The Shaksgam River (Chinese: 沙克斯干河; pinyin: Shakesigan He, Hindi: शक्सगाम नदी, romanized: Shaksgām Nadi, Urdu: دریائے شکسگام, romanized: Daryá-e-Shaksgám) is a left tributary of the Yarkand River. The river is also known as the Kelechin River and Muztagh River. It rises in the Gasherbrum, Urdok, Staghar, Singhi and Kyagar Glaciers in the Karakoram. It then flows in a general northwestern direction parallel to the Karakoram ridge line in the Shaksgam Valley. It receives the waters of the Shimshal Braldu river and the Oprang river from the Pakistan-administered Hunza District before turning east and joining the Yarkand River. The stretch of the river's course between Shimshal Braldu and Oprang is used as the Pakistan–China border.
|Country|| China (Controlled),
|Provinces||Xinjiang , Ladakh|
|• location||Gasherbrum Glaciers|
|Progression||Yarkand→ Tarim→ Taitema Lake|
|• left||Shimshal Braldu river, Oprang river|
Administratively, the Chinese part of the valley is within the southernmost portions of Yarkand County (the source) and the Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County (lower course). India claims the entire valley as part of its Jammu and Kashmir state, now part of Ladakh.
The upper river valley is used by climbers approaching the north face of K2. The approach requires a crossing of the river, which is hazardous. Between its confluence with the Shimshal Braldu River and its confluence with the Oprang River the river forms the border between China and Pakistan administered Kashmir. The area is used as winter pastures by yak herdsmen from the village of Shimshal. Historically, the bed of the Yarkand river where Shaksgam joins it, was used for cultivation by farmers from the state of Hunza. The rulers of Hunza are said to have obtained these "territorial rights to Raskam" in the distant past.
The average annual temperature in the region can fall below freezing.
- US Bureau of Intelligence and Research International Boundary Study No. 85 (1968) Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
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- Shaksgam river basin, OpenStreetMap, retrieved 13 September 2019.
- Boundary of the Trans-Kakarakoram Tract, OpenStreetMap, retrieved 13 September 2019.
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- 2000 Mock & O'Neil Oprang Expedition Report
- Dani, Ahmad Hasan (1998), "The Western Himalayan States", in M. S. Asimov; C. E. Bosworth (eds.), History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol. IV, Part 1 — The age of achievement: A.D. 750 to the end of the fifteenth century — The historical, social and economic setting, UNESCO, pp. 215–225, ISBN 978-92-3-103467-1
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