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Himalayan Ranges

Last Updated : 25 Nov, 2023
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The Himalayan Ranges refers to those mountain ranges in Asia that are split up in the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan plateau. There are three main Himalayan Ranges: Outer Himalayas, Middle Himalayas, and Inner Himalayas. The northernmost range of the Himalayas is known as Himadri or the Greater Himalayas.

The Himalayan Ranges are young in terms of geology and folded in terms of structure, stretching over the northern part of India. These ranges run in the west to east directions from the Indus River to the Brahmaputra River. They represent the most rugged and loftiest mountain barriers in the world. They form an arc at a distance of 2,400 km and their width varies from 400km in Kashmir to 150 km in Arunachal Pradesh.




Important Mountain Peaks

Himalayan Ranges

The Himalayas are a mountain range situated in Asia, which separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. They are an extension of enormous mountain systems which includes the Himalayas proper, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, and other minor ranges.

The Himalayas are home to all fourteen of the world’s highest peaks which include Mount Everest. The Himalayas stretch across six countries: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and also Afghanistan. It is also the source point of three of the world’s major river systems: the Indus Basin, Ganga-Brahmaputra Basin, and Yangtze Basin.

States in the Himalayan Ranges of India

The Himalayan Range of India spreads across 13 States and Union Territories. These states are:

The Himalayan degrees in India are domestic to numerous states and union territories. Here are the states positioned inside the Himalayan area of India:

1. Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Kashmir, typically known as J&K, is a union territory in northern India. It shares its borders with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and with the nations of Pakistan and China. Jammu and Kashmir have numerous landscape, which includes the Himalayas, and is thought for its scenic beauty.

2. Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh is a country inside the western Himalayas. It is bordered by way of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Uttarakhand to the southeast, and Punjab to the southwest. Himachal Pradesh is known for its hill stations, along with Shimla, Manali, and Dharamshala, and gives a selection of outdoor activities, consisting of hiking and mountain climbing.

3. Uttarakhand: Uttarakhand is a kingdom in northern India, positioned inside the Himalayan foothills. It is bordered by means of Himachal Pradesh to the northwest, Uttar Pradesh to the southeast, and Nepal to the east. Uttarakhand is thought for its pilgrimage websites, hill stations like Nainital and Mussoorie, and country-wide parks, which include Jim Corbett National Park and Valley of Flowers National Park.

4. Sikkim: Sikkim is a nation in northeastern India, situated within the Japanese Himalayas. It stocks its borders with Nepal, Tibet (China), Bhutan, and West Bengal. Sikkim is thought for its lovely mountain landscapes, together with the well-known height of Kanchenjunga, as well as it’s wealthy biodiversity and cultural history.

In addition to these states, there also are union territories with components in their territories falling in the Himalayan area:

1. Ladakh: Ladakh is a union territory in northern India, placed within the Japanese part of the Jammu and Kashmir region. It shares borders with Tibet (China) to the east and with Pakistan-administered Gilgit-Baltistan to the west. Ladakh is famend for its excessive-altitude desolate tract landscapes, Buddhist monasteries, and adventure tourism opportunities.

2. Andaman and Nicobar Islands: While no longer situated inside the Himalayas, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a union territory in the Bay of Bengal and shape part of the Indian territory inside the Japanese Himalayan sub-location. These islands are recognized for their pristine beaches, tropical rainforests, and numerous marine lifestyles.

These states and union territories in the Himalayan levels of India provide breathtaking herbal beauty, numerous cultures, and numerous opportunities for journey and exploration.

Himalayan Mountain Ranges

The classification of the Himalayas can be done on various basis. But two of the most common ways of classification of the Himalayas are:

  1. Longitudinal Divide
  2. Based on Direction

Three Himalayan Ranges- Longitudinal Divide

There are three parallel ranges that exist in the Himalayan ranges which are based on longitudinal division:

  1. Himadri or Greater Himalayas
  2. Himachal or Lesser Himalayas
  3. Shivalik

Himadri or Greater Himalayas

Himadri or also known as the greater Himalayas is the northernmost range of the Himalayas. The stretch is 2400 km from West to East and wide 120 to 190 km. The height of the mountains is at a rising of 6000 meters in height.

They are one of the longest and also most continuous mountain ranges in the world and granite makes up its core. Many glaciers flow from this range and are often covered in snow. Some noteworthy ranges of the Greater Himalayas include Mount Everest, Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt. Makalu, and Mt Kanchenjunga. The Himalayas is also a source of the Yamuna and Ganga rivers.

Himachal or Lesser Himalayas

The middle segment of the Himalaya mountain range is known as Himachal, Middle Himalayas, or Lesser Himalayas. It stretches between Great Himalayas in the northeast and the Shivalik range in the Southeast. The mountain ranges from 3700 to 4500 m in height and the width is 50 km.

It covers the northern edges of the Indian subcontinent. from northeast to southeast, which includes places like UTs of Kashmir, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Nepal, Bhutan, and so forth. Some of its noteworthy ranges include Nag Tibba, Pirpangal, and Dhauladhar. Some valleys of the range include Kashmir, Kulu, and Kangra. The most well-known hill towns are Shimla, Nainital, and Darjeeling.

Outer Himalayas or Shivalik

The Shivalik is the furthest southern hills. The flat-bottomed valleys divide it from the lesser Himalayas. From the Indus in the Northwest to the Brahmaputra in Assam, the Shivalik is a continuous chain for more than 2400 km. The width of Shivalik is 10-50 km, and the height rarely exceeds 1300 m. The southern part of the Shivalik range slopes in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are unfrosted. Between the Himachal and Shivalik mountains, referred to as “Duns” are longitudinal valleys, like Dehradun and Kotli Dun.

Subdivision of Himalayas

Based on certain alignment of ranges, reliefs, and other geomorphical processes, Himalayas can be subdivided into:

  1. Kashmir or North-western Himalayas.
  2. Uttaranchal Himalayas and Himachal.
  3. Sikkim Himalayas and Darjeeling.
  4. Arunachal Himalayas.
  5. Eastern Hills and Mountains.

Based on Direction

The other division of the Himalayan Ranges is from regions from West to East. This demarcation has been made by the river valleys. The part of the Himalayas which lies between the Indus and the Satluj is known as the Punjab Himalayas but it is also known as Kashmir and Himachal Himalayas from West to East respectively.

Part of the Himalayas which lie between the Satluj and the Kali rivers is known as the Kumaon Himalayas. Rivers Kali and Teesta demarcate the Nepal Himalayas and the part which lies between Teesta and Dihang rivers is Assam Himalayas.

The Brahmaputra marks the easternmost boundary of the Himalayan ranges and beyond the Dihang gorge, the Himalayas bend sharply to the south and spread along the eastern boundary of India, this is known as the Purvanchal or the eastern hills and mountains. These ranges are composed of strong sandstones, which are sedimentary rocks.  It is covered by dense forests and runs in parallel ranges. The important hills of Purvanchal include Patkai Hills, Naga Hills, Manipur Hills, and Mizo Hills.

Importance of Himalayan Ranges

Diverse biodiversity has been noticed and found in the Himalayan ranges, which is caused by temperature variations as we climb higher. Different ranges of flora and fauna are found here, ranging from deodars to azaleas to pines and also firs, from tigers and leopards to sparrows and other birds based on temperature and height. 

The climate of India is significantly influenced by the Himalayas. With the advantage of height, length, and direction, the successful intercept of the summer monsoons coming from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, brings precipitation. All the important rivers in India have their beginning in the Himalayas. Himalayan rivers and their tributaries provide the North India water needed.

Impact of Climate Change on Himalayan Ranges

Climate change has led to quite many changes in the context of the Himalayan ranges. The melting of glaciers or snow cover in the Himalayas has impacted the ranges. The rivers’ flow patterns drain Himalayan glaciated catchments.

These rivers provide for households as well as for industries. They help in generating both hydro and thermal electricity through the damns and power plants in the Indo-Gangetic plains, they are also in charge of maintaining the nation’s energy security.

Important Peaks of The Himalayan Ranges

Five of the most important peaks of the Himalayan ranges are as follows:

  1. Mount Everest
  2. Karakoram
  3. Kanchenjunga
  4. Nanga Parbat
  5. Annapurna
  6. Manaslu
  7. Dhaulagiri Mountain

FAQs on The Himalayan Ranges

Which are the three main ranges of Himalayas?

The three main ranges of Himalayas include Himadri or Great Himalayas, Himachal and Shiwaliks.

How long are the Himalayan ranges?

The Himalayas are 2,300 km long.

Which is the the highest peak of India?

The highest peak of India is Kangchenjunga at 8586 metres.

Which is the highest range of the Himalayas?

The highest range of Himalayas is Great Himalayas or greater himalayas or Himadri.

Which is the youngest Himalayan range?

The Himalayas is youngest Himalayan range.

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