Panj River

Map with the course of the Panj

Position of the Panj in the catchment area of the Amu Darya

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Panj (also Panj, Pandz, Pjandz or Pandscha; Dari پنج Panj, DMG panǧ; Tajik Панҷ Panj; Russian Пяндж ) is the 921 km long left source of the river Amu Darya in Central Asia. When the much larger source river he is hydrologically the main strand of the Amu Darya River system dar.


The river is formed at the boundary of belonging to Afghanistan Wakhan corridor in Badakhshan for Tajik Gorno-Badakhshan region. There he formed at the interface of the high Pamir Mountains and the Hindu Kush southeast of the 6726 m high Pik Karl Marx below the Tajik village of Langar and above the Afghan village of Qala Panja in 2799 m height from the union of the river Pamir and the larger Wachandarja. Along with the latter, the Panj a length of 1141 kilometers.

From there turns to the Panj, which flows through a narrow gorge and rich valley, continue on the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, mainly in western directions. He reached and passed the Ishkashim just south of the city of 7690 m towering Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush to kinking then north. Directly west of Chorugh flows coming from the east of the Pamir Mountains River Gunt on a 2062 m height. A little further north, the water flows to the Bartang him at 1979 m altitude at Vomar. Subsequently, the Panj gradually moved towards the west, where it continues to follow the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Below the town of Panj he joins a few kilometers below a inland delta at only around 310 m height with the Vakhsh the Amu Darya. His water supply is good here 1000 m³ / s compared to about 600 m³ / s of the Vakhsh.

Strategic importance

The Panj has played a very important role during the Soviet times for the military and was in the 1980s, also a strategically important river for the Afghan military.

Bridges across the Panj there Ishkashim, Chorugh and Kalai - Khum.

Since 2007, at Nizhny Panj on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan another bridge. The 670 m long construction was funded by the United States with participation from Norway. The bridge shortens transport routes in the region significantly. Since then, more vehicles can cross the river in this transition many times. With the previous ferry could the day before, only a maximum of 60 cars to be transported, they also fell several months each year due to strong currents of the river completely out. This bridge on the road from Kabul to Dushanbe Kunduz has now also gained strategic importance for international drug trafficking from Afghanistan via Tajikistan to Russia and to the West.