Geography of Himachal Pradesh

Geography of Himachal Pradesh

The state of Himachal Pradesh is spread over an area 55,673 km² and is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on north, Punjab on the south-west, Haryana on south, Uttarakhand on the south east and by Tibet on the east. Himachal is a mountainous region, rich in its natural resources.
Elevation ranges from 450 meters to 6500 meters above sea level. It covers its region from the Shivalik range of mountains (barely mountainous region). There is an increase notified in the elevation from west to east and from south to north.
The general physiographic divisions from south to north are-
# The outer Himalayas (Shivaliks)
# The lesser Himalayas (central zone)
# The Great Himalayan (northern zone)

The Shivalik range consists of lower hills (elevation- 600m above sea level). The hills of the region are composed of highly unconsolidated deposits which results to a high rate of erosion and deforestation.
The lesser Himalayas are spoted by a gradual elevation towards the Dhauladhar and the Pir Panjal ranges. The rise is more rapid in the Shimla hills, to the south of which is the high peak of church- "Chandni" (elevation- 3647mtrs). North of river Sutlej, the rise is steady.
The Kangra valley is a longitudinal trough which is at the foot of the Dhauladhar range. Dhauladhar which means the "The White Peak" has a mean elevation of nearly about 4550 meters. It has a rapid rise of 3600m above the Kangra valley. The largest of the lesser Himalayan ranges that is the Pir Panjal, branches off from the Greater Himalayan range near the bank of Sutlej. A number of glaciers exist and several passes lie across Pir Panjal. The Rohtang Pass (4800mtrs) is one of these.
The Great Himalayan range (elevation- 5000 to 6000 meters) runs along the eastern boundary and is slashed across by the Sutlej. Some of the famous passes in this range are "Kangla"(elevation- 5248m), "Bara Lacha"(elevation- 4512m), "Parang" (elevation- 5548m) and "Pin Parbati" (elevation- 4802m).
The Zaskar range, the eastern most range separates Kinnaur and Spiti from Tibet. It has peaks rising over an elevation up to 6500m. Some of the well known peaks are- "Shilla" (elevation- 7026m) and "Riwo Phargyul" (elevation- 6791m) are the highest among the peaks in this range. There are many glaciers over the Zaskar and the Great Himalayan ranges.

Himachal is also well known for its rich flora. Forests cover about 38% of the state's total area. It has a variety of wildlife too.
In total Himachal has 49 cities and towns. The smallest town is Naina Devi and the largest is Shimla with a population of about 6,077,248. Urban population is only 7.5% of the total state population. Most of the state population still resides in rural areas. [ [ General outline Himachal Pradesh Geography]



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