Longitudinal Series and Regional Divisions of Himalayas

Longitudinal Series of Himalayas

The land of India displays great physical variation. It is a huge landmass formed during different geological periods. Besides geological formations, a number of processes such as weathering. Erosion and deposition have created and modified the relief to its present form. India cab be divided into the following physiographic divisions.

The Himalayas

The Northern Mountain wall is a series of high mountain ranges stretching over the Northern borders of India. The geologically young and structurally fold mountain ranges, the Himalayas run in West-East direction from the Indus to the Brahmaputra. They form an arc, which covers a distance about 2400 km. Their width varies from 400 km in Kashmir  to 150 km in Arunachal Pradesh. The altitude variations are greater in the Eastern half than those in the Western Half. There are three phases of upheaval of Himalayas. These are follows.
1.    Ecocene 64 million years ago- Greater Himalayas
2.    Miocence 45 million years ago-Lesser Himalayas
3.    Post-Pliocene 1.4 million years ago-Shiwalik-outer Himalayas

Classification of Himalayas

1.Longitudinal Series of Himalayas: on the basis of longitudinal series, Himalayan range can be divided into five phases
(i)Trans Himalayas: North of the Great Himalayas lie the Trans-Himalayas of the Tibet Himalayas. This section is older than Himalayas. This range acts as watersheds between rivers flowing towards South and those flowing towards North. These range are about 40 km wide and rise in height  up to 5000 m. They include the karakoram, Zanskar and Ladhakh ranges. The second highest peak of the world and the highest peak of India, K2 (8611 m) lies in these ranges. It has been named as Godwin Austin by the British and Qogir by the Chinese. The Ladhakh plateau, 5000 m high, lies on the North-East of Karakoram Range and is the highest plateau of India. It has been dissected into a number of plains and mountains, the most outstanding among them being Soda plains, Aksai Chin, Depsang plains and Chang Chenmo.
(ii) Greater  Himalayas or Himadri : The Northern most important range is known as The great or Inner Himalayas or the Himadri. It is the most continuous range  consisting  of the loftiest peaks with an average height of 6000 m. This range stretches from Nanga Parbat in the west to Namcha Barwa in the East. It contains all the prominent Himalayan peaks. India’s highest peak in Himalaya Kanchenjunga is located here. The folds of Great Himalayas are asymmetrical in nature. The core of this part of Himalayas is composed of granite. It is perennially snow bound, and a number of glaciers descend from this range. It is well known for some of the highest peaks, longest glaciers and highest passes of the world. The highest peak of the world, Mount Everest lies in this range. This formidable range is not easy to cross even through passes, which exit generally above 4500 m of height.
Some of the importance passes include Burzilla and  ZojiLa in Jammu and Kashmir, Baralacha La and Shipki La in Himachal Pradesh. Thaga La, Mana, Niti, Lipu lekh in Utterakhand and Nathu La and Jelep La in Sikkim. The Hindustan Tibet trade link road passes through Shipki La. NH-22 passes through it, another important Indo-Tibet link road Jelep La
(iii) Himachal Himalayas the range lying to the south of the Himadri, forms the most rugged mountain system and is known as Himachal or lesser Himalayas or Middle Himalayas. The ranges are mainly composed of highly compressed and altered rocks. The altitude varies between 3700 and 4500 m and the average width is of 50 km. The Pir Panjal range, the Dhauladhar, the Mussoorie range, Nag Tibba and the Mahabharata ranges (in Nepal).
Pir-Panjal range consists of the famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh. Kisanganga, Jhelum and Chenab rivers cut through this range. Important passes of this range are Pir Panjal pass, Golaghar pass and Banihal pass.
Dhauladhar range passes through hill stations of Dalhousie, Dharamshala and Shimla. Further East, the middle Himalayas are marked by the Mussoorie and nag Tibba ranges. The slopes are found in a number of small pastures which are called Merg in Kashmir (Gulmerg, Sonmerg, Tanmerg) and Bugle and Payor in Utterakhand.
The hill stations of Mussoorie, Lansdowne, Nainital, Ranikhet, Chakrata lie on these ranges. Further South-East lies the Mahabharata range, which extend almost throughout the length of Nepal. This Section of Himalayas also known for pilgrim counters like Vaishno Devi, Amarnath, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Joshimath.
(iv)Shiwalik: The outer most range of the Himalayas is called the Shiwalik. The extend over a width of 10-50 km and have an altitude varying between 900 and 1100 m. These ranges are composed of unconsolidated sediments brought down by rivers from the main Himalayan ranges located in North. These valleys are covered with thick gravel and alluvium. The Shiwalik are known by different names in different names in different regions. They are called Jammu hills in Jammu, Shiwalik hills in Himachal Pradesh thereafter and Miri, Dafla, Abor hills and Mishmi hills in Arunachal Pradesh. The Dhang range and Dundwa rabge of Uttarakhand and Churia Ghat hills of Nepal also from the part of Shiwalik.
(v) The Puravanchal: After crossing the Dihang gorge, the Himlayas take a sudden Southward turn and form a series of comparatively low hills in the shape of crescent with it’s convex side pointing towards the west. These hills are known as Purvanchal. In the North, Patakai bum forming  international boundary between Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmer. Southwards, it merges with Naga hills, South of Naga  Hills are Manipur hills and then Mizo hills and Lushai hills both forming boundary between Myanmar and India.

2.    Regional Divisions of Himalaya:

Besides the longitudinal divisions, the Himalayas have been divided on the basis of regions from west to East. These divisions have been demarcated by rivers valleys.
Punjab Himalayas: Punjab Himalayas are exited in westernmost part of Himalayas i.e. It is Western most section of Himalayas. It is extended from East to South-East for 560 km. It is located between the Indus and Sutlej rivers. Punjab Himalayas have some important ranges such as Zaskar range, Pir Panjal and Shiwalik range, kavauorono, Ladhakh, Dhauladhar etc. A significant portion of Himalayas lies in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. That’s why it is also called Kashmir Himalayas or Himachal Himalayas in these regions.
Kumaun Himalayas : It is Stretched between river Sutlej and river Kali for a length of 320 km. Its general elevation is higher than Punjab. Important peaks situated here are Nanda Devi, Badrinath,Kamet, Trishul, Kedarnath, Gangotri etc. It is wetern part is locally known as Garhwal Himalayas. The pilgrimage centers located in this section is of particular importance to the Hindus.
Nepal Himalayas: Nepal Himalayas are stretched between the Kali and Tista river for 800 km long. Its most part lies in the Nepal. That’s why it is known as Nepal Himalayas. It is the tallest section of the Himalayas. It has some highest peak of the world, Mount Everest, Kanchenjunja, Lhoste, Makalu, Dhaulagaru, Annapurna etc are important peaks.
Assam Himalayas it is stretched between Tista and Brahmaputra rivers for  a length of 750 km. Although, It is known as Assam Himalayas, but its area also lie in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Its Southern slope is very steep. In the west its steep gradually decreases.    
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Longitudinal Series and Regional Divisions of Himalayas
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