The Karakoram, or Karakorum is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit–Baltistan (Pakistan), Ladakh (India), and southern Xinjiang (China). A part of the complex of ranges from the Hindu Kush to the Himalayan Range, it is one of the Greater Ranges of Asia. The Karakoram is home to the highest concentration of peaks over 8000m in height to be found anywhere on earth, including K2, the second highest peak in the world at 8,611 m (28,251 ft).
The range is about 500 km (311 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. TheSiachen Glacier at 76 kilometres (47 mi) and the Biafo Glacier at 63 kilometres (39 mi) rank as the world’s second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions.
The Karakoram is bounded on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the Pamir Mountains. The southern boundary of the Karakoram is formed, west to east, by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok Rivers, which separate the range from the northwestern end of the Himalaya range proper as these rivers converge southwestward towards the plains of Pakistan.
The Tashkurghan National Nature Reserve and the Pamir Wetlands National Nature Reserve in the Karalorun and Pamir mountains have been nominated for inclusion in UNESCO in 2010 by the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO and has tentatively been added to the list.