The Himalayas | Detail Information

2021-01-05 | Published By: Bold Himalaya

Hearing the word Himalaya, you can imagine how beautiful this thing could be. Himalaya is a mountain range in Asia. It divides the plains of the Indian subcontinents from the Tibetan plateau. The Himalayas overlay across five countries Nepal, Pakistan, China, Bhutan, and India.


This range includes many of the Earth's highest peaks. The Himalayan range is made up of three parallel ranges usually referred to as the Greater Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, including the Outer Himalayas. With the 15 highest mountains in the world, the Himalayas includes more than 110 peaks rising to the elevation of 7,300 m (24,000ft) or over sea level.


Most importantly, the highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha) with an elevation of 8,848m/29,032ft is the part of Himalayas. K2 (8,611m/28,251ft) - 2nd highest, Kanchenjunga (8,586m/28,169ft.)-3rd highest, Makalu (8,163m/26,781ft) - 5th highest, Dhaulagiri (8,176m/26,825ft.) -7th highest, Nanga Parbat (8,126m/26,660ft) -9th highest, Annapurna (8,100m/26,568ft) -10th highest and so on are part of Himalayas.


Stretching 1500 miles from Ladakh through Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan, the Himalayas is the birthplace of the Yeti. But, there is no evidence for what Yeti exactly looks like. Some say Yeti looks like beer or some kind of giant ape. Then again, it can be some kind of ancient hominid a member of the human family like Neanderthals that was thought to be extinct or be a hoax. So, it became a myth that there is a Yeti that lurks around the mountain range.


The Himalayas is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world. It mostly consists of uplifted sedimentary and metamorphic rock. The name of the range derives from the Sanskrit Himālaya, 'Abode of the Snow'- himá means snow and ā-laya means a receptacle or dwelling. They are known as the "Himalayas Mountains", normally shortened to the "Himalayas". Earlier, Himalaya was named in the singular as the Himalaya and presented as Himavan in older writings.


The mountains are known as the Himālaya in Nepali. Similarly, it is called the Himalaya or 'The Land of Snow' in Tibetan and Hindi, the Hamaleh Mountain Range in Urdu, and the Himalayan Mountain Range (Ximalāya Shanmai) in Chinese.


- Formation of the Himalaya, geography

The beginning of the Himalayas is the impact of the Indian tectonic plate. This travels northward at 15 cm per year and met the Eurasian continent around 40-50 million years ago. The composition of the Himalayas resulted in the lighter rock from the seabeds of that time being raised up into mountains. To give an illustration, an often-cited fact applied to explain this process is that the summit of Mt. Everest is composed of marine limestone.

The Indian plate is still leading north at 67 mm per year. It will travel nearly 1,500 km into Asia over the next 10 million years. Around 20 mm per year of the India-Asia concentration is absorbed during thrusting along the Himalaya southern face. This drives to the Himalayas growing by roughly 5 mm per year, making them geologically alive. With this in mind, the movement of the Indian plate toward the Asian plate further leads to earthquakes from time to time.

Its the formation is a result of a continental collision or orogeny along the convergent boundary (Main Himalayan Thrust) between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate, by the modern theory of plate tectonics. Moreover, the Arakan Yoma highlands in Myanmar and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal were also assembled as a result of this collision.


- Physical Structure

The physical structure of the Himalayas is alluring and breathtaking. Their towering heights, steep-sided jagged peaks, valley, and glaciers of astounding size makes the Himalayas most beautiful. The Himalayas have a complex geologic structure with a series of elevation belts that display distinct ecological associations of flora, fauna, and climate.

The Himalayas rise as a massive crescent with the main axis rising above the snow line, from the south view. The snowfields, alpine glaciers, and avalanches all feed lower- valley glaciers. Then, it creates the sources of most of the Himalayas Rivers. The larger part of the Himalayas then again lies below the snow line. Besides that, the mountain building process that created the range is still active. So, the lifting of the bedrock causes considerable stream erosion and gigantic landslides.

The Himalayan ranges are classified into four parallel longitudinal mountain belts of varying width. Each group has distinct physiographic features and its geologic history. So, from south to north is Outer or Sub-, Himalayas (called Siwalik Range); Lesser, or Lower, Himalayas; the Great Himalayas; and the Tethys, or Tibetan, Himalayas. Likewise, the Himalayas are divided into three mountains regions from west to east i.e. western, central and eastern.   


- Weather, the climate in the Himalayas

The Himalayas has a vast size, huge altitude range, and complex topography. This diversity lets you experience a wide range of climates.  It varies from humid subtropical in the foothills to cold & dry desert states on the Tibetan side of the range.

The Himalayas affects large systems of air and water circulation. It also helps determine meteorological situations in the Indian subcontinent to the south and in the Central Asian highlands to the north. The Himalayas blocks the passage of cold continental air from the north into India in winter.

Then, it forces the southwesterly monsoon winds to give up most of their moisture before crossing the range northward.  For much of the Himalayas except in the furthest west, the most characteristic feature of the climate is the monsoon. The monsoon can vigorously impact transport and also cause major landslides. It results in the restriction of tourism. So, the trekking and mountaineering season is limited. It is either before the monsoon in April/May or after the monsoon in October/November (autumn).

Besides that, there are often considered to be five seasons in Nepal and Sikkim. That is summer, post-monsoon, monsoon, autumn, winter, and spring.

The lower elevations of the Himalayas, leading mid-elevations in central Nepal are classified as Cwa, a Humid subtropical climate with dry winters. Then, most of the Himalayas higher up have a subtropical highland climate (Cwb).

Besides that, in the furthest west of the Himalayas, in the west of the Kashmir valley and the Indus valley, the South Asian monsoon is no longer a dominant factor, and most rainfalls in the spring. With the wettest months being March and April, Srinagar receives about 723 mm (28 in) rainfall. It is around half the rainfall of locations such as Shimla and Kathmandu.

Likewise, the northern side of the Himalayas, also known as the Tibetan Himalayas, is dry, and cold. And usually, windswept especially in the west where it has a cold desert climate. The vegetation is rare and stunted and the winters are firmly cold. Most of the precipitation in the region is in the form of snow through the late winter and spring months.  

Moreover, local impacts on climate remain significant throughout the Himalayas. Temperatures drop by 0.2 to 1.20C for every 100 m (330 ft.) increase in altitude. This gives an increase to a variety of climates from an almost tropical climate in the foothills, to tundra and permanent snow and ice at higher altitudes.  

Through winter, low-pressure weather systems further into the Himalayas from the west and cause huge snowfall. Besides that, the local climate is also influenced by topography. Again, the Himalayas are also supposed to play an influential role in the formation of Central Asian deserts, such as the Taklamakan and Gobi.   


- Glacier, lakes, river in Himalaya

The third-largest deposit of ice and snow in the world, after Antarctica and the Arctic, is the Himalaya. The Himalayan range contains around 15,000 glaciers, which collect about 12,000 km3 (2,900 cu mi) of freshwater. Its glaciers include the Gangotri and Yamunotri (Uttarakhand) and Khumbu glaciers (Mt. Everest region), Langtang glacier (Langtang region), and Zemu (Sikkim). Additionally, at 48 miles in length, the Himalayan Siachen glacier is the largest glacier outside the poles.

In recent years, scientists have observed a notable rise in the rate of glacier retreat across the region as a result of climate change. Although the outcome of this change will not be known for many years, it probably could mean disaster for the hundreds of millions of people who rely on the glaciers to support the rivers during the dry seasons.

Lakes are the beauty of the Himalaya. Lakes in the Himalaya form by glacial activity. The Himalayan region includes hundreds of lakes. Most of the larger lakes live on the northern side of the Himalayan mountain range. The sacred freshwater Lake Manasarovar, near Mt. Kailash, with an area of 420km2 (160 sq mi) and an altitude of 4,590m/ 15,060 ft, is also included in the Himalayas lakes.

Manasarovar Lake drains into a slightly lower nearby Lake, Rakshastal. Likewise, spreading across the border between India and China, at the far western end of Tibet, Pangong Tso and Yamdrok Tso, located in south-central Tibet, are amongst the largest with surface areas of 700km2 (270 sq mi) and 638km2 (246 sq mi), respectively. Then again, Lake Puma Yumco is one of the highest of the larger lakes at an elevation of 5,030 m/16,500 ft.

Additionally, the lakes are smaller on the south of the main range. Yet, Tilicho Lake in Nepal in the Annapurna range is one of the highest lakes in the world. Likewise, other renowned Himalaya lakes include Rara Lake, Gokyo Lakes, and She-Phoksundo Lake in Nepal, Gurudongmar Lake, in North Sikkim, and Lake Tsongmo, near the Indo-China border in Sikkim. But, some of the lakes present a danger of a glacial lake outburst flood. The Tsho Rolpa glacier lake in the Rowling Valley, in the Dolakha District of Nepal, is considered the most dangerous.

The Himalayas is the source of more than ten major rivers in Asia. As these natural freshwater reservoirs flow downhill with the increase in temperature, they melt to form rivers rich with alluvial soil. It is also the source for the major river system Indus, the Yangtze, and the Ganga-Brahmaputra, each holding catchment basins in the mountains of about 100,000 square miles (260,000 km2) in length.

Besides that, five of the 19 rivers- the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej collectively represent the vast region divided between Punjab state in India and Punjab province in Pakistan, belong to the Indus system.

It is amidst a total catchment area of about 51,000 square miles/132,000 km2. Besides that, nine belong to the Ganges system-the Ganges, Yamuna, Ramganga, Kali (Kali Gandaki), Karnali, Rapti, Gandaki, Bagmati, and Koshi rivers draining roughly 84,000 square miles (218,000 km2) in the mountains.  Likewise, three belong to the Brahmaputra system-the Tista, the Raidak, and the Manas. It drains another 71,000 square miles (184,000 km2) in the Himalayas. Additionally, the Himalayas is also considered to be the father of the river Ganges. 


- Flora, Fauna in the Himalayas

Himalaya is very famous for tourists because of its diverse flora and fauna. The Himalayan vegetation is classified into four types. Tropical, subtropical, temperate, and alpine are the four types of vegetation that prevail in a zone. It is defined largely by elevation and precipitation.

The types of plants and trees, which are common in the Himalayan areas, are Pine, Oak, Fir, Birch, Rhododendron, Juniper, and Deodar. Regional differences in relief and climate, as well as exposure to sunlight and wind, make noteworthy variations in the species present within each zone. The tropical evergreen rainforest is confined to the humid foothills of the eastern plus central Himalayas.

Even various endangered species of plants are found there. Deodar cedar (Cedrus deodar) is a considered endemic species. It grows mainly in the western part of the Himalayan range. Their different species grow on different soils and hill slopes of varying steepness.

At higher altitudes, species present way to mountain forests inside which the typical evergreen is the Himalayan screw pine (Pandanus furcatus). Besides trees, amazing 4,000 species of flowering plants, of which 20 are palms, are expected to occur within the eastern Himalayas.

Common animals seen in the different parts of the Himalayas are snow leopards, musk deer, blue sheep, wild boar, tigers, elephants, mountain foxes, and crocodiles. Likewise, there are a variety of endangered species of animals found there. Some of the endangered animals found in the Himalayan region are red panda, wild yak, Himalayan Black Bear, and so on.

In the northern part of The Himalayas where the temperature decreases below the freezing mark, animals cannot survive well. Still, those who adapted can survive. During the cold winters, most of the animals migrate toward the lower regions. But, other animals like the brown bear hibernate in the upper region.

Also, when hills become green, butterflies of infinite species appear in various colors. The butterflies of the Himalayas are extremely beautiful. Birdlife in the Himalayas is equally rich. Some of the Himalayan birds are different species of magpies (blue, black-rumped, racket-tailed) titmice, choughs, whistling thrushes, and redstarts. Additionally, there are types of insects, spiders, and mites found in the high elevation of the Himalayas.


- Cultural, Resource

The diverse people and their culture make the Himalaya more special. The Himalayan population belongs to a distinct culturally separated inherent. From Hindu to Buddhist, Islamic, and Animist, every religion has created here their individual and unique place in the Himalayas. Moreover, with higher than 40 languages spoken, the region is home to a gathering of cultures and faiths.

Then again, there are various cultural aspects of the Himalayas. For the Hindus, The Himalayas illustrated as Himavath, the father of the goddess Parvati. Also, two of the holiest places of pilgrimage for the Hindus are the temple complex in Pashupatinath and Muktinath, also known as Saligrama because of the presence of the pure black rocks called calligrams. Besides that, in Jainism, Mt. Ashtapad in the Himalayas is a holy place. It is the place where the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhdeva attained moksha. Moreover, the Buddhists also set a great deal of importance on the Himalayas. And, Paro Taktsang is the holy place where Buddhism began in Bhutan.

Notably, the Himalayan people's cultural variety shows in many different ways. It is demonstrated through their languages and dialects, their architecture, their beliefs, and rituals, as well as their clothing. Likewise, the shapes and materials of the people's homes reflect their possible needs and acceptance. Another illustration of the diversity amongst the Himalayan peoples is that handwoven textiles. It represents colours and patterns unique to their ethnic backgrounds.

The Himalayas are a shelter to a diversity of medicinal resources. Plants of the forests are used for millennia to treat. The conditions varying from mild coughs to snake bites are treated. Nearly a fifth of the gymnosperms, angiosperms, and pteridophytes in the Himalayas are found to own medicinal properties and infinite are likely to be discovered.

Most of the population in some Asian and African nations depends on medicinal plants rather than medicines and such. Moreover, so many people accept medicinal plants as their only source of healing in the Himalayas. The resource of the Himalaya also contributes to economic and modern industrial growth both inside and outside the region.

Besides that, the Himalayas are as well a source of various minerals and precious stones. There is gold, silver, copper, zinc, and countless extra such minerals and metals located in at least 100 different places in these mountains. Additionally, tertiary rocks are vast potentials of mineral oil. Also, there is coal located in Kashmir, and precious stones located in the Himalayas.


FAQ


Where is Himalaya located in which state?

Himalaya is the range of the long Himalayas containing the world's high mountains, it is a bunch of mountains that spread from Pakistan to Bhutan and covers five countries Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, and Bhutan.


How long is Himalaya? 

Himalayas is the highest mountain range covering approximately 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) from east to west. It covers  high mountains to a small Peak