Valleys are the important feature of Himachal Pradesh. Physiographically they are the places where human civilization has flourished in this mountainous region.
Satluj Valley : A long valley has been formed by the Satluj river from Shipki to Bilaspur. The river enters Indian territory near Shipki. The town of Bilaspur, Rampur and Bhaba are located along the Satluj river in this valley.
Kiarda-dun Valley : This valley is situated in the South-Eastern corner of the state. Its is also known as ‘Poanta valley’ after the town which lies in the valley. This is located in the Markanda and Dharti ranges. Jamuna river separates it from Dehradun.
Kullu Valley : This is a broad open valley by the Beas river between Mandi and Larji. This valley is famous for the beauty and its majestic hills covered with pine and Deodar forests and sprawling apple orchards. The course of the Beas river presents a succession of magnificent scenery, including cataracts, gorges, precipitous cliffs and mountains, clad with forests of Deodar, towering above trees of Pine on the lower rocky ridges. Kullu valley is sandwiched between the Pir Panjal, lower Himalayan and great Himalayan ranges. This valley is 75 km in length and about two to four kms in width and ends near famous Rohtang pass, 25 km north of Manali. The towns of Mandi, Kullu, Bhuntar, Manali and Shamshi lie in this valley.
Kangra Valley : This is an extensive dun-type valley located between the Dhauladhar range in the North and the Shivalik hills in the South. It ranges from West to East rising gradually from Shahpur to Baijnath and Palampur. Many visitors and writer have made references and the people of this valley are beautiful. The important towns of this valley are Baijnath, Palampur, Kangra, Nurpur and Dharamshala.
The Bara Banghal Valley : It is adjoining to the Kangra valley and lies between the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. It is partly in Kangra and Partly in Chamba district. The river Ravi rises from the slopes of this valley.
Balh Valley : This is also known as Sundernagar Valley and is broad open dun type valley between an off shoot of the Shimla Ridge in the North and Shivalik hills in the South. The valley stretches from Gutker in the North to Sundernagar in the South, Baggi in the East and Gumma in the West. Suketi Khad divides this valley roughly into two parts.
Chamba Valley : This is also known as Ravi Valley. Although this valley is quite unexposed, but now the means of communication have made inroads into the interior parts of this valley. The scenery is of a picturesque and varied character presenting many delightful sights. In the lower parts, the trees grown are wild olive, pomegranate and fig trees mingling with the acacia, shisam, pipal and some other trees. Small villages and hamlets extending over the landscape presents a beautiful picture to the visitor. The Chamba valley is famous for medicinal herbs and varieties of flowers. The important towns located in this valley are Chamba, Bharmaur, Dalhousie and Khajjiar.
Lahaul and Spiti Valley : The Lahaul valley lies to the North of the Pir Panjal and main Himalayan ranges. It is made up of the rivers Chandra and Bhaga till Tandi and Chenab from Tandi to Udaipur, downstream of which lies the famous Pangi valley. The Spiti valley has been formed by the Spiti river. It is situated between the main Himalayan and Zanskar ranges. Kaza a small town is located in the Spiti valley. The Lahaul and Spiti valleys surrounded by mountains with elevations ranging from 3000 to 6500 meters above the mean sea level. This valley is famous for high snowfall and severe winter. In comparison to Spiti, Lahaul valley has better irrigation facilities.
Baspa Valley : This is also known as ‘Sangla valley’ formed by Baspa river in Kinnaur. The attitude of this valley varies from 1830 metres at the confluence of the Baspa river with the Satluj and 3475 meters at the highest village of ‘Chitkul’. The Baspa river flows in this valley for approximately ninety five kms. This valley is famous for green pastures, flowers and fruit trees. The prominent vegetation found in the Baspa valley is deodars, blue pines, firs and siver birch in the upper zones. Baspa valley gets fair amount of monsoon rains and so has very good grassy land and alpine pastures.
Pabbar Valley : This is also known as Rohru valley, drained by the river Pabbar which originates from Chansal peak South of Kinnaur and its tributaries. The valley extends from Hatkoti upto Tikri at the base of Chansal. There are a great number of small khads (streams) passing through this valley and making the zig zag shape of the valleys at various points. The important stream passing through this valley are Andhra khad, Pejore and Shhikri. The altitude of the peaks in this valley varies from 1500 meters to 5000 meters.