Pakistan, located in the heart of the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges, showcases the beauty of these sheer mountains to visitors. Lush green forests, colorful meadows, and dry and sandy deserts—all of them have stories to reveal to those who are keen to explore them.
In this blog, we will get into the secrets of the magnificent and highest mountains in Pakistan, revealing their captivating stories, impressive statistics, and the thrill they offer to mountaineers and travelers alike.
Geography and Geology:
The geographic location of Pakistan
Pakistan, A sovereign state located at the crossroads of Asia and the Middle East is surrounded by the borders of China in the north, Kashmir in the northeast, India in the east, Afghanistan in the northwest, Iran in the southwest, and the warm waters of the Arabian Sea in the south. Pakistan is a state that is blessed with a wide range of landscapes, ranging from dry, sandy deserts to lush green mountains, forests, plateaus, highlands, lowlands, wetlands, and valleys. The presence of Pakistan in South Asia and its geo-strategic position with natural treasures and beauty have made it one of the best tourist spots.
Now that we know the geography of Pakistan, we will further get into detail about the geology of the highest mountains in Pakistan.
Geology of Mountain Ranges in Pakistan
According to geologists, Pakistan is present on two continental plates: the Indian and Eurasian plates. So, the highest mountains in Pakistan arise from the collision of these plates.
Before going into the details, we must explore the phenomenon that led to the formation of such marvelous mountainous structures. So, according to earth scientists, whenever two continental plates of the same weight and thickness collide, neither one sinks under the other. Instead, they fold and crumple, forcing the rocks to form mountains.
In reference to Pakistan, in the Cenozoic Era, the Indian and Eurasian plates collided. Due to the similar weight and thickness of the plates, they fold up, giving rise to majestic mountains. The Karakorum Range is one of the youngest ranges and is still increasing in size because of the continuous folding of tectonic plates. This continuous folding is responsible for rock and ice avalanches from time to time. Geologists consider the Karakoram Range as one of the youngest ranges, which began forming 600 million years ago.
Now, we are well aware of the scientific and geological processes that led to the formation of the highest mountains in Pakistan. So, let’s dive into some more interesting information about the highest mountains in Pakistan.
Highest mountains in Pakistan
Pakistan is home to four famous ranges in the world.
- The Karakorum Range
- The Hindukush
- The Himalayan Range
- Sulaiman and Kirthar Range
Let’s move on to these ranges and their highest mountains in Pakistan one by one.
The Karakoram Range
It is one of the largest ranges in Pakistan and covers the border of China, Pakistan, and India. It holds the second-largest mountain peak in the world and the first-highest mountain in Pakistan.
So, in this section of the blog, we will cover theKarakoram Range’s highest mountains in Pakistan. These mountains include
- The Broad Peak
- The Hunza peak
K2: the second-highest mountain in Pakistan
Its first surveyor, Col. Austin Godwin, named K2, also known as Mount Austin Godwin.. It is the second-highest mountain in the world and the first-highest mountain in Pakistan. Its average height is about 8,611 meters above sea level.
K2, known as a savage mountain due to its difficult ascent, holds the distinction of being the highest mountain in Pakistan.. Every one out of four climbers who reach the summit dies on the way.
The extreme weather conditions, glaciers, ice avalanches, and storms, along with a lower partial pressure of oxygen, make it difficult for the mountaineers to climb it.
The Broad Peak: A Triple-Headed Breithorn
The Broad Peak is the 12th highest peak in the world and is an eight-thousander peak with an average height of 8,047 meters above sea level. Its broad-width summit is the reason for its name.
Broad Peak earns the nickname “triple-headed Breithorn” due to the presence of three high-headed tree peaks, each approximately 4,165 meters long.
If we compare the deadliness of K2 and the Broad peak, the height of the peaks will suggest everything. The Broad Peak is comparatively easy and is the most popular summit destination for mountaineers. Climbers have successfully scaled it 255 times thus far, but it has also claimed 18 lives, resulting in a 7% fatality rate.
The Gilgit Baltistan region is home to Hunza Peak, which encircles a piece of land, giving rise to the formation of the valley known as Hunza Valley. People refer to it as “Heaven on Earth” due to the mesmerizing beauty of its meadows, Hunza River, and the majestic grayish-blue mountains.
The average height of the peak is 6,270 meters above sea level. Hunza is a region with the highest literacy rate of 95%, with an equal ratio of literate men and women. One more interesting fact about Hunza is that it has the highest life expectancy in the world, even though the area is devoid of basic health necessities. People from around the world thought that the highest life expectancy lay in the mineral-rich water of the streams that the people of Hunza use for routine life. But the secret lies in locally and organically grown food, fresh air, and walking across hilly terrain.
So, this is all about the Karakoram Range and its highest mountains in Pakistan. Now, we will get through the Himalayan Range.
The Himalayan Range
The Himalayan Range is home to the world’s highest mountain, known as Mount Everest. The Himalayan Range covers a small portion of Pakistan to the south and east of the river Indus.
The Himalayan Range was formed as a result of collisions between Indian and Asian plates. Now the question arises: why is there a difference in the topology of the Karakoram and Himalayan Ranges, although both are formed by similar kinds of collision events? The answer lies in the intensity of the collision and the speed with which plates were pushed upward. In the case of the Himalayan Ranges, plates were pushed slowly. Whereas in the Karakoram ranges, the plates were pushed up rapidly, resulting in dense topology.
Now, we have a general knowledge of the Himalayan Ranges. So, we will dive into the Karakoram Range’s highest mountains in Pakistan.
Nanga Parbat: The Killer Mountain
Nanga Parbat has three major names, with each name representing a special feature or topology. Its height is about 8,126 meters. It is the 9th highest peak in the world and the 2nd highest mountain in Pakistan.
Nanga Parbat is known as “the killer mountain” and “the king of the mountains” because of its deadliest topology. It is also known as the “naked mountain” because of the absence of trees and grayish-blue appearance.
Rocky and difficult access to the climax of Nanga Parbat makes it a difficult summit as compared to the easy and classic Himalayan summit.
That’s all about the Himalayan ranges. Now, we will delve into the details of the Sulaiman and Kirthar Ranges.
The Sulaiman and Kirthar Ranges
The Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges are the north-south extensions of the Hindukush Mountains. They lie to the east of the Iranian plateau and northeast of the Baluchistan plateau. The mountains found in these ranges are dry and brown, with herbaceous flora. These ranges separate Punjab, KPK, and Baluchistan.
As we have gone through the basic information about the Sulaiman Ranges, Now, we will explore some details about the Sulaiman Range’s highest mountain in Pakistan.
Takht-e-Sulaiman: The Mount Solomon
Takht-e-Sulaiman is located in the Frontier Region of Dera Ismail Khan. It has an average height of 3,487 meters above sea level. Ibn-e-Batuta named it Koh-e-Sulaiman, which translates to “mount of Solomon.” According to historical accounts, it is believed that Prophet Solomon once ascended the Sulaiman Mountain Range to observe the lands of South Asia.. However, as he gazed upon the region, darkness enveloped the area, leading him to abandon the mountain without venturing further into the unknown frontier. While there isn’t a specific mountain called the “Mountain of Sulaiman” in Pakistan, the entire range is referred to as the Sulaiman Mountain Range.
After going through three important mountain ranges in Pakistan, we are finally going to discuss the Hindukush ranges.
The Hindukush: Killer of Hindus
This mountain range extends from Afghanistan to northern Pakistan and Tajikistan. It received its name from the massive killing of Hindu slaves who were being taken to Afghanistan for sale. Hindukush is home to a number of the highest mountains in Pakistan, enriched with minerals like copper, iron, and coal.
After an overview of the Hindukush Mountains, let’s plunge into its highest mountains in Pakistan.
Tirich Mir: King of Shadow
It is the highest peak of the range, with an average height of 7,708 meters above sea level in Chitral. Its name traces back to the Wakhai language’s word, which means “king of shadow,” as it casts a long shadow over the Wakhan corridor.
Istro-Nal: The third-highest peak of Hindukush
Istro-Nal is the third-highest peak of the Hindukush range, with eleven massive peaks up to 7,000 meters high. Its average height is 7,304 meters above sea level.
This marks the end of the highest mountain in Pakistan; now we will give an insight into the inspirational stories of mountaineers.
An inspiration: Muhammad Ali Sadpara
Muhammad Ali Sadpara was a high-altitude mountaineer who sacrificed his life for the passion of climbing. He started his life journey as a porter and ended up as the national hero of Pakistan, climbing about eight of the highest peaks out of fourteen. During his final K2 summit, he and one of his companions got lost, and search teams recovered his body from the K2 bottleneck.. His story, along with that of many other climbers, inspire us to pursue our passions by taking small steps towards our destination. This is how nature motivates people to keep going by considering the example of such heroes.
Time to Plan Your Trip to Explore the Highest Mountains in Pakistan:
Exploring the mysteries of the highest mountains in Pakistan offers an extraordinary opportunity to witness the breathtaking beauty of nature. By carefully organizing, getting ready, and following safety protocols, mountaineers have the opportunity to fully embrace the beauty of these majestic mountains and make unforgettable memories for years to come.