Important Valley Of Himachal Pradesh


Himachal Pradesh is a state located in the Himalayas and is home to a variety of valleys that are breathtaking in their beauty. Each valley has its own unique charm and importance, contributing to the overall richness of the state. In this article, we will explore some of the most prominent valleys that define the geographical and cultural appeal of Himachal Pradesh.

A valley is a low-lying region situated between hills or mountains. It is often characterized by having a river flowing through it. In geology, a valley or dale is a depression that is longer than it is wide. Rivers and streams are primarily responsible for carving out valleys by creating steep-walled sides and a narrow floor that appears as a "V" shape from a distance. The steepness of the sides and the width of the floor are determined by the gradient of the river, which defines how quickly it drops. For example, mountain valleys typically have near-vertical walls and a narrow channel, while valleys on flat plains have shallow slopes and a wider channel.

Some of the noteworthy valleys of the state are listed below: 

Chamba or Ravi Valley

Chamba or Ravi Valley is situated between the Zanskar and Dhauladhar range, South of the Himalayas. This U-shaped valley is located at an elevation of 996 meters on the South bank of the river Ravi. According to historians, Raja Sahil Verma founded Chamba in AD 920 and named it after his daughter, Champavati. Wild olive, pomegranate, and fig trees grow in the lower parts of the valley alongside semi-tropical trees like pipal, shisham, and acacia. The valley is densely populated as it provides gentle slopes where cultivation is possible. This valley is famous for medicinal herbs and flower varieties. The famous Monkey valley (Bandar Ghati) lies in Chamba. The important towns located in this valley are Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Chamba, and Bharmour. Chamba is the district headquarters in this valley. The people who live in this valley are called Chambial. 

Kangra Valley

The Kangra Valley is situated in the Kangra district and is known as the Veer Bhoomi of Himachal Pradesh. Its average elevation is 610 m. The valley has numerous perennial streams along with the Beas river that irrigates the valley. The slope of the valley rises from West to East, gradually rising from Shahpur to Baijnath and Palampur. The Kangra valley is also essential from a historical point of view as Palaeolithic hand tools were found in this area. The important towns of this valley are Baijnath, Palampur, Kangra, and Dharamshala (district capital). The valley is best known for its beauty, ancient temples, Kangra fort, Kangra paintings, and being home to Gaddi shepherds.

Kullu Valley

Located at an altitude of 1279 m, the Kullu Valley is also known as the Valley of the Gods. The Beas river runs through the middle of the valley, which extends 80 km north from Larji Gorge, near Mandi, and ends near the famous Rohtang Pass (gateway to Lahaul and Ladakh). The valley is covered with pine deodar forests and wildflowers. The main town of this valley is Kullu, situated at a height of 1,200 meters. Manali, at an altitude of 1926 meters, is a famous tourist destination in this valley. The Kullu valley is famous for apple orchards, hot water springs (e.g. Manikaran, Nehru Kund), Hidimba temple, Kullu Dussehra, handwoven shawls, and Kullu caps. 

 Lahaul and Spiti valleys

The Lahaul and Spiti valleys are located in Himachal Pradesh, on the Indo-Tibet border. These valleys are surrounded by mountains, with elevations ranging from 3000 to 6500 meters above sea level. 

The Lahaul Valley is situated to the North of the Pir Panjal range, between the Chandra and Bhaga rivers, which meet at Tandi to form the Chenab river. It is home to the Big Shigai and Nohtang mountains. The valley has a mix of Hindu and Buddhist population and receives heavy snowfall. 

The Spiti Valley, also known as the Land of Jewels, is located in the North-East corner of the state, bordered by Ladakh, Tibet, and Kinnaur on three sides. It lies along the Spiti river at an elevation of about 4,000 meters above sea level. The Spiti valley is a cold desert mountain valley. 

Malana Valley

The Malana Valley is a captivating valley situated in the northeast of Kullu valley. It is also known as the Mini Greece of Himachal Pradesh due to its remarkable beauty. The valley is located at an altitude of 9,938 feet above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the Deotiba and Chandrakhani Peaks. 

Interestingly, the residents of this valley claim to be originally from Greece and have one of the oldest democracies in the world. However, it's important to note that the people in this valley live according to their own customs and traditions. For instance, they consider marrying multiple times as a common practice, and some of them even get married as many as 12-15 times throughout their lifetime. 

Moreover, it's always advisable to be respectful of their culture and not touch anything in the valley, as one can be fined for this offense.

Paonta or Kiarda Dun Valley 

This Valley lies in the Sirmaur district, between the Eastern edge of Markanda and the Dharti ranges. It slopes towards the South-Eastern corner of the state. The River Yamuna separates it from Dehradun. The valley is divided into three regions: 

1. The first region is Dun Giri, where the Bata river flows. 

2. The second region consists of Neli Khera and the adjoining hills of the lower Dharti ranges. 

3. The third region is Par Dun, located north of Majra village across the Bata stream. 

A century ago, it was a dense forest filled with wild animals like tigers and elephants. However, during the reign of Raja Shamsher Prakash, people began to settle in the area. The major crops grown in the valley include wheat, maize, ginger, millet, and sugarcane. Paonta Sahib, a Sikh Gurudwara, and Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple, are the two famous religious places in this valley. Paonta is quickly becoming an industrial area. The people of this valley are well-off. The Dun and Spron valleys of Solan district are adjacent to the Kirda valley. These valleys are mostly flat and fertile, and the cultivation of cereals and off-season vegetables is extensively practised.

ALSO READ ABOUT : Climatic zone of Himachal Pradesh

Here is a list of some other valleys in the state:

1. Sangla/Baspa Valley: This valley, located in Kinnaur, is a sight to behold with its towering mountains, lush greenery, and glistening streams. The valley ranges from 1830 m to 3475 m (in Chitkul) and is the largest and most beautiful valley in Kinnaur.

2. Mulgun and Rupin: Nestled in the Kinnaur district, this valley is a paradise for nature lovers. It is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and meandering rivers.

3. Hangrang Valley: Located near the Indo-Tibetan border in the Kinnaur district, this valley is known for its scenic beauty and peaceful surroundings. It is a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

4. Pattan Valley: Situated in the Lahaul and Spiti district, this valley is a treasure trove of natural beauty. It is home to picturesque villages, glistening glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes.

5. Pin Valley: This valley, situated in Lahaul and Spiti, is a nature lover's paradise. It is home to rare and endangered species of flora and fauna and was declared a National Park in 1987.

6. Pangi Valley: This valley, located along the banks of the Chenab river, is a treat for the eyes. It is surrounded by towering mountains, gurgling streams, and verdant forests. The Gyas peak, one of the highest peaks in the region, is located here.

7. Solang Valley: This valley, situated in the Kullu district, is a popular tourist destination known for its winter skiing festival and paragliding activities. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

8. Balh Valley: This valley, situated between Shimla ridge and Shiwalik hills in the Mandi district, is a hidden gem. It is surrounded by lush green forests, glistening streams, and picturesque villages.

9. Demi Valley: This valley, situated between Bahadurpur and Bandla ranges, is a lesser-known but equally beautiful valley. It is a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate amidst nature.

10. Pabbar or Rohru Valley: This valley, located at the base of the Chanshal range, is a paradise for nature lovers. It is known for its Blue, Pine, Spruce, and Silver fir trees, which grow in abundance here.

11. Kunihar Valley: This valley, situated in the Solan district, is a place of unmatched natural beauty. It is known for its verdant forests, gurgling streams, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

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