NERBUDDA, or Narbada, a river of India. It is traditionally regarded as the boundary between Hindustan proper and the Deccan. It rises on the summit of Amarkantak hill in Rewa state, and for the first 200 m. of its course winds among the Mandla hills, which form the head of the Satpura range; then at Jubbulpore, passing through the "Marble Rocks," it enters its proper valley between the Vindhyan and Satpura ranges, and pursues a direct westerly course to the Gulf of Cambay. Its total course through the Central Provinces and Gujarat amounts to about Boo m., and it falls into the sea in the Bombay district of Broach. It receives the drainage of the northern slopes of the Satpuras, but not that of the Vindhyan tableland, the streams from which flow into the Ganges and Jumna. After leaving the Central Provinces, the river widens out in the fertile district of Broach, with an average breadth of z m. to 1 m. Below Broach city it forms an estuary which is 13 m. broad where it enters the Gulf of Cambay. The Nerbudda is nowhere utilized for irrigation, and navigation is confined to the lower section. In the rainy season boats of considerable size sail about 60 m. above Broach city. Sea-going vessels of about 70 tons frequent the port of Broach, but they are entirely dependent on the tide. In sanctity the Nerbudda ranks only second to the Ganges among the rivers of India, and along its whole course are special places of pilgrimage. The most meritorious act that a pilgrim can perform is to walk from the sea to the source of the river and back along the opposite bank. This pilgrimage takes from one to two years to accomplish.
The Nerbudda has given its name to a division of the Central Provinces, comprising the five districts of Narsinghpur, Hoshangabad, Nilnar, Betul and Chhindwara. Area, 18,382 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 1,785,008.
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