Indian Geography Part 4 – Himachal and Uttaranchal Himalayas

(ii) Himachal and Uttaranchal Himalayas

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Figure Himalayan Mountain Complex: Cross Sectional View from South to North

Great Himalaya or Himadri

  1. Northern most range is known as the Great or Inner Himalayas or the ‘Himadri’.
  2. ‘Himadri’. It is the most continuous range consisting of the loftiest peaks with an average height of 6,000 meters.
  3. The folds of Great Himalayas are asymmetrical in nature.
  4. The core of this part of Himalayas is composed of granite.
  5. It is perennially snowing bound, and a number of glaciers descend from this range. The Himalayan Mountains are divided into three main parallel ranges.

Bhotia’s

  1. In the Great Himalayan range, the valleys are mostly inhabited by the Bhotia’s.
  2. These are nomadic groups who migrate to ‘Bugyals’ (the summer grasslands in the higher reaches) during summer months and return to the valleys during winters.

Himachal or lesser Himalaya

  1. The range lying to the south of the Himadri forms the most rugged mountain system and is known as Himachal or lesser Himalaya.
  2. The altitude varies between 3,700 and 4,500 meters and the average width is 50 Km.
  3. The Pir Panjal range forms the longest and the most important range
  4. The Dhaula Dharand the Mahabharat ranges are also prominent ones.
  5. This range consists of the famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh.
  6. This region is well known for its hill stations

Shiwaliks

  1. The outer most range of the Himalayas is called the Shiwaliks.
  2. They extend over a width of 10-50 Km and have an altitude varying between 900 and 1100 meters.
  3. These ranges are composed of unconsolidated sediments brought down by rivers from the main Himalayan ranges located farther north.
  4. Covered with thick gravel called Alluvium.
  5. The longitudinal valley lying between lesser Himalaya and the Shiwaliks are known as Duns.
  6. Dehra Dun, Kotli Dun, and Patli Dun are some of the well-known Duns.
  7. The word shiwalik has its origin in the geological formation found in and around a place called Sivawala near Dehra Dun
  8. Which was once a headquarter of the Imperial Survey and which subsequently established its permanent headquarters at Dehra Dun.
  9. Dehra Dun is the largest of all the duns with an approximate length of 35-45 km and a width of 22-25 km.

Some of the important hill stations

  1. Dharamshala
  2. Mussoorie
  3. Shimla
  4. Kaosani

The cantonment towns and health resorts

  1. Shimla
  2. Mussoorie
  3. Kasauli
  4. Almora
  5. Lansdowne
  6. Ranikhet

The two distinguishing features of this region

  1. The ‘Shiwalik
  2. ‘Dun formations’

Some important duns

  1. Chandigarh-Kalka dun
  2. Nalagarh dun
  3. Dehra Dun
  4. Harike dun
  5. The Kota dun

(iii)The Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas

    1. They are flanked by Nepal Himalayas in the west and Bhutan Himalayas in the east.
    2. It is relatively small but is a most significant part
    3. Known for its fast-flowing Rivers such as Tista
    4. It is a region of high mountain peaks like Kanchenjunga (Kanchengiri), and deep valleys.
    5. The higher reaches of this region are inhabited by Lepcha tribes while the southern part, particularly the Darjiling Himalayas, has a mixed population of Nepalis, Bengalis, and tribals from Central India.
    6. The British, taking advantage of the physical conditions such as
      1. Moderate slope
      2. Thick soil cover
      3. High organic content
      4. Well distributed rainfall throughout the year
      5. And mild winters,
    7. Introduced tea plantations
    8. In place of the Shiwaliks here, the‘duar formations’ are important
    9. Which has also been used for the development of tea gardens

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