The Godavari River is sacred river and has several Pligrimage centers on its banks. It has been held as a special place of pilgrimage for many thousands of years. Many famous personalities, including Baladev (5000 years ago) and more recently Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (500 years ago) have bathed in her waters as an act of worship.
Godavari is considered the Dhakshin (Southern) Ganga and Draksharama Dhakshin Kasi. Every twelve years, Pushkaram fair is held on its banks of the river. Crores of people have a holy dip in the sacred waters of the river to purify themselves of all their sins.
Legend has it that Sage Gautama lived on the Brahmagiri Hills at Trayambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The rishi kept his stock of rice in a granary. Once, a cow entered his granary and ate up the rice. When the rishi tried to ward the cow away with Durbha grass, it fell dead. The rishi wanted to relieve himself of the sin of ‘Gohatya’. He worshipped Lord Shiva and requested him to bring the Ganga to purify his hermitage. Lord Shiva pleased with the rishi appeared as Triambaka and brought along the river Ganga. Since the Ganga was brought down to Triambakeshwar by Sage Gautama, it is known here as Gautami. It is also known as Godavari because the river helped Sage Gautama to relieve his sins.
The banks of Godavari river has many pilgrimage sites.
* Trimbakeshwar, One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva .
* Nashik – One of the four Sinhastha Kumbh Mela
* Paithan – Saint Eknath’s native place, famous Jayakwadi dam , and a beautiful garden – Sant Dnyneshwar Udyan.
* Nanded – Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, One of the five most sacred places in Sikhism
* Basar – Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari.
* Dharmapuri, Andhra Pradesh – Hindu Temple of Lord Narasimha
* Kaleshwaram – Sri Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy Temple on Triveni sangamam of godavari and pranahita.
* Bhadrachalam – Hindu Temple of Lord Rama.
* Rajahmundry – Center for Telugu Literature.
* Pattiseema – A village where a Hindu temple is located on a small hill on an island in the river.
* Antarvedi – Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple.
* Konaseema – Picturesque delta of Godavari.
The tributaries of Godavari River are Pravara, Indravati , Wainganga , Wardha, Pench, Kanhan and Penuganga rivers, discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system. Its tributaries include Indravati, Manjira River, Bindusara River and Sabari River
Chambal river is a tributary of the Yamuna River.originating from the blood of thousands of cows sacrificed by the Aryan King Rantideva. The ancient name of Chambal River was Charmanvati, meaning the river on whose banks leather is dried. In the ancient times, large scale Yagya (prayer meetings in which also involve offerings to please God) used to be organized on the banks of this river and in these Yagyas animals were slaughtered and offered. According to Mahabharata, the color of river water would become red due to the flow of blood of the sacrificed animals and the skins of these animals were dried on the banks of the rivers. In due course of time, this river became famous as the river of ‘chamda’ (skin) and was named as Charmanvati.
Brahmaputra River originates from the Mansarovar near Kailash range and is also known as Mahanad. Worth noting is the fact that the Brahmaputra River has a male name whereas all other majors rivers of India have female names. According to legends, Brahmaputra is the son of Lord Brahma. It is said that Shantanu, a famous ancient sage began a long meditation in an ashram in this area along with his beautiful wife Amodha. Amodha was so beautiful that Lord Brahma himself became enchanted by the beauty of Amodha and requested her to make love with him. But Amodha did not accept the Brahma’s proposal. However, by that time Lord Brahma had become so excited that his semen discharged at that place. When Shantanu came to know about this, he inseminated the Brahma’s semen in the womb of Amodha. Subsequently, Amodha gave birth to a son and he was called Brahmaputra. The tank near the ashram of sage Shantanu is known as the Brahmkund. Another legend is that because Brahmaputra is the largest river in India, it carries a male name.
Bhima is the most important tributary of the Krishna river, which is one of the two majors rivers in Maharastra, the other being Godavari River. Nira confluences with Bhima in Narsingpur, Sholapur.
The Bhima River originates in Bhimashankar hills near Karjat on the western side of Western Ghats,known as Sahyadri, in Maharastar state inIndia. Bhima flows southeast for 861 km through Maharashtra,Karnataka,Andra Pradesh states.
The Bhima River is also called Punya Damini Bhima. In South India, people give regards to the Bhima River the same way as they do to Ganga. The Bhima River originates from the Sahyadri hills. According to the legends, when Lord Shankar came near Bhima Shankar mountain after killing the demon Tripursur, he found that the Ayodhya’s saintly king Bhimak was under penance at that place. King Bhimak begged for the blessings of Lord Shankar so that a pious river might originate from the sweat of Lord Shankar. Lord Shankar gave the desired blessings and accordingly, a river originated from his sweat. On the name of king Bhimak, this river was called as Bhima River. The river joins Krishna at Kurugadi in district Raipur, which is 25 km away from Gulbarg. A jyotirling (glorified symbol of Lord Shiva) namely, Bhima Shankar, and a religious place, namely Pandarpur, are located on the banks of this river.
It is also called Bagvati in Vishnu Purana. The Svayambu and the Vardha Purana call it the Vagmati. It is called Bachamati in Buddhist literature, because it was created by the word uttered by Buddha Krakuchhanda when the latter visited Nepal with his disciples from the Gaud-desa. Vdana mentions a river Vaggumuda which flowed to the east of the Vajji territory. This Vaggamuda seems to be the Vagamati of the present time. Baghavati, the name given to this river by Vidyapati seems to have some connection with the word Vyaghra (tiger). Tigers are found in abundance on its banks in the Nepalease Terai.
It flows through the Kathmandu valley and is the river separating Kathmandu from Lalitpur. It is considered a holy river both by Hindus and Buddhists. A number of Hindu temples are located on the banks of this river.
The importance of Bagmati also lies in the fact that Hindus are cremated on the banks of this holy river, and Kirants are buried in the hills by its side. According to the Nepalese Hindu tradition, the dead body must be dipped three times into the Bagmati river before cremation. The chief mourner (usually the first son) who lights the funeral pyre must take a holy river-water bath immediately after cremation. Many relatives who join the funeral procession also take a bath in the Bagmati River or sprinkle the holy water on their bodies at the end of cremation. The Bagmati River is considered to purify the people spiritually.