The Roof of the World: Himalaya Mountain Range

Himalyan Mountain Range

 

In Asia, China, India, Nepal, and Bhutan are home to one of the eight wonders of the world and one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, the Himalaya Mountains also called the Himalayas.  Boasting as the world’s highest and most famous mountain peak, Mt. Everest.

Within the verse of the ‘Kumarsambhava’, Sanskrit poet Kalidasa defines the Himalaya as a gigantic measuring stick striding the face of the earth between two oceans. Snow-capped peaks are indeed a very impressive feature. The word “Himalaya”, is a  Sankrit word, which means’ The Abode Of Snow or the Home Of Snow’. Other names used to describe this mountain range correlate it with eternal snow – “Himachal”, “Himvan”, “Himadri”, and “Himvat”.

In the ancient times, there was a vast shallow sea named the Tethys that existed where the Himalaya is today. The submerged landmasses on both sides started pushing towards each other giving birth to the Himalaya Mountains. This was a relatively recent occurrence according to the geographical time frame. It only proves to show that the Himalaya can be considered to be young and fragile land formation.

Scientists studying these mountains speculate that the entire process took about five to seven million years. There are proof of fossils found at heights of more 26,000 feet support these theories. The Himalaya has risen about 6,600 feet in the past 20,000 years and continues to rise at the rate 3 to 4 inches a year.

No other mountain range can boast having peaks of 26,000 feet. The Himalaya have 14 such peaks and hundreds of summits with over 23,000 feet high above sea level. The Himalaya Mountain range stretches 1,700 miles across an area between Assam, a state northeastern part of India and Kashmir. At the east, Namche Barwa stands as sentinel and the part is guarded by the awesome Nanga Parbat.

The Himalaya Mountains are the source of many great rivers in the Indian subcontinent. The Sindhu or Indus, called “The River rising out of a Lion’s Mouth”, comes from the trans-Himalayan Tibetan Plateau, same as the Brahmaputra. The Ganga and Yamuna, with their countless colorful Himalayan tributaries, are intertwined with local myths, legends where life started and are connected with belief and traditions.

Today, the Himalaya Mountains are one of the most beautiful and revered mountain ranges in Asia.

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