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Description to topographic map set Hindu Kush

Topographic map set Hindu Kush has now a short reference article. In this article one will find information about mountain system Hindu Kush, its location and relief, main mountain ranges and highest peaks of Hindu Kush. Also one will get to know what rivers flow in Hindu Kush. Besides, one will get to know what landscape is characteristic for Hindu Kush, what trees and plants grow on slopes of the mountains and what animals live in the mountains Hindu Kush. There is a detailed description of climate in Hindu Kush as well.

The Hindu Kush is a mountain massif situated along the border between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. This massif is about 800 km long and from 50 to 350 km wide. The highest summit of the massif is Mount Tirich Mir in Pakistan, 7,690 m high. The principal mountain ranges are the Baba, the Paghman, and the Hindu Kush proper divided orographically into the western, the central and the eastern Hindu Kush, and the borderlines between them are the valleys of the rivers Surhab and Kowkcheh.

The highest peaks of Hindu Kush reach more than 7,000 m – Tirich Mir (7,699 m), Khoshak (7,492 m), Istor-o-Nal (7,403 m), Saraghrar I (7,338 m).

All rivers in the Hindu Kush area are mountain rivers, with strong flooding in the spring and in the summer caused by the melting of snow and glacier ice. In the north-east, the Hindu Kush is bounded by the Amu Darya river and the Panj river flowing before it, which leads to the Pamir. The eastern border of the Hindu Kush is marked by the Chitral River.

The landscapes of the Hindu Kush are very diverse, and the landscapes of the northern and southern slopes of the ridges lie within strongly different high-altitude climactic belts. The northern peaks of the Hindu Kush are covered in ethemeroid high herbage with wormwood within the lower belt, with some pistachio woodland. Bush mountain steppes or groups of mountain xerophytes with thin juniper underbushes are very common within the middle belt of the Hindu Kush. The upper belt is characterised by mountain dry steppes or Tibetan-type thinned desert vegetation. On the more humidified south-eastern slopes of the Hindu Kush, dry decidious woods with thickets of bushes are very common. In the Hindu Kush mountains, there are animals that live in Asian mountains (the snow leopard, the mountain wolf, the leopard, the wild ram, the snow griffon, the Tibetan snowcock and the mountain goose), and species typical of the Indohimalayan fauna (the Himalayan bear, the lynx, the marten and the wild boar).

The climate in the Hindu Kush is also diverse and has a number of distinct vertical belts ranging from the semidesert and steppe belts in the foothills and broad intermountain valleys to Tibetan-type cold deserts in the highlands. The northern and north-western slopes lie within the influence of the western air mass flow and they have an annual rainfall of 400-800 mm. The eastern regions of the Hindu Kush are the driest and the annual rainfall there is about 50 mm. The south-eastern part of the Hindu Kush (Nuristan) is the most humid area, which is often influenced by summer monsoon rains (up to 1,000 mm of rainfall annually); it lies within the semihumid subtropical zone. The high-altitude climate is particularly severe and leads to substantial glaciation (6,200 sq km).

Mapstor news 30-08-2008