Extension of Dhauladhar Mountain Range
The Dhauladhar Mountain Range rises from the Indian plains to the north of Kangra District and Mandi District of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Dharamsala is the headquarters of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and lies on its southern spur above the Kangra Valley, which divides it from Chamba.
Elevation of Dhauladhar Mountain Range
The elevation of Dhauladhar Mountains ranges widely from 3,500 m to nearly 6,000 m. From the banks of the Beas River in Kullu, the range curves towards the town of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. It then stretches north and passes through Barabhangal. Eventually it joins the Pir Panjal range and then moves into Chamba in Himachal Pradesh.
Highest Peak in Dhauladhar Mountain Range
The highest peak in the Dhauladhar Mountain Range is the Hanuman Tiba, or the White Mountain, which stands at an elevation of about 5,639 m or 18,500 ft high. Other than this, there are also several peaks which are close to the 5,180 m mark.
Overview of Dhauladhar Mountain Range
The state of Himachal Pradesh has all the major Himalayan ranges represented in it. The Greater Himalayas that begin from near Ladakh region and run all the way to Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world and Kangchenjunga in Sikkim, pass through Himachal Pradesh. The Dhauladhar Mountain Range also passes through the state. Near the Patni Top in Jammu and Kashmir is the starting point of the Pir Panjal Range that extends all the way to Garhwal.
Also known as the Outer Himalayas or Lesser Himalayas, the Dhauladhar Mountain Range begins from near Dalhousie at the northwest end of Himachal Pradesh and passes through the state to the vicinity of the bank of the Beas River in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. While they end near Badrinath in Garhwal, the mountain ranges lie almost entirely in Himachal Pradesh. The Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges are distinctive in their typical dark granite rocky formations with a remarkably steep rise culminating in sharp streaks of snow and ice at the top of their crested peaks. This distinctive profile is best seen from the Kangra Valley from where they seem to shoot up almost vertically.
Topography of Dhauladhar Mountain Range
The Dhauladhar Mountain Range has a peculiar topography. Although mostly composed of granite, the flanks of the range exhibit frequent formations of slate and sandstone. Given the near vertical incline of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range, ascending from any side is difficult. Thus, to climb this range, highly technical trekking and mountaineering is required. Due to its high altitude, the conditions surrounding the range are harsh, thus resulting in very little habitation. But meadows abound near the crest providing rich pastures for grazing where large numbers of Gaddi shepherds take their flocks. The top of the crest is buried under vast expanses of thick snow.
Peaks in Dhauladhar Mountain Range
There are several peaks both virgin and scaled that have drawn mountaineers from all over the world. Some of the well known peaks of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range are Mun (4610 m) near Dharamshala, Manimahesh Kailash in the sacred Manimahesh region, Gaurjunda (4946 m) or the ‘Dhauladhar Matterhorn’, near the Talang pass. Along with other peaks like Christmas (4581 m), Toral (4686 m), Dromedary (4553 m), Riflehorn (4400 m), Lantern (5100 m), Arthur's Seat (4525 m), Camel (4520 m), Slab (4570 m) there are several other named and unnamed peaks.
Climate in Dhauladhar Mountain Range
Dhauladhar Mountain Range receives two monsoons a year with heavy rains, so where the mountains have not been heavily logged, there are dense pine and Deodar forests.
Glacial Lakes of Dhauladhar Mountain Range
There are glacial lakes in the Dhauladhar Mountain Range. The prominent among them is the Lam Dal which is the biggest with a circumference of about 2.5 km. This is a very sacred lake in Dhauladhar Mountain Range and is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva or Mahadeva.
Pilgrimage Tourism in Dhauladhar Mountain Range
Each year pilgrims take a holy dip here in the month of August and September just when the Manimahesh yatra begins in Dhauladhar Mountain Range. There are other very sacred lakes like the Nag Dal or Nag Chattri Dal. This lake owes its history to the Bhagsunag Temple and is considered sacred. This lake is dedicated to the Nag Devta or The Lord King Cobra. The other beautiful lakes are Chanderkup Dal above the Lam Dal, The Kareri Dal below the Minkaini Pass, The Dansar Lake across the Sari Pass and the very sacred Kali Kund just 150 m below the Lam Dal at an elevation of 3900 m and approachable from Minkiani Pass (4250 m).
Passes in Dhauladhar Mountain Range
One of the major passes across Dhauladhar Mountain Range is the Indrahar Pass, which is located at an altitude of 4,342 m above mean sea level, near the tourist town of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. This Pass forms the border between Kangra District and Chamba district of the state and is part of a popular trekking route from Dharamshala. It attracts substantial tourist traffic during the trekking season between the months of April to October.