river.
(5) Tungabhadra river : The Tungabhadra River is a river in India that starts and flows through the state of Karnataka during most of its course, before flowing along the border between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and ultimately joining the Krishna River along the border of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
(6) Champavathi river : Champavathi is a small river which originates in the Eastern Ghats at an altitude of 1,200 metres above mean sea level near Andra village and flows eastwards and joins the Bay of Bengal near the village Konada. The river passes through Gajapathinagaram, Nellimarla, Saripalli, Denkada, Palem and Natavalasa of Vizianagaram district. The river has four main tributaries Eduvampula Gedda, Chitta Gedda, Pothula Gedda and Gadi Gedda. The basin has a drainage area of 1,410 square kilometres. This area is divisible into Hilly terrain (Madugula hills), Vizianagaram plains and Coastal plains. Denkada anicut was constructed across Champavathi River in 1965–1968. The project is located near Saripalli village, Nellimarla Mandal, Vizianagaram District to irrigate a total ayacut of 5,153 acres.
(7) Palar : Palar is a river of southern India. It rises in Nandi Hills, India in Kolar district of Karnataka state, and flows 93 kilometres (58 mi) in Karnataka, 33 kilometres (21 mi) in Andhra Pradesh and 222 kilometres (138 mi) in Tamil Nadu before its confluence into the Bay of Bengal at Vayalur about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of Chennai. It flows as an underground river for a long distance only to emerge near Bethamangala town, from where, gathering water and speed, it flows eastward down the Deccan Plateau. The cities of Ramanaickenpet, Vaniyambadi, Ambur, Gudiyatham, Vellore, Melvisharam, Arcot,Ranipet Walajapet (Anaicut), Kanchipuram, and Chengalpattu are located on banks of Palar River. Of all the total of seven tributaries, the chief tributary is Cheyyar River.
Palar river water from Palar anicut is diverted to the Poondi reservoir located in Kosasthalaiyar River basin and to Chembarambakkam Lake located in Adayar River basin. These two reservoirs are major water supply points to Chennai city. After commissioning of the Telugu Ganga project to supply nearly 1000 million litres per day of Krishna River water to the Chennai city, the dependence on Palar river water has reduced drastically.
Major Lakes in Andhra Pradesh
Durgam Cheruvu is mainly known as the ‘Secret Lake’. This lake is made of prehistoric rocks and is the lake of its own. This lake is basically called as the Secret Lake because of its presence hidden by the formation of rocks. This lake is just nearby the craft village of Shilparamam at Madhapur. In order to attract the visitors, the maintenance of this lake was done by the State Tourism Department in a very large scale. Here in this lake, visitors also enjoying camping, trekking, pedal boating, water scooter riding etc.
Hussain Sagar is one of the largest manmade beautiful lake just located in the center of the city of Hyderabad. This lake is non natural and also had a capacity of holding the water continuously. Just at the time period of Qutub Shah ruling, this lake was constructed in year 1562 at the river Musi stream. This lake joined the city of Secunderabad and Hyderabad identically. This is commonly called as Tank Bund.
Kambham Lake is located in the east region of the district of Godavari in Rajahmundry. The other names of this lake are Kambhala Cheruvu and Kambham Vari Cheruvu. In year 185 to 1850, Mr. Kambham Narasingarao Pantulu constructed this.
Kolleru Lake is created with the Godavari and Krishna deltas. This lake is considered to be the biggest lake that holding a fresh water. From the Vijayawada, it is about 95 km far. In the season of monsoon, this lake spreads over an area of 260 sq kms.
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