Orissa lies on the eastern coast of India with the waters of the Bay of Bengal swirling along its eastern and southeastern boundaries. With an area of about 1,55,707 square kilometers, the state offers diverse habitats from lush green and hilly terrain to coastal plains and rolling river valleys, crises-crossed by the Brahmani, the Mahanadi and the Bansadhara rivers. With its long history spanning several centuries, the region of modern Orissa is today one of the most popular destination with tourists.
Geographical Location of Orissa comprises of many facets of Topology. There are the burning Chotnagpur plateaus on one hand while on the other lies the mystifying Bay of Bengal. The topography of the states reveals the exact location of Orissa on the axis of the earth and enlightens us about the unique physical features of the state. It lies between the 81.27'E and 87.29'East longitude and 17.49'N and 22.34'North latitude. It is the 9th largest state of India with an area of around 155,707 square kilometers. Bay of Bengal fences its boundaries from the eastern side with a coastline of around 450 kms. Madhya Pradesh lies on its western part while it has Andhra Pradesh on its South; towards the North it has West Bengal as its neighbor.
The areas of the state bordering the Bay of Bengal has coastal plains, while the middle part has mountains and highlands and are sparsely populated areas. The Chotanagpur plateaus run in the central part of the state while on the west it has the rolling uplands. The state also has plain fertile lands as a result of the floods it experiences during the monsoons. These five units together comprise the metamorphological regions of Orissa.
The coastal plain of Orissa is stretched between the Subernrekha River near West Bengal and River Rushikulya in south. Several rivers including Mahanadi and its tributaries like Baitarani, Suberrekha, Brahmani, Budhabalnga etc. forms their delta in this region before their final submergence in Bay of Bengal. The largest coastal lake of India, Chilka is basically a backwater lagoon formed by the main rivers and their tributaries.
The lands of Orissa are irrigated by many large rivers and their tributaries. While some of them originate in Orissa itself, River Mahanadi is the largest river of Orissa and the sixth largest of India, originates from the Holy Amarkantak Hills of the Bastar Plateau lying in the state of Chatisgarh. But unlike river Bhauda and river Vamsadhara, Mahanadi forms almost all of its catchment area in Orissa while the former ones Originates from Orissa but irrigates the land of other states. Brahmani River is the second largest river of Orissa, River Koel and River Sankh merges into one at Ved Vyasa near the steel city of Rourkela to form River Baitarini.
The three fourth part of Orissa is comprised of the middle mountains which were once part of the Gondwanas. Now these mountains are a part of the Eastern Ghat ranges. The highest peak of the region is called Deomali.
The central plateaus comprise the slopes of the Eastern Ghats. The two main plateau of the region are Panposh-Keonjhar-Pallahara plateau and the Nabrangpur-Jeypore plateau. These two plateaus are more elevated in comparison to the uplands. Infact the elevation goes down as we move from the middle mountains towards the rolling uplands. The average height of Middle Mountains is 900 metres above sea level while it comes down between 305-620 metres in the central plateau and decline further with an average height of mere 153 metres ? 305 metres in the plains. There are a number of springs and hot springs also in the state and a number of waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani, increasing the scenic beauty of the state.
The flood plains are the most fertile lands of the state. The heavy rains of monsoons bring in flood in many regions of Orissa as most of the rivers of this state flows beyond their normal level during this season. The accumulation of the soils eroded by floods every year has resulted in the fertile lands in forms of Flood plains in Orissa. Most of the agricultural activities of the state takes place in these plains.
There are four meteorological seasons are felt in Odisha namely:
Besides descriptions made above particularly three seasons are mainly experienced in Odisha: Summer, Monsoon, Winter. However in Odisha locally there are six seasons: Grishma, Barsha, Sarata, Hemanta, Sisira, Basanta which cover the whole year.
On the basis of homogeneity, continuity and physiographical characteristics, Odisha has been divided into five major regions:
The Odisha Coastal Plains or Utkal Plains are the depositional landforms of recent origin and geologically belong to the Post-Tertiary Period. The 75 metre contourline delimits their western boundary and differentiates them from the Middle Mountainous Region. This region stretches from the West Bengal border, i.e. from the River Subarnarekha in the north to the River Rushikulya in the south.
This region is the combination of several deltas of varied sizes and shapes formed by the major rivers of Odisha, such as the Subarnarekha, the Budhabalanga, the Baitarani, the Brahmani, the Mahanadi, and the Rushikulya. Therefore, the coastal plain of Odisha is called the "Hexadeltaic region" or the "Gift of Six Rivers". It stretches along the coast of the Bay of Bengal having the maximum width in the Middle Coastal Plain (the Mahanadi Delta), narrow in the Northern Coastal Plain (Balasore Plain) and narrowest in the Southern Coastal Plain (Ganjam Plain). The North Coastal Plain comprises the deltas of the Subarnarekha and the Budhabalanga rivers and bears evidences of marine transgressions. The Middle Coastal Plain comprises the compound deltas of the Baitarani, Brahmani and Mahanadi rivers and bears evidences of past 'back bays' and present lakes. The South Coastal Plain comprises the laccustrine plain of Chilika lake and the smaller delta of the Rushikulya River.
The region covers about three-fourth of the entire State. Geologically it is a part of the Indian Peninsula which was a part of the ancient landmass of Gondwanaland. The major rivers of Odisha with their tributaries have cut deep and narrow valleys. This region mostly comprises the hills and mountains of the Eastern Ghats which rise abruptly and steeply in the east and slope gently to a dissected plateau in the west running from north-west (Mayurbhanj) to south-west (Malkangiri). The Odisha highlands are also known as the Garhjat Hills. This region is well marked by a number of interfluves or watersheds. The Eastern Ghats is interrupted by a number of broad and narrow river valleys and flood plains. The average height of this region is about 900 metres above the mean seal level. The highest peak is Deomali.
The plateaus are mostly eroded plateaus forming the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats with elevation varying from 305-610 metres. There are two broad plateaus in Odisha : (i) the Panposh - Keonjhar -Pallahara plateau comprises the Upper Baitarani catchment basin, and (ii) the Nabrangpur - Jeypore plateau comprises the Sabari basin.
The rolling uplands are lower in elevation than the plateaus. They vary from 153m-305m. They are the products of continued river action, are rich in soil nutrients, and are situated in the koelsankh basin of the upper Brahamani in the IB, the Suktel and the tell of the middle Mohanadi and the Sabari basins. The rolling uplands may be grouped as follows: the Rajgangpur uplands, the Jharsuguda uplands, the Bhawani pattna uplands, the Bargarh uplands, the Balangir - Titlagarh uplands-the Patnagarh uplands, the Malkanigir uplands and the Rairangapur uplands.
The flood plains of Orissa are the region that has been formed by different rivers of the state. These rivers form the life blood of the entire state as they provide water not only for irrigation and drinking but also are the source for some major Hydro electrical projects in the state.
There are four groups of rivers, which flow through Orissa into the Bay of Bengal. The first group is the rivers that have a source outside the State such as the Subarnarekha, the Brahmani and the Mahanadi. The second group is the rivers having a source inside the State such as the Budhabalanga, the Baitarini, the Salandi, and the Rushikulya. The third group represents the rivers having a source inside the Orissa, but flow through other states such as the Bahudu, the Vansadhara, and the Nagavali. Thelast group represents the rivers having a source inside Orissa, but tributary to rivers, which flow, through other states such as the Machkund, the Sileru, the Kolab, and the Indravati.
It is the major river of Orissa and the sixth largest river in India. It originates from the Amarkantak hills of the Bastar Plateau in Raipur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is about 857 kms. Long (494 kms. In Orissa) and its catchment area spreads over 141,600 Sq.kms. (65,580 Sq.kms.) in Orissa. The river carries on an average about 92,600 million m of water.
Sources: Like many other seasonal Indian rivers, the Mahanadi too is a combination of many mountain streams and thus its precise source is impossible to pinpoint. However its farthest headwaters lie 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from Pharsiya village 442 metres (1,450 ft) above sea level south of Nagri town in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh. The hills here are an extension of the Eastern Ghats and are a source of many other streams which then go on to join the Mahanadi.
For the first 80 kilometres (50 mi) of its course, the Mahanadi flows in a northerly direction and drains the Raipur district and touches eastern portions of Raipur city. It is a rather narrow river at this stage and the total width of its valley does not exceed 500 - 600 metres.
Middle course: After being joined by the Seonath, the river flows in an easterly direction through the remaining part of its journey. It is joined by the Jonk and Hasdeo rivers here before entering into Odisha after covering about half of its total length. Near the city of Sambalpur, it is dammed by the largest earthen dam in the world, the Hirakud Dam. A composite structure of earth, concrete and masonry, the dam measures 24 kilometres (15 mi) including the Dykes. It spans two hills; the Lamdungri on the left and the Chandili Dunguri on the right. It also forms the biggest artificial lake in Asia, with a reservoir holding 743 square kilometres (287 sq mi) at full capacity, with a shoreline of over 640 kilometres (400 mi).
After the formation of Chhattisgarh State, the major portion of Mahanadi basin now lies in Chhattisgarh. Presently, only 154 square kilometres (59 sq mi) basin area of Hasdeo River in Anuppur District lies in Madhya Pradesh.
Before the construction of the dam in 1953, the Mahanadi was about a mile wide at Sambalpur and carried massive amounts of silt, especially during the monsoon. Today, it is a rather tame river after the construction of the dam and is joined by the Ib, Ong, Tel and other minor streams. It then skirts the boundaries of the Baudh district and forces a tortuous way between ridges and ledges in a series of rapids until it reaches Dholpur, Odisha. The rapids end here and the river rolls towards the Eastern Ghats, forcing its way through them via the 64 kilometres (40 mi) long Satkosia Gorge. The Satakosia Gorge ends at Badamul of Nayagarh. Dense forests cover the hills flanking the river here. The river enters the Odisha plains at Naraj, about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Cuttack, where it pours down between two hills that are a mile apart. A barrage has been constructed here to regulate the river's flow into Cuttack.
Mouth: The river traverses Cuttack district in an east-west direction. Just before entering Cuttack, it gives off a large distributary called the Kathjori. The city of Cuttack stands on the spit separating the two channels. The Kathjori then throws off many streams like the Kuakhai, Devi and Surua which fall into the Bay of Bengal after entering Puri district. The Kathjori itself falls into the sea as the Jotdar. Other distributaries of Mahanadi include the Paika, Birupa, Chitroptala river, Genguti and Lun.The Birupa then goes on to join the Brahmani River at Krushnanagar and enters the Bay of Bengal at Dhamra. The Mahanadi proper enters the sea via several channels near Paradeep at False Point, Jagatsinghpur. The combined Delta of the Mahanadi's numerous distributaries and the Brahmani is one of the largest in India.
Water: An average annual surface water potential of 66.9 km has been assessed in this basin. Out of this, 50.0 km is utilisable water. Culturable area in the basin is about 80,000 square kilometres (31,000 sq mi), which is 4% of the total culturable area of the country.
Present use of surface water in the basin is 17.0 km. Live storage capacity in the basin has increased significantly since independence. From just about 0.8 km in the pre-plan period, the total live storage capacity of the completed projects has increased to 8.5 km. In addition, a substantial storage quantity of over 5.4 km would be created on completion of projects under construction. Additional storage to the tune of over 11.0 km would become available on execution of projects under consideration. The hydropower potential of the basin has been assessed as 627 MW at 60% load factor.
At its peak during the monsoon, the Mahanadi has a discharge rate of 2,000,000 cubic feet (57,000 m3) per second, almost as much as the much larger Ganges. However owing to its seasonal nature the river is mostly a narrow channel flanked by wide sand banks for most of the year.
Floods: Plum-headed parakeet at Tikarpara on the bank of river Mahanadi.
The Mahanadi was notorious for its devastating floods for much of recorded history. Thus it was called 'the sorrow of Orissa'. However the construction of the Hirakud Dam has greatly altered the situation. Today a network of canals, barrages and check dams keep the river well in control. However heavy rain can still cause large scale flooding as evidenced in September, 2008 when 16 people died as the river breached its banks.
In 2011, September heavy down pour of rain caused flash flood and many mud dwellings in more than 25 villages above Hirakud Dam which were never got affected before; both in Chhattisgarh and Odisha have melted down due to back water, which could not pass through the river.
It is the second largest river in Orissa. It originates as two major rivers like the Sankh and the Koel from the Chhotanagpur Plateau of Bihar and both join at Vedavyasa near Rourkela of Sundargarh district of Orissa forming the major River Brahmani. It flows through the Easter Ghats in Sundargarh, Kendujhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Jajpur districts into the Coastal Plains and enters into the Bay of Bengal along with a combined mouth with the Mahanadi known as the Dhamra. The Brahmani is 799 kms. long (541 kms. in Orissa) and its catchment area spreads over 39,033 sq.kms. in Orissa.
Course: The Brahmani is formed by the confluence of the rivers South Koel and Sankh near the major industrial town of Rourkela at 22 15'N and 84 47' E. The Sankh has its origins near the Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh border, not far from the Netarhat Plateau. The South Koel too arises in Jharkhand, near Lohardaga, on the other side of a watershed that also gives rise to the Damodar River. Both of these sources are in the Chota Nagpur Plateau. The site of the Brahmani's origin is mythologically reputed to be the place where Sage Parashara fell in love with the fisherman's daughter, Satyavati who later gave birth to Ved Vyasa, the compiler of the Mahabharata. The place is thus called Ved Vyasa.
After assuming the name of Brahmani, the river crosses the Tamra and Jharbera forests, skirting along National Highway 23. It then passes the town of Bonaigarh in Sundargarh district before being dammed at Rengali in Debgarh district. A large reservoir of the same name is created as a consequence. It then flows through the towns of Talcher and Dhenkanal before splitting up into two streams. The main stream flows by the town of Jajpur Road beyond which it is crossed by National Highway 5 and the Kolkata-Chennai mainline of East Coast Railway. The branch stream called Kimiria receives the waters of the Birupa (a distributary of the Mahanadi, Kelo and Genguti before re joining the main stream at Indupur. The river then receives the Kharsuan, on its left bank before merging with the Baitarani, a major river, to form the Dhamra estuary. A distributary called Maipara branches off here to join the Bay of Bengal a short distance away while the main stream proceeds northward for a few km more before ultimately meeting the sea near Chandbali at Palmyras Point. The Brahmani delta is the site of the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary, famous for its estuarine crocodiles.
The Baitarani River or River Vaitarani is one of six major rivers of Odisha, India. Venerated in popular epics and legends, the Baitarani River is a source of water for agricultural irrigation. Most of the potentially arable land in the area is not under cultivation. The coastal plain of Odisha has the name of "Hexadeltaic region" or the "Gift of Six Rivers". These deltas divide the coastal plain into three regions from north to south. The Baitarani, the Mahanadi and the Brahmani rivers form the Middle Coastal Plain, with evidence of past "back bays" and present lakes.
Sources: The Baitarani originates from the Gonasika/Guptaganga (Cow Nose Shaped) hills, and starts flowing over a stone looking like the nostril of a cow. Afterwards for about half a kilometre the river flows underground and is not visible from outside. The Baitarani is known here by the name Guptaganga or the Gupta Baitarani, in Gonasika of Keonjhar district in Orissa state of India at an elevation of 900 metres (3,000 ft) above sea level. The uppermost part of the river, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) in length, flows in a northerly direction; then it changes its path suddenly by 90 degrees and flows eastward. The beginning portion of Baitarani acts as the boundary between Orissa and Jharkhand.
Tributaries: The river enters a plain at Anandapur and creates a deltaic zone at Akhuapada. The river travels a distance of 360 kilometres (220 mi) to drain into the Bay of Bengal after joining of the Brahmani at Dhamra mouth near Chandabali. The river has 65 tributaries, of which 35 join from the left side and 30 join from the right side. The river basin in Odisha is spread among 42 blocks of eight districts. River Budha is one of the tributaries of Baitarani.
Location: A major portion of the river basin lies within the state of Odisha, while a small patch of the upper reach lies in Jharkhand state. The upper Baitarani basin on the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats, comprising the Panposh-Keonjhar-Pallahara plateau, is one of the two plateaus forming "The Central Plateaus"-one of Odisha's five major morphological regions.
Dams and barrages: Dams and barrages on the Baitarani and its major tributary, the Salandi, irrigate 61,920 hectares (153,000 acres). The proposed Bhimkund and upper Baitarani multi-purpose projects envisage many more dams across this river and its tributaries to provide irrigation to more than 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi).
Flooding: Flooding is a regular phenomenon in the Baitarani basin. Its inhabitants live in constant fear of loss to life and property. Even a two-day rain in July in 2005 caused the river to overflow its banks, affecting 140,000 people in 220 villages of Jajpur and Bhadrak districts. In at least two places the embankments were breached and marooning occurred, inflicting massive losses of life and property. Apart from the long pending construction of a dam at Bhimkund and proposed other measures like river bed excavation and construction of embankments etc. in the deltaic region, there remain the unaddressed land use issues in the upstream, to which, till date, no serious thoughts or efforts have been directed.
Industry and water quality: Due to drain into the Bay of Bengal its water are salted, its not sweet water river at the end of the River.
Baitarani basin, with its rich mineral and agricultural resources and with availability of cheap labour, offered an ideal ground for establishment and operation of various industries. However, the principal development activities in the industrial, agricultural and mining sectors have contributed significantly towards deterioration in the water quality.
It originates from the Chhotnagpur plateau of Bihar. It is 433kms (70kms in Orissa) and has a catchment area of 19,500 Kms (3,200kms in Orissa ) with a mean annual flow of 7,900 million.
Course: After originating near piska/nagri, near Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, the Subarnarekha traverses a long distance through Ranchi Seraikela Kharsawan and East Singhbhum districts in the state. Thereafter, it flows for shorter distances through Paschim Medinipur district in West Bengal for 83 kilometres (52 mi) and Balasore district of Odisha. There, it flows for 79 kilometres (49 mi) and joins the Bay of Bengal near Talsari. The total length of the river is 395 kilometres (245 mi).
The basin of the Subarnarekha is smaller than most multi-state river basins in India. The rain-fed river covers a drainage area of 18,951 square kilometres (7,317 sq mi).
Tributaries: The prominent tributaries of the Subarnarekha are Kharkai, Roro, Kanchi, Harmu Nadi, Damra, Karru, Chinguru, Karakari, Gurma, Garra, Singaduba, Kodia, Dulunga and Khaijori. The Kharkai meets the Subarnarekha at Sonari (Domuhani), a neighborhood of Jamshedpur.
Hundru Falls: Hundru Falls is created on the course of the Subarnarekha, where it falls from a height of 98 metres (322 ft). The spectacular sight of water falling from such a great height is a sight to behold. The different rock formations due to erosion by the constantly falling water have added to the beauty of the place.
Pollution: The Subarnarekha passes through areas with extensive mining of copper and uranium ores. As a result of the unplanned mining activities, the river is polluted. The Subarnarekha has been the lifeline of tribal communities inhabiting the Chhotanagpur region and water pollution affects their livelihood.
Flood: Several areas in the lower reaches of the Subarnarekha, particularly the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal, are within the flood hazard zone. The Subarnarekha in Odisha had crossed its previous Highest Flood Level (HFL) of 12.2 metres (40 ft) in 2007, surpassing the earlier record of 1997. In 2009, the Subarnarekha witnessed flash floods following heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas of the river. During the flood, large areas of Jaleswar, Bhograi and Baliapal blocks and a small pocket of Basta block in Balasore district of Odisha were affected. Certain areas of Medinipur in West Bengal are also affected by floods.
Getalsud: Getalsud reservoir is located across the Subernarekha, 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Ranchi and about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from its point of origin. Completed in 1971, this multi-purpose reservoir was envisaged mainly to meet municipal water demands of Ranchi city and the adjoining industrial area. The height of the dam is 35.5 metres (116 ft). There are two power houses in Sikidiri with one unit of 65 MW each. Sikidiri Hydal Power Plants are the only hydal projects in jharkhand.
Subarnarekha multipurpose project: The Subarnarekha multipurpose project envisaged the construction of two dams, one at Chandil across the Subarnarekha and the other across the Kharkai at Icha near Chaibasa, two barrages at Galudih across the Subarnarekha and the other across the Kharkai at Ganjia near Adityapur and a network of canals from these. Three small storage reservoirs and a network of canals from these reservoirs are in Orissa. Started in 1982 - 83, the multipurpose project was planned for irrigation, hydropower generation and water supply. While the Chandil dam and Galudih barrage are almost complete, the other components are still incomplete.Subernarekha Barrage project (West Bengal) envisages construction of a barrage across the Subarnarekha downstream of Chandil dam and Galudih barrage near Bhosraghat to irrigate 114,198 hectares (282,190 acres) annually in the Medinipur district of West Bengal through a left bank canal and its distribution system covering a culturable command area of 96,860 hectares (239,300 acres). The project was taken up for construction in the year 1995 - 96.
The Chandil Dam and reservoir required 17,028 hectares (42,080 acres) of land. Icha Dam submerged 8,585 hectares (21,210 acres) of land in Jharkhand and 4,415 hectares (10,910 acres) of land in Orissa. The Ganjia Barrage required 266 hectares (660 acres) of land. Galudiha Barrage required 180 hectares (440 acres) of land, of which 150 hectares (370 acres) was private land and 30 hectares was Revenue Land. The canal network required additional land. The project experienced protests from its inception in 1975 and, in 1978, some 10,000 of them demonstrated against the dam at the construction site. To address the protests, the government increased the compensation package for 12,000 families and 2,200 people got jobs in different government departments.
The construction of Chandil dam, Icha dam and Galudih barrage are complete. This dam is one of the most visited places of Jharkhand. The museum located close to the Chandil dam has scripts written on rocks, which are 2,000 years old.
Kirtania port: Dassam fall on Kanchi River before it merges with Subarnarekha.
The Government of Odisha has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chennai-based Creative Port Development Pvt. Ltd. For the development of a deep-water, all-weather project at Kirtania at the mouth of the Subarnarekha. The Kirtania Port project was being taken up on a 50-year build, own, operate, share and transfer (boost) basis. The development would include a dedicated rail cum road connection from the port to the NH 5 and rail network at Jaleswar.
It originates from the eastern slopes of the Similipal massif. It is about 175 kms long having a total catchment area of 4840 sq. kms with an annual flow of 2177 million. Its major tributaries are the Sone, the Gangadhar, and the Catra etc. It flows through the districts of Mayurbhanj and Balasore of Odisha. The river traverses a total distance of 175 kms before it finally empties into the Bay of Bengal.
It rises in the Similipal hills and plunges through Barehipani Falls, the 2nd highest waterfall in India, located in Simlipal National Park. The Budhabalanga River along with the tributaries like Palpala, Chipat, Sone, Gangadhar, & Catra are draining & enriching a sprawling forest cover all along the banks. At least a total of 12 rivers cut across these plains which provide a wonderful habitat to a wide variety of wildlife.
Course: This Budhabalanga refers to the old Balanga rises in Similipal hills alongwith that it gets plunged via Brehipani hills. This is the second highest waterfall of India and it has been situated at National Simlipal Park. It flows in the northern direction till Karanjiapal village and that comes under the police station of Bangiriposi. Then, it turns on to north-eastern direction and flows along the railway track till village Jhankapahadi. This river is approimately 170 kilometres long and it comprises of catchment area of 4000 square kilometres.
Tributaries: Its prime tributaries include the Gangadhar, Catra and Sone. The Ghat of this river is also known as Bankati Village and it is also referred by the name of Budhabalanga nadi. This is regarded as a traditional ghat and people come here from different villages take bath and the water is collected for the purpose of carrying out the livelihood.
Present Situation: The lower pressure formed off Odisha coast triggers heavy rains. There had been 2 blockages of Mayurbhanj that greatly affected this swelling river and more than thousand villages had to be evacuated towards safer villages.
The Rushikulya is one of the major/important rivers of Odisha state and covers entire catchment area in the districts of Kandhamal and Ganjam district of Odisha. The Rushikulya originates at an elevation of about 1000 metres from Daringbadi hills. The place from where the river originates, Daringbadi is called the ' Kashmir of Odisha '. The river lies within the geographical coordinates of 19.07 to 20.19 north latitude and 84.01 to 85.06 east longitude. It meets the Bay of Bengal at Puruna Bandha of Chhatrapur block. Its tributaries are the Baghua, the Dhanei, the Badanadi etc. It has no delta as such at its mouth.
Area under Rushikulya: The river flows from the Daringbadi hill station of Kandhamal district and in Ganjam district it flows through Surada, Dharakote, Asika, Pitala, Purusottampur,Brahmapur,Ganjam and finally at Chhatrapur block. It is 165 km long with the total catchment area is 7700 km2.
Survey for Olive Ridley turtles: The Rushikulya river merges into the Bay of Bengal near Ganjam town in Southern Orissa. A wide stretch of beach on the northern side of the river is the favoured nesting site of olive ridley turtles.
Every year, from November to the end of January, the ridley turtles mate in these coastal waters and anytime from January to early April, lakhs of mother turtles come ashore en masse to lay their eggs. After a 45-50 day incubation period, baby hatchlings emerge from the sandy nests to crawl into the ocean.
When wildlife scientist Dr. Bivash Pandav visited the village of Purunabandha on the banks of the Rushikulya in 1994, he was appalled to see turtle eggs destroyed by crows, dogs and jackals. The lack of awareness about olive ridley turtles and their mating, nesting and hatching habits among the villagers prompted him to establish the Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee (RSTPC) in 1998, with the assistance of the local youth. From the time of its inception, volunteers including Rabindra Nath Sahu, Damburu Behera, M. Shankar Rao, Mohan Behera, Gouranga Behera, Ganpati Sahu and others became involved in spreading awareness among the locals about the ridleys, thus ensuring the participation of the community in conservation efforts. Five years later, in 2003, the RSTPC was officially registered as an NGO.
The Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee is today a 37-member strong organisation, comprising youth belonging to the three villages of Purunabandha, Gokharkuda and Kantiagada.
The RSTPC started off with activities that included keeping the beach clean, measuring the beach profile and nesting area, monitoring the arrival of turtles for nesting and keeping fishermen and predators away from the beach during the nesting and hatching season. Gradually, the activities of the RSTPC grew to include awareness programmes for the local population and school children. At the Rushikulya beach, baby turtles often get disoriented due to artificial lighting. So, the RSTPC members collect the misled hatchlings in buckets and release them in the ocean. Recently, they placed a net along the beach to enable them to collect the hatchlings more easily. At the Gopalpur Beach festival, the RSTPC has made its presence felt by putting up stalls and creating sculptures of turtles to create awareness.
The fact that the olive ridley turtles, an endangered species, are fast dwindling in number, is a matter of grave concern for wildlife enthusiasts. Of the three mass nesting sites along the Orissa coast - Gahirmatha, Rushikulya and the Devi River mouth, only Gahirmatha is legally protected. The Rushikulya rookery, its unprotected status notwithstanding, has come to acquire special significance due to the consistent arrival of lakhs and lakhs of olive ridley turtles for their arribada over the years. To aid this, the members of the RSTPC monitor the nesting population and also assist in the release of baby turtles during mass hatching. They have also encouraged visitors, research scholars from various universities, locals and children to participate in the collection and release of disoriented baby turtles.
Currently, the RSTPC is working in collaboration with the Orissa Forest Department, ATREE, Wildlife Institute of India, Greenpeace, World Turtle Trust, Wildlife Society of Orissa, People for Animals and Wildlife Trust of India. The V.J. Sheth Memorial Sea Turtle Interpretation Centre was set up by the RSTPC, courtesy the Great Eastern Shipping Corporation, Mumbai in order to boost the awareness and conservation programmes. Due to the efforts of the organisation, the turtle is now sacrosanct as an avatar of Lord Vishnu in the three coastal villages of Purunabandha, Gokharkuda and Kantiagada. The members, who have been trained by wildlife experts, serve as research assistants, working with scientists like Dr. Basudev Tripathi, Dr. Kartik Shanker and Dr. Chandrashekhar Kar.
The current projects of the RSTPC include assisting in data collection, tagging and satellite transmitter studies, distribution of the mating congregation and monitoring hatchling mortality rates. They also assist local school children and organisations by providing information and creating awareness through CDs, journals, documentaries and pictures. The Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee has a library with a number of books on general wildlife, and marine life in particular.
The Bahuda River originates from the Ramgiri hills of the Eastern Ghats in Gajapati districts and joins the bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh. Its length 73 kms having a catchment area of 1250 sq. kms.
The Bansadhara River originates from the flanks of the Durgakangar hills (Lingaraj hills) of the Eastern Ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 230 kms long out of which only 150 kms remain in Orissa. It enters in to the Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It has a catchment area of 11500 sq. kms.
Course: This river originates from Jarada Hill in the Gajapathi district. It will be entering into the Srikakumal district from Boddabada village as of Ichapuram. Approximately two hundred years ago, this dam was constructed and since then it is effectively catering to the needs and demands of people in that state. In year 1975, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Chief Ministers had signed an agreement for the establishment of this dam and released 1.4 feet of water towards Srikakulam.
Present Situation: At present, this river is effectively providing water to more than 23,000 acres of the land which includes more than 90 villages in that area. Moreover, there are other plans as well for the construction of dams on the Vamasadhara that will be linking Nagavali along with Rushikulya and thereby a completely new project. These are some of the effective methdologies through which they will be handling the problems of state.
The Nagbali originates from the Bijipur Hills of the Eastern Ghats near Lanjigarah. It is 210 kms long out of which 100 kms is in Orissa. It has a total catchment area of about 9410 sq. kms.
Origin and Course: Nagavali River rises in the eastern slopes of the Eastern Ghats near Lakhbahal in the Kalahandi district of Odisha at an elevation of about 1,300 metres. Another name of the river Nagavali is Langulya. The geographic co-ordinates of the river are north latitudes 18 10 to 19 44 and east longitudes of 82 53 to 84 05. Niyamgiri hills where Bauxite mining is proposed are located in Nagavali river basin.
The total length of the river is about 256 km, of which 161 km are in Odisha and the rest in Andhra Pradesh. The catchment area of the basin is 9,510 square km. Nagavali is an interstate river with 4462 km2 and 5048 km2 river basin area located in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh respectively. The river basin receives 1000 mm average rain fall annually. The uplands of the river basin are hilly areas with predominantly tribal populated. It drains parts of the Kalahandi, Rayagada and Koraput districts of Odisha and Srikakulam, Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Tributaries: The main tributaries of the River Nagavali are Jhanjavati, Barha, Baldiya, Satnala, Sitagurha, Srikona, Gumudugedda, Vottigedda, Suvarnamukhi, Vonigedda, Relligedda and Vegavati. The Suvarnamukhi river takes its birth in the hills of Salur mandal and takes an eastern direction and finally join the Nagavali at Sangam village in Vangara mandal of Srikakulam District. Vegavathi originates in pachipenta hills of Pachipenta Mandal.
Vegavathi River takes its origin in the Pachipenta hills in Eastern Ghats. It is a tributary to Suvarnamukhi, which in turn is a tributary to River Nagavali. Salur town and Paradhi are located on the banks of this river. There are two road bridges at these places.
Irrigation Projects: Jhanjavati Project is located at Rajyalaxmipuram village in Komarada mandal of Vizianagaram district on Jhanjavati, a tributary of River Nagavali. It is a rubber dam and first of its kind in Andhra Pradesh and India and the biggest in Asia. It is aimed to utilize 4 TMC of available water and to irrigate / stabilize a total ayacut of 24,640 acres in Vizianagaram District. It was dedicated to the nation on 1 January 2006 by Chief Minister Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy. The rubber dam was installed on a concrete plate in technical collaboration with Hydro-Construct of Austria. Its size would be raised or reduced with the help of water pumped into it. It was planned to fix the rubber dam to a height of three metres to store water up to 125 metres (410 ft) msl in the reservoir without causing submergence in the Odisha side of the river. However, the prior agreement between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on this project permits to raise the maximum reservoir level submerging Odisha area up to 480 ft msl. This dispute is unsettled till now preventing use of the project's full irrigation potential for last 20 years due to present 0.6 tmcft reservoir storage capacity against 4 tmcft planned storage.Andhra Pradesh wants to resolve the issue by constituting Nagavali water dispute tribunal under the Interstate River Water Disputes Act as the dispute is not getting settled by negotiations between the two states.
Thotapalli Barrage is located at village Thotapalli in Vizianagaram district and presently being upgraded as barriage.
Madduvalasa Reservoir is located at Madduvalasa village in Vangara mandal of Srikakulam district. It is built across Vegavati and Suvarnamukhi tributaries. The project is started in 1977 and provides water for 24500 acres of land for cultivation.
Narayanapuram Project is located in Burja mandal in Srikakulam district.
This Salandi River is one of the prime tributaries of Baitarani River which comes under the state of Odisha. It originates via Meghasani hills of Similipal pass present in Keonjhar district. This is more than 140 kms lengthy and it also has a catchment area of 1790 km square. However, droughts are never common in this river, but during the year 1949, some of the areas were badly affected. These areas were Basudevpur, Bonth, Soro, Khaira and Simulia blocks present in the Bhadrak sub-division.
Present Situation: At present, it has launched the Water Resources Salandi project which got envisaged during the year 1960 and was completed in year 1982. Salandi River dam is located near the Hadgarh village present in the Keonjhar district Orissa state and this is approximately 47kms northern western region of Bhadrak. The government had launched the Irrigation Salandi project during the year 1965 till 1972. This was the 1st project and funded by IDA, during when R&R had took it. Moreover, there had been no clear policy about the purpose of R&R in state or country and this was launched for all the affected policies. This project has been launched for the implementation of environmental plan for the command and catchments areas.
Indravati River is a tributary of the Godavari River, in central India.
It originates from the Eastern Ghats of Dandakaranya range in Kalahandi district and flows through Nabarangapur District, in a westerly direction; enters into Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh state. This is the largest river for Nabarangapur. It further traverses in the westerly direction and thereafter in southern direction before finally meeting Godavari River at the border of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. The river during its course forms the boundary between the states of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh at various places.
The Indravati is sometimes known as the "lifeline" of the Kalahandi, Nabarangapur, of Odisha & Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, one of the greenest districts in India.
Most of the river course is through dense forests of Nabarangapur & Bastar. The river flows for 535 kilometres (332 mi) and has a drainage area of 41,665 square kilometres (16,087 sq mi).
Source and flow: The river Indravati rises at an elevation of 914 metres (2,999 ft) in the Kalahandi district of Odisha on the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats. It flows west-ward through the Kalahandi, Nabarangapur and Koraput districts for 164 kilometres (102 mi) and after forming the boundary between Odisha and Chhattisgarh states for 9.5 kilometres (5.9 mi), enters the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. After flowing 233 kilometres (145 mi) in Chhattisgarh, it turns south and flows along the boundary of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra for about 129 kilometres (80 mi) and joins Godavari River at the junction of the boundaries of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana states.
The Indravati sub-basin covers a total area of about 40,625 square kilometres (15,685 sq mi). Indravati has a catchment area of 7,435 square kilometres (2,871 sq mi) in Odisha. The length of river is about 535.80 kilometres (332.93 mi), and starting from the hills of Kalahandi, it joins the Godavari river near village Bhadrakali in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. It has a well-defined course from its origin to its confluence with the Godavari River. Starting in a south-east direction as a small rivulet in Odisha, it later runs in western direction through Bastar district of Chhattisgarh until it is deflected and runs north-west and then again takes a turn to the south-west. During its total course of 535.80 kilometres (332.93 mi) the river drops by 832.10 metres (2,730.0 ft). Its bed level at its junction with the Godavari River is of the order of R.L. 82.3 m compared to the level in Kalahandi from where it takes off is 914.4m.
Indravati and Sabari are interconnected naturally in Odisha area. Indravati waters overflow into the Sabari through Jaura nallah during floods.
Tributaries: The major tributaries of river Indravati are Keshadhara Nalla, Kandabindha Nallah, Chandragiri Nalla, Golagar Nalla, Poragarh Nalla, Kapur Nallah, Muran River, Bangiri Nallah, Telengi Nallah, Parlijori Nallah, Turi Nallah, Chourijori Nallah, Damayanti Sayarh, Kora river, Modang river, Padrikundijori river, Jaura river and Bhaskel river.
The important right bank tributaries of the Indravati are Bhaskal, Narangi, Boarding, Nibra, Kotri and Bandia. The important left bank tributary is Nandiraj.
Dam proposals: A total of five hydroelectric projects (Kutru I, Kutru II, Nugur I, Nugur II and Bhopalpatnam) were planned on the stretch of Indravati River at various points in time. But none could see the light of the day due to ecological concerns raised in various fora.
Ecology: The Chitrakoot Falls are located 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Jagdalpur, in Chhattisgarh. Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserves are located in the adjoining region of Chhattisgarh state. The Chitrakote Falls is a natural waterfall located to the west of Jagdalpur, in Bastar district in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh on the Indravati River. The height of the falls is about 29 metres (95 ft). It is the widest fall in India, Because of its width and wide spread during the monsoon season, it is often called the Niagara Falls of India.
Topography: The Chitrakote Falls is located on the Indravati River. The river originates in the kalahandi region of Orissa, in the Vindhya Range of hills, flows westward and then forms a fall at Chitrakote, enters Andhra Pradesh and finally flows into the Godavari River,after traversing 240 miles (390 km) in the state, at Bhadrakali. The free drop of the falls is a sheer height of about 30 metres (98 ft). It is located at a distance of 38 kilometres (24 mi) to the west of Jagadlpur. Because of its horseshoe shape, it is compared with the Niagara Falls and is given the sobriquet 'the Small Niagara Falls'. During the rainy season, from July and October, rainbows are created with sun rays reflecting on mist from the waterfall.
On the left bank of the Chitakoot Falls, a small Hindu shrine dedicated to the god Shiva and several naturally created grottos named "Parvati caves" (named after Shiva's wife Parvati) are located. The weather in the area is generally pleasant except in the summer season when it is hot due to absence of vegetation in the area. The river flows sluggishly on the upstream side of the falls due to its meandering nature as it drains through the plains of Jagadalpur. This reach of the river valley has very little forest cover. Below the falls the river traverses the Bodhghat forested area and the river regime undergoes drastic change in its flow conditions. Aeration process and the forest in the downstream area filters the silt in the river.
Chitakoot Falls is one of the two of the waterfalls located in the Kanger Valley National Park, the other is Tirathgarh falls.
Geology: The geological formation of the Indravati River valley as it rises and flows downstream consists of quartzitic sandstone and changes to the Archaean granite and gneisses near the Chitrakote Falls. It is one of the six waterfalls in India which is classified as a geomorphosites/geoheritage site, geomorphological landforms under the category of natural waterfalls; this classification is based on research studies carried out by geologists on ancient geological features of heritage value existing in different parts of the country. Geomorphosite/geoheritage sites are ancient geological sites of scientific, cultural and socio-economic significance. These have been studied and discussed in seminars by geologists, and studies have received the support of international institutions such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), and the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG).
Features: The Chitrakote Falls, which spreads over three braids during the low flow season, is a single sheet of flow over a free fall of about 30 metres (98 ft) forming a horseshoe shaped gorge. However, during the monsoon season, when the Indravati River is in floods, the falls cover the entire stretch of the horseshoe from the left to the right bank covering a width of about 300 metres (980 ft). Though it is about one third less in width compared to that of the Niagara Falls, its visual splendour is described as equally impressive.Water flow conditions over the falls vary with the seasons. During the flood season or the monsoon season, the flow is filled with silt. It is India's widest waterfall.
Local boat facilities operating below and under the falls in a misty atmosphere provide views of the falls under an early morning sun in reflected sun light and in a blue hue. On the banks of the pond below the falls, many small Shiva Lingas (aniconic symbols of the god Shiva) are found in several niches, as are iron trishuls (the trident weapon of Shiva), mostly in a rusted state. On the left bank, there is a rock ledge and climbing down this cliff leads to a naturally formed niche which houses stone slabs carved with deities. In addition, there is a small hut made of straw where Shiva images and rusted images of his son, the god Ganesha are seen. Local people are involved in fishing in the area.
The beauty of falls is seen throughout the year, particularly during sunset. As the fast flowing water of the river flows over the sharp near vertical rock exposure at the widest reach of the river, it generates misty clouds and then hits into a pond formed in a semicircular shape at the bottom of the falls. Adventure sports enthusiasts use boats in the stormy part of this pond. Pilgrims bathe in the calmer part of the lake. In the low flow season, paddle boats are used in pools formed in the upstream part of the falls. In the pool below the falls, swimming is permitted and paddle boats are permitted. Local boatmen can paddle their boats under the spray below the falls.
Apart from many large hydro electric power plants on the Indravati river, a small power plant of 7.5 MW capacity has been planned to utilize the head at the Chitrakote falls, though no irrigation is envisaged.
Some terrorist activity by Maoists (anti-revisionist) was reported in the area. In 2008, when the then President of India Pratibha Patil visited Chitrakote Falls, there was a violent attack on a police vehicle which was blown up.
Conservation: The Ministry of Tourism and Development of the Government of India had assessed the potential of this site in 2003 as of a natural "ambience" suitable for development of eco-tourism. Based on this assessment, plans were drawn up to develop facilities such as local restaurants, nature camping sites, a playground for children and platforms to view the falls, and also to improve the road condition, fix signs along the road from Jagadlapur to the falls, and beautify the site. Environmental conditions in the vicinity of the falls are in a preserved state but need attention as eco-tourism develops. As of 2010, some infrastructure facilities had improved. There is a government run hotel at the top of the fall. A series of steps from the garden of the hotel leads to the falls. "Chitrakote Log huts" with basic and modern cabins have also been built at the location. Some of the cabins provide views of the falls.
Indravati National Park: Indravati National Park is a national park located in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh state of India. It derives its name from the nearby Indravati River. It is home to one of the last populations of rare wild buffalo.
Indravati National Park is the finest and most famous wildlife parks of Chhattisgarh. It is one among the two project tiger sites in Chhattisgarh along with Udanti-sitanadi, Indravati National Park is located in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. The park derives its name from the Indravati River, which flows from east to west and forms the northern boundary of the reserve with the Indian state of Maharashtra. With a total area of approximately 2799.08 km2, Indravati attained the status of a national park in 1981 and a tiger reserve in 1983 under the famous Project Tiger of India, to become one of the most famous tiger reserves of India.
Topography: The topography of the park mainly comprises undulating hilly terrain with altitude ranging between 177 to 599 m above the sea level. The park is famous for its unique and diverse wildlife and bird species including some of the most endangered species such as wild buffalos and hill mynas. A series of beautiful hill ranges with lush green vegetation and unique and varied wildlife make Indravati National Park a must visit for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Flora: The flora in the Indravati National Park is mainly comprises tropical moist and dry deciduous type with predominance of the sal, teak and bamboo trees. There are also rich patches of excellent grasslands providing much required food to wild buffalos, chital, barking deer, nilgai, gaurs and other herbivores of the park. The most commonly found trees in the park are teak, lendia, salai, mahua, tendu, semal, haldu, ber and jamun.
Kirtania port: Indravati National Park has one of the last populations of the endangered wild Asian buffalo. The national park is also home to a variety of other ungulate species. Reported from the area are gaur (Indian bison), nilgai, blackbuck, chausingha (four-horned antelope), sambar, chital, Indian muntjac, Indian spotted chevrotain and wild boar. Large predators are represented by tigers, leopards, sloth bears, dholes (wild dog) and striped hyenas. Smaller mammals include flying squirrel, porcupine, pangolins, rhesus monkeys and langurs among many others. The commonly found reptiles in the park are freshwater crocodile, monitor lizard, Indian chameleon, common krait, Indian rock python, cobra and Russell's viper to name a few. The park also gives shelter to the large variety of birds of which the hill myna is the most important species.
Transport: Indravati National Park is easily approachable from Jagdalpur, the district headquarters of Bastar. The village Kutrue, the main entry point of the park, is situated at the distance of 22.4 km north of Jagdalpur-Bhopalpattanam road. The Kutrue link road is at the distance of 145.6 km from Jagdalpur. Raipur (486 km) has the nearest airport and Jagdalpur (168 km) is the nearest railhead from the Indravati National Park.
Visiting: The best season to visit the park is from 15 December to 15 June.
Kolab river is originates in the Eastern Ghats of Koraput district and flows through Orissa. It is a tributary of Godavari River and the total catchment area is 20400 square km.
Kolab River and its Catchment Area: The Kolab river is one of the tributary of the river Godavari and originates from the Sinkaran hills of the Eastern Ghats in Koraput district. It is also known as Sabari when it reaches down the main stream of Godavari. The river is about 418 Km long and joins the river Godavari near the village Kunavaram in Khammam District of Andhra Pradesh.
The Kolab river catchment comprises of the area between Tekegurha and north of Gupteshwar cave temple upto Taluru and spreads over 3566 Sq.Km. A number of streams from the hilly terrains of Eastern Ghats also drain into this catchment. The various peaks in the area are Sulla Dongar (673 m), Talavanda (563 m) and Chitrakot Danger (376 m) add beauty to this location.
Upper Kolab Hydro Electric Project: It is located at a distance of 10 K.M from Jeypore in the district of Koraput (Odisha) was initiated in the year 1976 by Government of Odisha utilising the water potential of river 'KOLAB'. The estimated cost of this project was Rs. 74.63 Crores. It is a multipurpose project with a view to generate 95MW(firm) Hydro Electric Power. It provides irrigation facilities to 47,985 Hectares area of land by lift canal irrigation. Drinking water supply to Damonjodi, Koraput, Sunabeda and Jeypore town and the co-located region are met from this resource. The The Planning Commission approved the power project during August 1975 and irrigation project in June 1976. The major part of the work was completed during 1993.
The main water reserve is located near Jeypore town which stores water coming out of the power generation unit of upper Kolab Dam. A huge water reserve at the top of the hill known as Upper Kolab Dam feeds this 4 x 80 MW power station.
A visiting and picnic spot: A Botanical Garden surrounding the Majestic Kolab reservoir is a beautiful scenery to view and an ideal place for weekend picnic for people in the Koraput - Jeypore region. It gives the visitor a scintillating experience and they admire its scenic beauty. The boating in the reservoir would be a memorable one for everybody and without boating the trip seems to be not completed. The botanical garden is well maintained and has over 200 varieties of flowering plants. Though it is not preferable to stay beyond evening hours, even the night view of the reservoir is worth experiencing.
The water reserve at Jeypore is a favorite area for morning walkers and seen more people in the mornings and evenings walking around.
About one-fourth of the total population of the state of Odisha consists of Adivasis (Tribal) and most of them are concentrated in Koraput district. The surroundings of this area is mostly populated by the tribal and we can have glimse of the Advasi life here. As this is a dense forest area, the Maoism is on its rise in this region and camp office and residential area of the BSF jawans and their families is located nearer to this dam site.
How to reach Kolab Dam: It is located 18 KM from Jeypore town towards Koraput. One has to travel 10 K.M from Jeypore and take a right turn and from here the water reserve is 8 KM. People enjoy boating on the reservoir and boating facility is available here. An entry fee of Rs 10 per person, Kids from 5 to 12 year is Rs 5 is charged. They vehicle entry fee is also levied: for Two wheeler entry fee is Rs 5, four wheeler / LMV is Rs 10 bus and heavy vehicles are charged Rs 50/-. The dam site is open from 9 AM to 7.30 PM all the days.