In India water is not just vital for its life- support characteristics but holy Rivers are worshipped as Goddess and Mother. Holy dip in the water of the sacred Rivers is believed to help in removing sins, attaining salvation and key religious significance as well. Most of the ancient city of India like Haridwar, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Nasik, Patna, Tiruchirappalli, Ujjain etc. are located on the banks of the holy Rivers.

History, Significance, Flow, Basin, Spirituality & Culture

Godavari is one of the seven sacred River also known as Goddess Gogavari along with Ganga , Yamuna, Sarasvati , Narmada , Kaveri , and Sindhu. It is the second longest river of India after River Ganges. The origin of River Godavari is in the Sahyadris near Triambakeswar, at an elevation of 1,067 m in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. It flows through Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Karnataka, around 1,465 km in length before falls into the Bay of Bengal. As Godavari passes from large states, it forms largest river basin of India with area of 312,813 km2, which is almost 10% of the total geographical area of India.

Triambakeshwar near Nasik, Maharashtra is one the twelve Jyotirlingas where the Godavari originates. Also Triambakeshwar is one of the four places where the Kumbh Mela - Pushkaram takes place every twelve years. Lot of pilgrimage places are located along with River Godavari from thousands of years, holy dip in River Godavari helps on cleansing sin and becomes highly sacred in Sanatan Dharma.

Nanded, one of the major district of Maharashtra located on bank of Godavari where Guru Gobind Singh the tenth Guru of Sikhs declared Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal Guru of Sikhism. Lots of ancient temples at Puntamba of Maharastra are located on the bank of Godavari. Gnana Saraswati Temple is one of the Goddess Saraswati temple of India is located at Basar, Telangana on bank of River Godavari. Yogi Goraknath, founder of Nath Sampradaya was born on the Godavari’s banks thus lots of ashrams and temples are built on bank of River Godavari. Great saint Dnyaneshwar was born in 1275 in Marathi Brahmin Family at Apegaon village on bank of River Godavari who was the founder of Varkari sect of Vaishnava and author of Dnyaneshwari and Amrutanubhav.

Lot of greatest dynasties like Satavahanas, Kakatiyas and Eastern Chalukyas were grew along with the River Godavari. Godavari is held in reverence as “Vridha Ganga” or “Dakshin Ganga” and Kumbh Mela which attracts millions of devotees across the world is organized at Nasik after every 12 years. Major tributaries of the river Godavari include the Purna, Pravara, Manair, Pranhita, Indravati, Manjira, Bindusara ad Sabari.

Lot of other sacred places are located on the bank of River Godavari like Kandhakurthi - Triveni sangam where three rivers join Godavari, Manjira River and Haridra River. Bhadrachalam where Temple of Lord Rama constructed by Bhaktha Ramadasu in the 16th century, temple of Lord Narshimha at Dharmapuri Telangana, Paithan the native place of saint Eknath, Antarvedi where ancient famous temple of Laxmi Narasimha Swamy located.

Apart from spiritual significance, there are lots of project for the purpose of irrigation and hydropower planned on River Godavari like Inchampalli, Polavaram, Dowleswaram Barrage, Karanja Project, Sriram Sagar Project, Nizamsagar, Lower Manair Reservoir, Kaddam reservoir, Upper Indravati Project, Balimela Dam, Mula, Pench, Upper Kolab, Sileru Basin and Upper Wainganga hold major importance for agriculture and industry.