With 44.5 million square kilometers, Asia is the largest continent in the world. In turn, it is also the most populated. Before this amount of surface it is not surprising that in it they run some of the biggest rivers of the world, more when in the heart of this continent raise Himalaya, one of the greatest mountain ranges of the world.


In the following article we will explain to you which are the main rivers of Asia with map so that you can locate them.

Main Rivers in Asia

The main rivers of Asia are:

  • Yangtze: is 6,300 km long and passes through China.
  • Ganges: 2,500 km long and passes through India and Bangladesh.
  • Amur: is 2,824 km long and passes through Russia and China
  • Euphrates: 2,800 km long and passes through Turkey, Syria and Iraq
  • Obi: is 3,650 km long and passes through Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China.
  • Brahmaputra: 2,900 km long, passing through India and China

Here we explain more about its main characteristics and history.

Yangtze River

Photo: Yangtze

The Yangtze is not only one of the most important rivers in Asia; it is also one of the largest in the world. By length it is only surpassed by the Nile and the Amazon, which makes it the longest river of its continent. With its 6,300 km of length, its waters run only by the People’s Republic of China. In turn, discharge 31,900 m³ / s, draining an immense basin of about 1,800.00 km², that is, larger than countries like Mongolia, Libya or Iran.

The Yangtze River is born in Qinghai, located on the Tibet Plateau and flows eastward across many provinces and autonomous cities of the People’s Republic until it flows into the East China Sea in Shanghai. So much is the area that covers this river that supports 40% of the water consumption of China and 70% of consumption by rice production.

The Three Gorges Dam, one of those along its route, is the largest in the world. Also on this river is the largest hydroelectric power plant on the planet. Most of its route is navigable, in fact, until Wuhan can sail transatlantic ships.

Ganges River

Photo: Neil Palmer/IWMI

The Ganges is one of the world’s most famous rivers, as well as one of the largest in the Indian subcontinent. Its birth is in the Himalayas, in its 2,500 km it flows through northern India, crosses the flat of the Ganges and flows into Bangladesh in what is the largest delta in the world in the Bay of Bengal.

But its importance in the region is not only understood from the physical point of view. Although its fertile basin, of more than 900,000 km², is one of the densest in the world and it has established some of the main imperial capitals of antiquity, much of the importance of the Ganges River for the entire region has to do with the sacred conception of it.

The Ganges is considered as sacred by the Hindu religion since it is considered to be the goddess Ganga. In fact, much of the pollution and insalubrity problems of its waters come from this fact. As a sacred river, as the tradition commands, the Ganges has been the place where the remains of burned human corpses and dead animals are poured. It is not uncommon to find remains of people floating in their waters, to which must be added the uncontrolled wastewater discharges from factories and homes.

Euphrates River

Photo: Petr Sharov

The Euphrates River is one of the most important in the history of mankind, since on its shores was born the Sumerian civilization as well as was the center of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, in fact in the Bible is known as “The River”, Something that gives us an idea of ​​the importance of the Euphrates in the ancient world. In addition, this river was the natural barrier that delimited the borders of the Roman and Egyptian empires of the regions controlled by the Persian Empire.

Despite having a length of 2,780 km, crossing Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and its flow is not very abundant compared to the size of its basin, about 765,000 km². This is due to the fact that almost all of it runs on very arid or desert lands, which causes their waters to be exploited to the maximum. This fact provokes a great controversy among the countries to which the Euphrates supplies, since Iraq lives with a perpetual fear that does not arrive enough water to him.

Obi River


The Obi River is one of the longest watercourses in Asia and the entire world. However, there is some controversy and diversity of opinions regarding its overall length. By itself is considered that has 3,650 km, however, if we add the river Irtysh, its main tributary, reaches 5.410.

Its immense basin of 3 million km² runs mostly on Russian territory, but also passes through Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia until it flows into the Kara Sea. As we have said before, if we add the river Irtysh, its main tributary, the river Obi is one of the most important river arteries on the planet. Its waters offer communication by boat in a seasonal way in a place in which, in the last decades, the industrial fabric has increased strongly. In fact, it is the main source of hydrocarbons in Russia, an activity that is threatening its rich natural environment because of pollution.

Amur River

Photo: Petr Sharov

In an area near the border between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China lies the Amur River, one of the most important in Asia. Its birth occurs in Manchuria and after crossing 2,824 km flows into Tartary with a large estuary. Its basin covers an area of ​​about 2 million km2 in which serve as a method of supply to feed and cultivate. In addition, historically it has been a way of communicating since its waterway became a door towards the Pacific.

Brahmaputra River

Photo: Indianexpress

The birth of the Brahmaputra River is found on the Himalayan Kubi Gangri Glacier. From there it flows through Chinese territory through Tibet and, after traveling about 2,900 km, flows into the Bay of Bengal, just like the Ganges, in what is the largest delta in the world. With the Ganges also shares the fact of being considered sacred by the Hindu religion. In turn, its passage through the tropical regions makes the valley of this river one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet.

A curious thing about this river, its passage through Tibet, of more than 1,200 km, is that it is the axis of navigation by river of greater height of the world. In fact, almost all its course is navigable, whereas the zones that are not by its shallow depth are considered sacred. The relationship of the locals with the river is ambivalent, on the one hand, their water is a source of fertility, but on the other, it causes great floods every spring when the snow melts in the Himalayas.


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