Glaciers in Himachal Pradesh

The Lady of Keylong Glacier
The Lady of Keylong/Source: Dr. Rakesh Thakur
Though the total number of glaciers are unknown, there are total of 2554 glaciers document in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Altogether, they cover an area of 4160.5 square kilometers and hold ice reserves of 387.3 cubic km. The highest number of glaciers are found in Satluj basin (945) followed by Chenab basin (681). However, Chenab basin has larger glacier than Satluj basin.

Distribution of Glaciers in Himachal Pradesh


S.No.BasinNo. of GlaciersArea (sq. km)Ice reserve (cu. km)
1Beas358758.1876.4
2Ravi198235.2116.88
3Chenab6811704.7187.66
4Satluj9451217.794.45

List of some of the prominent glaciers in Himachal Pradesh

Bara Shigri
Bara Shigri is the largest glaciers located within the boundaries of Himachal Pradesh. It is also the second largest Himalayan glacier after Gangotri, both lies at a distance of 30 km. The glacier is located in the Chandra Valley of Lahaul-Spiti district and feeds the Chenab river. The term Bara Shigri literally means a big glacier in Lahauli. It is about 3km wide and 25 km long and lies at the altitude between 3950 m to 4570 m.

Chhota Shigri
Chhota Shigri lies on northern slopes of the main ridge of Pir Panjal Range of inner Himalayas, just across Bara Shigri. As the name suggest, it is comparatively smaller glacier than Bara Shigri. It does not reach down to the bed of Chenab, but it is much steeper, slippery and difficult to cross.

Bhadal Glacier
It lies on the southwesten slopes of Pir Panjal range in the Bara Bangal region of Kangra. It feeds Bhadal river, which is a tributary of Ravi river. The heavy snowfall in winter causes a sudden expansion of this glaciers while in summer, the region is visited by the migratory grazers.

Chandra Glacier
It is located on the slopes of the main Himalaya ranges in the Lahaul-Spiti district. It is responsible for the formation of Chadertal lake and was originally part of the Bara Shingri glacier. It feeds Chandra river, which along with Bhaga river, forms the Chandrabhaga (Chenab) river.

The Lady of Keylong
It is situated at an altitude of 6061 m and can be clearly seen from Keylong. Although it is always remains covered in snow, but a dark bare patch that looks like a figure of woman walking with a load on her back can be seen in the middle of it.

Bhaga Glacier
It lies in the region of main Himalayan range in Lahaul-Spiti district. It is the source of Bhaga river which later merges with Chandra river to form the Chenab river.

Sonapani
It was first surveyed in 1906. It is only five and a half kilometer away from the confluence of Kulti Nala.

Perad
Perad glacier is a small and easily accessible glacier near Putiruni in Lahaul-Spiti district.

Mukkila and Miyar
Mukkila and Miyar glaciers lie in Lahaul-Spiti district. They are about 12 kilometer in length and feed Bhaga and Miyar river respectively.

Trilokinath
The Trilokinath glacier is clearly visible from Trilokinath temple area. It lies in Lahaul-Spiti district and feeds Chenab river.

Beas Kund
Beas Kund glacier lies on the south facing slopes of the Pir Panjal range near Rohtang Pass in Kullu district. It feeds the Beas river.

Parbati and Dudhon
These glaciers are located in district Kullu and only 15 km apart. Both of them feed the Parbati river.

Some other major glaciers in Himachal Pradesh are Chandra Nahan, Dhaka, North Dakka, Gara, Gor Gorang, Shaune Gorang and Nagpo Tokpo.

Source: Himachal Pradesh Himalaya