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Kabul River facts for kids

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Country Afghanistan
City Kabul, Surobi, Jalalabad (Afghanistan);
Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera (Pakistan)
Physical characteristics
Main source Hindu Kush Mountains
Maidan Wardak Province, Afghanistan
2,400 m (7,900 ft)
River mouth Indus River
Attock, Punjab, Pakistan
Length 700 km (430 mi)
Basin features
Basin size 66,000 km2 (25,000 sq mi)
  • Left:
    Panjshir River, Alingar River, Kunar River, Swat River
  • Right:
    Logar River, Surkhab River, Bara River

The Kabul River is a 700-kilometre (430 mi) long river that emerges in Maidan Wardak Province in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan, and is separated from the watershed (drainage basin) of the Helmand River by the Unai Pass. The Kabul River empties into the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan.

The major tributaries of the Kabul River are the Logar, Panjshir, Alingar, Surkhab, Kunar, Bara, and Swat rivers. The Kabul River later gave its name to the region and to the settlement of Kabul.


The Kabul River is little more than a trickle for most of the year, but swells in summer due to melting snows in the Hindu Kush Range. Its largest tributary is the Kunar River, which starts out as the Mastuj River, flowing from the Chiantar glacie in Brughil valley in Chitral, Pakistan and after flowing south into Afghanistan it is met by the Bashgal river flowing from Nurestan.

The Kunar meets the Kabul near Jalalabad. In spite of the Kunar carrying more water than the Kabul, the river continues as the Kabul River after this confluence, mainly for the political and historical significance of the name.

The Kabul River is impounded by several dams. The Naghlu, Surobi, and Darunta dams are located in the Kabul and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan. The Warsak Dam is in the Valley of Peshawar in Pakistan, approximately 20 km northwest of the city of Peshawar.

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