Godavari is a film about Sreeram, Seeta and the river cruise from Rajamundry to Bhadrachalam that brings them together. It is a semi-urban love story set against the scenic backdrop of the Godavari river aboard a houseboat also called "Godavari".
Sreeram, aka Ram (Sumanth) finishes his masters from United States in engineering, but returns to India wishing to serve the people by entering politics. He lives with his grandmother. He's in love with his cousin Raji (Neetu Chandra) and hopes to marry her. Raji's father (CVL Narasimha Rao) often expresses his dislike towards Ram's professional interests and his relatively modest financial status. And for the same reason he does not want his daughter to marry him. Meanwhile, Seetha (Kamalinee) is a fashion designer who runs an unsuccessful clothing boutique. Her parents are not very keen about her business and want her to get married instead. Seetha, being an independent and career oriented woman , is not enthusiastic about the idea. However, circumstances force her to reluctantly agree with her parents. Unfortunately, the marriage alliance doesn't work out as the groom's family feels that she is 'too progressive and fast'. Frustrated and angry, Seetha decides to take a break from everything and makes plans to go on a river boat journey on the Godavari.
Meanwhile, Raji gets a marriage proposal from Ravi (Kamal Kamaraju), a self-centred IPS officer. Raji conveys that she's not sure about her feelings for Ram. Taking that as a challenge, Ram says that he will prove his worth to her father and win her hand. However he soon realises that she has already agreed to marry Ravi. Disappointed and heartbroken, Ram is forced to join his family on the river cruise to Bhadrachalam, where Raji is to get married. It is on this boat cruise that Ram and Seetha meet. There are also several sub plots involving other characters on the river boat. Along with Ram, his family and Seeta, the others on the ship include:
The river boat captain Chintamani Tanikella Bharani, who harbours a romantic interest in Pullammaa.
Pullatlla Pullamma who prepares and serves Pullattlu, a variety of dosa. She has a brother who sings well.
an astrologer along with his caged parrot.
Chinna, a 10-year old poor boy who sells balloons. While he is away, a person in a red shirt (as he sees him) cuts the ropes of his balloons as they block his face. To find that man and collect the compensatory amount, he gets on the boat without a ticket.
Kotigadu: A street dog often bullied by the other dogs in his pack. To avoid them, he follows Chinna and lands on the deck of the boat. They both end up becoming good friends by the end of the journey.
a Rayalaseema factionist along with his pregnant daughter who gets on the boat to escape from his enemies. Towards the end of the journey however, his foes catch up with him , but he's rescued by Ram in an ensuing fight.
Ram and Seeta meet each for the first time when she is walking the ramp that leads to the house from the shore with great difficulty. Ram who is behind her on the plank lifts her in his arms, walks through the ramp and releases her on the boat. Ram feels he did her a favour as she was having difficulty walking the ramp, but Seeta angrily demands an apology from him for touching her without her permission. The easygoing Ram apologises and moves on. Their next meeting is on the boat's deck, where both are reading their books while snacking on chips. Seeta mistakes Ram's pack of chips for hers and eats all of them, annoying Ram. Later she realises that her bag of chips are actually in her room. She realizes her stupidity and returns a new pack to Ram. This is where they formally introduce themselves to each other. During the journey, Pullamma's brother sings a song and gets a tip from Ram. Pullamma gets offended by this and refuses to serve pullattlu to Ram. Seeta, seeing this, brings extra pullattlu for him. From here on, a friendship develops between the both of them.
Seeta starts writing a diary to record her memories of her trip and she starts it with Ram. The relationship between Ram and Seetha goes through ups and downs through the journey. She tries her best to woo Ram romantically in many ways from here on. During a halt in their journey, the boat captain organizes a treasure-hunt and they both team up as one. All through the event, Seeta tries to find out if Ram has feelings for her, but she doesn't succeed. When they are just a step away from winning the treasure hunt Seeta asks Ram to let Chinna win since the latter is in financial need. Ram willingly approves, further winning her admiration. Meanwhile, Raji and Ravi's team are lost in the hunt as Raji misguides him accidentally, thereby angering him. Raji subsequently discovers the controlling and chauvinistic nature of Ravi, and starts having second thoughts about their impending marriage. Confused and disappointed,, she suddenly asks Ram to marry her instead. Ram says he will pick her up at a specific location and time and sends the details on a piece of paper to her through Chinna. Chinna instead swallows the paper as he is well aware of Seeta's feelings for Ram. Thereby the plan of Ram meeting Raji goes awry. Raji disappointed and hurt confides in Seeta and tells her not to tell her family about their eloping plan. Hearing of their plan, Seetha thinks that Ram still loves Raji. Heartbroken, she leaves the boat cruise abruptly. Subsequently, the fickle minded Seetha decides to go through with her initial marriage to Ravi.
Ram, confused as to why Seetha left, starts to miss her. He comes across Seetha's diary, which was accidentally left behind. After reading it , he discovers Seetha's feelings for him. He goes to her home to speak with her. After pursuing her for a long time, she agrees to take a walk with him, where he suddenly proposes to her. Seetha is shocked and confused and demands an explanation from Ram regarding his eloping plan with Raji. Ram tells her that he never had any plan of marrying Raji, that the piece of paper he gave Chinna was blank, and that the whole plan was just a hoax. He thereby expresses that his feelings were only for Seeta. Hearing this, Seeta is once again happy and agrees to marry Ram.