The Talas River (Kyrgyz, Kazakh: Талас) rises in the Talas Region of Kyrgyzstan and flows west into Kazakhstan. It is formed from the confluence of the Karakol and Uch-Koshoy. It runs through the city of Taraz in Zhambyl Province of Kazakhstan and vanishes before reaching Lake Aydyn.

Talas River
Talas River near Taraz
Native nameТалас
CountryKyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan
Physical characteristics
Length661 km (411 mi)
Basin size52,700 km2 (20,300 sq mi)

The Ili, Chu and Talas are three steppe rivers that flow west and then north-west. The Ili River rises in Xinjiang, flows west to a point north of Lake Issyk Kul and then turns north-west to reach Lake Balkash. The Chu River rises west of Lake Issyk Kul, flows out into the steppe and dries up before reaching the Syr Darya. The Talas River starts west and south of the Chu, flows west and north-west, but dries up before reaching the Chu.


Talas River in the Syr Darya basin

During the Battle of Talas (named after the river) in 751, the Abbasid force defeated the Tang Chinese forces led by the General Gao Xianzhi over a dispute regarding a client kingdom in the Fergana Valley. The battle was won by the Abbasids after the Karluks defected.

The Chinese monk Xuanzang arrived from the Chui river to Talas during one of his journeys.[1][2]


  1. ^ The Chinese recorder, Volume 5. American Presbyterian Mission Press. 1874. p. 192. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
  2. ^ E. Bretschneider (1875). Notes on Chinese mediaeval travellers to the West. American Presbyterian Mission Press. p. 34. Retrieved 2011-05-08.

Coordinates: 43°55′N 70°30′E / 43.917°N 70.500°E / 43.917; 70.500