(Indian Geography) The Northern Mountains - Trans & Regional Himalayas

Indian Geography Notes for Civil Services Examination


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The Northern Mountains

Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), is a range that spans ten states of India namely. Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura as well as the hill regions of two states Assam and West Bengal. Some of the highest mountains on earth are found in the region. Many rivers considered holy like the Ganga and Yamuna flow from the Himalaya mighty but older streams like the Indus, Sutlej, Kali, Kosi and Brahmaputra have cut through steep gorges to escape into the great plains and have established their antecedence.

Trans Himalayas

The Himalayan Range immediately to the north of the Great Himalayan Range are called the Trans Himalayas. Most of the part of this Himalayan range lies in the Tibet and hence also called Tibetan Himalaya. With an average elevation of 3,000 metre above mean sea level. The Zaskar, The Ladakh, the Kailash and the Karakoram are the main range of the trans Himalayan system.

Karakoram Range: Karakoram is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit- Baltistan (Pakistan) ladakh (India), and Xinjiang region (China). Karakoram includes K2, the second highest peak in the world 8,611 metres (28,251 ft). The karakoram is bounded on the north east by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the Pamir Mountains. The southern boundary of the KaraKoram is formed, west to east, by the Gilgit, Indus and Shyok River, which separate the range from the north western and of the Himalaya range proper as these rivers coverage south west ward towards the plains of Pakistan. The Karakoram is one of the world's most geologically active areas, at the boundary between two colliding continents.

K2: K2 also known as choogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu and mount Godwin Austen is the second highest mountain on earth after mount Everest. It is located on the border between Baltistan, in the Gilgit - Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajk (Autonoamous area of Xinjiang, China). With a peak elevation of 8,611 metre (28,251 ft), K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in Pakistan.

Ladakh Range: Ladakh Range, south eastern extension of the Karakoram range, south central Asia. The range extends south-east ward for some 230 miles (370 km) from the mouth of the shyok River in the northern areas (the sector of the Kashmir region administered by Pakistan), through J&K state (the Portion of Kashmir administered by India), to the border with the Tibet (Autonomous region of China).

Zanskar Range: Also spelled Zanskar, group of mountains in the Himalayas, south-central Asia, of northern India and the western Tibet Autonomous region of China. They extend south east ward for some 400 miles (640 km) from the Karcha (Suru) River to the upper karnali River. Kamet Peak (25,445 ft) (7,756 metre) is the highest point and the most important passes are Shipki, Lipu Lekh and Mana.

Kailash Range: One of the highest and most rugged parts of the Himalayas, located in the south western part of the Tibet Autonomous Region south western China.

Purvanchal Hills: The Purvanchal hills lies in the north eastern most part of India lying near Myanmar. They are the eastern extension of Himalayas they cover the states of Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram, the Garo, the Khasi and the Jaintia hills lie in this range.

On the regional basis Himalayas are classified according to the location to which they belong:

i) The Punjab Himalayas: The 560 km long stretch of the Himalayas between the Indus and the Satluj rivers is known as Punjab Himalayas. Karakoram, Ladakh, Zaskar, Pir-Panjal, Dhaula Dhar are the main ranges of this section. Zoji la pass Provides an easy passage in this section. The second highest peak of the world K2 lies in this range.

ii) The Kumaon Himalayas: Between the Satluj and the Kali river is the 320 km long Kumaon Himalaya. Its western part is called Garwhal Himalaya and eastern part is known as kumaon Himalaya, Nanda Devi, Kamet, Trishul, Badrinath, Kedarnath,Gangotri are important peaks, kumaon Himalaya is also the source of sacred rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna. Nainital and Bhimtal are the important lakes of Kumaon Himalaya.

iii) The Nepal Himalaya: This section of Himalayas stretches for a distance of 800 km from Kali river to Tista river. Most of this Himalaya lies in the Nepal, hence it is called Nepal Himalayas. This is the tallest section of Himalaya. The Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse- , Makalu, Dhaula Giri, Cho Oyu and Annapurna. Kathmandu is the famous valley in this Himalaya.

iv) The Assam Himalayas: The Himalayan ranges from Tista to Brahmaputra rivers covering a distance of 750 km are called the Assam Himalayas. It has less elevation that of Nepal Himalaya and it covers the part of Assam, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, the important peaks of this region are Namcha Barwa, Kula Kangri and Chomolhari.


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