Mahanadi, one of the largest rivers in south-east India and the sixth largest in India, originates from the Amarkantak hills of the Bastar Plateau in Raipur District
of Madhya Pradesh
. The total 890 km of the river traverses through a gorge in the
, across Orissa
, forming a delta before entering the
Bay of Bengal
The Tel and Hasdo rivers are its main tributaries. Mahanadi has a total catchment area of 141,600 sq km and it is across this river that the world’s largest earthen dam, Hirakud at
Sambalpur, is built. On its way, the river supports several hydro-electric plants and serves as a major source for irrigation in Orissa.