Glaciers of Himalayas
Himalayas is the origin of many glaciers and important rivers of Asia. The range offers different kinds of glaciers. Especially the Jammu and Kashmir glaciers and glaciers of Ladakh are of different types. But the most important is the Siachen glacier, which is the largest glacier outside the Polar Regions. Some of the important glaciers in the Jammu and Kashmir are as follows:
The Siachen glacier is located in the extreme north-central part of Jammu and Kashmir near the India and Tibet border. It stretches to a length of about 72 km; it is the largest glacier in the world outside the Polar Regions. Siachen is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Karakoram Range. It is the source of the Mutzgah or Shaksgam River that flows parallel to the Karakoram Range before it enters Tibet. The central part of Siachen glacier is a vast snowfield. It mainly lies in a vast trough, which is about 2 km wide and scattered with rocks and boulders on its sides. Large tributary glaciers like the Mamostang and Shelkar Chorten open into the main glacier from both sides of its trough. Numbers of icefalls are formed at the meeting point of trunk glacier and small valley glaciers. A group of three glaciers i.e. North, Central and South lies to the east of the Siachen. It is known as the Rimo glacier group. The altitude of this glacier is between 6,000 and 7,000 m above sea level. The Siachen glacier can be traveled via Skardu in Ladakh.
Baltoro glacier is located in Jammu and Kashmir in an area called Baltistan on the southern slopes of the central Karakoram Range. It stretches to a length of 62 km. It is the second largest glacier in the Himalayan region. Shigar River, which is a tributary of the Indus River, originates from this glacier. Other large tributary glaciers supply the main Baltoro glacier. The central part has a vast snowfield and the trough of this glacier is very wide. This glacier can be accessed via Skardu in Ladakh.
Biafo glacier is located in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir in an area called Baltistan on the south slopes of the Karakoram Range. It stretches to a length of 60 km. The main stream, which originates from Biafo glacier flows into a tributary of the Indus River called the Shigar River. In this area there is no vegetative cover.
In the Himalayan region Hispar glacier is the third largest glacier. It is located in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir on southern slopes of the Karakoram Range. It stretches to a length of 60 km. There is no vegetation of any kind in this area. Many small glaciers join the main glacier on both sides. The central part of the glacier is a vast snowfield while its sides contain debris eroded by the huge body of moving ice.
The Nubra glacier is located in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir on the southern slopes of the Karakoram Range. Nubra River originates from this glacier flows into the Shyok River. Just like the other glaciers the central portion of the glacier forms a vast snowfield. Vegetation is totally absent in this area as it lies above the snow line. The place can be access via Leh in Ladakh.
Among the other glaciers in Uttaranchal regions are as follows:
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