Bara Shigri Glacier

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Bara Shigri is the largest glacier located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India, Bara-Sigri glacier which is the second longest glacier in Himalaya after Gangotri, both are around 30 km long. The glacier is located in the Chandra Valley of Lahaul. The glacier feeds the Chenab River.

The name comes from the Lahaul dilect, where Bara means big and Shigri means glacier.

According to Hugh Whistler's 1924 writing, "Shigri is applied par-excellence to one particular glacier that emerges from the mountains on the left bank of the Chenab. It is said to be several miles long, and the snout reaches right down to the river, lying athwart the customary road from Kullu to Spiti." Estimates differ as to the breadth of the glacier where it is crossed, as owing to its movement and roughness no two caravans cross it in exactly the same way, but it is not less than a mile wide. In 1836 this glacier dammed the Chenab River, causing the formation of a large lake, which eventually broke loose and carried devastation down the valley.

The Bara Shigri glacier attracted much attention for many years because of the valuable antimony deposits found there. The glacier was first surveyed in 1906 by H. Walker and E.H. Pascoe of the Geological Survey of India. In 1955, the Geological Survey of India sponsored an expedition to this glacier as part of the Indian programme for the International Geophysical Year 1956-57, when a number of Himalayan glaciers were examined and their snout position fixed.

The Bara Shigri glacier flows northwards and debouches into the Chenab River where its southerly course is deflected westwards, close to the Spiti border. The glacier's altitude is between 3,950 m (12,960 ft) and 4,570 m (14,990 ft), and its 11 km (6.8 mi) length has been recently[when?] surveyed and mapped. The glacier is so heavily covered with surface moraine that ice is not visible for long stretches except along the crevices and in the ablation areas. Across the Bara Shigri is another glacier known as Chhota Shigri. It is a comparatively smaller glacier and does not reach down to the bed of the Chenab, but it is steep, slippery, and difficult to cross.