Digital elevation model (DEM) is a storehouse of a variety of hydrological information along with terrain characteristics. In recent years, automatic extraction of drainage network from DEM with the help of Geographical Information System (GIS) has become possible and is now being practised the world over for hydrological studies. In the present study, a comparative analysis of the drainage network derived from DEM and drainage extracted from surveyed topographical maps has been carried out. A comparative analysis based on nearest neighbour analysis on an intersection theme of two drainage networks showed that there is clustering (randomness<1) existing at places which show potential groundwater recharge zones. The suitable groundwater recharge zones identified in the drainage comparative analysis also show good correlation with the suitable recharge maps derived from remote sensing and GIS based procedure. In this study, two different watersheds (a) Dwarkeshwar in Bankura district, West Bengal, India, and (b) Kethan in Vidisha districts of Madhya Pradesh, India have been taken to analyse for identification of suitable groundwater recharge zones. The drainage comparative analysis approach developed and tested successfully in the present study is quick and reliable for the identification of suitable groundwater recharge zones particularly in a hard rock terrain.