Himalayan Mountain Range

The chain of Himalayan Mountain Range

The chain of Himalayan mountain ranges stretches on the northern borders of India in an east-west direction. These mountain ranges run for about 2,400 kilometers from the Indus River in the west of the Brahmaputra River in the east. The average width of the Himalayas is 160 to 400 km. In fact, the Himalayan Mountain is not just one range but a group of three mountain ranges running almost parallel to one another all along its longitudinal axis. A brief description of these mountain ranges is given below:

1. Tethys Himalaya Range

The Tethys Himalayan Range lies on the extreme north also known as Tibetan Himalaya merges with the Tibetan plateau.

The first diastrophic movement of about 7 crore years ago gives birth to both Tethys Himalaya and Himadri. The average height is 5500 to 6000 meter and the highest peak is Leo Pergel (7420 m).

2. The Greater Himalayan Range

The Greater Himalayan range is the highest mountain range of the Himalayan system. This always remains snow-covered and is generally referred to as ‘Himadri.’ Its average altitude exceeds 6,000 meters and its average width is 25 kilometers. Almost all the important peaks are located in this range. Some of the lofty peaks are as follows:

Peaks (Height Above sea level)

  • Mount Everest – 8850 m.
  • Kanchanjungha – 8598 m.
  • Makalu – 8481 m.
  • Dhaulagiri – 8172 m.
  • Naga Parbat – 8126 m.
  • Annapurna – 8078 m.
  • Nanda Devi – 7817 m.
  • Namcha Barwa – 7756 m.

3. The Lesser Himalayan Range

About 2 crore years ago at the time of second diastrophic movement this Middle or Himachal Himalaya originated. This is located in the south of the Greater Himalayas and runs parallel to it in the east-west direction. Its average height is from 3,500 to 4,500 meters and it is nearly 80 kms wide on an average. Its important branches are the Nag Tibba, Muoouri, Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar. In between the Greater Himalayas and the lesser Himalayas, there are longitudinal val­leys e.g. Kashmir valley and the Kathmandu valleys. Most of the hill resorts such as Shimla, Mussoorie, Dalhousie, Nainital, Darjeeling, etc. are located in this range.

4. The Sub-Himalayas or the Siwalik Mountain Range

The southern-most range of the Himalayas is the Siwalik range whose height varies from 900 to 1,500 meters. Its width varies from 10 to 50 kms. Its south slope is steeper than northern slope. The last organic movement gave birth to this Siwalik. In between the Lesser Himalayas and the Outer Himalayas, there are longitudinal valleys known as ‘duns’ in the west and ‘duars’ in the east. Dehra Dun, Kothari Dun and Patli Dun are the important examples.