The Karakoram range, Zanskar range, Nun Kun range and the Nanga Parbat are among the important mountain ranges in the region. Other ranges include the Shivaliks, Pir Panjal range and its offshoots including Doda, Poonch and Rajouri districts. Parts of the Western Himalayas also lie in the region.
The Karakoram Range is glaciated and rises from dry plateaus characterized by extreme temperatures. The Karakoram Range has some of the world's highest mountain peaks and huge glaciers such as the Baltoro glacier. The temperatures in these parts are very low and the region is snow covered due to the extremely cold temperature. The second highest peak in the world, mount K2, lies in the Karakoram Range. Some of the other mountain peaks in these ranges include Gasherbrum peak, Distaghil Sar peak and Saser Kangri peak. The Karakoram Range forms a geographical divide in-between Central Asia and India. The Karakoram Range stretches for about 500 kilometers in length. Because of the fact that the Karakoram Range is situated at an extremely high altitude, the area is very sparsely populated. Several important mountain passes, for example the Karakoram pass and Nubra pass, lie in this region.
The Zanskar Range lies to the north of the Himalayas. The Zanskar range is divided from the main Himalayas by the Stod valley and the Tsarap valley. This Mountain range lies 600 meters above the sea level. The Zanskar Range geographically divides the Zanskar region from the Ladakh region. The Zanskar range has an area of 15220 square kilometers and lies at about 7055.1 metres above the sea level. The Zanskar Range lies in-between the Ladakh and Kashmir border. An important mountain pass in this region is the Bawalocha pass.
The Nanga Parbat Range is at about a height of 8107.8 meters above the sea level. This region lies in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) area.
The Shivaliks are the youngest and the most newly formed range that constitute the Himalayan chain, this region is rich is conifers and has some of the most attractive and frequently visited tourist destinations. Some of the well-known hill stations in this area are Kangra, Dalhousie, Kullu, Shimla, Nanital, Dehradun, Manali, Dharamsala, Mussorie and Kufri. This area is known for its picturesque and natural beauty.
The Pir Panjal Range lies on the south of the Himalayas and is approximately 5000 metres above the sea level. The Pir Panjal Range separates the Jammu region from the Kashmir Valley. This region has several trekking trails that attract tourists from the world over. The Doda region is an offshoot of the Pir Panjal Range and is well know for its tourist attractions, which include trekking trails and health spas and resorts. The Poonch district in the Pir Panjal range is also very popular among tourists for trekking purposes.
Geography of Jammu and Kashmir