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Oka River
Oka river between Serpukhov and Kashira.jpg
Oka river between Serpukhov and Kashira cities in Moscow region. Its width there is about 200 m (220 yd).
Mouth Volga River
Basin countries Russia
Length 1,500 km (932 mi)
Avg. discharge 1,300 m³/s
Basin area 245,000 km²
Map of the Volga watershed with the Oka highlighted
The confluence of the Oka with the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod.
The Oka riverbank in Nizhny Novgorod.
The Oka River in Moscow Oblast, near Serpukhov.

Oka (Russian: Ока́) is a river in central Russia, the largest right tributary of the Volga. It flows through the regions of Oryol, Tula, Kaluga, Moscow, Ryazan, Vladimir and Nizhny Novgorod and is navigable over a large part of its total length, as far upstream as to the town of Kaluga. Its length exceeds 1500 km (932 miles). The Russian capital Moscow sits on one of the Oka's tributaries—the Moskva River.


Name and history

Max Vasmer connects the name of the river to the Gothic аƕа, Old High German aha, Latin aqua, which all mean either "water" or "river" (cf. Aa River).[1] Oleg Trubachev traces the origin of the name to the Baltic languages: it was the Baltic tribe of Galindians that lived in the western part of the Oka basin prior to the arrival of the Slavs.

Historically, the river gave its name to the Upper Oka Principalities, situated upstream from Tarusa. One of the largest Russian cities, Nizhny Novgorod, was founded to protect the Oka's confluence with the Volga. The Qasim Khanate, a Muslim polity, occupied the lower reaches of the Oka in the 15th and 16th centuries.


The banks of the river are dotted with historical and cultural sites, including the medieval monasteries of Murom, the mosques and minarets of Kasimov, the fortified kremlins of Kolomna and Serpukhov, the memorial houses of Vasily Polenov and Sergey Yesenin, the excavated ruins of Old Ryazan, and the Oka Shukhov Tower.

The Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve lies along the left bank of the river opposite the town of Pushchino and is known for its wisent breeding nursery.

Main tributaries

Cities and towns on the Oka


  1. ^ Vasmer's Etymological Dictionary, trans. by Oleg Trubachev, vol. 3, p. 127.

External links



Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to Oka article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also oka



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Proper noun




  1. (geography) A river in central Russia, the largest right tributary of the Volga.




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