The Godavari is India's second longest river after the Ganga and third largest in India, drains about 10% of India's total geographical area. Its source is in Triambakeshwar, Nashik, Maharashtra. It flows east for 1,465 kilometres, draining the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. The river ultimately empties into the Bay of Bengal through an extensive network of tributaries. Measuring up to 312,812 km², it forms one of the largest river basins in the Indian subcontinent, with only the Ganga and Indus rivers having a larger drainage basin. In terms of length, catchment area and discharge, the Godavari is the largest in peninsular India, and had been dubbed as the Dakshina Ganga.
The river has been revered in Hindu scriptures for many millennia and continues to harbour and nourish a rich cultural heritage. In the past few decades, the river has been barricaded by several barrages and dams, keeping a head of water which lowers evaporation.