Amid the rising Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh is
dominated by mountains. The tallest peaks are Leo
Purgyal (6791 m) near Nako in Kinnaur; Kinnaur
Kailash (6050 m) overlooking eastern Kinnaur, and
Deo Tibba (6001 m) not far from Manali.
Himachal is made up of several culturally distinct
regions isolated by mountain ridges. The only links
to some regions are high mountain passes, closed by
snow in winter such as Rohtang La (4551 m) to Spiti,
and Baralacha La (4950 m) for the road to Leh. In
Tibetan, 'La' means pass.
The Lahaul Valley is formed by the north-westerly
flowing Chandra River, eventually stretching into
kashmir. Near Tibet the Spiti river flows east and
south Spiti before joining the mighty Sutlej River
in Kinnaur which drains into Punjab. The Beas river
drains the kullu valley and stretches from Manali to
Mandi, its water joined by those of the Parvati
before pivoting west.
In the west of the state is the peaceful Kangra
Valley, separated by the snow-capped Dhauladhar
range. The Pir Panjal range separates the Chamba
Valley from the remote Pattern Valley (upper Chenab
River valley) in the far north.
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