The Northern Mountain Ranges
The northern part of India is bordered by the Himalayas, the KaraKoram and the Kailash Mountain ranges. These Mountain ranges extend from Kashmir in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east for a distance of about 2,500 km with a width of about 250 to 400 km; thus it covers an area of six lakhs sq.km.
The Himalayan range is the loftiest mountain range in the world. It has an average height of 5,600 meters.
The Himalayas consist of three parallel ranges from North to south, intersected by valleys and plateaus. They are (1) The Siwaliks, (2) The Middle Himalayas or the Lesser Himalayas and (3) The Great Himalayas or the Hirmadri.
1. The Siwalik Range
The southernmost range of the Himalayas is known as the Siwalik range or the Outer Himalayas. They lie between the Middle Himalayas and the northern plain. The Siwaliks ascend from the Great Plains of North India. Unlike the other two ranges, they are rather discontinuous. The average height of the Siwaliks is over 1000 meters.
2. The Middle Himalayas or the Lesser Himalayas
This range lies in the north of the Siwaliks and is known as the Himachal. The average height of this range varies from 3,500 to 4,500 meters. The Middle Himalayas include:
- The Pir Panjal Range of Jammu and Kashmir,
- The Dhauladhar Range of Himachal Pradesh and
- Mahabharat Lekh Range of Nepal.
Some of the most picturesque hill-stations of India are located here, such as, Simla, Srinagar, Musoorie, Dalhousie and Dharamsala.
3. The Great Himalayas
This range lies in the farther north, extending from Nanga Parbat in the west to Namcha Barwa in the east. This region is also known as ‘Himadri’. Many Snow-capped mountain peaks adorn this region. The average height of this region is about 6000 meters.
The Great Himalayas present some of the loftiest mountain peaks of the world. They are
- Nanga Parbat (8,126 m),
- Kedarnath (6,940 m),
- Badrinath (7,138 m),
- Kamet (7,756 m),
- Trisul (7,120 m),
- Nandadevi (7,817 m),
- Dhaulagiri (8,172 m),
- Annapurna (8,078 m),
- Manaslu (8,156 m),
- Shisha Pangma (8,013 m),
- Gouri Sankar (7,145 m),
- Mt. Everest (8,848),
- Makalu (8,481 m),
- Kanchenjunga (8,598 m),
- Chomolhari (7,314 m),
- Kula Kangri (7,539 m),
- Namcha Barwa (7,756 m) from the west to the east.
Mt. Everest (8,848 m) is the highest mountain peak of the Himalayas as well as in the world. It is located on the Nepal-China border. Kanchenjunga (8,598 m) is the highest peak of the Himalayas Situated in India.