Mahanadi, one of the largest rivers in south-east India and the 6th largest in India. its originates from the Amarkantak hills of the Bastar Plateau in Raipur District of Madhya Pradesh. The total 858 km length of the river travels through a gorge in the Eastern Ghats, across Orissa, forming a delta before entering in to the Bay of Bengal near Cuttack.
The Tel and Hasdo rivers are its main tributaries. Mahanadi has a total catchment area of 141,600 square 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.