Physiographic Divisions of Himachal Pradesh

Reo Pargail, Highest Peak of Himachal Pradesh (6816 m)/Sumita Roy Dutta
Himachal Pradesh falls within the latitudinal extent of 30°22'40'' N to 33°12'40'' N and longitudinal extent of 75°45'55'' E to 79°04'55'' E. It is spread over the area of 55,673 sq km and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. The average altitude varies from 450 m to 6500 m above mean sea level. The elevation increase from the West to East and from South to North.

Physiographic Divisions of Himachal Pradesh
The State Can be divided into three physiographic divisions from South to North. These are
1. The Outer Himalayas
2. The Lesser Himalayas
3. The Great Himalayas

1. The Outer Himalayas
The altitude of this zone varies from 350 m to 1500 m. It is also known as Shiwaliks, which means of tresses of Shiva. In terms of geographical time, it is the youngest region in the Himalayas and known for several flat bottom valleys covered with thick gravel and alluvium, which are called duns. It comprises districts of Kangra, Hamirpur, Una and Bilaspur and lower regions of Mandi, Solan and Sirmaur.

2. The Lesser Himalayas
Also known as Inner Himalayas or Mid Himalayan Zone, the Lesser Himalaya Zone of Himachal Pradesh consists parts of Sirmaur and Kangra districts, Karsog and Chachiote tehsils of Mandi districts, upper hills of Shimla and upper parts of Churah tehsil of Chamba. This zone comprises of two mountain ranges. These are

I. Pir Panjal
This range separates the valleys of Spiti, Lahaul, Kishtwar and Kashmir on the north from those of Kullu, Punach, and Chamba. Later, it divides Chenab or Pangi valley from Chamba valley, connected through a number of passes, only during summer. The average altitude of snowy peaks of Pir Panjal range is not less than 5200 m (~17000 ft) and the average altitude of passes in this region are between 4300 to 5000 m. Some of the important peaks in Pir Panjal of Himachal Pradesh are Shatul (17035 ft) and Kotgarh (17353 ft). The major passes in Pir Panjal of Himachal Pradesh are Nalgun pass  (14891 ft), Rupin  (15460 ft), Nirbrang, (16025  ft), Burang (15179  ft),  Yusu  (15877  ft) Shatul  (15536 ft) and Rohtang pass (13000 ft).

II. Dhauladhars
Dhauladhar means greyish white in the local language. They rise from Dalhousie and pass through the state to the vicinity of the Beas River in the Kulu district and end near Badrinath. This range has a distinctive dark granite rocky formations with remarkable streaks of snow at the top of its peaks. The average elevation of Dhauladhar range varies from 3500 m to 5900 m. Some of the well known peaks in Dhauladhar range are Hanuman Tibba (5982 m), Manimahesh Kailash (5653 m), Gaurjunda (4946 m), Christmas (4581 m), Toral (4686 m), Dromedary (4553 m), Lantern (5100 m), Arthur's Seat (4525 m), Camel (4520 m) and Slab (4570 m).

Some other minor ranges of the lesser Himalayas are Dagni Dhar, Mani Mahesh and Dhog Dhar in the Ravi valley; Jalori Dhar and Shikari Dhar in the Satluj and Beas basins; and Nagtibba range, Mussourie range and Shimla hills in the Yamuna basin.

3. The Great Himalayas
The Great Himalayan range runs along the eastern boundary of the state and cut across by the Satluj river. This region also acts as the watershed between the Beas and Spiti rivers. The Great Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh comprises of the Kinnaur and Pangi tehsils of Chamba and parts of Lahaul and Spiti. The average altitude of this range is between 4500 to 7000 m. Some of the famous passes in this range are Kangla (5,248 m), Bara Lacha (4,512 m), Parang (5,548 m) and Pin Parvati (4,802 m).

The Zaskar range is the easternmost range and separates Spiti and Kinnaur from Tibet and known for several six thousanders. The famous Gumrang and Sholarung pass connect the Sutlej basin with Tibet.

Also Read:
1. List of Mountain Peaks of Himachal Pradesh
2. List of Mountains Passes in Himachal Pradesh

Sources:
1. Himachal Pradesh, Harikrishan Mittoo