important rivers of the world for IAS

Important Rivers of the World – World Geography UPSC

In this article, You will read about Important Rivers of the World for UPSC. The topic Major Rivers of the World is important, and UPSC aspirants might also encounter 1 or 2 questions related to important rivers in UPSC prelims.

Important Rivers of the World

1. Nile

Sources: Tributaries of Lake Victoria, Africa  
Outflow: Mediterranean Sea 
Approx. Length (km): 6,690

Important Rivers of the World - Nile

2. Amazon

Sources: Glacier-fed lakes, Peru       
Outflow: Atlantic Ocean
Approx. Length (km): 6,296

3. Mississippi-Missouri-Red Rock

Sources: Source of Red Rock, Montana     
Outflow: Gulf of Mexico
Approx. Length (km): 5,970

4. Chang Jiang (Yangtze)

Source: Tibetan plateau, China
Outflow: China Sea (East China Sea)
Approx. Length: 5,797 Km 

  • It rises at Jari Hill in the Tanggula Mountains, in the northern part of the Tibetan Plateau, and flows in a generally easterly direction to the East China Sea.
  • It is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest river in the world, and the longest river to flow entirely in one country.
  • The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world.
  • The Jinsha River is the name for 2,308 km (1,434 mi) of the Yangtze from Yibin upstream to the confluence with the Batang River near Yushu in Qinghai.
  • Yangtze River has seen half of the unique species to its waters go extinct.

Tributaries

  • Left: Yalong, Min, Tuo, Jialing, Han
  • Right: Wu, Yuan, Zi, Xiang, Gan, Huangpu
Yangtze River
Yangtze River UPSC IAS

5. Ob

Sources: Altai Mts., Russia    
Outflow: Gulf of Ob      
Approx. Length (km): 5,567

6. Huang He (Yellow)

Sources: Eastern part of Kunlun Mts., West China       
Outflow: Gulf of Chihli 
Approx. Length (km): 4,667

7. Yenisei

Sources: Tannu-Ola Mts., western Tuva, Russia 
Outflow: Arctic Ocean   
Approx. Length (km): 4,506

The Yenisey, also romanised as Yenisei, Enisei, or Jenisej, is the fifth-longest river system in the world, and the largest to drain into the Arctic Ocean.

8. Parana

Sources: Confluence of Paranaiba and Grande rivers   
Outflow: Río de la Plata
Approx. Length (km): 4,498

9. Irtysh

Sources: Altai Mts., Russia    
Outflow: Ob River         
Approx. Length (km): 4,438

10. Zaire (Congo)

Source: Confluence of Lualab and Luapula rivers, Congo
Outflow: Atlantic Ocean
Approx. Length (km): 4,371

11. Heilong (Amur)

Sources: Confluence of Shilka (Russia) and Argun (Manchuria) rivers
Outflow: Tatar Strait    
Approx. Length (km): 4,352

12. Lena

Sources: Baikal Mts., Russia  
Outflow: Arctic Ocean   
Approx. Length (km): 4,268

13. Mackenzie

Sources: Head of Finlay River, British Columbia, Canada     
Outflow: Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean)        
Approx. Length (km): 4,241

14. Niger

Sources: Guinea 
Outflow: Gulf of Guinea
Approx. Length (km): 4,184

15. Mekong

Sources: Tibetan highlands   
Outflow: South China Sea     
Approx. Length (km): 4,023

16. Mississippi

Sources: Lake Itasca, Minnesota      
Outflow: Gulf of Mexico
Approx. Length (km): 3,779

17. Missouri

Sources: Confluence of Jefferson, Gallatin, and Madison rivers, Montana
Outflow: Mississippi River      
Approx. Length (km): 3,726

18. Volga

Sources: Valdai plateau, Russia       
Outflow: Caspian Sea   
Approx. Length (km): 3,687

19. Madeira

Sources: Confluence of Beni and Maumoré rivers, Bolivia–Brazil boundary
Outflow: Amazon River 
Approx. Length (km): 3,238

20. Purus

Sources: Peruvian Andes
Outflow: Amazon River 
Approx. Length (km): 3,207

21. Sao Francisco

Sources: Southwest Minas Gerais, Brazil  
Outflow: Atlantic Ocean
Approx. Length (km): 3,198

22. Yukon

Sources: Junction of Lewes and Pelly rivers, Yukon Territory, Canada
Outflow: Bering Sea     
Approx. Length (km): 3,185

23. St. Lawrence

Sources: Lake Ontario  
Outflow: Gulf of St. Lawrence
Approx. Length (km): 3,058

24. Rio Grande

Sources: San Juan Mts., Colorado  
Outflow: Gulf of Mexico
Approx. Length (km): 3,034

25. Brahmaputra

Sources: Himalayas      
Outflow: Ganges River  
Approx. Length (km): 2,897

26. Indus

Sources: Himalayas      
Outflow: Arabian Sea   
Approx. Length (km): 2,897

27. Danube

Sources: Black Forest, Germany      
Outflow: Black Sea       
Approx. Length (km): 2,842

28. Euphrates

Sources: Confluence of Murat Nehri and Kara Su rivers, Turkey     
Outflow: Shatt-al-Arab 
Approx. Length (km): 2,799

29. Darling

Sources: Central part of Eastern Highlands, Australia 
Outflow: Murray River  
Approx. Length (km): 2,739

30. Zambezi

Sources: 11°21’S, 24°22’E, Zambia  
Outflow: Mozambique Channel
Approx. Length (km): 2,736

31. Tocantins

Sources: Goias, Brazil  
Outflow: Para River      
Approx. Length (km): 2,699

32. Murray

Sources: Australian Alps, New South Wales       
Outflow: Indian Ocean 
Approx. Length (km): 2,589

33. Nelson

Sources: Head of Bow River, western Alberta, Canada 
Outflow: Hudson Bay   
Approx. Length (km): 2,575

34. Paraguay

Sources: Mato Grosso, Brazil 
Outflow: Parana River  
Approx. Length (km): 2,549

35. Ural

Sources: Southern Ural Mts., Russia        
Outflow: Caspian Sea   
Approx. Length (km): 2,533

36. Ganges

Sources: Himalayas      
Outflow: Bay of Bengal 
Approx. Length (km): 2,506

37. Amu Darya (Oxus)

Sources: Nicholas Range, Pamir Mts., Turkmenistan   
Outflow: Aral Sea
Approx. Length (km): 2,414

38. Japura

Sources: Andes, Colombia      
Outflow: Amazon River 
Approx. Length (km): 2,414

39. Salween

Sources: Tibet, south of Kunlun Mts.        
Outflow: Gulf of Martaban     
Approx. Length (km): 2,414

40. Arkansas

Sources: Central Colorado     
Outflow: Mississippi River      
Approx. Length (km): 2,348

41. Colorado

Sources: Grand County, Pennsylvania
Outflow: Mississippi River      
Approx. Length (km): 2,348

42. Dnieper

Sources: Valdai Hills, Russia 
Outflow: Black Sea       
Approx. Length (km): 2,284

43. Ohio-Allegheny

Sources: Potter County, Pennsylvania       
Outflow: Mississippi River      
Approx. Length (km): 2,102

44. Irrawaddy

Sources: Confluence of Nmai and Mali rivers, northeast Burma      
Outflow: Bay of Bengal 
Approx. Length (km): 2,092

45. Orange

Sources: Lesotho 
Outflow: Atlantic Ocean
Approx. Length (km): 2,092

46. Orinoco

Source: Serra Parima Mts., Venezuela       
Outflow: Atlantic Ocean
Approx. Length (km): 2,062

47. Pilcomayo

Sources: Andes Mts., Bolivia  
Outflow: Paraguay River        
Approx. Length (km): 1,999

48. Xi Jiang (Si Kiang)

Sources: Eastern Yunnan Province, China
Outflow: China Sea      
Approx. Length (km): 1,989

49. Columbia

Sources: Columbia Lake, British Columbia, Canada    
Outflow: Pacific Ocean  
Approx. Length (km): 1,983

50. Don

Sources: Tula, Russia   
Outflow: Sea of Azov     
Approx. Length (km): 1,968

51. Sungari

Sources: China-North Korea boundary     
Outflow: Amur River     
Approx. Length (km): 1,955

52. Saskatchewan

Sources: Canadian Rocky Mts.        
Outflow: Lake Winnipeg         
Approx. Length (km): 1,939

53. Peace

Sources: Stikine Mts., British Columbia, Canada        
Outflow: Great Slave River     
Approx. Length (km): 1,923

54. Tigris

Sources: Taurus Mts., Turkey
Outflow: Shatt-al-Arab 
Approx. Length (km): 1,899

55. Thames

The River Thames is only 215 miles long, but it’s the longest river in England.

The river’s modern name, Thames, is pronounced “tems.”

The famous London Bridge stretches across part of the Thames, along with more than 200 other bridges and over 20 underwater tunnels.

56. Rhine river

The Rhine River flows from the Swiss Alps to the Netherlands, then into the North Sea. The 764-mile long river is the second longest in Central and Western Europe.

It passes through six countries: Switzerland, Principality of Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

As the Rhine enters Germany, it forms the border between Germany and France.

Major-river-systems-of-South-Southeast-and-East-Asia
Major rivers in Asia for UPSC

Top 50 longest Rivers in the world

No.River NamesLength (km)OutflowCountries Sharing Drainage Basin
1.Nile– White-Nile –Kagera –Nyabarongo –Mwogo –Rukarara7,088MediterraneanEthiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan
2.Amazon–Ucayali–Tambo–Ene–Mantaro6,992Atlantic OceanBrazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana
3.Yangtze(Chang Jiang; Long River)6,418East China SeaChina
4.Mississippi–Missouri–Jefferson–Beaverhead–Red Rock–Hell Roaring6,275Gulf of MexicoUnited States (98.5%), Canada (1.5%)
5.Yenisei–Angara–Selenge–Ider5,539Kara SeaRussia (97%), Mongolia (2.9%)
6.Yellow River(Huang He)5,464Bohai SeaChina
7.Ob–Irtysh5,410Gulf of ObRussia, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia
8.Río de la Plata–Paraná–Rio Grande4,880Río de la PlataBrazil (46.7%), Argentina (27.7%), Paraguay (13.5%), Bolivia (8.3%), Uruguay (3.8%)
9.Congo–Chambeshi(Zaïre)4,700Atlantic OceanDemocratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Cameroon, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda
10.Amur–Argun–Kherlen(Heilong Jiang)4,444Sea of OkhotskRussia, China, Mongolia
11.Lena4,400Laptev SeaRussia
12.Mekong(Lancang Jiang)4,350South China SeaChina, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam
13.Mackenzie–Slave–Peace–Finlay4,241Beaufort SeaCanada
14.Niger4,200Gulf of GuineaNigeria (26.6%), Mali (25.6%), Niger (23.6%), Algeria (7.6%), Guinea (4.5%), Cameroon (4.2%), Burkina Faso (3.9%), Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Chad
15.Brahmaputra–Tsangpo3,848GangesIndia (58.0%), China (19.7%), Nepal (9.0%), Bangladesh (6.6%), Disputed India/China (4.2%), Bhutan (2.4%)
16.Murray–Darling–Culgoa–Balonne–Condamine3,672Southern OceanAustralia
17.Tocantins–Araguaia3,650Atlantic Ocean, AmazonBrazil
18.Volga3,645Caspian SeaRussia
19.Indus–Sênggê Zangbo3,610Arabian SeaPakistan (93%), India and China
20.Shatt al-Arab–Euphrates–Murat3,596Persian GulfIraq (60.5%), Turkey (24.8%), Syria (14.7%)
21.Madeira–Mamoré–Grande–Caine–Rocha3,380AmazonBrazil, Bolivia, Peru
22.Purús3,211AmazonBrazil, Peru
23.Yukon3,185Bering SeaUnited States (59.8%), Canada (40.2%)
24.São Francisco3,180Atlantic OceanBrazil
25.Syr Darya–Naryn3,078Aral SeaKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
26.Salween(Nu Jiang)3,060Andaman SeaChina (52.4%), Myanmar (43.9%), Thailand (3.7%)
27.Saint Lawrence–Niagara–Detroit–Saint Clair–Saint Marys–Saint Louis–North (Great Lakes)3,058Gulf of Saint LawrenceCanada (52.1%), United States (47.9%)
28.Rio Grande3,057Gulf of MexicoUnited States (52.1%), Mexico (47.9%)
29.Lower Tunguska2,989YeniseiRussia
30.Danube–Breg (Donau, Dunăre, Duna, Dunav, Dunaj)2,888Black SeaRomania (28.9%), Hungary (11.7%), Austria (10.3%), Serbia (10.3%), Germany (7.5%), Slovakia (5.8%), Bulgaria (5.2%), Croatia (4.5%), Ukraine (3.8%)
31.Irrawaddy River–N’Mai River–Dulong River–Kelaoluo–Gada Qu2,727Andaman SeaChina, Myanmar
32.Zambezi(Zambesi)2,693Mozambique ChannelZambia (41.6%), Angola (18.4%), Zimbabwe (15.6%), Mozambique (11.8%), Malawi (8.0%), Tanzania (2.0%), Namibia, Botswana
33.Vilyuy2,650LenaRussia
34.Araguaia2,627TocantinsBrazil
35.Ganges–Hooghly–Padma (Ganga)2,620Bay of BengalIndia, Bangladesh, Nepal
36.Amu Darya–Panj2,620Aral SeaUzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan
37.Japurá (Rio Yapurá)2,615AmazonBrazil, Colombia
38.Nelson–Saskatchewan2,570Hudson BayCanada, United States
39.Paraguay (Río-Paraguay)2,549ParanáBrazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina
40.Kolyma2,513East Siberian SeaRussia
41.Pilcomayo2,500ParaguayParaguay, Argentina, Bolivia
42.Upper Ob–Katun2,490ObRussia
43.Ishim2,450IrtyshKazakhstan, Russia
44.Juruá2,410AmazonPeru, Brazil
45.Ural2,428Caspian SeaRussia, Kazakhstan
46.Arkansas2,348MississippiUnited States
47.Colorado (western U.S.)2,333Gulf of CaliforniaUnited States, Mexico
48.Olenyok2,292Laptev SeaRussia
49.Dnieper2,287Black SeaRussia, Belarus, Ukraine
50.Aldan2,273LenaRussia
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Niyazul

Contents are very good but provide pdf of it

Bhupendra Singh Rathore

Good Morning, For last year I’m making notes of Geo Optional and doing it by self-study, but your notes are too good, better than any institute notes I come across in my journey, Let me know if I can buy it in PDF form, as still need to cover some portion of my optional and your notes seems perfect to me. Thanks a lot!

Bhupendra Singh Rathore

Thank you so much!

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