Harmukh (also known as Mount Haramukh or Harmukh mountain) is a mountain with a peak elevation[2] of 5,142 metres (16,870 ft), in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Harmukh is part of the Himalaya Range and is located between Nallah Sindh in the south and Kishanganga River in the north, rising above Gangabal Lake[3] in the vicinity of Kashmir valley. It is mostly climbed from the northwestern side of Arin, Kudara Bandipore.

Highest point
Elevation5,142 m (16,870 ft) [1]
Prominence1,462 m (4,797 ft) [1]
Coordinates34°24′00″N 74°54′30″E / 34.40000°N 74.90833°E / 34.40000; 74.90833Coordinates: 34°24′00″N 74°54′30″E / 34.40000°N 74.90833°E / 34.40000; 74.90833[1]
Harmukh is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Harmukh on a map of Jammu and Kashmir, India
Harmukh is located in India
Harmukh (India)
LocationBandipora, Kashmir Valley, India
Parent rangeHimalayas
First ascent1856 by Thomas Montgomerie, United Kingdom
Easiest routeArin Bandipore
Mount Harmukh's summit

Religious beliefsEdit

Harmukh, with Gangbal Lake at its foot, is considered a sacred mountain by Hindus. It is also known as 'Kailash of Kashmir' [4] According to Kashmiri Hindus theology, Harmukh is the abode of Lord Shiva.[5][6] According to the legend of "Hurmukhuk Gosoni"[7]

Once a hermit tried to reach the summit of Harmukh to see Lord Shiva face to face. For twelve long years, he tried to scale the summit but failed until one day he saw a Gujar descending the summit. When the Gujar approached him, the hermit enquired as to what he had seen there. The Gujar said he had been searching for a stray goat, and that while searching he saw a couple milking a cow and drinking the milk from a human skull. The couple had offered him some milk, which he refused to drink; when they departed they rubbed a little of the milk on his forehead. When the Gujar indicated the spot where the milk was rubbed, the hermit was extremely joyful and rushed to lick his forehead. It is said that the hermit attained nirvana and disappeared from the place to the complete surprise of the Gujar.

Harmukh Gangbal YatraEdit

This pilgrimage takes place every year on the eve of Ganga Ashtami. The yatris begin their yatra from Naranag.[8]

Geographical settingEdit

Harmukh lies in the northwestern Himalayan Range. The Karakoram Range borders it on the north and the Kashmir Valley on the south. Melt waters from glaciers form Gangabal Lake which lies at its foot to the north east side and contribute significantly to the regional fresh-water supply, supporting irrigation through Nallah Sindh. This Himalayan Range lies along the southern edge of the Eurasian tectonic plate and is made up of ancient sedimentary rocks (more than 390 million years old). Those strata were folded and thrust-faulted, and granite masses were intruded, when the Indian plate collided with Eurasia, beginning more than 100 million years ago.[9] It is notable for its local relief as it is a consistently steep pyramid, dropping sharply to the east and south, with the eastern slope the steepest.

Climbing historyEdit

Harmukh was first climbed by members of the Great Trigonometric Survey led by Thomas Montgomerie in 1856. Montgomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram some 210 km (130 miles) to the north, and sketched the two most prominent peaks, labeling them K1 and K2.[10]

The policy of the Great Trigonometric Survey was to use local names for mountains wherever possible[11] and K1 was found to be known locally as Masherbrum. K2, however, appeared not to have acquired a local name, possibly due to its remoteness. The mountain is not visible from Askole, the last village to the south, or from the nearest habitation to the north, and is only fleetingly glimpsed from the end of the Baltoro Glacier, beyond which few local people would have ventured.[12] Therefore, Harmukh is the mountain from which the world's second-highest mountain peak, K2, was discovered[13] and the name given it by the Survey, K2, continues to be used.

Climbing routesEdit

The easiest route among the different routes of Harmukh is via Arin Bandipore,[14] 47 km motorable road from Srinagar to Arin and 18 kilometers of high altitude alpine trek leads to the base of Harmukh. Another trek leads from Naranag[15] to the base of Harmukh at Gangabal Lake, but it is a steep climb at some places.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "The Karakoram, Pakistan Himalaya and India Himalaya (north of Nepal) - 68 Mountain Summits with Prominence of 1,500 meters or greater". Peaklist.org. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  2. ^ "How high is Harmukh". wolframalpha.com. Retrieved 24 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Geography of Kashmir". kousa.org. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Bhag-P 5.25.1". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Gangabal Harmukh pilgrimage". searchkashmir.org. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Know Your Motherland – Gangabal Lake".
  7. ^ Some Marvels of Kashmir
  8. ^ "Gangabal yatra". Daily Excelsior. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  9. ^   This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document: "STS106-705-9".
  10. ^ Curran, Jim (1995). K2: The Story of the Savage Mountain. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 25. ISBN 978-0340660072.
  11. ^ The most obvious exception to this policy was Mount Everest, where the local name Chomolungma was probably known, but ignored in order to pay tribute to George Everest. See Curran, p. 29-30.
  12. ^ Curran, p. 30
  13. ^ Robert Hicks Bates (1939). Five miles high: the story of an attack on second highest mountain in the world. Dodd, Mead & company, 1939. p. 25–. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  14. ^ M.S. Kohli (1983). The Himalayas: Play Ground of the Gods Trekking Climbling Adventure. Indus Publishing, 1983. p. 40–. ISBN 9788173871078. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  15. ^ Parvez Dewan (2004). Parvéz Dewân's Jammû, Kashmîr, and Ladâkh: Kashmîr. Manas Publications, 2004. p. 260–. ISBN 9788170491798. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Treks of Kashmir". KashmirTreks.com. Retrieved 24 October 2013.

External linksEdit