• The Tapti River (or Tapi) is a river in central India located to the south of the Narmada river that flows westwards before draining into the Arabian Sea.
  • The Tapti River rises in Multai, in Madhya Pradesh, and with a total length of 724 km is the second longest west-flowing river in India, after the Narmada River. It is regarded as the Narmada‘s “twin” or “handmaid.”
  • The river goes through the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh and has a length of around 724 kilometres.
  • It drains into the Gulf of Khambhat, in the Arabian Sea, in Gujarat.
  • The Tapti River and its tributaries travel across the plains of Vidarbha, Khandesh, and Gujarat, as well as huge sections of Maharashtra and a minor area of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
  • The basin spans the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat and has an area of 65,000 square kilometres.
  • The basin is located on the Deccan plateau and is limited on the north by the Satpura rangeon the east by the Mahadev hills, on the south by the Ajanta Range and the Satmala hills, and on the west by the Arabian Sea.
  • The basin’s steep section is densely wooded, whilst the lowlands are large and rich areas excellent for farming.
  • The basin is divided into two distinct physical regions: the hilly area and the plains; the mountainous part includes the Satpura, Satmalas, Mahadeo, Ajanta, and Gawilgarh hills, which are densely forested.
  • The plain mostly encompasses the Khandesh regions (Khandesh is a region of central India that constitutes the northwestern section of Maharashtra state), which are vast and fertile.
  • Textile plants in Surat and a paper and newsprint factory in Nepanagar are important industries in the basin.
  • Upper Tapi Project Hatnur Dam (Maharashtra) Ukai Project’s Kakrapar Weir and Ukai Dam (Gujarat) Girna Dam and Dahigam Weir of Girna Project (Maharashtra) are Tapti River Projects.
  • The port of Swally Hole, at the river’s mouth, well known in Anglo-Portuguese colonial history, is now deserted, having become silted up.
Tapti River (Tapi)
Tapti River (Tapi)

Tapti River – Major Tributaries

  • On both banks of the Tapti, there are various tributaries. The Tapti River has 14 major tributaries, (totaling more than 50 kilometres in length) four are right bank and ten are left bank tributaries.
    • Tapti’s left bank drainage system is more extensive than the right bank drainage system.
  • The right bank tributaries originate in the Satpura ranges and include: Vaki, Aner, Arunawati, and Gomai
  • The left bank tributaries include: Nesu, Amravati, Buray, Panjhara, Bori, Girna, Waghur, Purna, Mona, and Sipna.

Purna River

  • Purna, is one of the tributaries of Tapi, joins from the left. The Purna is the principal affluent of the Tapi.
  • It is the main artery of a network of rivers and streams draining Akola, Amravati and Buldana districts of Maharashtra and Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. It is the only river in the upper Tapi Basin, which has a perennial flow.
  • Rising in the Gawilgarh hills at an elevation of 900 m, the Purna flows first in a South westerly direction for about 60 km through hills and forests before it enters the Purna plains. Flowing in a generally westerly direction for a length of 274 Km, the Purna joins the Tapi north west of Edalabad.
  • The Man river is the main left bank tributaries of Purna, and Chandrabhaga and Wan are the principal right bank tributaries. Thus Purna drains a total area of 18, 929 Sq.km.

Girna River

  • The Girna River is a river in Maharashtra state of southern India. It originates at Kem peak in the Western Ghats range of Nashik District, and flows east across Nashik and Jalgaon districts, swinging north in Jalgaon District to join the Tapti River.
  • The dams on the river are Chanakapur and Girana Dam. The name Girna derives from the name of Goddess Giraja (Parvati).
  • The basin of the Girna lies on the Deccan Plateau, and its valley has fertile soils which are intensively farmed.


  • Gomai River is tributary of Tapti River. It originates in Satpura Mountain Range and merge in Tapi River around 2 km east of Prakasha.
  • Gomai river itself has many small tributary rivers like Susri river (passing by Sultanpur), Tipria river (passing by Mandane), Umri river, Sukhi river.

Panzara (or Panjhra)

  • The Panzara-Kan or Panjhra is a river in Khandesh region of Maharashtra state of India. It is a tributary of the Tapi River.
  • Panjhra River originates just few kilometers from a small town Pimpalner, Tal-Sakri in Dhule District. One small reservoir named Latipada dam is constructed just after its origin.


  • The only important left bank tributary of the Purna is the Pedhi.
  • It rises in the low hills near Rithpur in Morshi tahsil and receives a number of small affluent both from the east and the west, the chief on the west being the Naghira river.
  • Rithpur,Walgaon and Bhatkuli are few important villages at banks of the river.
  • It is one of the water-supply source to the city of Amravati.


  • The first of the principal right bank affluent of the Purna is the Arna which emerges from the Satpuda hills in Betul district and flows in a south and south-easterly direction passing by Sirasgaon to join the Purna just below Deurwada.

The soil of the Tapti River Basin

  • The basin is made up of black soils, while Gujarat’s coastal plains are made up of alluvial clays with a layer of black soil on top.
  • The soil in the Tapi basin up to the Ukai Dam can be divided into three categories:
    • Coarse shallow soils
    • Medium black soils
    • Deep black soils
  • Coarse shallow soils:
    • These soils have developed primarily from the basaltic Deccan trap and have been considerably affected by natural processes of weathering and erosion.
    • Their depth is generally between 25cm to 50 cm and seldom more, their texture from surface to sub surface varies from silty loam to clay.
    • Their organic matter content is usually poor and they are moderately drained.
  • Medium black soils:
    • These soils have developed from Deccan traps and cover the largest area of the basin. Their depth is generally between 50cm to 1m. these soils contain higher lime reserve and are alkaline in reaction.
    • These soils are fair in their contents of phosphates and potash but low in organic matter and nitrogen.
  • Deep black soils:
    • These soils are found along the Purna river and in the middle and lower reaches of Tapi River.
    • These soils have originated primarily from decomposition of trap rocks of hilly ranges. The depth of this soil varies from 1m to 6m.
    • The soil have very high clay content Montmorillonite predominating and not easily workable during monsoon. The soil reaction varies from neutral to alkaline.

Important Projects in Tapi River Basin

  • Important Projects:
    • Hathnur Dam of Upper Tapi Project, Kakrapar weir and Ukai Dam of Ukai Project, Girna Dam and Dahigaon Weir of Girna Project.
  • Hydropower Development:
    • At present Hydro Power station is located in Ukai Dam.

Urban Centres and Industries

  • Important industries in the basin are textile factories in Surat and paper and news print factory at Nepanagar.
  • Other industries are machine tools, drugs and pharmaceuticals, plastic and allied products.
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