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The Shiwalik Range – Formation, Features, FAQs

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  • Last Updated : 30 Jun, 2022

Siwalik Range, also known as Siwalik Hills or the Outer Himalayas, Siwalik, usually written Shiwalik, is a sub-Himalayan range in northern India. It stretches over more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) west-northwest from the Tista River in Sikkim state, northeastern India, across Nepal, northwestern India, and northern Pakistan.

The Siwalik are sometimes thought to encompass the southern Assam Himalayan foothills, which continue eastward for 400 miles (640 km) over southern Bhutan to the Brahmaputra River bend. The range in which the name is called Siwalik (from Sanskrit, meaning “Belonging to [the God] Shiva”) is the 200 miles (320 km) of foothills in India running northwestward from the Ganges River in Haridwar, Uttarakhand state, to the Beas River.

Despite being only 10 miles (16 kilometers) broad in some parts, the range has an average elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet (900 to 1,200 meters). It rises abruptly from the Indus and Ganges (Ganga) river plains in the south and follows the main range of the Himalayas in the north, divided by valleys. The southern slopes of the Shiwalik mountain in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are densely forested. Cho’s, or seasonal streams, cut deep into the highlands. Valleys are synclines, whereas hills are anticlines or antisynclines.

In the south, we call them the Shiwaliks, and in the north, it is called the Greater Himalayas. when it runs nearly parallel to both ranges. It is often called the Himachal or Lower Himalaya.

Shiwaliks were the final ranges to develop (2-20 million years ago). These deposits were folded and hardened as a result of the compression provided by the Indian plate’s northward migration. The Shiwaliks are consolidated sand, gravel, and conglomerate deposits carried by rivers, flows which are flowing from higher elevations. Conglomerates accumulated to produce the Shiwalik Hills (sand, stone, silt, gravel, debris etc.).

The formation of Duns

During the early phases of deposition, these aggregates impeded the courses of rivers pouring from the upper levels of the Himalayas, forming temporary lakes. These transient lakes absorbed more and more conglomerates over time. The aggregates were thoroughly settled at the lakes’ bottoms.

When rivers were able to carve their routes through lakes filled with conglomerate deposits, the lakes were drained away, producing plains known as ‘duns’ or ‘doons’ in the west and ‘duras’ in the east. Kotah, Patli Kothri, Chumbi, Kotli, Kyarda which are some of names of duns.

The three major features of the Shiwaliks

  • These ranges are made up of unconsolidated sediments transported by rivers from the major Himalayan mountains further north.
  • They range in length from 10 to 50 kilometers and in altitude from 900 to 1100 meters.
  • These are layered with the thick gravel and alluvium. The longitudinal valley which was lying between lesser Himalayas and also the Shiwaliks are called as Duns, such as Kotah, Patli Kothri, Chumbi, Kyarda, etc.

 Sample Questions 

Question 1: What do you mean by duns?

Answer: 

When rivers were able to carve their routes through lakes filled with conglomerate deposits, the lakes were drained away, producing plains known as ‘duns’ or ‘doons’ in the west and ‘duras’ in the east.

Question 2: How we call the Himalayas according to their altitudes?

Answer:

In the south, we call them the Shiwaliks, and in the north, it is called the Greater Himalayas. when it runs nearly parallel to both ranges. It is often called the Himachal or Lower Himalaya.

Question 3: How is southern slopes of the shiwalik arranged?

Answer:

The southern slopes of the Shiwalik mountain in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are densely forested. Cho’s, or seasonal streams, cut deep into the highlands.

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