Narmada River is one of the major sacred rivers in India. Legends say that it descended from the sky by the order of Lord Shiva
. It is said that the Narmada forgives a man of all his sins, and makes him pure, by her mere divine sight.
But in reality, Narmada River originates from the Maikala ranges at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and flows westwards for a total distance of 1,312 km through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat before draining into the Gulf of Cambay, 50 km west of Bharuch.
Of its total length, the first 1,077 km falls in Madhya Pradesh. The next 35 km stretch forms the boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra while in the following 39 km, Narmada borders Maharashtra and Gujarat. Its last stretch of 161 km lies in Gujarat.
As statistics put it, 87% of its total length falls in Madhya Pradesh, the next 2% in Maharashtra and the remaining 11% in Gujarat.
In most parts of its length, the river is generally turbulent and confined between steep banks, making navigation and irrigation difficult.