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<< Indian Himalayas << About Himalayas >> << Mountain Ranges >> << Gangtok >>

Gangtok, Sikkim

Shiwalik Hills

The Siwalik Hills (sometimes spelled Shiwalik, Shivalik, or Sivalik) are a sub-Himalayan Mountain range running 1,600 km long from the Tista River, Sikkim, through Nepal and India, into northern Pakistan.

The range runs parallel with the Himalayan system from Hardwar on the Ganges to the banks of the Beas, and though only 16 km wide in places, the hills have an average height of 900 to 1,200 m.

The Siwalik Hills are chiefly composed of low sandstone and conglomerate hills, the solidified and upheaved detritus of the great range in their rear, the intermediate valley lying between the outer hills and the Mussoorie. Ramapithecus was among many fossil finds in the region. The Siwalik Hills, also known as Shiwalik Hills, lie to the south of the Dhaula Dhar, with an average elevation of 1,500 to 2,000m. They are the first range of hills encountered en route from the plains and are geologically separate from the Himalaya.

Zanskar Himalayan Range

Zanskar Range - Ladakh south of the Indus River, stretching from the ridges beyond Lamayuru in the west across the Zanskar region, where it is divided from the main Himalaya by the Stod and Tsarap valleys, the populated districts of the Zanskar valley. The Zanskar range is breached where the Zanskar River flows North, creating awesome gorges until it reaches the Indus River just below Leh.
We're addicted to Himalayan travel, so we're thrilled to bring back this great summer trek, one of our popular mainstays of the 1980s. The ancient kingdom of Zanskar - once part of western Tibet - is a fascinating Buddhist enclave that historically has had little contact with the outside world (its high snowbound passes cut it off from the world during the harsh winter months). It still lives in another century, an ancient world that begins where the paved road ends.

Our challenging adventure takes you past green fertile valleys to moonscapes of stark yet evocative beauty, where you'll trek over high passes marked with fluttering prayer flags, see Buddhism practiced in its purest form, and admire an arid landscape brightened by shimmering willow groves and glacier-irrigated fields of yellow buckwheat and green pea patches. Along the way you'll meet the handsome Zanskari people and follow trails lined with some of the most exquisitely carved mani stones in the Himalaya. On the Zanskar range, the Fatu La, on the Leh-Srinagar road, is considered the most easterly pass; while the Singge La, the Cha Cha La and the Rubrang La are the main trekking passes into the Zanskar valley. For the hardy Ladakh trader, the main route in winter between the Zanskar valley and Leh is down the icebound Zanskar River gorges. Further to the east, many of the Zanskar range passes to the North of Spiti and Kinnaur are close to the India-Tibet border, and are closed to Trekkers.

Ladakh Himalayan Range

The ladakh range lies to the North of Leh and is an integral part of the Trans-Himalayan range that merges with the Kailash range in Tibet. The passes include the famous Kardung La, the highest motorable pass in the world, while the Digar La to the North east of Leh is at present the only pass open to trekkers. The start and rugged landscape is situated amidst multiple-hued mountains, some smooth enough to rub your cheeks on, others scraggly as though termites have had a go at them for breakfast. Miles and stretches of this never-never land, surprised by quaint little vibrant green hamlets oozing wild roses and lavender, fringe the life-giving Indus River.

Ladakh is a land like no other. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range.
In geological terms, this is a young land, formed only a few million years ago by the buckling and folding of the earth's crust as the Indian sub-continent pushed with irresistible force against the immovable mass of Asia. Its basic contours, uplifted by these unimaginable tectonic movements, have been modified over the millennia by the opposite process of erosion, sculpted into the form we see today by wind and water. Yes, water! Today, a high -altitude desert, sheltered from the rain-bearing clouds of the Indian monsoon by the barrier of the Great Himalaya, Ladakh was once covered by an extensive lake system.

East Karakoram Range

East Korakoram Range - The East Karakoram Range is the huge range that forms the geographical divide between India and Central Asia. It includes many high peaks including - Teram Kargri, Saltoro Kangri and Rimo, while the Karakoram Pass was the main trading link between the markets of Leh, Yarkand and Kashgar. At present this region is closed to trekkers, although a few foreign mountaineering groups were permitted to climb there in the last decade. C l i c k  f o r   M o r e.

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