The Himalayas or Himalaya from Sanskrit hima (snow) + alaya (dwelling), literally meaning “abode of snow”) is a mountain range in the South Asia, which separates the Indo-Gangetic Plain from the Tibetan Plateau. This range is home to nine of the ten highest peaks on Earth, including the highest above sea level, Mount Everest. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks are sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism.
The Himalayas are bordered on the north by the Tibetan Plateau, on the south by the Indo-Gangetic Plain, on the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges and on the east by the Indian states of Sikkim, the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. The Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalayas together form the “Hindu Kush Himalayan Region” (HKH). The western anchor of the Himalayas, Nanga Parbat, lies just south of the northernmost bend of the Indus River; the eastern anchor, Namcha Barwa, is just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. The Himalayas span five countries: Nepal, India, Bhutan, China (Tibet), and Pakistan. The first three countries having sovereignty over most of the range.
Lifted by the collision of the Indian tectonic plate with the Eurasian Plate, the Himalayan range runs northwest to southeast in a 2,400-kilometre (1,500 mi)-long arc. The range varies in width from 400 kilometres (250 mi) in the west to 150 kilometres (93 mi) in the east. Besides the Greater Himalayas, there are several parallel lower ranges. The southernmost, along the northern edge of the Indian plains and reaching 1000 m in altitude, is the Sivalik Hills. Further north is a higher range, reaching 2000-3000 m, known as the Lower Himalayan Range.
Three of the world’s major rivers (the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra) arise in the Himalayas. While the Indus and the Brahmaputra rise near Mount Kailash in Tibet, the Ganges rises in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Their combined drainage basin is home to some 600 million people.
The flora and fauna of the Himalayas vary with climate, rainfall, altitude, and soils. The climate ranges from tropical at the base of the mountains to permanent ice and snow at the highest elevations. The amount of yearly rainfall increases from west to east along the southern front of the range. This diversity of altitude, rainfall and soil conditions combined with the very high snow line supports a variety of distinct plant and animal communities. The extremes of high altitude (low atmospheric pressure) combined with extreme cold favor extremophile organisms.
The unique floral and faunal wealth of the Himalayas is undergoing structural and compositional changes due to climate change. The increase in temperature is shifting various species to higher elevations. The oak forest is being invaded by pine forests in the Garhwal Himalayan region. There are reports of early flowering and fruiting in some tree species, especially rhododendron, apple and box myrtle. The highest known tree species in the Himalayas is Juniperus tibetica located at 4,900 metres (16,080 ft) in Southeastern Tibet
The Himalayan range is one of the youngest mountain ranges on the planet and consists mostly of uplifted sedimentary and metamorphic rock. According to the modern theory of plate tectonics, its formation is a result of a continental collision or orogeny along the convergent boundary between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The Arakan Yoma highlands in Myanmar and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal were also formed as a result of this collision.
During the Upper Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago, the north-moving Indo-Australian plate (which has subsequently broken into the Indian Plate and the Australian plate) was moving at about 15 cm per year. About 50 million years ago this fast moving Indo-Australian plate had completely closed the Tethys Ocean, the existence of which has been determined by sedimentary rocks settled on the ocean floor, and the volcanoes that fringed its edges. Since both plates were composed of low density continental crust, they were thrust faulted and folded into mountain ranges rather than subducting into the mantle along an oceanic trench. An often-cited fact used to illustrate this process is that the summit of Mount Everest is made of marine limestone from this ancient ocean.
Today, the Indian plate continues to be driven horizontally below the Tibetan Plateau, which forces the plateau to continue to move upwards. The Indian plate is still moving at 67 mm per year, and over the next 10 million years it will travel about 1,500 km into Asia. About 20 mm per year of the India-Asia convergence is absorbed by thrusting along the Himalaya southern front. This leads to the Himalayas rising by about 5 mm per year, making them geologically active. The movement of the Indian plate into the Asian plate also makes this region seismically active, leading to earthquakes from time to time.
During the last ice age, there was a connected ice stream of glaciers between Kangchenjunga in the east and Nanga Parbat in the west. In the west, the glaciers joined with the ice stream network in the Karakoram, and in the north, joined with the former Tibetan inland ice. To the south, outflow glaciers came to an end below an elevation of 1,000–2,000 metres (3,300–6,600 ft). While the current valley glaciers of the Himalaya reach at most 20 to 32 kilometres (12 to 20 mi) in length, several of the main valley glaciers were 60 to 112 kilometres (37 to 70 mi) long during the ice age. The glacier snowline (the altitude where accumulation and ablation of a glacier are balanced) was about 1,400–1,660 metres (4,590–5,450 ft) lower than it is today. Thus, the climate was at least 7.0 to 8.3 °C (12.6 to 14.9 °F) colder than it is today.
he Himalayan region is dotted with hundreds of lakes. Most lakes are found at altitudes of less than 5,000 m, with the size of the lakes diminishing with altitude. Tilicho Lake in Nepal in the Annapurna massif is one of the highest lakes in the world. Pangong Tso, which is spread across the border between India and China, and Yamdrok Tso, located in central Tibet, are amongst the largest with surface areas of 700 km², and 638 km², respectively. Other notable lakes include She-Phoksundo Lake in the Shey Phoksundo National Park of Nepal, Gurudongmar Lake, in North Sikkim, Gokyo Lakes in Solukhumbu district of Nepal and Lake Tsongmo, near the Indo-China border in Sikkim.
Some of the lakes present a danger of a glacial lake outburst flood. The Tsho Rolpa glacier lake in the Rowaling Valley, in the Dolakha District of Nepal, is rated as the most dangerous. The lake, which is located at an altitude of 4,580 metres (15,030 ft) has grown considerably over the last 50 years due to glacial melting.
The mountain lakes are known to geographers as tarns if they are caused by glacial activity. Tarns are found mostly in the upper reaches of the Himalaya, above 5,500 metres.
There are many cultural aspects of the Himalayas. For the Hindus, the Himalayas are personified as Himavath, the father of the goddess Parvati (Gupta and Sharma, 4). The Himalayas is also considered to be the father of the river Ganges. The Mountain Kailash is a sacred peak to the Hindus and is where the Lord Shiva is believed to live (Admin, sec. Centre of Religion). Two of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for the Hindus is the temple complex in Pashupatinath and Muktinath, also known as Saligrama because of the presence of the sacred black rocks called saligrams (Zurick, Julsun, Basanta, and Birendra, 153).
The Buddhists also lay a great deal of importance on the mountains of the Himalayas. Paro Taktsang is the holy place where Buddhism started in Bhutan (Admin, sec. Centre of Religion). The Muktinath is also a place of pilgrimage for the Tibetan Buddhists. They believe that the trees in the poplar grove came from the walking sticks of eighty-four ancient Indian Buddhist magicians. They consider the saligrams to be representatives of the Tibetan serpent deity known as Gawo Jagpa (Zurick, Julsun, Basanta, and Birendra, 153).
The Himalayan people’s diversity shows in many different ways. It shows through their architecture, their languages and dialects, their beliefs and rituals, as well as their clothing (Zurick, Julsun, Basanta, and Birendra, 78). The shapes and materials of the people’s homes reflect their practical needs and the beliefs. Another example of the diversity amongst the Himalayan peoples is that handwoven textiles display unique colors and patterns that coincide with their ethnic backgrounds. Finally, some people place a great importance on jewelry. The Rai and Limbu women wear big gold earrings and nose rings to show their wealth through their jewelry (Zurick, Julsun, Basanta, and Birendra, 79).
Team Indian Savanna had travelled to one of the most remotest places in himalayas with breadth taking views for birds and wildlife , and breathtaking landscapes .
With over few decades of travelling to Himalayas team indian savanna had some of the most travelled mentors in india who can share their knowledge and experience from Himalayas making your trips a lifetime good memory.
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Number of days: 18 minimum up to few months to some regions.
Mode of Travel: Airplane, JEEP, Car, walks
What you will experience: Worlds Purest Air from Himalayan vicinity, rare birds, rare mammals , old traditional culture knowledge , world’s Highest passes and motorable roads , Highest fresh water lakes.
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