Kashmir valley
Vale of Kashmir
Satellite imagery of the Kashmir Valley, showcasing the snow-capped peaks of the Pir Panjal Range (left in image; southwest in compass) and the Himalayas (right in image; northeast in compass) flanking it on either side
Kashmir Region November 2019.jpg
The Kashmir valley shown in the southwestern region of the larger Kashmir region
Length83 miles (134 km) Northwest-Southeast
Width20 miles (32 km)
Area15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi)
LocationSouth Asia
StateJammu and Kashmir

The Kashmir Valley, also known as the Vale of Kashmir, is an intermontane valley concentrated in the Kashmir Division of the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.[a] 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.[3]


The Kashmir Valley lies between latitude 33° and 35°N, and longitude 73° and 76°E.[4] The valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and covers 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area.[5] It is bounded by sub-ranges of the Western Himalayas: the Great Himalayas bound it in the northeast and separate it from the Tibetan plateau,[6] whereas the Pir Panjal Range in the Lesser Himalayas bounds it on the west and the south, and separates it from the Punjab Plain.[7] The valley has an average elevation of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level,[5] but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 10,000 feet (3,000 m).[8] The Jhelum River is the main river of the Valley. It originates at Verinag; its most important tributaries are the Lidder and Sind rivers. Unlike other areas of Kashmir region, the Kashmir valley is densely populated owing to the availability of a large expanse of fertile flat land.


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.[9] 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).

The Kashmir Valley enjoys a moderate climate but weather conditions are unpredictable. The record high temperature is 37.8°C[10] 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)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: HKO [11]


  1. ^ The territory is the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ (a) "Kashmir, region Indian subcontinent", Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannia, retrieved 15 August 2019 (subscription required) Quote: "Kashmir, region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent ... has been the subject of dispute between India and Pakistan since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. The northern and western portions are administered by Pakistan and comprise three areas: Azad Kashmir, Gilgit, and Baltistan, the last two being part of a territory called the Northern Areas. Administered by India are the southern and southeastern portions, which constitute the state of Jammu and Kashmir, but are slated to be split into two union territories. China became active in the eastern area of Kashmir in the 1950s and has controlled the northeastern part of Ladakh (the easternmost portion of the region) since 1962.";
    (b) "Kashmir", Encyclopedia Americana, Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006, p. 328, ISBN 978-0-7172-0139-6 C. E Bosworth, University of Manchester Quote: "KASHMIR, kash'mer, the northernmost region of the Indian subcontinent, administered partlv by India, partly by Pakistan, and partly by China. The region has been the subject of a bitter dispute between India and Pakistan since they became independent in 1947";
  2. ^ Osmańczyk, Edmund Jan (2003), Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements: G to M, Taylor & Francis, pp. 1191–, ISBN 978-0-415-93922-5 Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir: Territory in northwestern India, subject to a dispute between India and Pakistan. It has borders with Pakistan and China."
  3. ^ Vale of Kashmir, Encyclopedia Britannica, 11 March 2021, retrieved 12 April 2021
  4. ^ "TOURISM POTENTIAL IN ECOLOGICAL ZONES AND FUTURE PROSPECTS OF TOURISM IN KASHMIR VALLEY" (PDF). core.ac.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b Guruswamy, Mohan (28 September 2016). "Indus: The water flow can't be stopped". The Asian Age. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. ^ Andrei, Mihai (11 March 2019). "Why India and Pakistan keep fighting over Kashmir – the history of the Kashmir conflict". GME Science. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  7. ^ Wani, Rashid A. (2014), "Historical Temporal Trends of Climatic Variables Over Kashmir Valley and Discharge Response to Climate Variability in Upper Jhelum Catchment", in Singh, Mehtab; Singh, R. B.; Hassan, M. I. (eds.), Climate Change and Biodiversity: Proceedings of the IGU Rohtak Conference, Volume 1, Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences, Springer Japan, pp. 104–105, doi:10.1007/978-4-431-54838-6_8, ISBN 978-4-431-54837-9, The valley of Kashmir was formed by folding and faulting as the Himalayan mountain chain was thrust between the Indian subcontinent and the rest of Asia. The valley runs northwest to southeast along the strike of the mountain chain and is drained by the river Jhelum which cuts through the Pir Pinjal at the Baramullah gap. This structural basin is 135 km in length with a maximum width of 40 km and ranges in altitude from 5,200 to 6,000 ft above sea level. Its floor stands 1,600 m above sea level in the Jhelum flood plain. It covers an area of about 4,865 km square. The valley is accessible from the Punjab plain through two famous passes; the Pir Panjal pass (3,494 m) and Banihal pass (2,832 m).
  8. ^ Vrinda; J. Ramanan (21 December 2017). "Doorway of the gods: Himalaya crosses five countries". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  9. ^ Sharad Singh Negi (1986). Geo-botany of India. Periodical Expert Book Agency, 1986. p. 58–. ISBN 9788171360055.
  10. ^ KO (30 June 2022). "No Respite in Sight, Kashmir Swelters in Intense Heat Wave". Kashmir Observer. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  11. ^ "Climatological Information for Srinagar, India". Hong Kong Observatory. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.

Coordinates: 34°02′00″N 74°40′00″E / 34.0333°N 74.6667°E / 34.0333; 74.6667