The radial centrifugal drainage system of Jharkhand state has number of rivers. Most of these rivers remain relatively dry during summer months (February-May) but exhibit torrential flow during the months of monsoons (June-September). Jharkhand has a vast potential for generating hydel power as is exemplified by the location of the famous Damodar Valley Corporation in the state.
The main Rivers of Jharkhand are:
- North Koel river, originating from the plateau of Ranchi, flows towards north and ends in river Sone. flows in the Western portion of Palamau district and falls in the river Sone. Plamau district is considered rain shadow area and has very few rivers.
- South Koel river, originating from central part of Chotanagpur and ends in river Shankh.
- Barakar river originates from North Chotanagpur and passes through Giridih district. Tillaiya dam is built over this. It is the first Dam and hydro – Electric power Station constructed by Damodar Valley Corporation across Barakar river in Hazaribag district.
- Damodar river originates from Chandwa village of Palamu and is famous for distraction. Once called “sorrow of Jharkhand and Bengal” due to floods devastating vast areas, it has been turned into a blessing after construction of several dams and hydro-electric gerating facilities by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
- Swarnarekha river also originates from plateau of Chhotanagpur. Gold particles are found in its sand. It flows towards Orissa.
- There are three main rivers in district Pakur namely Bansloi, Torai & Brahmini. Bansloi & Torai Rivers flow in the middle and Brahmini flows in the southern part of the District pakur.
- Kanchi river– DASSAM FALLS -About 40 km. away from Ranchi on Tata Road falls a village named Taimara near which flows the Kanchi river.
- Phalgu river, Sankari, Panchane-origin-North Chhota Nagpur
- The Sankh river is located near Rajendra village in District Gumla in Bihar.
The general line of drainpipe is from south to north towards the SON, which forms parts of the northern boundary .The principals rivers are Koel and its tributaries, the Auranga and the Amanat. There are also last of smaller streams, most of which are mere mountain torrents which rock–strewn beds. The Koel Auranga and Amanat are similar in this respect for their upper reaches are characterized by high banks Generally rugged and occasionally precipitous with a rapid stream dashing over boulders and shingle or gliding. Calmly, except in time of spate, in shadow parts terminated by rocky barriers. Further north these rivers have deep sandy beds, into which the water sinks out of sight in the hot weather, percolating through the soft sand. Until some outcrop of rock arrests its course and forces it to the surface.
Other Rivers: Roro, Mayurakshi, Sanjay, Son, More, Karo, Bansloi, Kharkai, Ganga, Gumani, Batane.
Most of the state lies on the Chhota Nagpur Plateau, which is the source of the Koel, Damodar, Brahmani, Kharkai, and Subarnarekha rivers, whose upper watersheds lie within Jharkhand. Much of the state is still covered by forest. Forest preserves support populations of tigers and Indian elephants.