Rivers of Nepal

Nepal is rich in water resources with over 6000 rivers. The three major rivers of Nepal are Koshi, Karnali, and Gandaki.

Rivers of Nepal can be classified into 3 categories on the basis of their of origination and their flow and usages.

1. First Level Rivers:

They originate from snow capped mountains or Himalayas. Suitable for hydroelectricity projects and irrigation projects, they flow with tremendous amount of water capacity. Rivers such as Saptakoshi, Saptagandaki, and Karnali are the first level rivers.

2. Second Level Rivers:

They originate from Mahabharat ranges ans have large volume of water during monsoon. Rivers such as Mechi, Kankai, Troyuga, Kamala, Baagmati, Bangana, Tinau, Rapti, Babai, Mohan are included in second level rivers.

3. Third Level Rivers:
They originate from Shiwalik mountain range and can dry up during dry season. Rivers such as  Sirsiya, Tilabe, Jamuni, Hardinath, Duduwa, Arjun Khola are included in the third level rivers.

Name of the main River
Name of the   Tributaries
Koshi River (Saptakoshi)
Tamor River (19%)
From Kanchenjunga area
Indravati meets the Sun Kosi at Dolaghat.

Tamur and the Arun rivers join the Sun Kosi at Tribenighat to form the Saptkoshi.
Arun River (37%)
Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China (the river is named as Phung Chu or Bum-chu in the region)
Sunkoshi  (44%)
  • Dudh Koshi
  • Bhote Koshi
  • Tamakoshi
  • Likhu Khola
  •  Indrawati

Zhangzangbo Glacier, Tibet.

Dudh Kosi river originates from the areas of Mt Everest. Imja khola  and Hongu river are the tributaries of Dudh Koshi.

Dudh Koshi joins the Sun Koshi near the Nepalese village of Harkapur.

Tamakoshi originates from Rongshar Chu und Lapchi Gang rivers close to the Nepal-Tibet border.

Likhu Khola originates from Glacier Zurmoche.

Gandaki River (Narayani, Sapta Gandaki, Gandak)

Kali Gandaki
Nhubine Himal Glacier, Mustang
Kali Gandaki  river is joined by Rahughat Khola at Galeshwor, Myagdi Khola at Beni, Modi Khola near Kushma and Badigaad at Rudrabeni above Ridi Bazaar.

Kali Gandaki is then joined by a major tributary, the Trishuli, at Devighat.

Gandaki is then joined by the East Rapti River.

Trishuli River
  • Daraudi,
  • Seti (Seti Gandaki)
  • Madi,
  • Marsyandi
  •  Budhi Gandaki.


Marshyangdi joins the Trishuli near Mugling as one of its tributaries.

Budhi Gandaki river meets Trishuli river at Benighat of Dhading and Gorkha District which is as a border between two district.
East Rapti River

Karnali (Ghaghara)   
Seti River
Tibetan Plateau near Lake Manasarovar
Karnali joins the Sharda River at Brahmaghat in India, forms Ghaghara River, a major left bank tributary of the Ganges.
Bheri River
  •          Thuli Bheri River
  •           Sani Bheri River

West Rapti
  •                    Rohini

Kali (Mahakali) or Sharda
  •         Kalapani River
  •         Kuthi Yankti

Panjang River
Babbai River

Kankai River (Mai Khola)

Mahabharat Ranges
(flows through Ilam and Jhapa)
Joins Mahananda River in Kishanganj District, Bihar, India.

Shivapuri Hills



Map has been used for educational purposes. All rights reserve to the owners.

Resources for the Contents:
  • Wikipedia Articles
  • Nepal Parichaya, 2076

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