The Himalayan mountain range runs for 2,400 km (1,491 miles) from Arunachal Pradesh, India in the east to Pakistan in the west. Formed after the collision of the Indian tectonic plate with the Eurasian plate, it is one of the youngest mountain ranges on Earth. Here are some amazing facts about the Himalayas.
9 among the top 10 highest peaks in the world are in the Himalayas
Majority of the world’s highest mountain peaks are in the Himalayas including the highest, Mount Everest, which has an elevation of 8,849 meters above sea level. Other high peaks include the Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters), Lhotse (8,516 meters), etc. These high peaks make the Himalayas a preferred location for mountaineering.
The climate of the Indian subcontinent is shaped by the Himalayas
The Himalayan mountain range protects the Indian subcontinent from the cold central Asian winds. If there would have been no Himalayan range, the northern plains of India would have been barren, cold having a very low temperature for a major part of the year. Moreover, it is because of the Himalayas that the monsoon rains are concentrated in the northern plains and foothills making the area suitable for agriculture.
The Himalayas are the source of three very important rivers of the Indian subcontinent
The Ganga, the Indus, and the Brahmaputra all have their sources in the Himalayas. These rivers along with their tributaries and distributaries are a lifeline to millions of people in the subcontinent.
The Himalayan range is still growing
The Indian tectonic plate is still moving which makes the Himalayas rise by about 5 mm every year.
The Himalayas are the center of spirituality in Hinduism and Buddhism
There are plenty of spiritual sites in the Himalayas e.g. Badrinath, Mount Kailash, etc. It is the spiritual energy added to the beauty of the Himalayas which makes the Himalayas extra special.
The Himalayas are home to many unique species of flora and fauna
There are numerous species of flora and fauna found across the Himalayas. Some of them are unique to the Himalayan region e.g., Deodar cedar, Himalayan tahr, etc.
The Himalayan range supports more than 50 million human population
Indigenous tribes have been living in the Upper Himalayas for centuries. In the lower hills, many big cities thrive. For instance, in India, Dehradun which has a population of over 2 million is located in the Shivalik hills subrange.
The Himalayan range has the largest ice deposition after the poles.
Open Google maps and turn on the satellite view, you will notice the largest ice deposition after the poles is in the Himalayan region.
There are 3 divisions of the Himalayan range – the Sivalik Hills, the Lower Himalayan Range, and the Greater Himalayas.
The Himalayas and the other major mountain ranges of India are discussed in detail in the following article.