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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/32

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MOUNTAINS, HILLS, AND PLAINS

boundary between the Pan jab and Kashmir, separating two outlying portions of the Kangra district, Lahul and Spiti, from Ladakh. In this section the peaks are from 19,000 to 21,000 feet high, and the Baralacha pass on the road from the Kulu valley in Kangra to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, is at an elevation of about 16,500 feet. In Kashmir the Zanskar or Inner Himalaya divides the valley of the Indus from those of the Chenab and Jhelam. It has no mountain to dispute supremacy with Everest (29,000 feet), or Kinchinjunga in the Eastern Himalaya, but the inferiority is only relative. The twin peaks called Nun and Kun to the east of Srinagar exceed 23,000 feet, and in the extreme north-west the grand mountain mass of Nanga Parvat towers above the Indus to a height of 26,182 feet. The lowest point in the chain is the Zojila (11,300 feet) on the route from Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, to Leh on the Indus The road from Srinagar to Gilgit passes over the Burzil pass at an elevation of 13,500 feet. The Zojila is at the top of the beautiful valley of the Sind river, a tributary of the Jhelam. The lofty Zanskar range blocks the inward flow of the monsoon, and once the Zojila is crossed the aspect of the country entirely changes. The land of forest glades and green pastures is left behind, and a region of naked and desolate grandeur begins.

"The waste of snow.... is the frontier of barren Tibet, where sandy wastes replace verdant meadows, and where the wild ridges, jutting up against the sky, are kept bare of vegetation, their strata crumbling under the destructive action of frost and water, leaving bare ribs of gaunt and often fantastic outline The colouring of the mountains is remarkable throughout Ladakh and nowhere more so than near the Fotula (a pass on the road to Leh to the south of the Indus