In India, the Ganges (also called Ganga) River has been so fundamental to the development of civilization that it is regarded as holy. The Ganges begins in the Himalayas, runs through India and Bangladesh, and empties into the Bay of Bengal. Along the way, it provides the necessary water for irrigating farmland and sustaining millions of people.
In China, the Yangtze River (or Chang Jiang) is of similar importance. At least one third of the Chinese population relies on the Yangtze for irrigation and water. It was here that rice was first grown as a staple food crop, and even to this day the Yangtze offers rich mud for growing rice! The Yangtze river originates in the Tibetan plateau and empties into the East China Sea, running almost entirely through mountainous areas along the way.
In recent years, both the Ganges and Yangtze have suffered degradation due to overpopulation, pollution, and global warming.