The Kostroma (Russian: Кострома́) is a river in the European part of Russia. It flows through the Kostroma and Yaroslavl Oblasts, and is a left tributary of the Volga, which it enters at the Gorky Reservoir, at the city of Kostroma, at 57°46′44″N 40°53′55″E.

Prior to the creation of the Gorky Reservoir it flowed into the Volga within the city limits of Kostroma. The Ipatiev Monastery is located at the old confluence of the Kostroma and the Volga.

The length of the river is 354 kilometers (220 mi). The area of its drainage basin is 16,000 square kilometers (6,200 sq mi). The average water flow is 71m³/second town at the town of Buy (124 kilometres (77 mi) from the mouth)[1] and 85 m³/sec at the mouth.[2]

Major tributaries include the Vocha, Mezenda, Wex, Tebza, and Sacha on the left, and the Shugoma, Svetlitsa, Lums, Selma, Monza, and Obnora on the right. Prior to the creation of the Gorky Reservoir, the Sot and Mesa were also tributaries; they now flow directly into the reservoir.

The towns of Soligalich and Buy are located on the river.

The Kostroma freezes up in November and breaks up in April or early May.

The Kostroma begins near the village of Knyazhevo Chuhlomskogo in the Kostroma District. The upper river is relatively narrow and winding, but it soon gathers the water of many tributaries, increasing its width to about 30 metres (98 ft) or 40 metres (130 ft). In the upper and middle reaches of the river bed there are rapids, and the banks are often wooded and sometimes steep. Here it is suitable for swimming due to the large amount of snags and debris.

By the time it flows past the town of Buy, the width of the river exceeds 60 meters (200 ft); from this point on the river is navigable. From here down to the reservoir it begins to form large bends and oxbow lakes, and it sometimes floods.

The last 50 kilometres (31 mi) of the Kostroma’s course forms the border between the Yaroslavl and Kostroma Districts.

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