The Himalayan Ranges
Himalayan Ranges: The Himalayan mountain range is the division between the Tibetan Plateau and the Indian subcontinent in Asia. The Himalayas are divided into three ranges: the Inner Himalayas, the Middle Himalayas, and the Outer Himalayas. Himadri, or the Greater Himalayas, is the name of the Himalayas’ northernmost range.
States in Himalayan Ranges of India
Here is the list of States in Indian Himalayas:
|Sl. No||State/region||% share of geographical area in the Indian Himalayan Region|
|1||Jammu & Kashmir||41.65|
|5||West Bengal hills||0.59|
Himalayan Ranges: Himalayan Mountain Ranges
The Himalayas are one of the three mountain ranges that make up the Himalayan mountain range system. The three sections are folded mountains that cross India’s northern boundaries. The Himalayan Ranges extend from the Indus River to the Brahmaputra River, running from west to east. The tectonic collision of the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate created the three components.
The Himalayas are the highest mountain ranges in the world, and they contain the highest peaks in addition to glaciers, gorges, and deep valleys. The Himalayas’ mountain range, which spans 2,400 km in total length and varies in width from 400 km in Kashmir to 150 km in Arunachal Pradesh, forms an arc over the Indian subcontinent.
The eastern Himalaya has more notable altitudinal variations than the western Himalaya. Between India and the nations of East and Central Asia, the mountains serve as a physical barrier that keeps out the bitterly cold winds of Central Asia. The mountains serve as a climatic, drainage, and cultural barrier. The Purvanchal Hills, Trans Himalayas, and Himalayas are the three Himalayan mountain ranges that make up the northern mountain chain.
Three Himalayan Ranges
Along India’s northern border, the Himalayas stretch from the west (Indus) to the east (Brahmaputra). They are 2500 kilometres long and 150 kilometres wide in the east, and 400 kilometres wide in the west.
There are numerous categories in which to place the Himalayas. The south-north alignment is used as the basis for the most prevalent classification. The Himalayas are divided longitudinally in this manner. There is also a classification based on the height and regional height of the mountains that divides the Himalayas from east to west.
The Himalayan Ranges are divided longitudinally into three parallel ranges: the Shivaliks (the outer Himalayas), the Lesser Himalayas (the middle Himalayas), and the Greater Himalayas (the innermost mountain ranges).
Himadri or Greater Himalayas
- Himadri, or Greater Himalayas, is the name of the Himalayas’ northernmost range.
- The Greater Himalayas stretch 2400 km from west to east and are between 120 and 190 km wide.
- The mountains often rise to a height of 6000 metres.
- The Greater Himalayas, also known as the Himadri, are the longest and most continuous mountain range in the world. Granite makes up the Greater Himalayas’ or Himadri’s core.
- Several glaciers flow from this range, and they are always covered in snow.
- The Greater Himalayas, which include Mount Everest (8850 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8172 m), Mt. Makalu (8481 m), and Mt. Kanchenjunga, are some of the other noteworthy peaks in this mountain range (8586 m.)
- Additional notable ranges are Annapurna, Nanga Parbat, and Kamet.
- This Himalaya is the source of the Yamuna and Ganga rivers.
Himachal or the Lesser Himalayas
- The huge Himalaya Mountain Range’s middle segment is known as Himachal, the Middle Himalayas, or the Lesser Himalayas. The range stretches between the Great Himalayas in the northeast and the Shivalik range in the southeast. These mountains range from 3700 to 4500 m in height and have an average breadth of 50 km.
- The 2,400 km-long Himachal, or Middle Himalayas, range. On the northern edge of the Indian subcontinent, from northeast to southeast. Ladakh, the UTs of Kashmir, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Indian Himachal, Nepal, and Bhutan are among the places covered.
- The Middle Himalayas have several noteworthy mountain ranges, including Nag Tibba, Pirpangal, Dhauladhar, and Mahabharat.
- The valleys in the Middle Himalayas, such as Kangra, Kashmir, and Kulu, are well known.
- The most well-known hill towns in the Middle Himalayas are Shimla, Ranikhet, Darjeeling, and Nainital.
The Outer Himalayas or Shivalik
- The Shivalik ranges are the Himalayas’ furthest-southern hills. Flat-bottomed valleys divide it from the Lesser Himalayas. The old name for this range was “Upgiri.”
- From the Indus Gorge in the northwest to the Brahmaputra in Assam, the Outer Himalayas form a roughly continuous chain that stretches for more than 2400 kilometers.
- The Shivaliks’ width is 10–50 km, and its height rarely exceeds 1300 m.
- The southern Shivalik range slopes in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are unfrosted. Chaos, the seasonal stream, is extremely slicing up these hillsides.
- Between the Himachal and Shivalik mountains, which are referred to as “Duns,” are numerous longitudinal valleys, including Patli Dun, Kotli Dun, and Dehradun.
Himalayan Ranges Formation
The world’s youngest mountain range is the Himalayas. The Tethys Sea is a massive geosyncline from which the Himalayan Mountains emerged, and the uplift was divided into several stages. Pangaea, a supercontinent, existed during the Permian Period (250 million years ago).
Its northern region, known as Laurasia, Angaraland, or Laurentia, included modern-day North America and Eurasia (Europe and Asia). Current-day South America, Africa, South India, Australia, and Antarctica made up the southern portion of Pangaea. Gondwanaland was the name of this continent. The Tethys Sea was a long, narrow, shallow sea that lay between Laurasia and Gondwanaland.
Numerous rivers were empties into the Tethys Sea (some of the Himalayan rivers were older than the Himalayas themselves). These rivers carried sediments, which were afterwards deposited on the Tethys Sea’s floor. Due to the Indian Plate moving to the north, these sediments were compressed severely. Sediments were folded as a result. The fact that the summit of Mount Everest is formed of marine limestone from this ancient ocean is an often cited example used to demonstrate this process.
Formation of Himalayas in Phases
- Phase 1: 100 million years ago
- Phase 2: 71 million years ago
- Phase 3: The Drass volcanic arc
- Phase 4: Greater Himalayas were raised
- Phase 5: Rise of lesser Himalayas
- Phase 6: Rise of the Shiwalik ranges
Himalayan Ranges Map
Himalayan Ranges Important Parts
It is a naturalist’s paradise because of the incredible diversity of plants and animals, which is caused by the general temperature variations as one climbs higher. Plants and animals from the tropics can be found up to 1000 meters, those from the temperate zone can be found up to 3000 meters, and the Alpines’ range is above that.
From deodars to azaleas to pines and firs, to tigers and snow leopards, to sparrows and cormorants, to snow partridges, snow cocks, and snow pigeons, the flora and fauna fluctuate with height and temperature. The climate of India is significantly influenced by the Himalayas. Due to their great height, length, and direction, they successfully intercept the summer monsoons coming from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, bringing precipitation in the form of rain or snow.
Nearly all of India’s significant rivers have their beginnings in the Himalayas. Large glaciers, large snowfields, and heavy rainfall are the sources of India’s powerful rivers. The Himalayan Rivers and their numerous tributaries provide northern India with all of its water needs.
The Himalayas have protected India from outside incursions since ancient times by acting as a barrier. Due to its breathtaking beauty and favorable temperature, the Himalayan Mountains are home to a large variety of tourist attractions
Himalayan Ranges Crops
The Himalayas are not suitable for agriculture because of their rocky, sloping topography. Terraces are used to cultivate some hillsides. The primary crop grown on the terraced slopes is rice. Other crops include wheat, potatoes, and maize.
The only place in the world where tea can be grown is on the Shiwalik hill slopes. A significant occupation is fruit growing. The Himalayan region also cultivates a vast range of fruits, including apples, pears, grapes, mulberries, walnuts, cherries, peaches, apricots, etc.
Impact of Climate Change on Himalayan Ranges
The precipitation over the Himalayas, as well as the melting reaction of the glaciers or snow cover in the Himalayas, is all significantly impacted by climate change. This therefore has an impact on the rivers’ flow patterns that drain the Himalayan glaciated catchments. The Himalayan cryosphere contributes significantly to three major river catchments and their numerous tributaries that originate in both India and Nepal, particularly during the year’s non-rainy season.
Along with providing for the more than 500 million people that reside on the Indo-Gangetic plains upstream, these rivers also provide for a number of the region’s industries. Due to their assistance in generating both hydro and thermal electricity through dams and power plants situated in the Indo-Gangetic plains, Himalayan Rivers are also in charge of maintaining the nation’s energy security.
These plains are home to over one-third of the nation’s capability for electricity production, and any variation in the Himalayan Rivers’ flow pattern might have profound effects on the nation’s energy security.
Natural Disasters in Himalayan Ranges
Ecological Sensitivity of the Himalayas and anthropological interventions
A rockfall or slope failure zone is a phenomenon in which a slope suddenly falls under the force of rainfall or an earthquake. Himachal Pradesh’s mountains are young and vulnerable, generating cracks and fractures in the rock that could develop in the future.
Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur are both located in the Himalayan ranges, which are notorious for their geological and biological fragility. Environmentalists assert that the state’s promotion of mega hydropower projects is being carried out in a sensitive and fragile area without consideration for the cumulative effects of the individual projects. In the Sutlej basin, more than 140 hydroelectric projects have been assigned, and catastrophes similar to those in Chamoli and Kedarnath are imminent.
The Bane of Urbanization, Soil Infiltration Capacity Decreased
Floods are a result of a decline in soil infiltration capacity brought on by urbanization. This has increased the frequency of landslides and flash flooding, making the area more susceptible to natural disasters. Floods are more likely to occur if the landslide reaches the river stream.
Glacial Retreat due to Climate Change
The upper Himalayas used to be covered in numerous glaciers, but as a result of climate change and global warming, they have since receded. A glacier contains a lot of loose sediments since it is a moving mass of ice, rock, and soil. According to scientists, the retreating glaciers in the upper Himalayas have left behind innumerable layers of an unstable mix of rocks and dirt.
Even a little rain under these circumstances is sufficient to transport the rocks and debris downstream. Because of the larger concentration of sediments, the higher Himalayan region is therefore highly unsuitable for dams and tunnels.
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, snow cover has decreased throughout Asia’s high mountains, including the Himalayas, and glaciers have thinned, retreated, and lost mass.
The Himalayan Ranges Important Peaks
1. Mount Everest
The tallest peak in the world is Mount Everest. It reaches a height of 29,035 feet (8,850 metres) above sea level. It belongs to the Himalayan mountain range. Extending north of India to the borders of Tibet and Nepal. In honour of Sir George Everest, a British surveyor-general of India, the mountain bears his name. Other regions refer to it by different names, such as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Quomolongma in Tibet. Mount Everest is located at latitude 27 59 17 N and longitude 86 55 31 E. Himalayas translate to “abode of snow” in Sanskrit. Snow has completely blanketed the mountain. The mountain’s height varies according to how much snow accumulates on its summit.
Austin Godwin, another name for K2, was given to it in honour of an English photographer who travelled through the area. Its local name is “Chogo Ri,” which translates to “The Great Mountain.” At 8,611 m (28,250 ft), it is the second-highest mountain summit in the world.
The third-highest mountain peak in the world is Kanchenjunga. On the border between Sikkim and Nepal, it occupies a space of about 7000 square kilometres. The five summits of Kanchenjunga, all of which are higher than 8,000 metres, are referred to as “The Five Treasures of the Snow” in the local language. Its coordinates are 27° 42′ 9″ latitude and 88° 9′ 1″ longitude. With an elevation of 8,586 metres (28,169 feet), Kanchenjunga is the third-highest summit in the world.
It features five summits, the highest of which is 8,586 metres high (28,169 feet). In spite of numerous attempts, it has still not been fully explored. Sir John Hunt, who scaled Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norkey, claims that Kanchenjunga is more difficult to explore and perilous than Mount Everest itself. Other names for it include “Kachendzonga,” “Kangchen Dzö-nga,” and “Kangchanfanga.”
4. Nanga Parbat
Another significant peak in the Himalayan range is Nanga Parbat, sometimes known as the Naked Mountain. It is the ninth-highest peak in the world, according to sources. It can be found in Pakistan’s Baldistan, Gilgit, and Korakoram Range regions. Nanga Parbat is 8,126 metres or 26,660 feet tall.
Due to the mountain’s jagged edges, little snow can be stored there. The mountain peaks look to be bare because of this. Rahikot, Diamir, and Rupal are its three faces. Because of the prior tragedies, it is regarded as a highly dangerous mountain. It is situated at Latitude 35.10 and Longitude 74.35.
The Annapurna range is a significant Himalayan range among the other well-known Himalayan peaks. It is 8,091 metres above sea level and situated in the centre Nepal Himalayas. The mountain is the tenth highest in the globe.
It is situated to the east of the Kali Gandaki River, which carves a large gap in the Himalayas. The glaciers on the river’s western and northern sides pour into this gorge. The two highest peaks on Annapurna, located at its western and eastern ends, are Annapurna I and Annapurna II.
The 8,156-meter-high Manaslu mountain is situated in Nepal about forty miles to the east of Annapurna. The mountain is the eighth-highest in the world. The Gurkha plateau’s highest mountain is Manaslu. The Sanskrit term “Manasa,” which means “Mountain of the Spirit” in English, is the source of the name Manaslu. Its coordinates are 84.33 latitude, 28.33 longitude.
7. Dhaulagiri Mountain
It is the seventh-highest mountain in the world and is situated on the boundary between Nepal and Tibet in Eastern Nepal. Meaning “white mountain,” Dhaulagiri. The highest mountain in Nepal is situated there. The peak’s 30-mile length is made up of icefalls, glaciers, and jagged ridges. Several more pyramid-shaped peaks rise along the main peak. From east to west, four of these summits go above 25,000 feet. It is situated at latitude 28.42 and longitude 83.30.
The Himalayan range’s fourth-highest peak is named Lhotse. It is situated at an elevation of 8,516 metres on the border between China and Nepal. The summit, which lies south of Mount Everest, runs from east to west. The South Col, a vertical ridge that never drops below 8, 000 metres, runs vertically between the two mountains’ summits. Lhotse Shar, which is east of the main peak, and Nuptse, which is on the mountain’s west ridge, is two other summits in addition to the main peak. It is situated at latitude 27.57.45 and longitude 86.56.03.
Himalayan Ranges FAQs
What are the 4 ranges of Himalayas?
The primary ranges are the Zaskar, Ladakh, Kailas, and Karakoram. It extends in an east-west direction for around 1,000 kilometres. The typical altitude is 3000 metres above mean sea level.
What are the 3 ranges of Himalayas?
- The Great Himalaya, also known as Himadri, is the northernmost. This range contains the tallest peaks in the entire planet.
- South of Himadri is the Middle Himalaya, often known as Himachal.
- The southernmost range is the Shiwalik.
How many Himalayan ranges are there?
The Himalayan range is made up of three parallel ranges often referred to as the Greater Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, and the Outer Himalayas
Which is the highest Himalayan range?
The Great Himalayas, also known as the Higher Himalayas or Great Himalaya Range, are the tallest and most northern mountains in the Himalayas.
What is the lowest range of Himalayas called?
With an elevation between 12000 and 15000 feet, Himachal is referred to as the Lower Himalayas or the Lesser Himalayas. The range runs through the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, western Uttar Pradesh, and Nepal before ending in the southeast of Pakistan.
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