Tapti River: History, Facts & significance-Erakina


Tapti River is one of the major rivers in the central part of India. Tapti River is the ancient Sanskrit name of the river which is also popular as Tapi River. The name Tapti River comes from the name of Surya or Sun god’s daughter Tapati River which means “burning one”. This river flows through three states in peninsular India, Maharashtra, Gujrat, and Madhya Pradesh.

The river’s origin is Multai in Madhya Pradesh, flows parallel to the Narmada River, and drains into the Arabian sea. Purna, Panjhra, and Girna are three tributaries of Tapti that flows in the state of Maharashtra.

tapti river
River view

Tapti river: History & facts

This river originates from Multai, a place in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh which is the western part of India. Before it merges with the Arabian sea, it flows through the Satpura hills and the plateau of Khandesh. This river has an interesting historical value for the places it is flowing through. It covers the center of the Deccan plateau and drains into the Gulf of Khambhat.

The length of the river is about 724 kilometers, which makes it one of the top 10 largest rivers in India. Tapti river basin covers close to 2 percent of the entire Indian region which is 65,145 sq km. It is the second-largest river basin spread over the areas of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujrat.

Tapti river has historical importance which is evident in the deserted old Anglo-Portuguese Port of Swally Hole at the river’s mouth. “Gateway of International trade” is the name given to Tapti River for the leading international trading through it. Among the 14 tributaries of Tapti, Purna, Girna, Aner, Panjhra, Vaghur, and Bori are some of the main ones to mention.

 Tapti wildlife
Wildlife of Tapti River

Habitats around the Tapti River basin

It is one of the main rivers which plays an important role in the lives of rural populations and tribals as well around the river belt. Apart from irrigation and harvest, it is an important means of transport for the people. Natural habitat and wildlife can also be seen around the Tapti River, which is home to animals like snakes, tigers, bears, lions, etc.

Ukai Dam was built on 7th August 1968 to control and manage the water source and prevent floods during monsoon season.

Tapti River vegetation
Tapti River vegetation

Vegetation & soil Vegetation

The forest in the Tapti River region is almost 25 % of the total area where the hilly region is dense, and the plain region is less dense or patchy. The major forest trees are big-size teak or timber along with Acacia Arabica or Babul. Some of the major produce or useful plants and trees are as below:

 Names of treesBiological names
1TeakTectona grandis
2SemalBombax malabaricum
3KhairAcacia calechu
4JamunEugenia Jumbolana
5KahuTerminalia Arjuna
6ShishamDalbergia latifolia
7HalduAdina cordfolia
8TiwasOugenia dalbergioides
9BijaPterocarpus marsupium
10SajTerminalia tomenlosa


There are mainly three types of soil found in the Tapti River basin. Due to the regular process of weathering and erosion, this type of soil is affected, and its texture is silty loam to clay. The formation of this soil is mainly from basaltic Deccan trap and is organically poor. Medium black soil is high in lime and good in phosphate or potash is the major kind of soil found in this region.

It comes from the Deccan traps and is low in nitrogen or organic matter. The decomposition of traprocks of hilly ranges results in the formation of deep black soils. It is found around the Purna river and is high in clay content.

River Pollution

The growth of industries around the towns near the river has contributed to the pollution of their industrial and domestic waste into the river. Almost 70 percent of industrial and 80 percent of domestic wastewater is disposed of and contributes to river pollution significantly.

Almost 39 percent or 488 tons per day is the total BOD per day which comes from urban wastewater and the rest comes from industries around the river.


Other than religious and cultural importance, the Tapti River supported the population around the region in terms of agriculture and transportation. It has also helped in international trade for many years and has a historical background.

Internal links:

Narmada River-Erakina

A perennial river – Erakina

Chambal River – Erakina

External links:

Read more about Tapti River of India

By Amrita Vishwas

Date: 22/06/2022

Tags: animals, beautiful place, place to visit

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