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The Karakoram, or Karakorum
Karakorum
is a large mountain range spanning the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, with the northwest extremity of the range extending to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Tajikistan. It is located in the regions of Gilgit–Baltistan
Gilgit–Baltistan
(Pakistan), Ladakh
Ladakh
(India), and southern Xinjiang
Xinjiang
(China), and reaches the Wakhan Corridor (Afghanistan). A part of the complex of ranges from the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
to the Himalayan Range,[1][2] it is one of the Greater Ranges of Asia. The Karakoram
Karakoram
is home to the four most closely located peaks over 8000m in height on earth:[3][4] K2, the second highest peak in the world at 8,611 m (28,251 ft), Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak
Broad Peak
and Gasherbrum II. The range is about 500 km (311 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. The Siachen Glacier
Glacier
at 76 kilometres (47 mi) and the Biafo Glacier
Glacier
at 63 kilometres (39 mi) rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions.[5] The Karakoram
Karakoram
is bounded on the east by the Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin
plateau, on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the river valleys of the Yarkand and Karakash rivers beyond which lay the Kunlun Mountains. At the northwest corner are the Pamir Mountains. The southern boundary of the Karakoram
Karakoram
is formed, west to east, by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok Rivers, which separate the range from the northwestern end of the Himalaya
Himalaya
range proper. these rivers flow northwest before making an abrupt turn southwestward towards the plains of Pakistan. Roughly in the middle of the Karakoram
Karakoram
range is the Karakoram
Karakoram
Pass, which was part of a historic trade route between Ladakh
Ladakh
and Yarkand but now inactive. The Tashkurghan National Nature Reserve and the Pamir Wetlands National Nature Reserve in the Karalorun and Pamir mountains have been nominated for inclusion in UNESCO
UNESCO
in 2010 by the National Commission of the People's Republic of China
China
for UNESCO
UNESCO
and has tentatively been added to the list.[6]

Contents

1 Name 2 Exploration 3 Geology and glaciers

3.1 The Karakoram
Karakoram
during the Ice Age

4 Highest peaks

4.1 K-numbers

5 Subranges 6 Passes 7 Cultural references 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 External links

Name[edit]

"Karakoram" is a Turkic word referencing the mountains' black gravel, as seen near Pakistan's Biafo Glacier.

Karakoram
Karakoram
is a Turkic term meaning black gravel. The name was first applied by local traders to the Karakoram
Karakoram
Pass.[7] Early European travellers, including William Moorcroft and George Hayward, started using the term for the range of mountains west of the pass, although they also used the term Muztagh (meaning, "Ice Mountain") for the range now known as Karakoram.[7][8] Later terminology was influenced by the Survey of India, whose surveyor Thomas Montgomerie in the 1850s gave the labels K1 to K6 (K for Karakoram) to six high mountains visible from his station at Mount Haramukh
Mount Haramukh
in Kashmir. Exploration[edit] Due to its altitude and ruggedness, the Karakoram
Karakoram
is much less inhabited than parts of the Himalayas
Himalayas
further east. European explorers first visited early in the 19th century, followed by British surveyors starting in 1856. The Muztagh Pass was crossed in 1887 by the expedition of Colonel Francis Younghusband[9] and the valleys above the Hunza River
Hunza River
were explored by General Sir George K. Cockerill
George K. Cockerill
in 1892. Explorations in the 1910s and 1920s established most of the geography of the region. The name Karakoram
Karakoram
was used in the early 20th century, for example by Kenneth Mason,[7] for the range now known as the Baltoro Muztagh. The term is now used to refer to the entire range from the Batura Muztagh above Hunza in the west to the Saser Muztagh
Saser Muztagh
in the bend of the Shyok River in the east. Floral surveys were carried out in the Shyok River
Shyok River
catchment and from Panamik to Turtuk village by Chandra Prakash Kala
Chandra Prakash Kala
during 1999 and 2000.[10][11] Geology and glaciers[edit]

Relief map of the Karakoram

The Karakoram
Karakoram
is in one of the world's most geologically active areas, at the plate boundary between the Indo-Australian plate and the Eurasian plate.[12] A significant part, 28-50% of the Karakoram
Karakoram
Range is glaciated, compared to the Himalaya
Himalaya
(8-12%) and Alps
Alps
(2.2%).[13] Mountain glaciers may serve as an indicator of climate change, advancing and receding with long-term changes in temperature and precipitation. The Karakoram
Karakoram
glaciers are slightly retreating,[14][15][16] unlike the Himalayas
Himalayas
where glaciers are losing mass at significantly higher rate, many Karakoram
Karakoram
glaciers are covered in a layer of rubble which insulates the ice from the warmth of the sun. Where there is no such insulation, the rate of retreat is high.[17] The Karakoram
Karakoram
during the Ice Age[edit] In the last ice age, a connected series of glaciers stretched from western Tibet
Tibet
to Nanga Parbat, and from the Tarim basin
Tarim basin
to the Gilgit District.[18][19][20] To the south, the Indus
Indus
glacier was the main valley glacier, which flowed 120 kilometres (75 mi) down from Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat
massif to 870 metres (2,850 ft) elevation.[18][21] In the north, the Karakoram
Karakoram
glaciers joined those from the Kunlun Mountains and flowed down to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in the Tarim basin.[20][22] While the current valley glaciers in the Karakoram
Karakoram
reach a maximum length of 76 kilometres (47 mi), several of the ice-age valley glacier branches and main valley glaciers, had lengths up to 700 kilometres (430 mi). During the Ice Age, the glacier snowline was about 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) lower than today.[20][21] Highest peaks[edit]

K2

The highest peaks of the Karakoram
Karakoram
are:

K2: 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) Gasherbrum I: 8,080 metres (26,510 ft) Broad Peak: 8,051 metres (26,414 ft) Gasherbrum II: 8,035 metres (26,362 ft) Gasherbrum III: 7,952 metres (26,089 ft) Gasherbrum IV: 7,925 metres (26,001 ft) Distaghil Sar: 7,885 metres (25,869 ft) Kunyang Chhish: 7,852 metres (25,761 ft) Masherbrum
Masherbrum
I: 7,821 metres (25,659 ft) Batura I: 7,795 metres (25,574 ft) Rakaposhi: 7,788 metres (25,551 ft) Batura II: 7,762 metres (25,466 ft) Kanjut Sar: 7,760 metres (25,460 ft) Saltoro Kangri: 7,742 metres (25,400 ft) Batura III: 7,729 metres (25,358 ft) Saser Kangri: 7,672 metres (25,171 ft) Chogolisa: 7,665 metres (25,148 ft) Passu Sar: 7,478 metres (24,534 ft) Malubiting: 7,458 metres (24,469 ft) Sia Kangri: 7,442 metres (24,416 ft) K12: 7,428 metres (24,370 ft) Skil Brum: 7,410 metres (24,310 ft) Haramosh Peak: 7,397 metres (24,268 ft) Ultar Peak: 7,388 metres (24,239 ft) Momhil Sar: 7,343 metres (24,091 ft) Baintha Brakk: 7,285 metres (23,901 ft) Baltistan Peak: 7,282 metres (23,891 ft) Muztagh Tower: 7,273 metres (23,862 ft) Diran: 7,266 metres (23,839 ft) Gasherbrum V: 7,147 metres (23,448 ft)

The majority of the highest peaks are in the Gilgit–Baltistan
Gilgit–Baltistan
region of Pakistan. Baltistan has more than 100 mountain peaks exceeding 6,100 metres (20,000 ft) height from sea level. K-numbers[edit]

View from the top of K2

K1: Masherbrum K2: an unnamed 8,611m peak at the head of the Godwin-Austen Glacier K3: Gasherbrum IV K3a: Gasherbrum III K4: Gasherbrum II K5: Gasherbrum I K6: Baltistan Peak K7: an unnamed 6,934m peak at the head of the Charakusa Valley K8: an unnamed 7,422m peak on the western flank of the Siachen Glacier K9: an unnamed 7,000m (approx) peak near Trango Towers K10: Saltoro Kangri
Saltoro Kangri
I K11: Saltoro Kangri
Saltoro Kangri
II K12: an unnamed 7,428m subsidiary peak of Saltoro Kangri K13: Dansam 6,666m peak south west of Saltoro Kangri K22: Saser Kangri
Saser Kangri
I K25: Pastan Kangri 6,523m peak south of the Saltoro group K35: Mamostong Kangri

Subranges[edit]

View of the moon over Karakoram
Karakoram
Range in Pakistan

The naming and division of the various subranges of the Karakoram
Karakoram
is not universally agreed upon. However, the following is a list of the most important subranges, following Jerzy Wala.[23] The ranges are listed roughly west to east.

Batura Muztagh Rakaposhi-Haramosh Mountains Spantik-Sosbun Mountains Hispar Muztagh South Ghujerab Mountains Panmah Muztagh Wesm Mountains Masherbrum
Masherbrum
Mountains Baltoro Muztagh Saltoro Mountains Siachen Muztagh Rimo Muztagh Saser Muztagh

Passes[edit]

Chinese and Pakistani border guards at Khunjerab Pass

From west to east

Kilik Pass Mintaka Pass Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerab Pass
(the highest paved international border crossing at 4,693 m (15,397 ft)) Shimshal
Shimshal
Pass Mustagh Pass Karakoram
Karakoram
Pass Sasser Pass

The Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerab Pass
is the only motorable pass across the range. The Shimshal
Shimshal
Pass (which does not cross an international border) is the only other pass still in regular use. Cultural references[edit] The Karakoram
Karakoram
mountain range has been referred to in a number of novels and movies. Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
refers to the Karakoram
Karakoram
mountain range in his novel Kim, which was first published in 1900. Marcel Ichac made a film titled Karakoram, chronicling a French expedition to the range in 1936. The film won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival of 1937. Greg Mortenson
Greg Mortenson
details the Karakoram, and specifically K2 and the Balti, extensively in his book Three Cups of Tea, about his quest to build schools for children in the region. In the Gatchaman
Gatchaman
TV series, the Karakoram
Karakoram
range houses Galactor's headquarters. K2 Kahani (The K2 Story) by Mustansar Hussain Tarar describes his experiences at K2 base camp.[24] See also[edit]

Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway List of mountain ranges
List of mountain ranges
of the world List of highest mountains
List of highest mountains
(a list of mountains above 7,200 m (23,600 ft)) Mount Imeon

Notes[edit]

^ Bessarabov, Georgy Dmitriyevich (7 February 2014). "Karakoram Range". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 3 May 2015.  ^ " Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
Himalayan Region". ICIMOD. Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ Voiland, Adam (2013). "The Eight-Thousanders". Nasa Earth Observatory. Retrieved 23 December 2016.  ^ BBC, Planet Earth, "Mountains", Part Three ^ Tajikistan's Fedchenko Glacier
Glacier
is 77 kilometres (48 mi) long. Baltoro and Batura Glaciers in the Karakoram
Karakoram
are 57 kilometres (35 mi) long, as is Bruggen or Pio XI Glacier
Glacier
in southern Chile. Measurements are from recent imagery, generally supplemented with Russian 1:200,000 scale topographic mapping as well as Jerzy Wala,Orographical Sketch Map: Karakoram: Sheets 1 & 2, Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, Zurich, 1990. ^ "Karakorum-Pamir". unesco. Retrieved 16 February 2013.  ^ a b c Mason, Kenneth (1928). Exploration of the Shaksgam Valley and Aghil ranges, 1926. pp. 72ff. ISBN 9788120617940.  ^ Close C, Burrard S, Younghusband F, et al. (1930). "Nomenclature in the Karakoram: Discussion". The Geographical Journal. Blackwell Publishing. 76 (2): 148–158. doi:10.2307/1783980. JSTOR 1783980.  ^ French, Patrick. (1994). Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer, pp. 53, 56-60. HarperCollinsPublishers, London. Reprint (1995): Flamingo. London. ISBN 0-00-637601-0. ^ Kala, Chandra Prakash (2005). "Indigenous Uses, Population Density, and Conservation of Threatened Medicinal Plants in Protected Areas of the Indian Himalayas". Conservation Biology. 19 (2): 368–378. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00602.x.  ^ Kala, Chandra Prakash (2005). "Health traditions of Buddhist community and role of amchis in trans-Himalayan region of India" (PDF). Current Science. 89 (8): 1331.  ^ Searle, Michael P., Geological evolution of the Karakoram
Karakoram
Ranges, Ital.J.Geosci, (Boll.Soc.Geo.It.), Vol. 130, No. 2 (2011), pp. 147-159, 5 figs. (DOI: 10.3301/IJG.2011.08) ^ Gansser (1975). Geology of the Himalayas. London: Interscience Publishers.  ^ Gallessich, Gail (2011). "Debris on certain Himalayan glaciers may prevent melting". sciencedaily.com. Retrieved January 30, 2011.  ^ Muhammad, Sher. "Changes in the ablation zones of glaciers in the western Himalaya
Himalaya
and the Karakoram
Karakoram
between 1972 and 2015". Remote Sensing of Environment.  ^ "Changes in the ablation zones of glaciers in the western Himalaya and the Karakoram
Karakoram
between 1972 and 2015". Remote Sensing of Environment. 187: 505–512. 2016-12-15. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2016.10.034. ISSN 0034-4257.  ^ Veettil, B.K. (2012). "A Remote sensing approach for monitoring debris-covered glaciers in the high altitude Karakoram
Karakoram
Himalayas". International Journal of Geomatics and Geosciences. 2 (3): 833–841.  ^ a b Kuhle, M. (1988). "The Pleistocene Glaciation of Tibet
Tibet
and the Onset of Ice Ages- An Autocycle Hypothesis. Tibet
Tibet
and High Asia. Results of the Sino-German Joint Expeditions (I)". GeoJournal. 17 (4): 581–596. doi:10.1007/BF00209444.  ^ Kuhle, M. (2006). "The Past Hunza Glacier
Glacier
in Connection with a Pleistocene Karakoram
Karakoram
Ice Stream Network during the Last Ice Age (Würm)". In Kreutzmann, H.; Saijid, A. Karakoram
Karakoram
in Transition. Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press. pp. 24–48.  ^ a b c Kuhle, M. (2011). "The High Glacial (Last Ice Age and Last Glacial Maximum) Ice Cover of High and Central Asia, with a Critical Review of Some Recent OSL and TCN Dates". In Ehlers, J.; Gibbard, P.L.; Hughes, P.D. Quaternary Glaciation - Extent and Chronology, A Closer Look. Amsterdam: Elsevier BV. pp. 943–965.  (glacier maps downloadable) ^ a b Kuhle, M. (2001). " Tibet
Tibet
and High Asia
Asia
(VI): Glaciogeomorphology and Prehistoric Glaciation in the Karakoram
Karakoram
and Himalaya". GeoJournal. 54 (1–4): 109–396. doi:10.1023/A:1021307330169.  ^ Kuhle, M. (1994). "Present and Pleistocene Glaciation on the North-Western Margin of Tibet
Tibet
between the Karakoram
Karakoram
Main Ridge and the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
Supporting the Evidence of a Pleistocene Inland Glaciation in Tibet. Tibet
Tibet
and High Asia. Results of the Sino-German and Russian-German Joint Expeditions (III)". GeoJournal. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer. 33 (2/3): 133–272. doi:10.1007/BF00812877.  ^ Jerzy Wala, Orographical Sketch Map of the Karakoram, Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, Zurich, 1990. ^ Tarar, Mustansar Hussain (1994). K2 kahani. Lahore: Sang-e-Meel (published in Urdu). p. 179. ISBN 9693505239. 

References[edit]

Curzon, George Nathaniel. 1896. The Pamirs and the Source of the Oxus. Royal Geographical Society, London. Reprint: Elibron Classics Series, Adamant Media Corporation. 2005. ISBN 1-4021-5983-8 (pbk); ISBN 1-4021-3090-2 (hbk). Kreutzmann, Hermann, Karakoram
Karakoram
in Transition: Culture, Development, and Ecology in the Hunza Valley, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-19-547210-3 Mortenson, Greg and Relin, David Oliver. 2008. Three Cups of Tea. Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN 978-0-14-103426-3 (pbk); Viking Books ISBN 978-0-670-03482-6 (hbk); Tantor Media ISBN 978-1-4001-5251-3 (MP3 CD). Kipling, Rudyard 2002. Kim (novel); ed. by Zohreh T. Sullivan. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 039396650X—This is the most extensive critical modern edition with footnotes, essays, maps, etc.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karakoram.

Blankonthemap The Northern Kashmir
Kashmir
Website Pakistan's Northern Areas dilemma Great Karakorams Karakorams.com : Travel and Trekking in the karakorams

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Doppa Festival Music Meshrep gathering Muqam

Cuisine

Dapanji Sangza Samsa Youtazi Pamirdin Xurpa Tohax Tunurkawab Chinese Islamic cuisine

Visitor attractions

Apak Khoja and Xiang Fei Tomb Flaming Mountains Jiaohe Ruins Gaochang Grand Bazaar, Ürümqi Id Kah Mosque Karakul Lake Kizil Caves Ruins of Niya

Xinjiang
Xinjiang
conflict

1989 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
unrest Baren Township riot 1992 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
bombings Ghulja incident 1992 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
bombings 1997 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
bus bombings Xinjiang
Xinjiang
raid 2008 Uyghur unrest 2008 Kashgar attack Shaoguan incident July 2009 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
riots September 2009 Xinjiang
Xinjiang
unrest 2010 Aksu bombing 2011 Hotan attack 2011 Kashgar attacks Pishan hostage crisis 2012 Yecheng attack Tianjin Airlines Flight 7554 April 2013 Bachu unrest June 2013 Shanshan riots 2013 Tiananmen Square attack 2014 Kunming attack 2014 China–Vietnam border shootout April 2014 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
attack May 2014 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
attack Assassination of Juma Tayir

People

Amursana Mingrui Jahangir Khoja Yaqub Beg Zuo Zongtang Yang Zengxin Jin Shuren Sheng Shicai Ehmetjan Qasim Wang Zhen Saifuddin Azizi Rebiya Kadeer Nur Bekri Li Zhi Wang Lequan Zhang Chunxian Ilham Tohti

Related

Uyghur people Migration to Xinjiang East Turkestan

Independence movement

World Uyghur Congress China–Kazakhstan relations China–Kyrgyzstan relations China– Pakistan
Pakistan
relations China–Turkey relations

Category Commons

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 247643

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