IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


11th October, 2023 Geography

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One soldier died and three are missing after a group of Indian Army mountaineers was caught in an avalanche on Mount Kun in Ladakh.


  • Mount Kun, also known as Kunlun, is a prominent mountain range in Central Asia that extends through China, Tibet, and parts of Pakistan and India.

About Mount Kun

Geographic Location

  • Mount Kun, part of the larger Kunlun mountain range, is situated in Central Asia.
  • It extends across several countries, primarily China and Tibet, and stretches from the Pamir Mountains to the Qilian Mountains.
  • The range is known for its impressive peaks, including Mount Muztagh Ata and Mount Kongur.

Historical Significance

  • Mount Kun has a rich history, with archaeological evidence suggesting that it was a crucial route on the ancient Silk Road.

Cultural and Mythological Importance

  • The mountain range has deep cultural and mythological significance in Chinese and Tibetan traditions.
  • It is often associated with stories of mythical creatures and is considered a sacred place by many indigenous communities.

Geographic Features of Mount Kun

Formation and Geology

  • Mount Kun has a diverse geological history, with rocks ranging from sedimentary to metamorphic.
  • It has been shaped by tectonic forces and glacial activity over millions of years.

Glaciers and Rivers

  • The mountains of Kunlun are the source of several major rivers, including the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers in China.


Environmental Significance

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Despite the harsh climate and high altitudes, Mount Kun hosts a variety of wildlife and plant species, some of which are unique to the region. It is home to rare species like the snow leopard and Tibetan antelope.
  • Climate and Water Sources: The mountains significantly influence the climate of the surrounding areas, particularly the monsoon patterns in the Indian subcontinent. They also serve as vital water sources for millions of people living downstream.

Mount Kun in Culture and Religion

  • Influence on Art and Literature: The majestic beauty of Mount Kun has inspired artists, poets, and writers for centuries, resulting in a rich cultural legacy.
  • Role in Buddhism and Taoism: The mountains have deep spiritual significance in Buddhism and Taoism, with monasteries and temples dotting the landscape. They are associated with meditation and religious retreats.

Geopolitical Importance

  • Borders and Political Conflicts: Mount Kun spans regions with complex geopolitical boundaries, leading to historical and contemporary border disputes.
  • International Relations: The region's strategic location and natural resources have implications for international relations, particularly in the context of the China-India-Pakistan nexus.
  • Strategic Significance: Mount Kun holds strategic importance due to its proximity to border areas and as a source of critical resources like water.


Mount Kun, part of the Kunlun range, is not just a geographical feature but a vital element of culture, religion, and geopolitics in Central Asia. Its environmental significance, cultural importance, and role in international relations make it a multifaceted and dynamic region.


Q.   Which river, originating from the Kunlun Mountains, is known as the "River of Sorrows" due to its devastating floods in Chinese history?

A) Yellow River

B) Yangtze River

C) Ganges River

D) Brahmaputra River

Answer: A)