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Physiography Division of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh

Physiography of Jammu and Kashmir and Famous Mountains in Jammu and the Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir UT is divided into 7 physiographic divisions.
The state of Jammu & Kashmir is the Northernmost state of the Indian Union. It is in the Himalayan mountains. The state is divided into a mainly hilly region which changes in altitude from 3,000 feet (914m) to 22,740 feet (6,931m) from sea level. Jammu and Kashmir, too, consists of several valleys including the Kashmir valley, Tawi valley, Poonch valley, Sind valley, Chenab valley, and Lidder valley.
 
Location
Jammu and Kashmir lies between 32 17 ° ′ and 36° 58′ on north latitudes and 73° 26′ and 80° 30′ on east longitudes. Within a district of 222236 sq km, only half of the territory is controlled by Pakistan and China. So, it has 101387 sq km about Indian Government area which is Jammu and Kashmir. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is the 5th largest state in India and it occupies around 6% of the total Indian area. 76% of the  country’s total surface area. It is as the 19th most populous state on the basis of the population.
 
Boundaries
Jammu and Kashmir State is contiguous with Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in the South, Pakistan in the West, Afghanistan in the North and China in the North-East region. Line of Control (LOC) divides it from Pakistani administered arenas of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Balistan in the West and North-West.

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Physiography of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh

Physiographic Types of Jammu and Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir UT is divided into 7 physiographic divisions. These physical divisions are connected with the structural units of the Western Himalayas. These divisions are:

1. Plains
The plains of the state were formed by the eroded bedrock consisting of the material brought down by the mighty river Chenab, Ravi, Tawi, Ujh, Basantar, etc. The outer plains are popularly called ‘Andarwah’ and ‘Bajwat’. Outer plains lies hill torrents called khal most of time khal is dry and in rainy season these torrents turn into huge gushing rivers. Here is where weed growth occurs, which is identified by the name of Khar in the region. The same region includes the Southern parts of Akhnoor, RS Pura (Ranbirsingh Pura), Samba and Kathua of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
2. Foothills
The Himalayan foothills are where the Shiwaliks are situated, which are made up of the younger tertiary rocks. The width of the Shiwaliks in the state varies from 20 to 50 kilometers. The outer and inner zones of approximately 600 to 1500 meters high over the inner Himalayas form the foothills of the Himalayas in the state. The northern slope of foothills, called the zone of duns is composed of long ridges and longitudinal valleys, called Duns e. g. Duns of Udhampur and Kotli. The Dunes formed from sandstone, clay and silt erosion of the region. The undulating surface caused by the folding and erosion of the sedimentary rocks comprise the inner zone of which steep slope and plateau residue is the main feature. The Kandi area is the Shiwaliks terrain between the Ravi and the Chenab rivers. It is confined to the plains, with a maximum elevation of 300 m. The districts of the state which fall in the ranges of the Shiwalik hills are Jammu, Mirpur, Udhampur and Riasi.

3. Lesser Himalayas
It is also known as Mid Himalayas lying in between the river Ravi (in the east) and river Poonch (in the west). This area encompasses the volcanic features of granite, gneiss, quartz, etc. with an average elevation of 3600-4600 m. Two vital ranges being Pir Panjal (5000 m) and Dhauladhar establish this region. In Jammu region, these ranges are called Pahars locally. Pir Panjal is arguably the longest and the i. e. Westernmost ridge of this location. The Vaishno Devi cave is on the summit of the Trikuta mountain in the mentioned region. Almost all rivers that originate in the middle Himalayas like the Tawi, Manawar-Tawi, Basantra, and Ujh rivers have their source in this region.
 
4. Greater Himalayas
This belt lies in the northern direction of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges with an average height ranging between 4500 to 6100 m. The Kashmir range forms the part of the Zanskar range and also forms the North-Eastern border of the Kashmir valley in the north. There are some ranges of Zanskar which are as high as 4500 m to 6100 m above the level of sea. The elevation of this section gradually increases towards the north up till the K-2 (Godwin Austen) peak on the Karakoram or Mustang range. K2, the world's second highest peak with a height of 8611 m is a part of the Greater Himalayas, which ensures the cold winds from Central Asia to not enter India.

5. Valley of Kashmir
The Jhelum is a notable example of a deep asymmetrical basin found between the Pir Panjal and the much larger Great Himalaya ranges in the West. This mountain range rising up to an heigh of 5550 m has sediments of lakes and alluvium deposited by the upper Jhelum river. There is an abundance of terraced highlands composed of both alluvial and lacustrine sediments. These flat lumps are referred to as Karewas. Within the Kashmir, there are three important sub valleys such as Lidder Valley, Sind Valley and Lolab Valley. It is composed of Anantnag, Baramulla, Bodgam, Srinagar, Pulwama, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kulgam, and Shopian districts of the state.

6. Upper Indus Valley
This valley encompasses from the border with Tibet to the point where the line is drawn in the Pakistani Occupied Kashmir. Over the valley of Hunza Indus flows beside Nanga Parbat (8126 m) in the southern direction and cuts deep gorges. The upper part of Indus river is colored by gravel terraces. With every fork of the river depositing gravel in the main valley a new alluvial fan is created. Leh is a town in the valley at the altitude of (3500 m).
 
7. The Karakoram Region
It is the shared territory the between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir, and the peaks here the highest in the world. For example, Mt. K-2 (8611 m) which is located on the Pakistani border and listed as one of the Chinese-controlled enclaves. It is made of granite and gneiss rocks. This area also boasts summits with a height above 7300 meters over the sea level. The area of Karakoram remains glaciated throughout the year, solely. The Karakoram is one of the numerous high regions of Himalayas, and together, they earned the name ‘the Roof of the World’.

Famous Mountains in Jammu and the Kashmir.

Major part of the Jammu and Kashmir state is taken by mountains, hence the role of mountains in the state is profound. Kashmir valley resides amidst high peaks and a heavy-gauge at Baramulla valley. The Shiwalik hills are located in the South of the state and the North is also home to these mountains.

1. Amarnath Mountain 
It is situated in Ganderbal District of J&K. It is 5,186 m high. Tourists can also reach the holy cave Amarnath located at a higher altitude of 1475 m by crossing Mahagunas pass. The mountain has Lidder valley where Gwasharan (5450 m) is towards the Pahalgam side. Kolahi Glacier lies here. This valley include the ‘Sheshnag mountain’. Amarnath cave is believed to be the oldest and among most sacred holy places for a Hindu pilgrimage tour.

2. Afarwat Mountain 
The mountain traverses across the Gulmarg valley. It has an elevation of about 4390 meters. Alpathar spring shall be on its head. The stream starting from Shankarspring goes to this place and then merges with the Wular lake.

3. Burzil Mountain 
This mountain is positioning Kashmir and Ladakh between where the Burzil pass is located at a height of 4100 m. Burzil pass is an ancient path and caravan way. The road cuts through a narrow strip which is considered a de-facto border between India and Pakistan.

4. Karakoram and Kyunlun
These ranges are in the North and North-East parts of Jammu and Kashmir lying along the line demarcating the J&K state with Russian Turkistan and Tibet. The Hindukush range goes from the Karakorum range in the north-west direction, where, in the K-2 peak, exists. Gasherbrum, which stands at 8570 m, and Masherbrum, at 7827 m, are the other peaks of the area. Karakomaevski (5,352 m) and Nubran (5,800 m) are what the local people use for trips from Ladakh to Chinese Turkistan and Khattan. For example, the pass Khardung La (5557 m) and the pass Chang La (5609 m) also function as the means of connecting Ladakh to Tibet.

5. Nanga Parbat Mountain 
From Gilgit, this range of mountains is situated. This is around 8107 meters tall and the 9th highest among the world’s mountains. Here, any greenery can be traced. It is in Kashmir which the Pakistan is administering. In local language, it is known as ‘Diamer’ which means something like ‘King of Climb’.

6. Harmukh Mountain
In Kashmiri it is called mount Harmukh. It exists at an altitude of 5142 meters above the cloud line and lies in the valley of Ganderbal district in Jammu and Kashmir. The range encompasses part of the Himalayas with the South side adjoining Nallah Sindh and the North side touching with Neelum river. It is generally approached from the North - Western of Bandipore. This mountain is considered as one of the uncle mountains by the Hindus, as per the Hindu mythology it is the residence of the Lord Shiva.

7. Nun Kun Mountain 
It comprises the region that ranges from the Ladakh to Kashmir border. It being 7135 m in length, it is. Sunny Kullu lies on the South-East part while the North-West part is occupied by Kargil tehsil of Ladakh. The present massif is made of the two peaks namely Nun (7135 m) and Kun (7077 m) that belong to the Himalayas. Nun is the widest and the highest peak in the part of Himalaya that lies on the Indian side (side of LoC). Bawalocha Pass (4891) is the road between Leh and Kullu.

8. Pir Panjal Mountain 
This mountain range lies in the Lesser Himalayas and serves as a divide between Kashmir Valley and the outer Himalayas. It stands for approximately 5000 m and is composed primarily of volcanic rocks. On the eastern side of this mountain are the two peaks of Deo Tibba (6001 m) and Indrasan (6221 m). The town of Gulmarg in Kashmir is situated in this range. It has passes like Pir Panjal pass (3480 m), the Bidil pass (4270 m), Golabghar pass (3812 m), Banihal pass (2835 m), Baramulla pass (1582 m), Haji Pir pass (2750 m).

9. Shiwalik Mountain 
It goes from the north of the outer plain to middle mountains/lesser Himalayas. This mountain range has an average height of 600 m to 1500 m. It stretches from Jammu and Kashmir to Brahmaputra valley. Mohan pass is the leading pass in the mountain range as well. It has the ancient name Manak Parbat as well.
 
10. Toshmaidan and Kajinag
Toshmaidan (4270 m) and Kajinag (3700 m) are in the central Himalayas. These are the snow-capped mountains where the snow supplies water to the Jhelum river in the summers. Prominent passes of this slope are Basmai Gali (13962. 4 m) and Poonch Gali.

11. Volcanic Mountain
Jammu and Kashmir boast of having two great volcanic mountain peaks. Soyamji (6000 ft) volcano lies in North Machhipura (Handwara) that was erupted for 13 months in 1934 and now became a dormant volcano. The other volcanic peak is, Kharewa of which is in Pahalgam tehsil, which is a dead volcanic peak. These volcanic mountains are the cause for earthquakes in Kashmir.

12. Zanskar Mountain 
The range of mountains separates the Indus valley from the Kashmir valley. Besides, it isolates Zanskar from Ladakh. It is roughly 6 km above the ground. It acts as a barrier against the South-West cold winds so that they cannot enter the Kashmir region. The region of Ladakh comes to an end and Kashmir valley starts at the pass of Zoji La (3529 m). Also, poat pass (5716 m) is located in this range.
Physiography of Jammu and Kashmir
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