(Last Updated on : 03/05/2013)
Indian mountains are the integral parts that serve greatly in building the ecosystem. Indian Mountains have long added to the pristine beauty of the country, epitomizing majesty with their tall and regal presence. For centuries, these mountains have protected the nation's borders from invading armies. The most dominant mountain ranges in the country are the Himalayan Mountain Ranges. The Northern side of the Indian Subcontinent is defined by the Himalaya Mountains
, the Hindukush and the Patkai Ranges
Major Mountain Ranges in India
There are a total of eight major mountain ranges in India. All of these have peaks with a height of over 1000 feet.
Himalayan Mountain Range
It is said to be the world's highest mountain range. The Himalayas run from Arunachal Pradesh
in the East to Jammu and Kashmir in the West. The mountains form India's border on the north-eastern side and separate it from north-eastern Asia. These mountain ranges, said to be the youngest in the world cover an area of almost 5, 00,000 kilometres square. There are a number of peaks here over 7000 metres and the tallest peak of the range, Mt. Everest, lies along the Nepal-China border.
Aravalli Mountain Range
This is the oldest mountain ranges in India and runs for approximately 800 kms. It runs across Rajasthan
in a northeast to southwest direction and the northernmost end of the range runs into Haryana
and ends near Delhi
. The highest peak of the Aravallis is the Guru Shikhar peak
at Mount Abu
. It rises to almost 1722 metres near Gujarat.
Karakoram Mountain Range
The Karakoram Range, lying in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, has over 60 peaks that stand at a height of over 7000 metres. Found here is the K2, the second highest peak in the world. Close to the north-western end of the Karakoram lays the Hindu Raj range and beyond this is the Hindu Kush Range. The Karakorams are bound on the South by the Gilgit, Shyok and Indus River
Vindhya Mountain Range
The Vindhya Mountain Range lies along most of Central India and is believed to have been formed from the wastes created by the weathering of the Aravalli Mountains. It separates Northern India from the Southern part of the country and runs at an average height of 3000 metres. The Western end of the mountain range is located in Gujarat.
Satpura Mountain Range
The Satpura Mountain Range runs parallel to the Vindhya Range which lies to its North. The Satpuras begin in Eastern Gujarat and run east across Maharashtra
, Madhya Pradesh
. These ranges run for 900 kms with a number of peaks which rise above 1000 metres.
Patkai Hills or Purvanchal Ranges
The Purvanchals, which lie along the eastern border that the country shares with Myanmar, was created by the tectonic process similar to the one which created the Himalayas. There are a total of three hill ranges which form part of the Patkai, and these are the Patkai-Bam, the Garo hills
and the Lushai hills. The Patkai Mountains are characterised by conical peaks, steep slopes and deep valleys and are not as tall as the Himalayas.
Western Ghats Mountain Range
Also known as the Sahyadri Mountain Range this range runs along the western edge of the Deccan plateau in India. This range runs across Maharashtra
and Tamil Nadu
to the southern tip of the Deccan peninsula. The average height of the mountains is around 1000 feet and the highest peak of the range is the Anaimalai Hills in Kerala standing at a height of 2,695 metres.
Eastern Ghat Mountain Range
Eastern Ghats mountain range in India
does not run in a continuous line. They have been dissected by the four major rivers of South India- Krishna River
, Godavari River
, Kaveri River
and Mahanadi River
. These mountains extend from West Bengal
, Andhra Pradesh
and Tamil Nadu
, along the coast and parallel to the Bay of Bengal
. Some of the peaks of the Eastern Ghats are over 1000 metres in height.
Thus discussed above are the major mountain ranges in the country. These mountains, apart from the various geographic functions that they perform, also provide ample opportunities for eco-tourism. They offer scope for numerous adventure mountain activities such as trekking, skiing, skating, rock climbing and snow climbing.
Usefulness of the Mountains
The tallest mountain ranges act as a kind of natural barrier against the cold winds coming in from the poles. The Himalayas act as a barrier to the frigid katabatic winds flowing down from Central Asia. Thus, North India is kept warm or only mildly cooled during winter. The various rivers that originate in these mountains flow through the fertile Indo-Gangetic plain