Apart from the Narmada, the Tapti is the only river that flows westward and falls into the Arabian Sea, in the Gulf of Khambat, to be precise. The 724km long Tapti is agriculturally very important as it drains an area of over 65,145sq km spread over Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. This river originates at a height of 762m in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh (to the south of the Satpura Range). The Tapti journeys almost parallel to the Narmada, though it is much shorter in length than the Narmada and has a smaller catchment area.
According to the Puranas, ancient Hindu texts, , the Tapti is the daughter of the Sun god, Surya, who created her to save himself from his own intense heat. Tapti is also known as Tapi (taken from the Sanskrit word taap, which means heat). In the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, it is mentioned that Tapti had married Sanvaran, a legendary hero of the Moon Dynasty. They had a son called Kuru, from whom the Kuru Dynasty started.