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Bara Shigri Glacier
About Bara Shigri Glacier

Bara Shigri is the largest glacier which is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India, Bara-Sigri glacier is the second longest glacier in the world. The glacier is located in the Chandra Valley of Lahaul. The glacier feeds the Chenab River. The name comes from the Lahaul dialect, where Bara means big and Shigri means glacier. Bada Shigri glacier is more than 25 km. long and about 3 km. wide. It lies on the middle slopes of the main Himalayan range. It is also aided by many small tributary glaciers. It is surrounded by high mountains from three sides. It is said that this glacier formed Chandertal lake by causing a major havoc in Chandra valley in 1936. Bada Shigri glacier was occupied by all women mountaineers in 1956. It was further successfully trekked by Stephenson in 1956.

There are number of famous glaciers in Chandra valley in Lahaul. Some of them are Chhota Shigri (means Small Glacier ), Kulti, Ding Karmo, Bolunag, Shpting, Pacha, Tapn, Gyephang, Shamundri and Shili. Gyephang is the chief deity of Lahaul valley and the Gyephang glacier is named after him. It is full of snow all the year. It is considered as the Manimahesh of Lahaul. Bada Shingri Glacier connects Manali Bara Shigri Keylong. It is just 4 kms away from Batal and around 40 Kms from Rohatang Pass.

The Bara Shigri glacier attracted much attention for many years because of the precious 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 were fixed.

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 some 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 due 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, finally which broke loose and carried devastation down the valley.

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 elevation is between 3,950 m (12,960 ft) and 4,570 m (14,990 ft), and its 11 km length has been recently surveyed and mapped. The glacier is so heavily covered with surface moraine that ice is not visible for long stretches except along the gaps and in the ablation areas. Another glacier known as Chhota Shigri is across the Bara Shigri . Chhota Shigri is relatively a smaller glacier and does not reach down to the bed of the Chenab, but it is slippery, steep and difficult to cross.

 

 


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