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Himalayas Longitudinal Division- Insight, Facts, Explanation

The Himalayas Longitudinal Division encompasses three main divisions: the Kashmir/Punjab/Himachal Himalayas, the Kumaun Himalayas, and the Central/Nepal Himalayas. These divisions, also known as the Regional Divisions of the Indian Himalayas, are crucial components of the GS Paper 1 Syllabus for the UPSC Mains curriculum as well as GS Paper 1 of Prelims.

The Himalayas are further categorized from north to south into the Greater Himalayas or Himadari, the Lesser Himalayas or Himachal, and the Shiwalik or Outer Himalayas. This article aims to provide comprehensive information on the Longitudinal Division of the Himalayas.

Himalayas Longitudinal Division

The Longitudinal Division of the Himalayas is categorized into four sections based on geographical areas from west to east and the rivers they are situated between:

  • The Punjab Himalayas, positioned between the Indus and Sutlej Rivers, alternatively known as the Kashmir Himalaya and the Himachal Himalaya.
  • The Kumaon Himalayas, are situated between the Sutlej and Kali rivers.
  • The Nepal Himalayas, extend between the Kali and Tista rivers within Nepal.
  • The Assam Himalayas, spanning from the Tista to Dihang rivers in Assam

Himalayas Division From West to East

Read here in detail about the Himalayas Division from West to East

Kashmir /Punjab/ Himachal Himalayas

The Kashmir Himalayas stretch between the Indus River and the Sutlej, encompassing a considerable portion of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This region is also commonly referred to as the Punjab Himalayas.

In the Jammu and Kashmir region, you’ll find a landscape marked by towering snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, interlocked spurs, and numerous high mountain passes. This vast range extends for approximately 700km in length and 500km in width, reaching heights of up to 3000m and hosting a plethora of glaciers. The Ladakh area experiences the harsh conditions of a cold desert, while the Kashmir valley, nestled within this division and surrounded by the Greater and Lesser Himalayas, boasts the unique Karewa soil, renowned for its cultivation of saffron and other dry fruits.

Key mountain passes in the Kashmir Himalayas include Pir Panjal, Banihal, Zoji La, Burzil, Khardungla, Pensi-La, Saser-La, Lanak-La, Jara-La, Tasaka-La, Umasi-La, and Qara-Tagh-La. Notable snow-capped peaks in the region include Nanda Devi, Trisul, Nunkun, Kamath, and Nanga Parbat.

In the Himachal Pradesh Region, you’ll find a diverse representation of all three ranges—the Greater, Lesser, and Outer Himalayas. The northern slopes of the Himachal Himalayas are adorned with dense forests, expansive plains, and shimmering lakes, while the southern slopes are rugged and covered in thick forests. Notable locales such as the Kangra Valley and Kullu-Manali are renowned for their high productivity, lush orchards, and breathtaking landscapes.

This region is home to several important hill stations including Dalhousie, Shimla, Chamba, Kullu-Manali, and Dharamsala. Key mountain passes such as Rohtang Pass, Bara-Lacha, and Shipki La are significant features of the landscape.

Kumaun Himalayas

The Kumaun Himalayas, situated between the Satluj and Kali Rivers, boast the towering peak of Nanda Devi as their highest point. Other notable peaks in this region include Trisul, Kedarnath, Dunagiri, Kamet, Badrinath, Jaonli, Gangotri, and Bandarpunch. Among the significant glaciers found here are Pindari, Gangotri, and Milam.

Prominent hill stations dotting the landscape include Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora, and Bageshwar. Key passes in the Kumaun Himalayas include Thaga La, Muling La, Mana, Mangsha Dhura, and Lipu Lekh.

Central/Nepal Himalayas

The Central/Nepal Himalayas extend from the Kali River to the Tista River, with the majority of this division situated in Nepal, except for the far eastern part, which belongs to the Sikkim Himalayas. Among its notable peaks are Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, and Gosainath. Key passes in this region include Nathu La and Jelep La.

Assam/ Eastern Himalayas

  • This division extends between the Tista and Brahmaputra Rivers (Dihang), covering Arunachal Pradesh in India and Bhutan.
  • As it reaches the southern border of Arunachal Pradesh, it bends southward, forming Purvanchal, which stretches from Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram, to Tripura in a North-South direction.
  • Purvanchal connects with the Meghalaya Plateau in the west and extends further into the Myanmar mountain chain, reaching the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as the Archipelago of Indonesia.
  • The Himalayas rise sharply from the plains of Assam and narrow as they approach the foothills of the Shiwaliks.
  • Notable hills in this region include the Aka Hills, Dafla Hills, Miri Hills, Abor Hills, Mishmi Hills, and Namcha Barwa.
  • Significant features in the eastern Himalayas encompass Pakai Bum, Manipur Hills, Blue Mountain, Tripura Range, and Brail Range.
  • Key passes in the area include Bomdi La, Yonggyap, Diphu, Pangsau, Tse La, Dihang, Debang, Tunga, and Bom La.

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What hills are known as Purvanchal?

The Patkai Hills, Naga Hills, Mizo Hills, and Manipur Hills are all part of Purvanchal.

What are the Longitudinal Divisions of Himalayas?

The Himalayas are divided longitudinally as The Himalayas of Kashmir, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh; The Kumaun Himalayas are located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand; The Himalayas of Central Nepal and the Eastern Himalayas/Assam.

What are the smaller Himalayas called?

The Lower Himalayan Range (also known as the Lesser Himalayan Range or Mahabharat Range in India) is located north of the Sub-Himalayan Range or Siwalik Range and south of the Great Himalayas.

What are latitudinal and longitudinal divisions of Himalayas?

Latitudnal division of Himalayan regions from west to east are the Punjab Himalayas (between rivers Indus adn Satluj), Kumaon Himalayas (Satluj and Kali rivers), Nepal Himalayas (Kalia and Testa rivers) and Assam Himalayas (Tista and Dihang rivers). The longitudinal division of the Himalayas includes The Kashmir /Punjab/ Himachal Himalayas, The Kumaun Himalayas, The Central/ Nepal Himalayas and The Assam/ Eastern Himalayas.

What is the region of the Kumaun Himalayas?

Between the Satluj and Kali Rivers are the Kumaun Himalayas. Nanda Devi is the highest mountain in this division.

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