Kerala is often termed as land of waters as it has large presence of rivers, lakes, backwaters, ponds, etc. Of this large share of water are supplied by the rivers. Kerala is blessed with 44 rivers out of which 41 flow westward and 3 to the eastern side. Most of the west flowing rivers either join Arabian sea or backwater lakes which usually open into Arabian sea. These majestic rivers criss-cross through the beautiful countryside and are surrounded by green forests and coconut trees. They are rich source of irrigation, drinking water, inland fishing and transportation.
Majority of Kerala's river emanate from the imposing Western Ghats. Some of the famous river which originates from Western Ghats are Bharatapuzha, The Periyar, The Meenachil, The Pampa, The Manimala etc. These rivers mostly start flowing as small stream or rivulets and are joined many small and big streams during its flow leading to its emergence as mighty river. The east bound river flow for a short distance in Kerala. Two river Paambaar and Bhavani flow into Tamil Nadu whereas Kabani flow to Karnataka. Rivers of Kerala are mostly rain fed which lead them to compress into rivulets or dry up if there is less rainfall. These rivers have become part of the Kerala's daily life and are associated with the rich tradition and culture of state. Covering a distance of around 244 kilometers, Periyar is the largest and longest river of Kerala.
Some of the magnificent rivers which flows through the state are Periyar, Pamba, Manimala, Chandragiri, Shiriyar Kuppam, Thalasseri, Perumbarayu, etc. The majestic Periyar which is also the largest river of state originates from Sivagiri hills located in the border of Kerala-Tamil Nadu. It flows into Vembanattu lake and from there to Arabian sea. Hydro electric project and famous Arch Dam has been constructed over this river at Idukki. Many more famous wild life and bird sanctuaries are located on the bank of this river.
Another popular river of state is Pampa which originates from Peermedu located nearby Sabrimala. This is considered to be holy river by the Hindus. All the rivers of state contribute to the beauty of this enigmatic land. These rivers have bestowed state with greenery and fertile land. They are also an important source of inland waterways in major part of the state.