Valleys in Himachal Pradesh
A valley is a low area between hills or mountains typically with a river running through it. In geology, a valley or dale is a depression that is longer than it is wide. The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys. Himachal is endowed with many magnificent valleys. The most prominent valleys are as mentioned below:
Chamba Valley or Ravi Valley (District Chamba)
- This valley is also known as Ravi valley and the valley of Honey and Milk.
- It is famous for its medicinal herbs and varieties of flowers.
- Important settlements in this valley are Chamba, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, and Bharmaur.
- The people, who inhabit this valley, are called Chambial.
- Adjoining to the Chamba valley is the Pangi valley (also in Chamba), extending along the Chenab river as it cuts through the Pir Panjal range and off-shoots of the main Himalayan ranges.
Monkey Valley (District Chamba)
- This valley is in the Bharmaur area of district Chamba.
- In the past pilgrims used to cross this valley to reach Manimahesh Kailash.
- It was so tough to cross that people used to crawl like a monkey in this stretch and hence came to be known as ‘Bandar Ghati or Monkey valley’.
Chandra Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): This valley is also known as Rangoli which is formed by river Chandra. Khoksar is the first village in this valley.
Bhaga Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): This valley is also known as Gara or Punam which is formed by river Bhaga.
Chandra-Bhaga Valley or Pattan Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): This valley is also called as Orchards and Granary of Lahaul-Spiti formed by the union of Chandra and Bhaga River.
Lahaul Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): It lies to the north of the Pir Panjal and main Himalayan ranges. It is made up of rivers Chandra and Bhaga till Tandi and Chenab from Tandi to Udaipur.
Spiti Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): This valley is formed by river Spiti and is situated between the main Himalayan and Zaskar ranges. Kaza town is situated in this valley. Rudyard Kipling in his novel “Kim” described Spiti as “a world within a world” and a “place where the god lives”.
Lingti Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): It is situated in eastern Spiti and is a living geological museum and is the longest (60km) and largest side valley of Spiti. It is famous for shale and fossils in a geological history dating back 250 million years.
Mulang Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): This valley lies to the east of Baralacha Pass between the Chandra and Spiti rivers drainage basins.
Pin Valley (District Lahaul-Spiti): This valley is formed by river Pin, a tributary of river Spiti. It has jagged rocks and fossil-rich gravel bars make it a unique geological lab. The highest and lowest points in this valley are Pin Parvati Jot (5490 mts) and Mud Pharka (3355 mts) respectively.
Baspa or Sangla Valley (District Kinnaur): This is the most beautiful and romantic valley formed by river Baspa. ‘Chitkul’ (3437 mts) is the highest village in this valley. Chung Shakhago Pass lies at the head of this valley. Prominent vegetation in the upper parts of this valley is deodars, blue pines, firs and silver birch. Kamru and Sangla villages are situated on the right bank of river Baspa.
Other Valleys in Kinnaur District: Hangrang Valley, Rupa Valley, Mulgan or Mulgaon Valley.
Balh Valley or Sundernagar Valley (District Mandi)
- It is open broad dun type valley between an offshoot of the Shimla ridge in the North and Shivalik hills in the south.
- It stretches from Gutkar (North) to Sundernagar (south) and Baggi (east) to Galma (west).
- Suketi Khad separates this valley roughly into two parts.
- Indo-German agriculture project was started in this valley in November 1962 to promote mixed farming, dairying, horticulture, animal husbandry, manuring, and soil conservation.
Other Valleys in Mandi District: Chauntra valley (Jogindernagar), Chuhar valley, and Sandhol valley.
Kullu Valley (District Kullu)
- This valley is called as ‘Valley of the Gods’ formed by river Beas.
- This is a broad open valley sandwiched between the Pir Panjal, lowers Himalaya and great Himalayan ranges
- It is 75 km long and two to four km wide and ends near Rohtang Pass.
- This valley is believed to be a ‘vast lake’ once.
- Main attractions of this valley are Naggar Castle, Nehru Kund, Roerich Art Gallery, Hidimba Temple, Manu Temple, and the hot water springs.
Other Valleys in Kullu District: Seraj valley, and Parvati valley.
Pabbar Valley or Rohru Valley (District Shimla)
- This valley is drained by river Pabbar which originates from Chandra Nahan Lake.
- The valley stretches from Hatkoti to Tikri at the base of Chanshal.
- Andhra Khad, Pejore, and Shikri streams pass through this valley.
- Pabbar River is famous for Trout Fish, which was introduced in the river by Glover a British Chief Conservator of Forests in 1938-39.
Kiardadun or Paonta Valley (District Sirmaur)
- This valley is located in the Markanda and Dharthi ranges.
- River Yamuna separates it from Dehradun.
- A very large part (mostly plain) of this valley lies in Cis–Giri
- This valley is watered by Giri and Bata
- Till a century back this valley was a dense forest inhabited by wild animals. It was only during the time of Raja Shamsher Prakash that people settled in it.
- Two famous religious places in this valley are Sikh Gurudwara at Paonta Sahib and a Ram Temple.
Kunihar Valley (District Solan): This valley begins from Kuni Khad and extends up to Tukardia. Before the formation of Himachal as a state, the valley was a part of Kunihar State with its headquarters at Hat-Kot.
Other Valleys in Solan District: Dun Valley, and Saproon Valley (famous for cereals and seasonal vegetables).
Kangra Valley (District Kangra)
- This is a dun type valley located between Dhauladhar range in the north and Shivalik range in the south.
- It starts near Mandi and extends up to Shahpur near Pathankot.
- C. Barnes wrote about this valley; No scenery, in my opinion, presents such sublime and delightful repose.
- This valley was once the abode of the Ice Age man as has been evidenced by the discovery of several Paleolithic hand tools in the area.
- Important towns in this valley are Baijnath, Palampur, Dharamshala, Kangra, Nurpur, Shahpur et al.
Bara Banghal Valley (District Kangra): It lies between the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges adjoining to Kangra valley. River Ravi rises from the slopes of this valley.
Dami Valley (District Bilaspur): It is situated between Bandla and Bahadurpur ranges at an elevation of 2500 feet.
Swan Valley (District Una): It is also known as Jaswan dun valley formed by River Swan (River of Sorrow) ranges from seven to fourteen kilometers long.
Also Read : Lakes of Himachal Pradesh