Helan Mountains

The Helan Mountains, frequently called Alashan Mountains in older sources, are an isolated desert mountain range forming the border of Inner Mongolia's Alxa League and Ningxia. They run north-south parallel to the north-flowing Yellow River in the Ordos Loop section. The river is mostly east of the mountains, but in the north it crosses without making a significant gorge and flows on the west side. To the west lies the extremely arid Tengger Desert, while to the east is an irrigated area beside the Yellow River, in which lie the cities of Yinchuan and Shizuishan - a little further east of which lies the Mu Us portion of the Ordos Desert. To the north lies the Inner Mongolian city of Wuhai.

Helan Mountains
The lower parts of the range are dry and barren.
Chinese name
Chinese贺兰山
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese阿拉善山
Mongolian name
Mongolian CyrillicАлшаа уул
Mongolian script
Tangut name
Tangut𗲡𗝢𘑗
Miyake transcription2hin1 1lan1 1ngyr1
Alashan semi-desert plateau in wider context of South, Southeast and East Asia.
Ethnolinguistic map 1967, centered on Helan mountains - which listed as falling within region where Oirat spoken (but see also Alasha dialect).

They are about 200 km from north to south, from 15 to 50 km wide and average about 2000 meters in altitude (the Yellow River here is about 1,100 meters above sea level). Their highest peak is 3,556 metres (11,667 ft).


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