Roof of the World
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of Central Asia from the Caucasus in the northwest, to Mongolia in the northeast. The Roof of the World or Top of the World is a metaphoric description of the high region in the world, also known as High Asia. The term usually refers to the mountainous interior of Asia, including the Pamir Mountains, Pamirs, the
Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Ind ...

Himalayas
, the
Tibetan Plateau The Tibetan Plateau (), also known in China as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau in South Asia, Central Asia and East Asia, covering most of the Tibet Auton ...
, the
Tian Shan The Tian Shan,; dng, Тянсан, ; otk, 𐰴𐰣 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, ; tr, Tanrı Dağı; mn, Тэнгэр уул, ; ug, تەڭرىتاغ, , ; kk, Тәңіртауы / Алатау, , ; ky, Теңир-Тоо / Ала-Тоо, , ; uz, Tyan- ...

Tian Shan
, and the
Altai Mountains The Altai Mountains (), also spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Altai Mountains
.


Attested usage

The British explorer John Wood, writing in 1838, described ''Bam-i-Duniah'' (Roof of the World) as a "native expression" (presumably Wakhi), and it was generally used for the Pamirs in
Victorian times In the history of the United Kingdom The history of the United Kingdom began in the early eighteenth century with the Treaty of Union and Acts of Union. The core of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and ...
: In 1876, another British traveler, Sir
Thomas Edward Gordon Sir Thomas Edward Gordon (12 January 1832 – 23 March 1914) was a Scottish soldier, diplomat, and traveller. A British Army officer, he fought in India, served as a diplomat in Tehran, and travelled across the Pamirs. He is primarily remembered ...
, employed it as the title of a book and wrote in Chapter IX: : '' "We were now about to cross the famous 'Bam-i-Dunya', 'The Roof of the World' under which name the elevated region of the hitherto comparatively unknown Pamir tracts had long appeared in our maps. ..Wood, in 1838, was the first European traveler of modern times to visit the Great Pamir,"''. Older encyclopedias also used "Roof of the World" to describe the Pamirs: *
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
, 11th ed. (1911): "PAMIRS, a mountainous region of central Asia...the Bam-i-Dunya ('The Roof of the World')". *''
The Columbia Encyclopedia The ''Columbia Encyclopedia'' is a one-volume encyclopedia An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia (British English) is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either from all branches or from a particular field or discip ...
'', 1942 edition: "the Pamirs (Persian = roof of the world)". *
HachetteHachette may refer to: * Hachette (surname) * Hachette (publisher), a French publisher, the imprint of Lagardère Publishing ** Hachette Book Group, the American subsidiary ** Hachette Distribution Services, the distribution arm See also

* Hach ...
, 1890: "Le Toit du monde (Pamir)",
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consistin ...

French
for "Roof of the World (Pamir)". * Der Große Brockhaus, Leipzig 1928-1935: "Dach der Welt, Bezeichnung für das Hochland von Pamir", i.e., "roof of the world, term describing the Pamir highlands", and (in translation): "Pamir highlands, the nodal point of the mountain systems of
Tien-Shan The Tian Shan,, dng, Тянсан, ; otk, 𐰴𐰣 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, ; tr, Tanrı Dağı; mn, Тэнгэр уул, ; ug, تەڭرىتاغ, , ; kk, Тәңіртауы / Алатау, , ; ky, Теңир-Тоо / Ала-Тоо, , ; uz, Tyan-S ...
,
Kun-lun
Kun-lun
,
Karakoram The Karakoram is a mountain range spanning the borders of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous countr ...

Karakoram
, the
Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Ind ...

Himalayas
and
Hindukush The Hindu Kush ( Dari, Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language of the Indo-European family. It is known in Persian literature as Afghani (, ). The language is natively spoken ...

Hindukush
, and therefore called the roof of the world." With the awakening of public interest in Tibet, the Pamirs, "since 1875 ... probably the best explored region in High Asia", went out of the limelight and the description "Roof of the World" has been increasingly applied to Tibet and the
Tibetan plateau The Tibetan Plateau (), also known in China as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau in South Asia, Central Asia and East Asia, covering most of the Tibet Auton ...
, and occasionally, esp. in French ( "Toit du monde"), even to Mt. Everest, but the traditional use is still alive. 400px, Panorama of the Pamirs, the Original Roof of the World Recently, in a 2020 study the term High Asia was used metaphorically to categorise
Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr () is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley The Kashmir Valley, also known as the ''Vale o ...

Kashmir
, Hazara,
Nuristan Nuristan, also spelled Nurestan or Nooristan, ( Kamkata-vari: ) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It is divided into seven districts and is Afghanistan's least populous province, with a populat ...

Nuristan
,
LaghmanLaghman can refer to: * Laghman Province in Afghanistan * Laghman, Jowzjan, a place in Jowzjan Province, Afghanistan * Laghman (food), a noodle dish See also

* Aramaic Inscription of Laghman, Afghanistan * Laghmani, a surname {{disambig, geo ...
,
Azad Kashmir Azad Jammu and Kashmir ( ur, , translit=āzād jammū̃ o kaśmīr, translit-std=IAST, ), abbreviated as AJK and colloquially referred to as simply Azad Kashmir, is a region administered by Pakistan as a nominally self-governing entitySee: ...

Azad Kashmir
,
Jammu Jammu is the winter capital of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the headquarters and the largest city in Jammu district of the union territory. Lying on the banks of the river Tawi, the city of Jammu, with an area of , ...

Jammu
,
Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh (; ; "Province of the Snow-laden Mountains") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper) ...

Himachal Pradesh
,
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constitutes a part of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu a ...

Ladakh
,
Gilgit Baltistan Gilgit (; Shina language, Shina: ; ur, ) is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan, Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan. The city is located in a broad valley near the confluence of the Gilgit River and Hunza River, and is a major Tourism in Pakistan ...

Gilgit Baltistan
,
Chitral Chitral ( ; khw, , lit=field, translit=ćhitrār) is a town situated on the Kunar River, Chitral River in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It serves as the capital of the Chitral District and likewise served as the capital of the Chitral ...

Chitral
, Western Tibet, Western
Xinjiang Xinjiang (),, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately romanized as Sinkiang officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and formerly romanized as Sinkiang, is a landlocked autonomous region An autonomous ...

Xinjiang
,
Badakhshan Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region File:Badakhshan in Afghanistan.svg, Afghanistan Badakhshan Province Badakhshan is a historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan, eastern Tajikistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Auton ...

Badakhshan
, Gorno Badakhshan,
Fergana Fergana ( uz, Fargʻona/Фарғона, ), or Ferghana, is the capital of Fergana Region in eastern Uzbekistan. Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, about 75 km west of Andijan, and less than 20 km from the Kyrgyzstan border. ...

Fergana
,
Osh Osh ( ky, Ош, Oş; uz, O‘sh) is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, also known as Kirghizia (in Russian), is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It is bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, T ...

Osh
and
Turkistan Region Turkistan Region ( kk, Түркістан облысы, translit=Túrkistan oblysy; russian: Туркестанская область), previously South Kazakhstan Region ( kk, Оңтүстік Қазақстан облысы, translit=Ońtústik ...
. These rich resource areas are surrounded by the five major mountainous systems of
Tien Shan The Tian Shan,; dng, Тянсан, ; otk, 𐰴𐰣 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, ; tr, Tanrı Dağı; mn, Тэнгэр уул, ; ug, تەڭرىتاغ, , ; kk, Тәңіртауы / Алатау, , ; ky, Теңир-Тоо / Ала-Тоо, , ; uz, Tyan- ...
,
Pamirs The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range between Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the nor ...
,
Karakoram The Karakoram is a mountain range spanning the borders of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous countr ...

Karakoram
, Hindu Kush and Western Himalayas and the three main river systems of Amu Darya, Syr Darya and Indus. The work further highlighted the role of USA, China, Russia, UK, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Iran and other players involved in The New Great Game over who will dominate High Asia in the 21st century. The work also tries to explore Pan-High Asianism and High Asian Approaches to International Law (HAAIL) as the potential way forward for the region which was sub-categorised into the Western Pahari, Greater Dards, Dardic, Trans-Himalayan,
Badakhshan Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region File:Badakhshan in Afghanistan.svg, Afghanistan Badakhshan Province Badakhshan is a historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan, eastern Tajikistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Auton ...

Badakhshan
and Sogdiana cultural belts.


See also

*Four continents *Seven Seas *Mount Imeon


References

{{Regions of the world Metaphors Mountains of Asia