Divisions, Mountains and Passes
State of Jammu and Kashmir falls in the great
north-western, complex of the Himalayan ranges
with marked relief variation, snow- capped
summits, antecedent drainage, complex geological
structure and rich temperate flora and fauna.
or the Jhelum Valley is situated between the Pir
Panjal range and the Zanskar range and has an area
of 15220 sq kms. It is bounded on all sides by
mountains. The river Jhelum, which flows out from
the spring at Verinag in Anantnag district, passes
through this Valley at a very slow speedand
ultimately flows out through a narrow gorge at
Baramulla. Districts of Srinagar, Anantnag,
Baramulla, Kupwara and Pulwama lie in this valley.
Average height of the valley is 1850 metres above
sea level but the surrounding mountains, which are
always snow-clad, rise from three to four thousand
metres above sea level. The surface of the valley
is plain and abounds with springs, lakes and
is the main crop and fruits like apples, pears,
apricots, almonds, walnuts, peaches and cherries
grow in abundance. The valley is also rich in
forests. Mulberry trees grow in abundance and are
the mainstay of silk industry in the Valley.
is pleasant but winter is cold and there is
snowfall. It rains from the middle of March to the
middle of May in the valley with an annual
rainfall of about 75 cms.
transport is common in the valley but the river
Jhelum still serves as one of the means of
transportation. There is also Air Service from
Delhi and Jammu to Srinagar and Ladakh.
is the home of handicrafts like wood carving,
papier-mache, carpet, gabba and shawl making and
embroidery on clothes. Natural scenery of the
valley attracts thousands of visitors every year
from abroad. People generally speak Kashmiri and
their common dress is phiran, shalwar and a turban
or a Kashmiri cap.
are also some small valleys in this region. On the
north of Baramulla is Lolab valley which is 6 Kms
long and 4.4 Kms wide. It has many meadows and
grovesof walnut trees. Forests are so thick that
they hide villages in them.
Sind is the largest tributory of the river Jhelum.
The Nullah Sind valley is 100 Kms long upwards and
its scenery is diversified. At the head of the
valley is the Zojilla pass which leads to Ladakh.
Pehlgam lies the Lidar Valley. Its length is 64
Kms. It has small glaciers, grassy meadows, huge
rock walls and gorges in its upper mountains. The
path to the holy Amarnath cave passethrough this
valley. The Kolohai and Sheshnag streams join at
Pahalgam to form the Lidar river.
and their Passes
have a special geographical importance to the
State of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir valley is
enclosed by high mountain-chains on all sides
except for certain passes and a narrow gorge at
Baramulla. There are Siwalik hills towards the
south and very lofty mountains in the north, the
peaks of which always remain covered with snow.
There are volcanic mountains too in the State.
They have caused havoc in Kashmir in the past.
of the famous mountains and their passes are:
Karakoram (8615.17 M) and Kyunlun Ranges:
these mountains lie to the north and north-east of
the State and separate it from Russian Turkistan
and Tibet. In the north west, Hindukush range
continues towards Karakoram range, where K2 peak,
the second highest peak of the world, is situated.
Two lofty peaks of Gashorbram (8570 metres) and
Masharbram (7827 metres) also lie there. People of
Ladakh pass through Karakoram pass (5352 metres)
and Nubra pass (5800 metres) while going to
Chinese Turkistan and Khattan. One can reach Tibet
from Ladakh via Kharudangala pass (5557 metres)
and Changla pass (5609 metres).
is about 600 metres above sea level and separates
Indus Valley from the valley of Kashmir; it
prevents south-west cold winds from reaching
Kashmir. Ladakh region terminates at Zojila pass
(3529 metres) from where begins the valley of
Kashmir. Poat pass (5716 metres) of this range is
also a famous pass in this range.
Nun Kun Range:
lies between Ladakh and kashmir border. It is
7055.1 metres above sea level. To its south-east
is situated Kulu and to its north-west is situated
Kargil tehsil of Ladakh . One has to pass through
Bawalocha pass (4891 metres) to reach Leh (Ladakh)
from Kulu. In 1947, when Kargil was attacked by
Pakistan, Indian forces, arms and ammunition were
sent to Ladakh by the Indian Union through this
Nanga Parbat Range:
range spreads in Gilgit. Its height is 8107.68
metres above sea level and is utterly devoid of
vegetation. It was conquered by the Italian
mountaineers in 1954. This is now under the
unlawful possession of Pakistan.
is a range of the Himalayas and is situated at a
height of 5141.3 metres above sea level towards
Bandipore between the rivers Jhelum and Kishan
bifurcates Kashmir and Ladakh on which Burzil pass
is situated at a height of 3200 metres above sea
is famous for its holy Amarnath Cave, at a height
of 5372 metresabove sea level, which thousands of
pilgrims visit every year on Rakshabandan. They
have to pass Mahagunas pass (1475 metres) on their
way to Shri Amarnathji. Gwasharan (5450 metres) is
situated in the Lidar valley towards Pahalgam; on
it lies the famous glacier Kolahi. Sheeshnag
Mountain also spreads in this valley. It is called
Sheshnag as its peaks resemble the heads of seven
(4270 metres) and Kajinag (3700 metres) mountains
lie in the Inner Himalayas. They remain clad with
snow throughout the year, but during summer when
the snow melts, the water flows down into the
mountain spreads through the Gulmarg valley. The
famous spring Alpathar lies on its peak, from
which Nullah Nagal comes out and flows down into
the Wullar lake.
separates Kashmir valley from the outer Himalayas
and is about 2621 Kms. in length and 50 Kms. in
breadth. Famous Banihal pass (2832 metres) lies in
the shape of a tunnel on its peak; it remains
covered with snow during winter making it
impassable. Now at a height of 2200 metres above
sea level a new tunnel 'Jawahar Tunnel' has been
constructed. The tunnel is 2825 metres long and it
was opened for traffic on 22nd Dec. 1956. On the
other end of this range lie Baramula pass (1582
metres) and Hajipir pass(2750 metres). Hajipir
joins Poonch and Uri. During 1965 Indo-Pak war,
the Indian army had occupied this pass. Later on
it was handed over to Pakistan.
hills extend from the north of the outer plains to
middle mountains of the State reaching heights
varying from 600 metres to 1500 metres above sea
volcanic peak, 'Soyamji' (1860 metres) is situated
in North Machhipura (Handwara) and the other 'Kharewa'
peak lies in Tehsil Pehalgam, which is dead so
far; the former, however, continued eruption of
lava for about l3 months during 1934.
is a temple on this peak and many sulphur springs
are found at the foot of the hill. These volcanic
mountains are the cause of earthquakes in Kashmir.
So far twelve devastating earthquakes have occurred
in Kashmir. Of these the earthquake of 1885 was
the most devastating. Hundreds of houses
collapsed, thousands of people died and there were
cracks in the earth as a result of this