Learn about rivers and Waterfalls to score more in UPSC

#10 General topics for preliminary examination : (Geography)

With respect to Indian Geography, as discussed previously, it is absolutely essential to have the map of India clearly etched in your mind. In the first year of the MBBS course, human anatomy is an important subject. This is the subject that is concerned with the human body parts. Most of the students will learn this using cadavers or models or drawings, and not using a written description. Indian Geography is the same. If we study the places, mountain ranges, rivers, climate, soil, flora, and fauna, etc., by seeing the map of India, then all questions from this topic can be “tick” ed at ease! Therefore do not fail to learn with maps! 

All the rivers of India, their special names, sources, tributaries, states and places they cross, etc., need to be noted down in tables and studied as discussed in History topic. 


Sample question 


Statement I Gilgit is a tributary of Indus River 

Statement II Subansri is a tributary of Brahmaputra river 


Statement I is correct 

Statement II is correct 

Both are correct ( answer ) 

Both are wrong 



Statement I Krishna, Godavari, Mahanadi, Kaveri are rivers that flow to the west of Peninsular India

Statement II Narmada, Tapti, Kalindi are rivers that flow to the east of Peninsular India. 


Statement I is correct 

Statement II is correct 

Both are correct 

Both are wrong ( answer - rivers in statement I flow to the east. Rivers in Statement II flow to the west ) 


Similarly, you need to learn about the main waterfalls and lakes of India. Each waterfall is from which river, where is it located, its special features, type of the lake (for instance 1. Tectonic lakes - Nainital, Dal, Wular; 2. Lagoon lakes - Vembanad, Chilka) and its location needs to be learned. 


Sample question 

#Match the following 

Chulia waterfall - Rajasthan 

Lodh waterfall - Jharkhand 

Kapildhara waterfall - Madhya Pradesh

Elephant waterfall - Assam 


Of these which is incorrectly matched? 


1 only 



4 only  ( answer ) 


Elephant falls is in Meghalaya. 

Another important topic related to rivers is the water sharing issues that have occurred and are occurring between states. Name of the river, states involved in the dispute, what are the reasons, etc.  need to be understood. When we answer in the main examination and personal interview if we give our own solutions to these issues, we can get high scores. 

Next, we will look at the climate and seasons of our country. The Himalayan mountain ranges protect India from the extreme cold and heavy showers that come from Central Asia. The climate of the whole country is decided by the monsoon seasons. Monsoon can be mainly divided into the south-west monsoon that comes to the land from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, as well as the northeast monsoon which goes towards the sea from land. Their times, places of origin, and locations which receive more and less rain need to be kept in memory. 

Geography has some special terms and jargons used typically by experts. It is important to learn their meanings. It will help all the way from the preliminary examination to the personal interview. Notably in main examinations questions on geography to be answered in 20 words and 50 words are usually asked from such terms. Sample terms: 

El Niño


Western disturbances 

You can prepare your own tables of such terms. Then surely Geography will come within your grip. We will meet in the next topic. 


We shall win!

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