The Shyok and Nubra Valleys are approached over the Ladakh Range via Chang La and Khardung La passes. The Shyok in turn joins the 3000 kilometre-long Indus River which flows through Pakistan. 'the river of death') a tributary of the Indus River that flows through northern Ladakh and enters Gilgit–Baltistan, spanning some 550 km (340 mi). The crest of the Saltoro Ridge's altitudes range from 5,450 to 7,720 m (17,880 to 25,330 feet). Siachen glacier is a source to the Nubra River which later joins the Shyok River. Long known as the world’s highest battleground, the glacier could enjoy a different status. [4][42][43][44][45] According to the Indian stance, the line of separation should continue roughly northwards along the Saltoro Range, to the west of the Siachen glacier beyond NJ9842;[46] international boundary lines that follow mountain ranges often do so by following the watershed drainage divide[40] such as that of the Saltoro Range. In the previous year, the President of India, Abdul Kalam became the first head of state to visit the area. The Saltoro Ridge originates in the north from the Sia Kangri peak on the China border in the Karakoram range. The Siachen Brigade is headquartered at Partapur; on the Pakistani side, the Brigade HQ is at Khapalu. "Chun" refers to any object found in abundance. President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari also visited a area near the Siachen Glacier called Gayari Sector during 2012 with Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The first group included cadets from Chail Military School, National Defence Academy, National Cadet Corps, Indian Military Academy, Rashtriya Indian Military College and family members of armed forces officers. [51] The Indian army is said to have planned a "Green Siachen, Clean Siachen" campaign to airlift the garbage from the glacier, and to use biodigestors for biodegradable waste in the absence of oxygen and freezing temperatures. Image of the Day Mountaineers who visited the area while on climbing expeditions witnessed large amount of garbage, empty ammunition shells, parachutes etc. Sometimes described as a white snake, the Siachen Glacier is more than 70 kilometers long. NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the University of Maryland’s Global Land Cover Facility. The average winter snowfall is more than 1000 cm (35 ft) and temperatures can dip to −50 °C (−58 °F). The Siachen glacier is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan and the Indian Army had gained control of it in 1984. It is also called the Muztagh river. The expeditions are also meant to show to the international audience that Indian troops hold "almost all dominating heights" on the key Saltoro Ridge and to show that Pakistani troops are nowhere near the Siachen Glacier. Located in Yukon Territory, Canada, the 21,980-km² (8 490-mile²) Kluane National Park and Reserve is … [58] Italian ecologist Giuliano Tallone terming the ecological life at serious risk, proposed setting up of Siachen Peace Park at the conference. Together with some 18,000 other glaciers, it forms the heart of the Indus River Basin. Both countries maintain a permanent military presence in the region at a height of over 6,000 m (20,000 ft). [68] Ignoring protests from Pakistan, India maintains that it does not need anyone's approval to send trekkers to Siachen, in what it says is essentially its own territory. The major passes on this ridge are, from north to south, Sia La at 5,589 m (18,336 ft), Bilafond La at 5,450 m (17,880 ft), and Gyong La at 5,689 m (18,665 ft). Both India and Pakistan had their claims on the glacier. Snow and Ice. “Chun” refers to any object found in abundance. However, after the Pakistani incursions during the Kargil War in 1999, India abandoned plans to withdraw from Siachen without official recognition of the current line of control by Pakistan, wary of further Pakistani incursions if they vacate the Siachen Glacier posts without such recognition. [27][28] The region is also extremely remote, with limited road connectivity. [69] In addition, the Indian Army's Army Mountaineering Institute (AMI) functions out of the region. Issue of Wuller Lake dam on the River Jehlum was contested by Pakistan, Kargil conflict of 1999, Attack on Indian Parliament on 13 December, 2001 and so on. Image of the Day The Indus is used for drinking and irrigation. [15][16] Indian troops under Operation Meghdoot pre-empted Pakistan's Operation Ababeel by just one day to occupy most of the dominating heights on Saltoro Ridge to the west of Siachen Glacier. Siachen Glacier With a vast snowfield in the center, sides strewn with rocks and boulders and a length of about 72-km, Siachen is known as the largest glacier in the world outside the Polar Regions. [73] The area to the east and west of the Siachen region have already been declared national parks: the Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary in India and the Central Karakoram National Park in Pakistan. Land [74], Sandia National Laboratories organised conferences where military experts and environmentalists from both India and Pakistan and also from other countries were invited to present joint papers. The Siachen Glacier, the world’s largest alpine icefield, is leaking the refuse of war into a water system used by more than 300 million people. [56][57] As of 2007, the temperature rise at Siachen was estimated at 0.2-degree Celsius annually, causing melting, avalanches, and crevasses in the glacier. At much lower altitudes, the glacier’s impact is benign: it is the source of the Nubra River, a tributary of the Indus River flowing into Pakistan and the Arabian Sea. Glaciers can merge together like rivers, and that is the case here. Blizzards can last for weeks, temperatures can drop to -55 degrees Celsius (-67 degrees Fahrenheit), and crevasses can swallow a person whole. It is rented on the north-bound… [20][21] Between January 2012 and July 2015, 33 Indian soldiers lost their lives due to adverse weather. The glacier’s central region is covered with snow, and that snow and the rest of the glacier’s icy surface appear white. [19] Pakistan lost 353 soldiers in various operations recorded between 2003 and 2010 near Siachen, including 140 Pakistani personnel killed in 2012 Gayari Sector avalanche. One of the four villages of Baltistan region in India, Turtuk, the gateway to Siachen Glacier, lies on the banks of Shyok River in Nubra, Ladakh. The glacier remains militarised and India has dozens of battalions that have extensive experience in holding and maintaining high altitude posts, even through the harsh winter season. The Shyok in turn joins the 3000 kilometre-long Indus River which flows through Pakistan. At an altitude of roughly 5,400 meters (17,700 feet), the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir is a forbidding place. The Nubra river emerges from the southernmost tip of Siachen glacier. Snow and Ice. Siachen, which figures among the world’s largest mountain glaciers, is on the Line of Control (LoC), which marked the ceasefire line after the 1947-48 war between the two countries in their first war. The glacier's melting waters are the main source of the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh, which drains into the Shyok River. Flight Center. It means the place of roses – Sia (rose), Chen (place of). [3][4] At 76 km (47 mi) long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world's non-polar areas. Siachen’s first strategic importance is that its frozen icy waste melts into the River Nubra, which drains the Nubra Valley and provides huge resources of water to Pakistan; the River Nubra flows into the River Shyok which in turn flows to River Indus in PoK. Siachen glacier is a source to Nubra river which later joins Shyok river. [48][52] In an eleven-year period, the glacier had receded nearly 800 meters,[53] and in seventeen years about 1700 meters. Siachen Glacier was formally known as the SaicherGharni. [31][32] According to the present ground positions, relatively stable for over a decade, India maintains control over all of the 76 kilometres (47 mi) long Siachen Glacier and all of its tributary glaciers, as well as all the main passes and heights of the Saltoro Ridge[33] immediately west of the glacier, including Sia La, Bilafond La, Gyong La, Yarma La (6,100m), and Chulung La (5,800m). The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in Himalayas near the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan. The glacier emanates near the Indra Koli Pass, on the Pak China border, 37 nautical miles southeast of K2. Siachen Glacier will be the main tourist attraction in Ladakh very soon as the Government of India has announced to allow tourist movement till Siachen base up to Kumar Post (Kumar Camp). The glacier's melting waters are the main source of the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh, which drains into the Shyok River. [17][18] However, more soldiers have died from the harsh weather conditions in the region than from combat. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the area, during which he called for a peaceful resolution of the problem. [67] Both of them showed their commitment to resolve the Siachen conflict as early as possible. The ultimate mountain faceoff has been on at the Siachen glacier since India decided to set up positions at impossible heights in excess of 20,000 feet since 1984. Thus the name Siachen refers to a land with an abundance of roses. The glacier is claimed by both India and Pakistan, with a large deployment by both sides. T he name Siachen Glacier conjures up the image of a flowing river of ice, starting around 12,000 feet above sea level and going up to 24,000 feet and above. [34] Pakistan controls the glacial valleys immediately west of the Saltoro Ridge. Such is … The naming of the glacier itself, or at least its currency, is attributed to Tom Longstaff. Kent L. Biringer, a researcher at Cooperative Monitoring Center of Sandia Labs suggested setting up Siachen Science Center, a high-altitude research centre where scientists and researchers from both the countries can carry out research activities[71] related to glaciology, geology, atmospheric sciences and other related fields. In 2012, Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army General Bikram Singh said that the Indian Army should stay in the region for strategic advantages, and because a "lot of blood has been shed" by Indian armed personnel for Siachen. [72] The region was nominated for inclusion in the United Nations' World Heritage List as a part of the Karakoram range, but was deferred by the World Heritage Committee. At an altitude far too high to support a forest, the bare mountainous surfaces appear in varying shades of beige. In the scene, snow and ice cover most of the jagged peaks of the Himalaya Mountains. [37] In February 2016, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar stated in Parliament that India will not vacate Siachen as there is trust deficit with Pakistan and also said that 915 people have lost their lives in Siachen since Operation Meghdoot in 1984. Can India clean it up, or is it already too late? Land [22] In December 2015, Indian Union Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha that a total of 869 Army personnel have lost their lives on the Siachen glacier due to climatic conditions and environmental and other factors till date since the Army launched Operation Meghdoot in 1984. At an altitude of roughly 5,400 meters (17,700 feet), the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir is a forbidding place. [60] Almost forty percent (40%) of the waste left at the glacier is of plastic and metal composition, including toxins such as cobalt, cadmium and chromium that eventually affect the water of the Shyok River (which ultimately enters the Indus River near Skardu.) Prior to 1984, neither country had any military forces in this area. One sunny morning, two autumns ago, in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas, the raging waters of the Siachen glacier were a frothy white, snaking through the valley with a deafening roar. [citation needed], Dumping of non-biodegradable waste in large quantities and the use of arms and ammunition have considerably affected the ecosystem of the region. The total areal extent of Siachen Glacier did not change significantly between 1980 and 2014; however the exposed-ice area decreased during that period. For the military conflict over this area, see, Location of the Siachen Glacier within the greater, From map: "THE DELINEATION OF INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARIES ON THIS MAP MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED AUTHORITATIVE", From map: "THE DELINEATION OF INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARIES MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED AUTHORITATIVE", Siachen Glacier is 76 km (47 mi) long; Tajikistan's, as is done when determining river lengths, second-longest in the world's non-polar areas, Defence Research and Development Organisation, International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, International Union for Conservation of Nature, "The Himalayas War at the Top of the World", "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Opinions", "Siachen dispute: India and Pakistan's glacial fight", "India gained control over Siachen in 1984", "In landmark move, PM Imran unveils 'new political map' of Pakistan", "Life & death in world's highest combat zone", "Siachen deaths harden resolve to hold glacier: Army chief", "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions", "Siachen height provides military depth India can't afford to lose | India News", "Story of Saltoro – From Ababeel to Meghdoot", "Avalanche buries Pakistan base; 117 soldiers feared dead", "Bleeding in Siachen: Pakistan losing 30 soldiers a year on highest battlefield", "Rescue operations at Gayari Sector after Pakistan avalanche, Photo Gallery", "33 Indian soldiers killed in Siachen since 2012: govt", "In Siachen, 869 Army men died battling the elements", "Kashmir's Siachen glacier a frigid outpost in India-Pakistan conflict", "Demilitarization of the Siachen Conflict Zone: Concepts for Implementation and Monitoring", "India must continue to hold on to Siachen: Bikram Singh, Army Chief General", "Army should stay put in Siachen, says General Bikram Singh", "846 Indian soldiers have died in Siachen since 1984", "Won't vacate Siachen, we can't trust Pakistan, says Manohar Parrikar | India News", "Here's how ISRO's space technology can save lives of soldiers at Siachen", "Siachen: While the battle continues to rage, no settlement is in sight", "Siachen glacier: Indian troops repulse major Pakistani offensive", "Army opposes Pakistan's demand for troop withdrawal from Siachen Glacier – Indian Express", "UN Map showing CFL as per Karachi Agreement – UN document number S/1430/Add.2", "Why India cannot afford to give up Siachen", "Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry for Glacier Movement Studies", "Exchange Siachen confrontation for peace", "Military activity leads to melting of Siachen glaciers", "Environmental peacemaking: Ending conflict between India and Pakistan on the Siachen Glacier through the creation of a transboundary peace park", "Siachen tragedy – day 5: Bad weather dogs avalanche search efforts", "16 Things You Should Know About India's Soldiers Defending Siachen", "Pakistan wants resolution of Siachen issue: Kayani", India hits back at Pak over Siachen issue, "Out of the box ideas for glacier: Siachen could become bio reserve or peace park", "Sites deferred by the Committee which may merit re-nomination", "US expert at Sandia wants Siachen converted into Science Centre", TIME Asia's cover story on Siachen Glacier (July 11, 2005), Video about the Conflict in the Siachen area and its consequences, Outside magazine article about Siachen battleground, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh, Defence Institute of High Altitude Research, Eliezer Joldan Memorial College Leh, Ladakh, Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Siachen_Glacier&oldid=991612509, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, All Wikipedia articles written in Indian English, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2012, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 23:36. The Second sub-ridge from KK Ridge is the Saltoro, West of the Siachen Glacier/ Nubra River, on which the Indian Army units are deployed. The Siachen Glacier develops into the Nubra River, which is a tributary of Shyok. The glacier's melting waters are the main source of the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh, which drains into the Shyok River. The glacier's region is the highest battleground on Earth,[66] where Pakistan and India have fought intermittently since April 1984. The Siachen Glacier and adjacent regions—a part of the larger territorial dispute between India and Pakistan that has its origins in the 1949 Karachi Agreement—has been occupied by the Pakistani and Indian militaries since 1984. [dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T [/dropcap]he melt water of Saichen glacier is the main source of the Nubra river, which drains into the Shyok river. [64], The flora and fauna of the Siachen region are also affected by the huge military presence. In the early summer of 2011, the Medvezhiy Glacier in Tajikistan slid abruptly down its valley, creating a glacial lake. [58], The waste produced by the troops stationed there is dumped in the crevasses of the glacier. Because of the frequent fighting between the troops of India and Pakistan, Siachen Glacier is often referred to as the highest battlefield on earth. This glacier is situated on the lower inclines of the Karakoram extend in Gilgit . "Sia" in the Balti language refers to the rose family plant widely dispersed in the region. It almost forms a triangle between India, China, and some territory claimed by Pakistan. Lying inside a rock-strewn trough roughly 2 kilometers wide, the glacier is covered with snow in the middle. It is predicted that the glaciers of the Siachen region will be reduced to about one-fifth of their 2011 size by 2035. [3][14] Between 1984 and 1999, frequent skirmishes took place between India and Pakistan. The Shyok in turn joins the River Indus; thus, the Glacier is a major source for River Indus. The Shyok River (lit. [70] In September 2003, the governments of India and Pakistan were urged by the participants of 5th World Parks Congress held at Durban, to establish a peace park in the Siachen region to restore the natural biological system and protect species whose lives are at risk. Image of the Day Floods Pakistan has also lost hundreds of soldiers for the same reason. [6][7][8][9] Pakistan maintains a territorial claim over the Siachen Glacier[10] and controls the region west of Saltoro Ridge, lying west of the glacier,[11] with Pakistani posts located 3,000 ft below more than 100 Indian posts on the ridge.[12][13]. The Siachen Glacier is a glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas at about 35°25′16″N 77°06′34″E / 35.421226°N 77.109540°E / 35.421226; 77.109540, just northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. A tributary of the Indus River, it originates from the Rimo Glacier, one of the tongues of Siachen Glacier. [5] It falls from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its head at Indira Col on the China border down to 3,620 m (11,875 ft) at its terminus. The glacier as such lies in a huge trough of more than 2 Km width with boulders and rocks on its two sides. Sometimes described as a white snake, the Siachen Glacier is more than 70 kilometers long. It is 72 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide. [35][36] According to TIME magazine, India gained over 1,000 square miles (3,000 km2) in territory because of its 1980s military operations in Siachen. The Shyok then joins the 3,000 km-long Indus river which flows through Pakistan. The glacier's melting waters are the main source of the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh, which drains into the Shyok River. [24][25][26], Aside from the Indian and Pakistani military presence, the glacier region is unpopulated. [51] The study of satellite images of the glacier showed that the glacier is retreating at a rate of about 110 meters a year and that the glacier size has decreased by almost 35 percent. On the Siachen glacier, avalanches and the extreme cold have killed and maimed many more soldiers than active fighting has. [61][62] Research is being done by scientists of The Energy and Resources Institute, to find ways for successfully disposing the garbage generated at the glacier using scientific means. Siachen glacier is one of the lovely glaciers of Karakoram range. Siachen Glacier is the second longest glacier outside of the polar regions and largest in the Himalayas-Karakoram region. Which continent has largest non polar ice caps? But beside these, both countries want to settle the Siachen … Better connectivity in Ladakh would certainly bring tourists in large numbers.” The entire Siachen Glacier, with all major passes, has been under the administration of India (currently as part of the union territory of Ladakh, located in the Kashmir region) since 1984. [38] As per official records, only 220 Indian soldiers have been killed by enemy bullets since 1984 in Siachen area. The Siachen Glacier lies immediately south of the great drainage divide that separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram sometimes called the "Third Pole". [63] Some scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation who went on an expedition to Antarctica are also working to produce a bacterium that can thrive in extreme weather conditions and can be helpful in decomposing the biodegradable waste naturally. Thus the name Siachen refers to a land with an abundance of roses. [54] In the twenty-nine-year period 1929–1958, well before the military occupation, the glacial retreat was recorded to be about 914 meters. [29][30] The Indian Army has developed various means to reach the Siachen region, including the Manali-Leh-Khardung La-Siachen route. Siachen Glacier can easily be approached via Skardu in Ladakh. Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the entire Siachen region. [3] U.S. and Pakistani maps in the 1970s and 1980s consistently showed a dotted line from NJ9842 (the northernmost demarcated point of the India-Pakistan cease-fire line, also known as the Line of Control) to the Karakoram Pass, which India believed to be a cartographic error and in violation of the Shimla Agreement. The Shyok in turn joins the 3000 kilometer-long Indus River which flows through Pakistan. It has a number of fast-flowing surface streams and at least 12 medial moraines. [59] About 1000 kilograms of waste is produced and dumped in glacial crevasses daily by the Indian forces. Both India and Pakistan have wished to disengage from the costly military outposts. Snow and Ice. To support the troops, glacial ice has been cut and melted with chemicals. NASA Goddard Space dumped on the glacier, that neither decomposes nor can be burned because of the extreme climatic conditions. Landsat 7 took this picture on May 18, 2001. [71] After a proposal of a transboundary Peace Park was floated, the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) organised a conference at Geneva and invited Indian and Pakistani mountaineers (Mandip Singh Soin, Harish Kapadia, Nazir Sabir and Sher Khan). [61] The region is home to rare species including snow leopard, brown bear and ibex that are at risk because of the military presence.[63][65]. Siachen is very important for India. The Siachen base camp is situated at the snout of the glacier, on the bank of the river Nubra, at a height of 12,000 feet above sea level. The Shyok in turn joins the 3000 kilometre-long Indus River which flows through Pakistan. Biafo Glacier The Indian Army was recommending opening Siachen area for tourists for a long time and finally, the official announcement was made by the defence minister Rajnath Singh on October 21, 2019. The terminus of the glacier has experienced substantial downwasting (on average 30 m) over the period of 1999–2007, followed by a retreat of the transition between exposed and debris-covered ice by a distance of 1.3 km during the short span … The idea of declaring the Siachen region a "Peace Park" was presented by environmentalists and peace activists in part to preserve the ecosystem of the region badly affected by the military presence. Image of the Day The 1949 Karachi agreement only carefully delineated the line of separation to point NJ9842, after which, the agreement states that the line of separation would continue "thence north to the glaciers". Thus, the glacier is a major source of the Indus and feeds the largest irrigation system in the world. Siachen Glacier, one of the world’s longest mountain glaciers, lying in the Karakoram Range system of Kashmir near the India–Pakistan border, extending for 44 mi (70 km) from north-northwest to south-southeast. For half a century, it has been the one known Alaskan glacier to withstand the effects of climate change—until now. Since April 1984, as many as 869 Indian soldiers have been killed by avalanches, exposure to extreme cold and altitude sickness, according to official records. It is the source for the 50-mi-long Nubra River, a tributary of the Shyok, which is part of the Indus River system. The glaciers melting water is the main source of water for the Nubra River, which further falls into the Shyok River. At much lower altitudes, the glacier’s impact is benign: it is the source of the Nubra River, a tributary of the Indus River flowing into Pakistan and the Arabian Sea. Including all tributary glaciers, the Siachen Glacier system covers about 700 km2 (270 sq mi). Land Snow and Ice. The nearest civilian settlement is the village of Warshi, 10 miles downstream from the Indian base camp. After that present Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited this place. The beauty of the glacier can be savoured through a good pair of binoculars. [39] India has categorically stated that India will not pull its army from Siachen until the 110-km long AGPL is first authenticated, delineated and then demarcated.[40][41]. Singh added, “Ladakh has tremendous potential in tourism. Acquired in 2001 and 2010, these natural-color images show substantial retreat in the Jakobshavn Glacier. The Siachen is some 76km long and covers some 700 square kilometres. Since September 2007, India has opened up limited mountaineering and trekking expeditions to the area. Another view of it. India and Pakistan fought for control of this glacier starting in the 1980s. Thus, the glacier is a major source of the Indus[48] and feeds the largest irrigation system in the world. The glacier is known for the extreme hardships that the Indian Army jawan endures while defending the nation’s borders. On the Indian side, roads go only as far as the military base camp at Dzingrulma at 35°09′59″N 77°12′58″E / 35.1663°N 77.2162°E / 35.1663; 77.2162, 72 km from the head of the glacier. [50], Preliminary findings of a survey by Pakistan Meteorological Department in 2007 revealed that the Siachen glacier has been retreating for the past 30 years and is melting at an alarming rate.
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