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Geography Of Jammu and Kashmir

 Jammu and Kashmir, located in the northern part of India, is a region known for its diverse geography. It's divided into three main regions: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh.

Geographic coordinates and area details for Jammu and Kashmir:

  • Latitude: Jammu and Kashmir is situated approximately between 32.7186° N to 37.0902° N.
  • Longitude: Its longitude ranges from around 72.6376° E to 80.2397° E.
  • Area: The total area of the region is around 222,236 square kilometers (85,806 square miles). This includes the various terrains of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh.
  • Location: Geographically, Jammu and Kashmir is situated in the northern part of India, bordered by several regions and countries. It shares its borders with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south, China to the northeast, and the Pakistani-administered territories of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir to the northwest and west, respectively. The Line of Control (LoC) separates the region from Pakistan-administered Kashmir


This region is characterized by its plains, hills, and forests. It's situated on the southernmost part of the state and features the city of Jammu as its winter capital. The Shivalik range, part of the Himalayas, runs through this area. The terrain is relatively fertile, with agriculture being a significant occupation.

Kashmir Valley: 

This is the most well-known region, celebrated for its breathtaking beauty. Surrounded by the Himalayas and Pir Panjal range, it's adorned with lush green meadows, serene lakes (such as Dal Lake), and picturesque landscapes. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is situated in this valley. The region is renowned for its saffron cultivation and handicrafts.


This area is characterized by high-altitude desert and rugged mountains. It's a cold desert region, located between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the Himalayas to the south. Ladakh is known for its unique culture, Buddhist monasteries (such as Hemis and Thiksey), and stunning landscapes, including the famous Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley.

The region is not only geographically diverse but also culturally rich, with a blend of different ethnicities, languages, and traditions. The diverse landscapes make Jammu and Kashmir a popular tourist destination, offering opportunities for trekking, mountaineering, skiing, and experiencing unique cultural heritage.


Jammu: The climate here is generally subtropical. Summers are hot with temperatures ranging from 35°C to 45°C (95°F to 113°F), while winters are relatively mild, with temperatures averaging around 7°C to 17°C (45°F to 63°F).

Kashmir Valley: This region has a moderate climate. Summers are pleasant, with temperatures around 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). Winters, however, can be quite cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing, and heavy snowfall occurs in higher elevations.

Ladakh: Ladakh experiences a cold desert climate due to its high altitude. Summers are short and moderately warm, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) in the daytime. Winters are extremely cold, with temperatures plummeting well below freezing, sometimes reaching as low as -30°C (-22°F). Precipitation is scarce in Ladakh, and it's known for its clear skies and low humidity.

Mountain Passes:

Zoji La: Situated at an elevation of approximately 3,528 meters (11,575 feet), Zoji La is a crucial pass that connects the Kashmir Valley to Ladakh. It's often closed during winter due to heavy snowfall.

Banihal Pass: Located at an altitude of around 2,832 meters (9,291 feet), Banihal Pass is another important pass connecting the Kashmir Valley to the rest of India. It's traversed by the Jawahar Tunnel, allowing movement even during heavy snowfall.

Khardung La: Often cited as one of the highest motorable passes globally, Khardung La stands at an elevation of about 5,359 meters (17,582 feet). It's a popular tourist attraction in Ladakh.

Chang La: Another high-altitude pass in Ladakh, Chang La sits at an elevation of approximately 5,360 meters (17,590 feet) and is known for its challenging terrain.

These passes play significant roles in connectivity between different regions of Jammu and Kashmir but are subject to closures during heavy snowfall in winter months, making travel challenging during certain periods.


  • Pir Panjal Range: This mountain range runs across the region and separates the Kashmir Valley from the outer Himalayas and the northern plains.
  • Karakoram Range: Known for its towering peaks, including some of the world's highest, like K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen), this range is located in the northeastern part of the state, bordering China and Pakistan.
  • Inner Himalayan Ranges: These include various smaller ranges within the state, forming part of the larger Himalayan mountain system.


  • Various smaller hill ranges are scattered throughout the state, contributing to its diverse terrain.


  • Dal Lake: Situated in Srinagar, it's one of the most famous and iconic lakes in the Kashmir Valley, known for its houseboats and scenic beauty.
  • Pangong Lake: Located in Ladakh, it's a high-altitude lake that extends from India to China, known for its stunning blue waters.


  • Chenab River: One of the major rivers in the region, it originates in the upper Himalayas and flows through Jammu and Kashmir, eventually joining the Indus River.
  • Jhelum River: It flows through the Kashmir Valley and serves as a lifeline for the region.
  • Ravi River: Originating in the Himalayas, it flows through the region, forming part of the Indus River basin.


  • Numerous smaller streams and rivulets crisscross the landscape, providing water to various regions.

Glacial Regions:

  • Jammu and Kashmir host several glacial regions, especially in the higher reaches of the Himalayas and Karakoram Range. These glaciers are the source of many rivers and streams in the region.

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