Kolahoi Glacier

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Kolhai Glacier
Kolahoi Glacier andMt.Kolahoi(5425m) North view -the highest mountain in Kashmir valley.JPG
Kolhai Glacier
TypeMountain glacier
LocationHimalaya Range, Kashmir valley, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Coordinates34°9′49″N 75°19′49″E / 34.16361°N 75.33028°E / 34.16361; 75.33028Coordinates: 34°9′49″N 75°19′49″E / 34.16361°N 75.33028°E / 34.16361; 75.33028
Length5 kilometres (3 mi) in 1974

Kolahoi Glacier is a valley glacier in the northwestern Himalayan Range situated 26 kilometers north from Pahalgam and 16 kilometers south from Sonamarg, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kolahoi glacier lies at an average elevation of 4,700 metres (15,400 ft). The highest peak named after the glacier is Kolahoi Peak has an elevation of 5425 meters. The origin of the glacier is below the cirques on the north flank of Kolahoi Peak.[1] It is the main source of Lidder River and its waters become the tributaries of the Jhelum River. Its water serves the population of Anantnag district, where it is mainly being used for drinking and agricultural purposes. The water finally discharges itself into Jhelum River near Khanabal Anantnag.

Kolahoi Glacier is among the victims of global warming,[2] and has shrunk in area[3] from 13.57 km2 in 1963 to 10.69 km2 in 2005 or a loss of 2.88 km2 in three decades.[4] In 1974 the glacier was about 5 km long and is known to have extended for at least 35 km during the Pleistocene.[1] A detailed analysis by Rafiq and Mishra[5] reported that the glacier has shrunk from 35 to 09.88 Sq Km. The rate of recession measured from 1922 to 2015 is reported to be 73.26 m per year. Furthermore, the rate of recession of snout is found to be 16.41 m per year from 1857 to 2015. The shirking of glacier area is linked to reduction in snow depth which in turn is affected by the increase in black carbon concentration, temperature and reduction in precipitation. Reanalysis data show that there is decrease of about 1.08 ± 0.65 cm per decade in snow depth over Kolahoi glacier during 1979 to 2013. There are decadal increasing trends of about 76 nanogram/m² (statistically significant) and 0.39 °C (insignificant) in black carbon concentration and temperature, respectively, over Kolahoi. A decreasing trend of about 2.9 mm/month per decade in precipitation over the study area is also reported. It is reported that there is decrease of about 71 ± 24% in snow depth for each degree increase in temperature over Kolahoi.[6] Reduction in snow depth as a result of increase in black carbon concentration, temperature and reduction in precipitation might have resulted in the shrinking of the Kolahoi glacier.According to another report,[7] Kolahoi is a hanging glacier and hollowed inside. It is a matter of great concern for Kashmir Valley. Many expeditions have failed here.

In September 2018 a group of nine trekkers went on an expedition to summit the Kolahoi Peak. After successfully summiting the peak, the group was caught in rock fall near Burdalaw region on the glacier during their descent, due to which team lost two of its members: Adil Shah, founder of Alpine Adventures group and Naveed Jeelani who was a junior administrative officer from Srinagar. Their bodies were later retrieved from the glacier after two days due to bad weather.[8]


Even though the place is yet not very much explored but it has potential to become the best camping destination.


  1. ^ a b N. Ahmed and N. H. Hashimi (1974). "Glacial History of Kolahoi Glacier, Kashmir, India" (PDF). Journal of Glaciology. 13 (68). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Goddess glacier melting in war-torn Kashmir". national geographic.com. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Kashmir's crown Kolahoi glacier is in deep water". TERI.
  4. ^ Kanth, T.A., Aijaz Ahmad Shah and Zahoor ul Hassan; Geomorphologic Character & Receding Trend of Kolahoi Glacier in Kashmir Himalaya, Recent Research in Science and Technology 2011, 3(9): 68-73 Archived 11 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, ISSN 2076-5061
  5. ^ Rafiq, Mohammd; Mishra, Anoop (25 November 2016). "Investigating changes in Himalayan glacier in warming environment: a case study of Kolahoi glacier". Environmental Earth Sciences. 75 (23). doi:10.1007/s12665-016-6282-1. ISSN 1866-6280.
  6. ^ Mishra, Anoop Kumar; Rafiq, Mohammd (September 2017). "Analyzing snowfall variability over two locations in Kashmir, India in the context of warming climate". Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans. 79: 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2017.05.002. ISSN 0377-0265.
  7. ^ "Kolahoi: Hanging and hollowed inside". hoparoundindia.com. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Kolahoi: His life would come to an end on the alpines he had become synonymous with". Mahmood A. Shah. Retrieved 25 September 2018.