The story of the origination of Gautami Ganga is written in Varaha Purana, adhaya 71 as:

Gautama muni asked Lord Shiva for Ganga. Once he received Ganga, Gautama muni poured ganga jal on top of a dead cow and the cow arose. The place where this event took place is called Gautami Ganga or Godavari Ganga.

Matsya Purana, adhaya 22, shloka 58-59:

enter image description here

In Godavari river, our ancestors are known as Apsaroyuga.

  • Apsaroyuga is known as Apsaro, which flows from Kal (Shiva) Pokhari towards Gautamitat (intersection of Barun and Arun river). There is no river that flows towards Gautamitat coming from current Godavari.

Brahma Purana, adhaya 78, shloka 77:

enter image description here

Godavari and Bhagirathi originate south and north respectively in Bindagiri from the same mountain.

  • The current Bhagirathi originates in Himalayan range and Godavari is in Maharashtra. They both do not form from the same mountain.

Brahma Purana, adhaya 89, shloka 38-45:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Arun river (known as Tapi in the shloka) and Yamuna (Barun river) intersect at a place called Gautami Ganga (Gautamitat).

Our current Godavari river is in Maharashtra. But this doesn't match with what the shastras tell us. So where is Godavari?

Note: I do not wish to offend anyone regarding my question. Our current thirthas are as holy regardless of their authenticity and I respect their location. Being a Hindu, I would never disrespect any thirtha just because they do not match with shastras. Many thirthas have changed locations and this is why I try to find their original location. Sorry if I have offended anybody.

  • In Matsya Purana, it says Apsaraayuga. see this image. How did you relate Apsaraayuga to Apsuoyuga? And, i couldn't find those lines from Brahma Purana of motilal banarsidass Edition.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 11:36
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    @UdayKrishna Shiva Purana is pretty much clear that Godavari originated from Dandakaranya near Nashik in Maharastra. See this answer.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 11:42
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    Which edition of Brahma Purana do you have? As said in above comment the one i have doesn't contain those lines. Can you update Sanskrit verses from Brahma Purana?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 15:06
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    In your question, can you quote actual Sanskrit sloka's from Purana's or their English translations, than your own words? ... we don't know if you have translated them correctly or not. Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 23:25
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    Upload exact translations from the scriptures. I can't understand properly what you are saying. Please don't half quote. It is called apsaraa(not apsaro). Apsaraa means the one who born from water. Later those apsarasas became famous due to beauty. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 3:22

1 Answer 1


The origin of Godawari river is given in Vaman Purana (Chapter 13 , Shloka 30 - Description of Bhuvan Kosha)

Here are the Sanskrit Shlokas-:

शिवा पायोषनि निर्विन्ध्या तापी सनिषधावति॥28॥
वेणा वैतरणी चैव सिनिबाहु: कुमुद्वती ।
तोया रेव महागौरी दुर्गन्धा वाशिला तथा ॥29॥
विन्ध्यपादप्रसूताश्च नद्य: पुण्यजला: शुभा: ।

Shiva Payoshani Nirvindhya Tapi SanishaDhavati Vena Vaitarani Chaiva Sinibahu Kumudwati Toya Raiva MahaGauri Durgndhaa Vashila Tatha VindhyaPadaPrasutasya Nadya PunyaJala Shubha

Meaning - The rivers having pure water and emanating from Vindhya Mountain are Shiva ,Payosni ,Nirvindhya ,Tapi ,Nisadhavati ,Vena ,Vaitarani ,Sinbahu ,Kumudwati ,Toya , Reva ,Mahagauri ,Durgandha and Vasila.

गोदावरी भीमरथी कृष्णा वेण्या सरिद्वती ॥30॥
विशमद्रि सुप्रयोगा वाह्या कावेररिरेव च।
दुग्धोदा नलिनी चैव वारिसेना कलस्वना ॥31॥
एताश्चपि महानद्य: सह्यपादविनिर्गता:।

Godavari Bhimarathi Krushna Venya Saridwati Vishmadri Suprayoga Vahyaa KaveriReva Cha Dugdhoda Nalini Chaiva Varisena Kalswana Etarschpi Mahandyah Sahyapadvinirgata mahanandis

Meaning - The flowing down from the root of Sahya parvatamala are - Godawari , Bhimarthi ,Krishna ,Vena ,Sarasvati , ,Tungabhdra ,Sprayoga ,Vahya , Kaveri ,Dugdhoda ,Nalini ,Reva ,Varisena and Kalasvana.

So from the above shlokas it's clear that River Godavari flows from Sahya Parvat today's Sahyadri (सह्याद्रि). And according to This It originates in the Western Ghats of central India Near Nashik ,Maharashtra.

enter image description here

  • Ok, your answer seems correct because the shastras do not speak false. I, however am still not convinced due to one reason. I am confused because different shastras are saying different things. Like Narad purana, adhay 16, shlok 1-3 says "Raja Bhagirath, the king of Ayodhya; as a yogi walked towards himalayas and encountered Godavari nadi" . See himalayas are in the north side of Ayodhya and the current godavari is to the south. If Bhagirath walked to the north and encountered Godavari; how is it possible that the current godavari is to the south of Ayodhya? Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 14:22
  • As you can see there is also mentioning of river "Sarasvati" in above shlokas which has long been disappeared .So the names seems to be duplicate.So what i mean is there might be possibility of two different rivers called Godawari flowing & originating from different sources.But the current Godavari river is where I have mentioned. Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 17:06
  • @Ramesh Bhattarai Puranas may seem to contradict each other because they generally tell story of different Kalpas. So it's possible that there are more than 2 description for Godavari river in Puranas. See answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/7961/…
    – Tezz
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 4:31
  • @Tezz Yeah, the Shiva Purana actually gives two versions of the story of he origin of the Godavari river, one of which occurred in a previous Kalpa; see my Shiva Purana excerpt linked to in the end of my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/2572/36 Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 19:39

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