The Kashmir Valley, also known as the Vale of Kashmir, is an intermontane valley in Kashmir; it is in the portion of the Kashmir region administered by India. The valley is bounded on the southwest by the Pir Panjal Range and on the northeast by the main Himalayas range. It is approximately 135 km (84 mi) long and 32 km (20 mi) wide, and drained by the Jhelum River.
|Vale of Kashmir|
|Length||83 miles (134 km) Northwest-Southeast|
|Width||20 miles (32 km)|
|Area||15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi)|
|Country||Region of Kashmir administered by India as the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir|
The Kashmir Valley lies between latitude 32° and 34°N, and longitude 74° and 75°E. The valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area. The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from the Tibetan plateau while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Punjab Plain. Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas. The valley is situated in the bosom of the western Himalayas at an average elevation of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level, but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The Jhelum River is the main river of the Valley. It rises at Verinag; its most important tributaries are the Lidder and Sind rivers.
The Kashmir Valley has a moderate climate, which is largely defined by its geographic location, with the towering Karakoram Range in the north, Pir Panjal Range in the south and west, and Zanskar Range in the east. It can be generally described as cool in the spring and autumn, mild in the summer and cold in the winter. As a large valley with significant differences in geo-location among various districts, the weather is often cooler in the hilly areas compared to the flat lower parts.
Summer is usually mild and fairly dry, but relative humidity is generally high and the nights are cool. Precipitation occurs throughout the year and no month is particularly dry. The hottest month is July (mean minimum temperature 16 °C, mean maximum temperature 32 °C) and the coldest are December–January (mean minimum temperature −15 °C, mean maximum temperature 0 °C).
Compared with other plain parts of India, the Kashmir Valley enjoys a more moderate climate but weather conditions are unpredictable. The record high temperature is 33 °C and the record low is −18 °C. On 5 and 6 January 2012, after years of relatively little snow, a wave of heavy snow and low temperatures (winter storm) shocked the valley covering it in a thick layer of snow and ice.
The Valley has seen an increase in relative humidity and annual precipitation in the last few years. This is most likely because of the commercial afforestation projects which also include expanding parks and green cover.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
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