The Pamir Mountains are located in Central Asia and are formed by the junction or knot of the Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains. They are also known by the Chinese name of Congling 葱嶺 or 'Onion Mountains.'
The Pamir region is centered in the Tajikistani region of Gorno-Badakhshan. Parts of the Pamir also lie in the countries of Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. South of Gorno-Badakhshan, the Wakhan Corridor runs through the Pamir region, which also includes the northern extremes of the North-West Frontier Province and the northern extremes of Pakistan called Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir.
GeographyIts three highest mountains are Ismoil Somoni Peak (known from 1932–1962 as Stalin Peak, and from 1962–1998 as Communism Peak), 24,590 ft (7,495 m); Ibn Sina Peak (still unofficially known as Lenin Peak), 23,406 ft (7,134 m); and Peak Korzhenevskaya (in Russian, Pik Korzhenevskoi), 23,310 ft (7,105 m).
There are many glaciers in the Pamir Mountains, including the 48-mile-long (77 km) Fedchenko Glacier, the longest in the former USSR and the longest glacier outside the Polar region.
Covered in snow throughout the year, the Pamirs have long and bitterly cold winters, and short, cool summers. Annual precipitation is about 5 inches (130 mm), which supports grasslands but few trees.
Coal is mined in the west, though sheep herding in upper meadowlands are the primary source of income for the region.
DiscoveriesIn the early 1980s, a deposit of gemstone-quality clinohumite was discovered in the Pamir Mountains. It was the only such deposit known until the discovery of gem-quality material in the Taymyr region of Siberia, in 2000.
At the southeastern edge of the Pamir region in China, the Karakoram Highway, the highest international highway in the world, connects Pakistan to China. The Pamir Highway, the world's second highest, runs from Dushanbe in Tajikistan to Osh in Kyrgyzstan through the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, and is the isolated region's main supply route. The Great Silk Road crossed a number of Pamir Mountain ranges.
Strategic PositionHistorically, the Pamir Mountains were considered a strategic trade route between Kashgar and Kokand on the Northern Silk Road and have been subject to numerous territorial conquests. The Northern Silk Road (about 2600 kilometres in length) connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xian to the west over the Pamir Mountains to emerge in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia. In the 20th Century, they have been the setting for Tajikistan Civil War, border disputes between China and Soviet Union, establishment of US, Russian, and Indian military bases, and renewed interest in trade development and resource exploration.
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- Strong, Anna Louise. 1930. The Road to the Grey Pamir. Robert M. McBride & Co., New York.
- Slesser, Malcolm "Red Peak: A Personal Account of the British-Soviet Expedition" Coward McCann 1964
- Tilman, H. W. "Two Mountains and a River" part of "The Severn Mountain Travel Books". Diadem, London. 1983
- Waugh, Daniel C. 1999. "The ‘Mysterious and Terrible Karatash Gorges’: Notes and Documents on the Explorations by Stein and Skrine." The Geographical Journal, Vol. 165, No. 3. (Nov., 1999), pp. 306-320.
pamirs in Belarusian: Памір
pamirs in Bosnian: Pamirske planine
pamirs in Bulgarian: Памир
pamirs in Catalan: Pamir
pamirs in Czech: Pamír
pamirs in Danish: Pamir
pamirs in German: Pamir
pamirs in Estonian: Pamiir
pamirs in Modern Greek (1453-): Παμίρ
pamirs in Spanish: Cordillera del Pamir
pamirs in Esperanto: Pamiro
pamirs in Basque: Pamir mendiak
pamirs in Persian: پامیر
pamirs in French: Pamir
pamirs in Korean: 파미르고원
pamirs in Croatian: Pamir
pamirs in Italian: Pamir
pamirs in Hebrew: הרי פמיר
pamirs in Lithuanian: Pamyras
pamirs in Dutch: Pamir
pamirs in Japanese: パミール高原
pamirs in Norwegian: Pamir
pamirs in Polish: Pamir
pamirs in Portuguese: Pamir
pamirs in Romanian: Pamir
pamirs in Russian: Памир
pamirs in Slovak: Pamír
pamirs in Slovenian: Pamir
pamirs in Serbo-Croatian: Pamir
pamirs in Finnish: Pamir
pamirs in Swedish: Pamir
pamirs in Turkish: Pamir Dağları
pamirs in Ukrainian: Памір
pamirs in Urdu: سلسلہ کوہ پامیر
pamirs in Chinese: 帕米爾高原