Glaciers in India: Check List of Glaciers

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jan 6, 2022, 8:28

A glacier is a body of dense ice that moves under its own weight. Glaciers are formed due to the accumulation of snow that compresses into a thickened large mass of ice over many years. India is home to a large number of glaciers. As per a study conducted by the Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India has 16,627 glaciers. The Himalayan region, in particular, has some of the prominent glaciers in the world. Even the highest glacier in India is located in this region.

Glaciers form only on land and not on water bodies. Most glaciers in India map are scattered across Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and the Union Territory of Ladakh. A few glaciers are also present in Arunachal Pradesh. Some of these glaciers can be as small as football fields, while others can extend for hundreds of kilometres.

Largest Glacier in India

The Siachen Glacier is the longest glacier in India in the Himalayas-Karakoram region. It is also the second-largest glacier outside the polar regions on earth. This glacier is 76 km long. Here is a list of some of the glaciers in India UPSC relevant.

List of Glaciers in India

Sr. No.

Glacier Name

Length

Location

1

Siachen Glacier

76 km

Ladakh

2

Gangotri Glacier

30 km

Uttarakhand

3

Bara Shigri Glacier

27.7 km

Himachal Pradesh

4

Zemu Glacier

26 km

Sikkim

5

Drang-Drung Glacier

23 km

Ladakh

6

Milam Glacier

16 km

Uttarakhand

7

Shafat Glacier/ Parkachik Glacier

14 km

Ladakh

8

Pindari Glacier

9 km

Uttarakhand

9

Chhota Shigri Glacier

9 km

Himachal Pradesh

10

Machoi Glacier

9 km

Ladakh

 Notable Glaciers in India Map

  • Siachen Glacier: It is the longest glacier in India, found in the Karakoram range in the Himalayas.
  • Gangotri Glacier: This glacier is among the major sources of the Ganges. It is also one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas.
  • Bara Shigri Glacier: This glacier feeds the Chandra River in Lahaul and Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Zemu Glacier: It is the largest glacier in the Eastern Himalaya and is located at the base of Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.
  • Drang-Drung Glacier: This mountain glacier is also known as Durung Drung Glacier. It is located in the Kargil district of Ladakh.
  • Milam Glacier: It is a major glacier of the Kumaon Himalaya. This glacier serves as a popular trekking destination.
  • Shafat Glacier: This glacier is also known as Parkachik Glacier. The glacier gives rise to the two mountain peaks of Nun and Kun.
  • Pindari Glacier: Found in the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas, this glacier gives rise to the Pindar River.
  • Chhota Shigri Glacier: This glacier is located in the Western Himalayas. It feeds the Chandra River.
  • Machoi Glacier: It is the source of the Sind River and the Dras River. It is located in the northeastern Himalayan Range.

The glaciers act as indicators of global warming and climate change. The Himalayan glaciers in India also serve as important freshwater sources for the water reservoirs and rivers in the northern part of the country. That is why it is important to monitor the glaciers.

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FAQs about Glaciers in India

  • What is the largest glacier in India?

Ans: The Siachen Glacier is the largest glacier in India.

  • Can glaciers form on water bodies?

Ans: No, glaciers can not form on water bodies. They can form only on land.

  • Name some glaciers located in Arunachal Pradesh.

Ans: A few important glaciers from Arunachal Pradesh are Bichom Glacier, Kangto Glacier, and Mazgol Glacier.

  • Which glacier is the source of the Teesta River?

Ans: Zemu Glacier in the Eastern Himalayas is the source of the Teesta River.