Rivers in China have been sustaining people for many years. These water bodies form a vital part of the heritage. One of the most famous rivers in China is known as the yellow river. If you are familiar with it, you have probably heard some people referring to it as the mother river.
Many people, including artists and poets, have been admiring the yellow river for a long time.
We will cover everything there is to know regarding this famous river, including where it is located, where it begins and ends, and its use. We will also tell you why the river is yellow, its importance to ancient china, and when the yellow river civilization began. Learn more!
What is the yellow river?
This refers to the second-longest river in China. The Chinese call it Huang he. In the world, this river is the sixth-longest. The longest river in China is referred to as the Yangtze River. Experts reveal that the estimated length of the Yellow River is 5,464 km.
This river is also the cradle of civilization in China. The drainage basin of this river is also among the largest in the country. The distance of this river’s basin from East to West is around 1180 miles. For over 2000 years, the basin of the yellow river was the center of Chinese culture, economy, and politics.
It is a river with many names. Many people call it the muddiest major river in the world. Some of the cities that the yellow river flows past include Lanzhou, Taiyuan, Xi’an Baotou, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Jinan, and Luoyang.
Where is the Yellow river located?
The famous yellow river is located in Qinghai province, in the northwestern part of China. Qinghai province also has high plateaus and mountains. In this province, the river flows quietly, helping the locals irrigate their farms.
Many people in the province believe that the yellow river nurtures the nation. The yellow river runs 2150 miles long through the grasslands, swamps, and mountains in this region.
Where does the yellow river begin and end
The yellow river begins in the Bayan Har Mountains at about 15,000 feet. It flows through different provinces and ends in the Bohai Sea. This sea is located near the city called Dongying, which is located in Shandong province.
Since numerous streams feed it through its course, some people feel that this river is a melting pot. The place where the yellow river originates is made up of crystalline rocks. When the yellow river reaches Taohuahu, it splits the Loess Plateau into two and forms a long continuous gorge. Geographers divide the Yellow river into the following stages.
Upper reach– This refers to where the yellow river begins, which is in Qinghai province. In the upper reaches, the yellow river crosses other large water bodies like Lake Gyaring and Ngoring. At this point, the yellow river flows from west to east. The mouth of the upper reach ends at Hekou Town, Inner Mongolia.
Middle reach– When the yellow river leaves the Gansu province, it marks the end of the upper reach. In the middle course, this river extends over 2900km. The yellow river continues flowing down to Henan Province about 740 miles. The middle reach cuts the Loess Plateau in half.
Lower course– The yellow river continues flowing downstream from Zhengzhou. The lower yellow river is around 700 km long. It flows across the North China Plain and then empties into the Bohai Sea.
What is the yellow river used for
The yellow river is quite significant to the Chinese since it is a rich source of fertile soil. It creates fertile land that is suitable for agriculture. Many people have constructed houses along the yellow river basin to conduct agriculture. In the past, the people also grew millet near the yellow river since the soil was good for this grain.
They used the water from the river to irrigate their farms. The Chinese have different public works projects to irrigate the water from the yellow river. They also depended on the river when they began livestock keeping.
Many people have even come up with hydroelectric power stations near the yellow river. Since this river is also home to different fish species, some people nearby also conduct fishing.
The yellow river has over 160 fish species.
The number of fish in this river has declined over the years due to pollution and overfishing. The yellow river also has top attractions that many people across the globe tour. The Chinese also depended on the yellow river for water to use in their homesteads.
Why yellow river is yellow
You may be wondering why this river has such a strange name. The Chinese call it the yellow river because its water carries silt. This refers to the combination of clay and sand that settle at the bottom of the water body. It is the substance that gives the river its yellow color. When the yellow river overflows, the yellow silt residue remains behind.
This river has around 1.6 billion tons of silt almost every year. The primary source of the silt is the Loess Plateau. As more people cut forests in the region, thick loess gets exposed. Since this soil is very fine and loose, it finds its way into the yellow river discoloring it further.
Over two thousand years ago, the yellow river was clear. It was not called the yellow river by that time but was only referred to as the big river. The yellow loess sediment started increasing in this river during the Western Han Dynasty. The name the yellow river started being widely used during the Tang and Song dynasties.
Why was the Yellow river important to ancient china?
Since people like staying near water, most civilizations began next to water bodies. This yellow river was crucial in bringing about Chinese civilization. Old bronze artifacts that featured human figures came from the yellow river civilization.
Three legendary people are believed to have started the development of the Chinese civilization on the Yellow River. One of them was Surin-shi, who taught the people to make fire by drilling wood. There was also Fu Hsi, who invented hunting, fishing, and trapping. Shennong-shi was the third cultural hero that introduced agriculture.
During the late yellow river civilization era, philosophies such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism were introduced. The Yellow River valley was also where religion was formed. During ancient times, the Chinese used to visit the valley to pray. Apart from that, inventions such as papermaking, the compass, and gunpowder resulted from the yellow river civilization.
Why is the yellow river called the mother river?
Many people in the country have come up with different names to describe this river. While some called it The Sorrow, The River, others call it the Mother River. The Chinese refer to it as the mother river since it led to ancient Chinese civilizations.
Why does the yellow river flood?
Some people call this river The Sorrow due to extreme flooding. Geographers reveal that this river has transformed itself thousands of times and managed to sweep away villages. When floods occur, the excess water destroys houses and crops. According to reports, severe flooding has made the yellow river change course over 20 times.
The main reason the yellow river floods is the extensive deposition of silt. It is the world’s deadliest river since it has killed millions of people over time. This river is also prone to flooding due to many extensive flatlands surrounding it. Flooding also occurs when spring rain falls. When ice melts very slowly, it tends to block the flow of the yellow river, causing it to burst its banks.
The destruction of dikes also caused the yellow river to flood near Henan Province in 1887. The heavy rain overcame the dikes leading to a massive flood. China has been using different ways to prevent the river from flooding. For instance, after the dikes were destroyed, the government rebuilt them to redivert the course of the yellow river. Some of the other flood control programs that have been established over the years include reinforcement and reforestation in the Loess plateau.
When did the yellow river civilization begin?
The yellow river is more than a simple river since, in Chinese history, it represents the origin of culture and civilization. Yellow river civilization developed in this river’s lower and middle reaches between 2000 and 1000 Bc.
Do you know of a song or poem that is based on the spirit of the yellow river? This is a famous river in China that many people talk about. It is famous for its beautiful natural sceneries and its history. Though this river is quite essential, it is faced with challenges such as flooding and pollution.
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