Regional Division of the Himalayas

On the regional basis Himalayas are classified according to the location to which they belong. In the previous posts we have discussed the Geographical division of the Himalayas which is based on age of the Formation of the Himalayas in different stages. However, the regional division of Himalayas is not a natural division but a man made. Division of the Himalayas on the regional basis is as follows:-


1. The Punjab Himalayas

The 560 km long stretch of the Himalayas between the Indus and the Satluj rivers is known as Punjab Himalayas. A large portion of this sector lies in the Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh as a result of which it is also called the Kashmir or the Himachal Himalaya. Karakoram, Ladakh, Pir Panjal, Zaskar and Dhaola Dhar are the main ranges of this section. The 3,444 mt high Zoji La pass provides an easy passage. In between the main ranges, there are valleys, duns and lakes. The general elevation falls westwards.

2. The Kumaon Himalayas

Between the Satluj and the Kali river is the 320 km long Kumaoan himalaya. Its western part is called Garwhal Himalaya and eastern part is known as kumaon Himalaya. The general elevation is higher as compared to Punjab Himalaya. Nanda devi, Kamet, Trishul  Badrinath Kedarnath Gangotri are important peaks. Kumaon himalaya is also the source of sacred rivers like the  Ganga and the Yamuna. There are several duns between Middle Himalaya and Shiwalik hills. Nainital and Bhimtal are important lakes

3. The Nepal Himalaya

This section of Himalayas stretches for a distance of 800 km from Kali river to Tista river. Most of this Himalaya lies in the Nepal hence it is called Nepal Himalayas. This is tallest section of Himalaya and is crowned with several peaks of perpetual snow. The mount Everest is highest peak of world. The other major peaks are Kanchenjunga, Lhotse I, Makalu, Dhaula Giri, Cho Oyu and Annapurna. Kathmandu is the famous valley in this Himalaya.

4. The Assam Himalayas

The Himalayan ranges from Tista to Brahmaputra rivers covering a distance of 750 km are called the Assam Himalayas. It has less elevation than that of Nepal Himalaya and it covers the part of Assam Sikkim and arunachal pradesh. Northern slope are more gentle than southern slope. The important peaks of this region are Namcha Barwa, Kula Kangri and chombo Lhari.

Himalayas could also be divided into following three divisions:

The Western Himalayas

Stretching for 880 km between the Indus in the west and Kali river in the east, the western Himalayas spread in three states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himacahl Pradesh and Uttaranchal. It encompasses three physiography provinces namely Kashmir Himalaya, Himachal Himalaya and Kumaon Himalaya.

The Kashmir Himalaya lies almost entirely in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The average height of this region is nearly 3,000 mt above sea level. This province is marked by number glaciated troughs. The Indus is the most important river which traverse this area diagonally for about 650 km. Northern side o this river lies the imposing Karakoram range. This range has lofty peaks and large number of big glaciers. The second highest peak of the world k2 lies in this range. The Ladakh plateau and the Kashmir valley are two important area of this Himalaya. The chief characteristics of Kashmir Himalaya is high snow covered peaks, deep valleys, interlocked spurs and high mountain passes.

The Himachal Himalaya is mainly confined to Himachal Pradesh. All the three ranges of Himalaya are presented in this section of Himalaya- Zaskar range of the Greater Himalaya, Pir Panjal and Dhauladar ranges of Lesser Himalaya and Shiwalik range of Outer Himalaya. Some peaks of this Himalaya attains the elevation of 6,000 mt. The southern slope of this Himalaya are rugged and forested while the northern slopes are bare. This area has beautiful valleys of Kullu, Kangra, and Lahul-Spiti.

The Kumaon Himalayas lie in Uttaranchal and extend from the sutluj to the Kali River. Its main peaks are Nanda Devi (7,817 mt), Kamet (7,756 mt), Mana (7,273 mt), Trissul (7,140 mt), Badrinath (7,138), Kedarnath (6,968), Jauli or Shivling (6,638 mt) and Gangotri (6,515 mt). The Gangotri glacier is the source of the sacred river Ganga. There are about 36 lakes in this area, Nainital is one of the famous lake. The Shiwalik in this region is about 900-1000 mt high and runs south of the Mussoorie range.

The Central Himalayas

 The Central Himalayas extends from Kali river in the west to the Tista river in the east . It stretch for the distance of the about 800 km. All the Three Ranges of the Himalayas are present here. The Great Himalaya range attains maximum height in this portion. It is the abode of some of the highest and famous peaks of the world like Mount Everest, Kanchanjunga, Makalu, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri are located here. The lesser Himalaya is known as Mahabharat Lekh in this region. The range is crossed by the rivers like Ghagara, Gandak, Kosi, etc. In between the Great and Lesser Himalayas, there are Kathmandu and Pokhra Valleys which represent lacustrine deposits. 

The Eastern Himalayas

Stretching for a distance of 720 km this Himalaya lies between the Tista river in the west to the Brahmaputra river in the east. Also known as Assam Himalayas, the eastern Himalayas occupy mainly the areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan. This part of the Himalaya is known by different names according to the names of tribal people living in the different part. The Prominent Peaks of this area are Namcha Barwa (7,756 mt), Kula Kangri (7,554 mt), Chamo Lahri (7,327 mt), etc. The Assam Shows a marked dominance of fluvial erosion due to heavy rainfall.     

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