The Kara Darya (Kyrgyz: Кара-Дарыя, romanizedKara-Daryya, قارا-دارىيا; Uzbek: Qoradaryo, Қорадарё, قارەدەريا , Russian: Карадарья, romanizedKaradar'ya[1] - literally black river)[2] is a major river in southern Kyrgyzstan and eastern Uzbekistan. It is one of the source rivers of the Syr Darya (the second largest river of Central Asia), the other source river is the Naryn. The Kara Darya is formed by the confluence of the rivers Kara-Kulja and Tar.[3] Its length is 177 kilometres (110 mi), and watershed area 30,100 square kilometres (11,600 sq mi).[1]

Kara Darya
Karadarya river.JPG
Kara Darya near Andijan city
EtymologyKara-Darya: Kyrgyz meaning "black river"
Native name
  • Кара-Дарыя  (Kyrgyz)
  • Qoradaryo; Қорадарё  (Uzbek)
CountryKyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
Physical characteristics
SourceConfluence of Tar and Kara-Kulja
 • locationKara-Kulja District, Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan
 • coordinates40°38′55″N 73°25′22″E / 40.6487°N 73.4228°E / 40.6487; 73.4228
MouthSyr Darya
 • coordinates
40°54′N 71°45′E / 40.9°N 71.75°E / 40.9; 71.75Coordinates: 40°54′N 71°45′E / 40.9°N 71.75°E / 40.9; 71.75
Length177 km (110 mi)
Basin size30,100 km2 (11,600 sq mi)
 • locationUchtepa
 • average136 m3/s (4,800 cu ft/s)
 • minimum68.4 m3/s (2,420 cu ft/s)
 • maximum265 m3/s (9,400 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionSyr DaryaNorth Aral Sea
 • leftKurshab, Aravansay
 • rightJazy, Kögart, Kara-Üngkür

The upper Kara Darya flows northwest across eastern Osh Region southwest of and parallel to the Fergana Range. It enters the Fergana Valley and Uzbek territory a few kilometres west of Özgön. In its lower course through the Fergana Valley it is used for irrigation. There is a dam at Kuyganyor (north of Andijan) where part of its water is diverted into the Great Fergana Canal. The Andijan Dam, built in 1973, created the Andijan Reservoir.[1]

There are more than 200 known tributaries of Kara Darya; the largest are, from source to mouth:[3]

Map including Kara Darya


  1. ^ a b c Карадарья, Great Soviet Encyclopedia
  2. ^ Darya means "river", so Kara Darya River is a tautology.
  3. ^ a b "Карадарыя" [Kara Darya] (PDF). Кыргызстандын Географиясы [Geography of Kyrgyzstan] (in Kyrgyz). Bishkek. 2004. p. 191.