The Pyanj was also written as panj or panzh is one of the most significant rivers in Central Asia a tributary of the Amu Darya. It is a glacial river, silty and opaque, arising from the glaciers of the Pamir mountain range, and formed by the confluence of the Wakhan and Pamir rivers near the Chinese border. The river is formed by the confluence of the Pamir River and the Wakhan River near the village of Qila-e Panja. From there, it flows westwards, forming the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. After passing the city of Khorog, capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan it receives water from one of its main tributaries, the Bartang River. It then turns towards the southwest, before joining the river Vakhsh and forming the greatest river of Central Asia, the Amudarya. The river is 921 km long and has a basin area of 114,000 square km.
There are many bridges across the river between Tajikistan and Afghanistan like at Khorog, Ishkashem, and Langar in GBAO, Nizhni Pyanj, Tem and the new “Friendship Bridge” at Darwaz in the west. Today, some parts still have mines remaining from Soviet times, which are mostly marked. It is best to travel near the river accompanied by the local guide.