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Asia Landforms

Dozens of significant rivers rise in Asia. Here we highlight a few on the map and (briefly) describe some of the most significant ones, including the Ganges, Indus, Lena, Mekong, Ob, Yangtze and Yellow.

The Ganges is the most sacred river to Hindus and is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. It is 1,560 miles (2,510 km) in length.

The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob River and the Yenisei River). It is the 11th longest river in the world at 2,734 miles (4,400 km).

The Indus River originates in Tibet and flows through India and Pakistan. It provides water resources for the economy of Pakistan - especially the Breadbasket of the southeast, which accounts for most of the nation's agricultural production. It is 1,800 miles (2,900 km) in length.

The Mekong is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 3,050 (4,909 km) and it provides inland transportation for the millions living along its banks, and tributaries

The Ob is a major river in western Siberia, Russia. The Ob is used mostly for irrigation, drinking water, hydroelectric energy, and fishing. It's 2,268 miles (3,650 km) in length.

China's Yangtze is the longest river in Asia, and the fourth longest in the world at 3,915 miles (6,301 km). The Yangtze drains one-fifth of the land area of the People's Republic of China and its river basin is home to one-third of China's population.

The Yellow River is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at 3,395 miles (5,464 km) in length. It's called "the cradle of Chinese civilization" as its basin – specifically, the Wei valley – was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilizations and the most prosperous region in early Chinese history.

Asia's Longest Rivers (a list)

Middle East Rivers

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