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Ranges of Himalayas

Series of several parallel or converging ranges of Himalayas. The ranges are separated by deep valleys creating a highly dissected topography....

Series of several parallel or converging ranges of Himalayas. The ranges are separated by deep valleys creating a highlydissected topography [(of a plateau or upland) divided by a number of deep valleys].

  • The southern slopes have steep gradients and northern slopes have comparatively gentler slopes. [Scaling Mount Everest is less hectic from the northern side. But China puts restrictions so climbers take the steeper southern slopes from Nepal]
  • Most of the Himalayan ranges fall in India, Nepal and Bhutan. The northern slopes are partly situated in Tibet (trans-Himalayas) while the western extremity lies in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
  • Himalayas between Tibet and Ganga Plain is a succession of three parallel ranges.
Shiwalik Range
  • Also known as Outer Himalayas.
  • Located in between the Great Plains and Lesser Himalayas.
  • The altitude varies from 600 to 1500 metres.
  • Runs for a distance of 2,400 km from the Potwar Plateau to the Brahmaputra valley.
  • The southern slopes are steep while the northern slopes are gentle.
  • The width of the Shiwaliks varies from 50 km in Himachal Pradesh to less than 15 km in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • They are almost unbroken chain of low hills except for a gap of 80-90 kmwhich is occupied by the valley of the Tista River
  • Shiwalik range from North-East India up to Nepal are covered with thick forests but the forest cover decreases towards west from Nepal (The quantum of rainfall decreases from east to west in Shiwaliks and Ganga Plains).
  • The southern slopes of Shiwalik range in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are almost devoid of forest cover.
  • Valleys are part of synclines and hills are part of anticlines or antisynclines.
Middle or the Lesser Himalaya
  • In between the Shiwaliks in the south and the Greater Himalayas in the north.
  • Runs almost parallel to both the ranges.
  • It is also called the Himachal or Lower Himalaya.
  • Lower Himalayan ranges are 60-80 km wide and about 2400 km in length.
  • Elevations vary from 3,500 to 4,500 m above sea level.
  • Many peaks are more than 5,050 m above sea level and are snow covered throughout the year.
  • Lower Himalayas have steep, bare southern slopes [steep slopes prevents soil formation] and more gentle, forest covered northern slopes.
  • In Uttarakhand, the Middle Himalayas are marked by the Mussoorie and the Nag Tibba ranges.
  • The Mahabharat Lekh, in southern Nepal is a continuation of the Mussoorie Range
  • East of the Kosi River, the Sapt Kosi, Sikkim, Bhutan, Miri, Abor and Mishmi hills represent the lower Himalayas.
  • The Middle Himalayan ranges are more friendly to human contact.
  • Majority of the Himalayan hill resorts like Shimla, Mussoorie, Ranikhet, Nainital, Almora and Darjeeling, etc. are located here.
The Pir Panjal range

The Pir Panjal range in Kashmir is the longest and the most important range.

  • It extends from the Jhelum river to the upper Beas river for over 300 km.
  • It rises to 5,000 metres and contains mostly volcanic rocks.
Important Valleys
  • Between the Pir Panjal and the Zaskar Range of the main Himalayas, lies the valley of Kashmir. (average elevation is 1,585 m above mean sea level)
  • In Himachal Pradesh there is Kangra Valley. It is a strike valley and extends from the foot of the Dhaola Dhar Range to the south of Beas.
  • On the other hand, the Kulu Valley in the upper course of the Ravi is transverse valley.

Read more : Origin of The Himalayas

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