Which Is The Highest River In The World?

Yarlung Tsangpo flows through the South Tibet Valley starting at an altitude of 14,800 feet.
Yarlung Tsangpo flows through the South Tibet Valley starting at an altitude of 14,800 feet.

Rivers are large streams of water flowing on a course into a large water body or another river. Rivers are natural and have over the years played a key role in curving the world’s history with most ancient civilizations coming up along the earth’s major rivers. As rivers flow towards a lake, sea, or the ocean, they carry water in thousands of gallons and create wonderful features along the way. Rivers are known to have created valleys and canyons that form part of nature’s wonders. The Yarlung Tsangpo is considered the highest river in the world.

Yarlung Tsangpo River

River Yarlung Tsangpo, which is sometimes referred to as Yarlung Zangbo or Yarlung Zangbo Jiang, is Tibet’s longest river. The river’s primary source is the Angsi Glacier in Shigatse, which is in Tibet Autonomous Region. The river is known to have formed the world’s deepest and longest canyon, the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon. In its entire course, Yarlung Tsangpo river has three waterfalls, with the largest being the “Hidden Falls” which was publicized in the West in 1998.

Features of the Yarlung Tsangpo River

The Yarlung Tsangpo River is 1,765 miles in length with an average discharge rate of 574,000 cubic feet per second. With this length, the river passes through three countries, India, China, and Bangladesh. The river flows through the South Tibet Valley starting at an altitude of 14,800 feet and drains into the Indian Ocean. About one-third of the river flows at an altitude of over 13,000 feet and about three-quarters of the river flows over 9,000 feet above the sea level. This feature makes it the highest river in the whole world. The river’s major tributaries include Nyang River, which is the rivers longest tributary, Lhasa River, Nyangchu River, and Parlung River. Yarlung Tsangpo River flows 1,278 miles inside China and has a drainage area of 92,850 square miles making it the largest river in China. The river creates natural water energy that is about 100 million kilowatts.

Kayaking Expeditions

The Yarlung Tsangpo River has been a great destination for kayaking expeditions since the early 1990s. The river has extreme conditions that have made it nicknamed the “Everest of Rivers.” The first attempt kayaking in Yarlung Tsangpo River was made in 1993, but it was until February 2002 when an international group completed the first descent of the upper Tsangpo gorge section. Kayaking expeditions that were made in 1993 and 1998 ended with both expeditions losing a member each.

Interesting Facts About Rivers

Rivers usually carry fresh water and vary in length with some covering great distances along continents. It should be noted that rivers are found in all of the world’s continents. Rivers are found in every kind of land and come in various sizes and features. Some notable rivers in the world are the Nile River, which is Africa’s and the world’s longest river, and the Congo River, which ranks as the world’s deepest among many others.


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