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Difference Between Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers

Main Difference

The main difference between Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers is that Himalayan Rivers are perennial rivers with large catchment areas, whereas Peninsular Rivers are non-perennial rivers with narrow catchment areas.

Himalayan Rivers vs. Peninsular Rivers

Himalayan rivers originate from the Himalaya, whereas Peninsular rivers spring from peninsular plateaus. Himalaya rivers spring from higher elevations; on the other hand, Peninsular rivers spring from lower elevations. Himalayan rivers flow from the water of melted glaciers, ice, and rain; on the contrary, the foundation of Peninsular rivers is rain. Himalayan rivers have large and broader basins and catchment areas, whereas Peninsular rivers have short and narrow basins and catchment areas. The flow of water is steady in Himalayan rivers, while Peninsular rivers cannot maintain a steady flow of water.


The base of the Himalayan rivers is soft and alluvial; on the other side, the bedrocks of Peninsular rivers are hard and impermeable. Himalayan rivers have a massive supply of groundwater, whereas the supply is restricted in Peninsular rivers. Himalayan rivers are perennial; on the converse, Peninsular rivers are non-perennial. Himalayan rivers flow throughout the year, supply water for irrigation and cultivation, whereas Peninsular rivers do not flow the whole year, not suitable for proper cultivation. Himalayan rivers form V-shaped valleys; on the other hand, Peninsular rivers form U-shaped valleys.

Himalayan rivers form winding curves, while Peninsular rivers do not form winding curves. Himalayan rivers are long and wider in comparison to Peninsular rivers. Himalayan rivers are used for navigation purposes; on the other hand, Peninsular rivers cannot be used for navigation purposes. The high speed of water in Himalayan rivers causes soil erosion. In Peninsular rivers, the velocity of water is less; soil does not erode. Himalayan rivers are young with an active profile, whereas the Peninsular rivers are old with the degraded profile.


Comparison Chart

Himalayan RiversPeninsular Rivers
The rivers that flow from Himalayan mountain rangesThe rivers that flow from peninsular plateaus and small mountains
Higher elevationsLower heights
Glaciers and rainsRains
Catchment Area
Drainage Basin
Maintains a steady flowHuge variations
Soft and sedimentaryhard and impermeable
Supply of Ground Water
Huge reservoirsLimited supply
Antecedent riversConsequent rivers
Big deltasSmall rivers
Longer and widerSmall and narrow
Form meandersMay not form meanders
Beneficial For
Navigation and cultivationNot suitable for navigation and cultivation
Silt and sandDo not carry silt and sand
Flow Over
Plain areasUneven land and plateaus
Age of River
Young and activeOld rivers

What are Himalayan Rivers?

These rivers spring from high altitudes of the Himalaya mountains. These are often named as snow-fed because they spring after the melting of ice and glaciers and water from heavy rainfall. Himalayan rivers are perennial, which flows the whole year. The Ganga, the Indus, the Brahmaputra are three main rivers of Himalayan rivers. Their flow is towards the west and communally known as three different river systems. These rivers have many tributaries. These rivers have large catchment areas and cover thousands of kilometers before entering the sea.

The area where these rivers meet the sea is called the mouth, which forms large deltas. The biggest delta in the world is Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. These rivers flow through the young mountainy rocks, are still active and youthful. These upper water flows of these rivers are very winding. When they enter in plains, the water flow speed decrease and form V-shaped valleys, these rivers flow throughout the year, beneficial for dry land irrigation and cultivation.

What are Peninsular Rivers?

The rivers which spring from small rocks of India and peninsular plateaus are called Peninsular rivers. These rivers are non-perennial: defined as season dependent. They flow when they receive water from the rain, cannot flow the whole year. Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna, and Mahanadi are some famous Peninsular rivers. These rivers are small, have short catchment and basin. In the Peninsular river system, Godavari has the largest basin area, but that area is less than even one-third of the basin area of the Indus river. The water flows with less velocity: have less ability for soil erosion.

Peninsular rivers follow the slope, called as consequent rivers. These rivers gush from wide and shallow valleys. Peninsular rivers form U-shaped valleys. As these rivers are small, therefore form small deltas and estuaries. Peninsular rivers flow over the uneven surface of plateaus cannot be used for navigation. These rivers are older than Himalayan rivers and have attained their mature stage. Some Peninsular rivers drain into the Bay of Bengal, while some drain into the Arabian Sea, some rivers drain into the Ganges.

Key Differences

  1. Himalayan rivers flow from Himalaya mountain ranges; on the other hand, Peninsular rivers spring from peninsular plateaus and lower elevated mountains
  2. Himalayan rivers flow from the high altitudes; conversely, peninsular rivers start from the Western Ghats in lower altitudes.
  3. Himalayan rivers springs when ice and glaciers melt and monsoon rainfalls; on the other hand, Peninsular rivers spring only at the arrival of the monsoon season.
  4. Himalayan rivers have large and broad catchment areas, whereas, for the Peninsular rivers, the catchment area of the peninsular region is narrower.
  5. Himalayan rivers own large drainage basins; on the flip side, Peninsular rivers have small basins.
  6. Himalayan rivers possess a streamline flow of water; conversely, for the Peninsular rivers, the unequal rainfall at peninsular plateaus leads to massive alterations and leads to turbulent flow.
  7. Himalayan rivers arise over the soft and sedimentary bedrocks; on the other hand, the bedrocks of the peninsular region are hard and impervious for Peninsular rivers.
  8. Himalayan rivers gush over the silty plains with vast basins of groundwater; conversely, Peninsular rivers are supplied with inadequate groundwater.
  9. Himalayan rivers are perennial; they are not season-dependent flows throughout the year; conversely, Peninsular rivers are non-perennial; these are season dependent rivers.
  10. Himalayan rivers form V-shaped gorges, while Peninsular rivers form U-shaped gorges.
  11. Himalayan rivers maintain their route of flow despite changes in the surface of the land, on the other hand, Peninsular rivers spring in the direction of the gradient.
  12. Himalayan rivers are longer and wider on the flip side; Peninsular rivers are short and narrower.
  13. Himalayan rivers form winding curves during their flow, whereas Peninsular rivers do not form curves.
  14. Himalayan rivers are beneficial for navigation and cultivation of crops; on the contrary, Peninsular rivers are not suitable for navigation and irrigation purposes.
  15. Himalayan rivers carry alluvial soil with flowing water; conversely, Peninsular rivers do not carry silt and sand.
  16. Himalayan rivers flow over plains areas; on the flip side, Peninsular rivers flows over impervious land and plateaus.
  17. Himalayan rivers are young rivers with active profiles, while Peninsular rivers are old rivers with a degraded profile.


Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers are two different river systems. Himalayan Rivers originate from higher elevations of Himalayan mountain ranges, flows throughout the year. Peninsular Rivers originate from peninsular plateaus, flows during monsoon rainfall.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss