The northern Indian subcontinent is surrounded by a great arc of mountains, consisting of the Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Patkai ranges. Mountains in these ranges include some of the world’s tallest mountains and they also act as a natural barriers to cold polar winds and facilitate the monsoon winds, both having a significant impact on the climate of India.
India has eight important mountain ranges with peaks that are over a 3,281 ft in height.
Indian Mountain Ranges
Himalayan Mountain Range
- The Himalayas are the world’s highest mountain range. Mt. Everest standing at 29,929 ft, on the Nepal-China border, is the tallest mountain found in this region and also in the world.
- This mountain range has a number of peaks that rise over 22,966 ft in height. Kanchenjunga, is the highest point in India on this mountain range.
- The Himalayas are also world’s youngest mountains extending up to 2,500 km in length. It stretches all the way from Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Arunachal Pradesh in the east. Most of the peaks in this region are snowbound throughout the year.
The Karakoram Range
- The Karakoram range is situated in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. This mountain range has more than sixty peaks above 22,966 ft, including K2 28,251 ft, the second highest peak in the world. K2 is only 778 ft shorter than the 29,029 ft of Mount Everest.
- Just to the west of the northwest end of the Karakoram, lies the Hindu Raj range, beyond which is the Hindu Kush range.
Patkai Hill Range
- The Patkai hill range is situated near India’s eastern border with Burma. They were created by the same tectonic processes which led to the formation of the Himalayas. This range is not as rugged or as tall as the Himalayas.
- Cherrapunji, which lies on the windward side of these hills, has the distinction of being the wettest place in the world, receiving the highest annual rainfall.
- The Vindhyas run across most of central India. The average elevation of these hills are 9,843 ft. This range is believed to have been formed by the wastes created by the ancient Aravali mountains. Geographically, this range separates northern and southern India.
- The western end of this range lies in eastern Gujarat, and runs east and north, almost meeting the Ganges at Mirzapur.
- The Satpuras start in eastern Gujarat near the coast and runs east across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It runs parallel to the Vindhya range and extends to about 900 km with many peaks rising above 3,281 ft. As these ranges run parallel to each other, they create a natural divide of the Indo–Gangetic plain from the Deccan Plateau.
The Aravali Mountain Range
- The Aravallis is the oldest mountain range in India. It runs across Rajasthan from northeast to southwest direction.
- The northern end of the range continues as isolated hills and rocky ridges into Haryana, ending near Delhi. The highest peak in this range is at Mount Abu, rising to 5,650 ft, lying near the border with Gujarat.
Sahyadri Mountains (also known as the Western Ghats)
- The Western Ghats or Sahyadri mountains are found on the western edge of India’s Deccan Plateau. This range runs approximately 1,600 km from the south of the Tapti River near the Gujarat–Maharashtra border across Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to the southern tip of the Deccan peninsula.
- The average elevation in this range is about 3,281 ft. Anai Mudi standing at 8,842 ft in Kerala is the highest peak in the Western Ghats.
- The Eastern Ghats is no longer considered a mountain range because much of its hills were eroded and vivisected by the four major rivers of southern India, the Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna, and Kaveri. These mountains extend from West Bengal to Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, along the Bay of Bengal.
- Though this range has been discarded it still has a few peaks which are over 3,281 feet. The highest peak found in this range is the Jindagada Peak, standing at 5,545 ft.
- What does the name Kanchenjunga mean?
- Which peak is the highest in the Patkai hill range?
- After locating these hill ranges, remember where they’re placed, and draw them on an empty map.
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