A river is a ribbon-like body of water that flows downhill from the force of gravity. A river can be wide and deep, or shallow enough for a person to wade across. A flowing body of water that is smaller than a river is called a stream, creek, or brook. A river begins life high in the hills or mountains. In a cold region, a river may be created by melting snow or a glacier. In warmer places, rivers typically form when water drains from a whole series of upland slopes known as a basin. Water drains from each slope to form a small trickle called a rill. Rivers are the backbone of human civilizations which provide freshwater that is the basic necessity for human life. We cannot live without water and rivers are the largest water bodies for freshwater. In fact, all civilizations in the past and present were born near river banks. Rivers only hold a small amount of the Earth’s water, but they have always been vital to human life, carrying freshwater to people and animals all over the world. And they’re super-powerful forces of nature, too – carving out deep valleys and gorges, and shaping the land as they flow to the ocean  Streams usually form at higher elevations, so are generally fast and turbulent. On the other hand, rivers will usually be slow and calm. Size: Rivers carry more water than streams, so they are deeper; they also have wider banks. The rivers in India play an important role in the lives of its people. They provide potable water, cheap transportation, electricity, and the livelihood for many people nationwide. This easily explains why nearly all the major cities of India are located by the banks of rivers.