Himalayas

Last updated

Himalayas
Mount Everest as seen from Drukair2 PLW edit.jpg
Aerial view of Mount Everest and surrounding landscape
Highest point
Peak Mount Everest, Nepal and China
Elevation 8,848 m (29,029 ft)
Listing
Coordinates 27°59′N86°55′E / 27.983°N 86.917°E / 27.983; 86.917 Coordinates: 27°59′N86°55′E / 27.983°N 86.917°E / 27.983; 86.917
Dimensions
Length2,400 km (1,500 mi)
Naming
Native nameHimālaya
Geography
Himalayas Map.png
The general location of the Himalayas mountain range (this map has the Hindu Kush in the Himalaya, not normally regarded as part of the core Himalayas).
Countries
Continent Asia
Geology
Orogeny Alpine orogeny
Age of rock Cretaceous-to-Cenozoic
Type of rock Metamorphic, sedimentary

The Himalayas, or Himalaya ( /ˌhɪməˈlə,hɪˈmɑːləjə/ ), (Sanskrit: himá ( हिम , "snow") and ā-laya ( आलय , "abode, receptacle, dwelling")), is a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many of Earth's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest, at the border between Nepal and China. The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia (Aconcagua, in the Andes) is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall. [1]

Contents

Lifted by the subduction of the Indian tectonic plate under the Eurasian Plate, the Himalayan mountain range runs west-northwest to east-southeast in an arc 2,400 km (1,500 mi) long. [2] Its western anchor, Nanga Parbat, lies just south of the northernmost bend of the Indus river. Its eastern anchor, Namcha Barwa, is just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River (upper stream of the Brahmaputra River). The Himalayan range is bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush ranges. To the north, the chain is separated from the Tibetan Plateau by a 50–60 km (31–37 mi) wide tectonic valley called the Indus-Tsangpo Suture. [3] Towards the south, the arc of the Himalaya is ringed by the very low Indo-Gangetic Plain. [4] The range varies in width from 350 km (220 mi) in the west (Pakistan) to 150 km (93 mi) in the east (Arunachal Pradesh). [5]

The Himalayas are inhabited by 52.7 million people, [5] and are spread across five countries: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The Hindu Kush range in Afghanistan [6] and Hkakabo Razi in Myanmar are normally not included, but they are both (with the addition of Bangladesh) part of the greater Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) river system. [7] [ full citation needed ]

Name

The name of the range derives from the Sanskrit Himālaya ( हिमालय , "Abode of the Snow"), from himá ( हिम , "snow") and ā-laya ( आलय , "receptacle, dwelling"). [8] They are now known as the "Himalaya Mountains", usually shortened to the "Himalayas". Formerly, they were described in the singular as the Himalaya and rendered as Himavan in older writings. This was also previously transcribed as Himmaleh, as in Emily Dickinson's poetry [9] [10] and Henry David Thoreau's essays. [11]

The mountains are known as the Himālaya in Nepali and Hindi (both written हिमालय ), the Himalaya (ཧི་མ་ལ་ཡ་) or 'The Land of Snow' (གངས་ཅན་ལྗོངས་) in Tibetan, the Himāliya Mountain Range (Urdu : سلسلہ کوہ ہمالیہ) in Urdu and the Ximalaya Mountain Range (simplified Chinese :喜马拉雅山脉 ; traditional Chinese :喜馬拉雅山脉 ; pinyin :Xǐmǎlāyǎ Shānmài) in Chinese. (Cantonese: heimalainga sanmat.)

Geography and key features

Himalayas landsat 7.png
A satellite image showing the arc of the Himalayas
Marsyangdi valley with Annapurna II - Annapurna Circuit, Nepal - panoramio.jpg
Marsyangdi valley with Annapurna II

The Himalayas consist of parallel mountain ranges: the Sivalik Hills on the south; the Lower Himalayan Range; the Great Himalayas, which is the highest and central range; and the Tibetan Himalayas on the north. [12] The Karakoram are generally considered separate from the Himalayas.

In the middle of the great curve of the Himalayan mountains lie the 8,000 m (26,000 ft) peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna in Nepal, separated by the Kali Gandaki Gorge. The gorge splits the Himalayas into Western and Eastern sections both ecologically and orographically – the pass at the head of the Kali Gandaki the Kora La is the lowest point on the ridgeline between Everest and K2 (the highest peak of the Karakoram range and of Pakistan). To the east of Annapurna are the 8,000 m (5.0 mi) peaks of Manaslu and across the border in Tibet, Shishapangma. To the south of these lies Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and the largest city in the Himalayas. East of the Kathmandu Valley lies the valley of the Bhote/Sun Kosi river which rises in Tibet and provides the main overland route between Nepal and China – the Araniko Highway/China National Highway 318. Further east is the Mahalangur Himal with four of the world's six highest mountains, including the highest: Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. The Khumbu region, popular for trekking, is found here on the south-western approaches to Everest. The Arun river drains the northern slopes of these mountains, before turning south and flowing to the range to the east of Makalu.

In the far east of Nepal, the Himalayas rise to the Kanchenjunga massif on the border with India, the third highest mountain in the world, the most easterly 8,000 m (26,000 ft) summit and the highest point of India. The eastern side of Kanchenjunga is in the Indian state of Sikkim. Formerly an independent Kingdom, it lies on the main route from India to Lhasa, Tibet, which passes over the Nathu La pass into the Tibet. East of Sikkim lies the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan. The highest mountain in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum, which is also a strong candidate for the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. The Himalayas here are becoming increasingly rugged with heavily forested steep valleys. The Himalayas continue, turning slightly northeast, through the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh as well as Tibet, before reaching their easterly conclusion in the peak of Namche Barwa, situated in Tibet inside the great bend of the Yarlang Tsangpo river. On the other side of the Tsangpo, to the east, are the Kangri Garpo mountains. The high mountains to the north of the Tsangpo including Gyala Peri, however, are also sometimes also included in the Himalayas.

Going west from Dhaulagiri, Western Nepal is somewhat remote and lacks major high mountains, but is home to Rara Lake, the largest lake in Nepal. The Karnali River rises in Tibet but cuts through the center of the region. Further west, the border with India follows the Sarda River and provides a trade route into China, where on the Tibetan plateau lies the high peak of Gurla Mandhata. Just across Lake Manasarovar from this lies the sacred Mount Kailash in the Kailash Ranges, which stands close to the source of the four main rivers of Himalayas and is revered in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, Jainism, and Bonpo. In the newly created Indian state of Uttarkhand, the Himalayas rise again as the Kumaon Himalayas with the high peaks of Nanda Devi and Kamet. The state is also home to the important pilgrimage destinations of Chaar Dhaam, with Gangotri, the source of holy river Ganga, Yamunotri, the source of river Yamuna, and the temples at Badrinath and Kedarnath.

The next Himalayan Indian state, Himachal Pradesh, it is noted for its hill stations, particularly Shimla, the summer capital of the British Raj, and Dharmasala, the centre of the Tibetan community in exile in India. This area marks the start of the Punjab Himalaya and the Sutlej river, the most easterly of the five tributaries of the Indus, cuts through the range here. Further west, the Himalayas form most of the southern portion of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which are disputed between India and Pakistan. The twin peaks of Nun Kun are the only mountains over 7,000 m (4.3 mi) in this part of the Himalayas. Beyond lies the renowned Kashmir Valley and the town and lakes of Srinagar. Finally, the Himalayas reach their western end in the dramatic 8000 m peak of Nanga Parbat, which rises over 8,000 m (26,000 ft) above the Indus valley and is the most westerly of the 8000 m summits. The western end terminates at a magnificent point near Nanga Parbat where the Himalayas intersect with the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, in the Pakistani territory of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Geology

The 6,000-kilometre-plus (3,700 mi) journey of the India landmass (Indian Plate) before its collision with Asia (Eurasian Plate) about 40 to 50 million years ago Himalaya-formation.gif
The 6,000-kilometre-plus (3,700 mi) journey of the India landmass (Indian Plate) before its collision with Asia (Eurasian Plate) about 40 to 50 million years ago

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 (Main Himalayan Thrust) 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 [14] ) was moving at about 15 cm (5.9 in) 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. [13] 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. [15]

Today, the Indian plate continues to be driven horizontally at the Tibetan Plateau, which forces the plateau to continue to move upwards. [16] 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 (930 mi) 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. [17] [18] In the west, the glaciers joined with the ice stream network in the Karakoram, and in the north, they joined with the former Tibetan inland ice. To the south, outflow glaciers came to an end below an elevation of 1,000–2,000 m (3,300–6,600 ft). [17] [19] While the current valley glaciers of the Himalaya reach at most 20 to 32 km (12 to 20 mi) in length, several of the main valley glaciers were 60 to 112 km (37 to 70 mi) long during the ice age. [17] The glacier snowline (the altitude where accumulation and ablation of a glacier are balanced) was about 1,400–1,660 m (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. [20]

Hydrology

13-10-08 217 CONFLUENCE OF INDUS RIVER N.jpg
Confluence of Indus River and Zanskar River in the Himalayas
Yumthang valley, Lachung Sikkim India 2012.jpg
The Himalayan range at Yumesongdong in Sikkim, in the Yumthang River valley

Despite their scale, the Himalayas do not form a major watershed, and a number of rivers cut through the range, particularly in the eastern part of the range. As a result, the main ridge of the Himalayas is not clearly defined, and mountain passes are not as significant for traversing the range as with other mountain ranges. The rivers of the Himalayas drain into two large river systems:

The northern slopes of Gyala Peri and the peaks beyond the Tsangpo, sometimes included in the Himalayas, drain into the Irrawaddy River, which originates in eastern Tibet and flows south through Myanmar to drain into the Andaman Sea. The Salween, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow River all originate from parts of the Tibetan Plateau that are geologically distinct from the Himalaya mountains and are therefore not considered true Himalayan rivers. Some geologists refer to all the rivers collectively as the circum-Himalayan rivers. [22]

Glaciers

South Annapurna Glacier Annapurna I, south face.jpg
South Annapurna Glacier

The great ranges of central Asia, including the Himalayas, contain the third-largest deposit of ice and snow in the world, after Antarctica and the Arctic. [23] The Himalayan range encompasses about 15,000 glaciers, which store about 12,000 km3 (2,900 cu mi) of fresh water. [24] Its glaciers include the Gangotri and Yamunotri (Uttarakhand) and Khumbu glaciers (Mount Everest region), Langtang glacier (Langtang region) and Zemu (Sikkim).

Owing to the mountains' latitude near the Tropic of Cancer, the permanent snow line is among the highest in the world at typically around 5,500 m (18,000 ft). [25] In contrast, equatorial mountains in New Guinea, the Rwenzoris and Colombia have a snow line some 900 m (2,950 ft) lower. [26] The higher regions of the Himalayas are snowbound throughout the year, in spite of their proximity to the tropics, and they form the sources of several large perennial rivers.

In recent years, scientists have monitored a notable increase in the rate of glacier retreat across the region as a result of climate change. [27] For example, glacial lakes have been forming rapidly on the surface of debris-covered glaciers in the Bhutan Himalaya during the last few decades. Although the effect of this will not be known for many years, it potentially could mean disaster for the hundreds of millions of people who rely on the glaciers to feed the rivers during the dry seasons. [28] [29] [30]

Lakes

Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim Gurudongmar lake North Sikkim.jpg
Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim

The Himalayan region is dotted with hundreds of lakes. [31] Most of the larger lakes are on the northern side of the main range. These include the sacred freshwater Lake Manasarovar, near to Mount Kailas with an area of 420 km2 (160 sq mi) and an altitude of 4,590 m (15,060 ft). It drains into the nearby Lake Rakshastal with an area of 250 km2 (97 sq mi) and slightly lower at 4,575 m (15,010 ft). Pangong Tso, which is spread across the border between India and China, at far western end of Tibet, and Yamdrok Tso, located in south central Tibet, are among the largest with surface areas of 700 km2 (270 sq mi), and 638 km2 (246 sq mi), respectively. Lake Puma Yumco is one of the highest of the larger lakes at an elevation of 5,030 m (16,500 ft).

South of the main range, the lakes are smaller. Tilicho Lake in Nepal in the Annapurna massif is one of the highest lakes in the world. Other notable lakes include Rara Lake in western Nepal, 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. [31]

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 m (15,030 ft) has grown considerably over the last 50 years due to glacial melting. [32] [33] 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 m (18,000 ft). [34]

Temperate Himalayan wetlands provide important habitat and layover sites for migratory birds. Many mid and low altitude lakes remain poorly studied in terms of their hydrology and biodiversity, like Khecheopalri in the Sikkim Eastern Himalayas. [35]

Climate

Himalaya sud avion.JPG
The Annapurna range of the Himalayas

The vast size, huge altitude range and complex topography of the Himalayas mean they experience a wide range of climates, from humid subtropical in the foothills to cold and dry desert conditions on the Tibetan side of the range. For much of Himalayas – that on the south side of the high mountains, except in the furthest west, the most characteristic feature of the climate is the monsoon. Heavy rain arrives on the south-west monsoon in June and persists until September. The monsoon can seriously impact transport and cause major landslides. It restricts tourism – the trekking and mountaineering season is limited to either before the monsoon in April/May or after the monsoon in October/November (autumn). In Nepal and Sikkim, there are often considered to be five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, (or post-monsoon), winter and spring.

Using the Köppen climate classification, the lower elevations of the Himalayas, reaching in mid elevations in central Nepal (including the Kathmandu valley), are classified as Cwa, Humid subtropical climate with dry winters. Higher up, most of the Himalayas have a subtropical highland climate (Cwb).

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 precipitation falls in the spring. Srinagar receives around 723 mm (28 in) around half the rainfall of locations such as Shimla and Kathmandu, with the wettest months being March and April.

The northern side of the Himalayas, also known as the Tibetan Himalaya, is dry, cold and generally wind swept particularly in the west where it has a cold desert climate. The vegetation is sparse and stunted and the winters are severely cold. Most of the precipitation in the region is in the form of snow during late winter and spring months.

Local impacts on climate are significant throughout the Himalayas. Temperatures fall by 0.2 to 1.20C for every 100 m (330 ft) rise in altitude. [36] This gives rise to a variety of climates from a nearly tropical climate in the foothills, to tundra and permanent snow and ice at higher elevations. Local climate is also affected by the topography: The leeward side of the mountains receive less rain while the well exposed slopes get heavy rainfall and the rain shadow of large mountains can be significant, for example leading to near desert conditions in the Upper Mustang which is sheltered from the monsoon rains by the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs and has annual precipitation of around 300 mm (12 in), while Pokhara on the southern side of the massifs has substantial rainfall (3,900 mm or 150 in a year). Thus although annual precipitation is generally higher in east than the west, local variations are often more important.

The Himalayas have a profound effect on the climate of the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateau. They prevent frigid, dry winds from blowing south into the subcontinent, which keeps South Asia much warmer than corresponding temperate regions in the other continents. It also forms a barrier for the monsoon winds, keeping them from traveling northwards, and causing heavy rainfall in the Terai region. The Himalayas are also believed to play an important part in the formation of Central Asian deserts, such as the Taklamakan and Gobi. [37]

An acceleration of ice loss across the Himalayas over the past 40 years has been proved with satellite photos. [38] [39] Even if the ambitious 1.5 °C target would be reached, the Himalaya glaciers would expectedly lose one third of their surfaces. [40] [41]

Ecology

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. [31] The extremes of high altitude (low atmospheric pressure) combined with extreme cold favor extremophile organisms. [42] [35]

At high altitudes, the elusive and previously endangered snow leopard is the main predator. Its prey includes members of the goat family grazing on the alpine pastures and living on the rocky terrain, notably the endemic bharal or Himalayan blue sheep. The Himalayan musk deer is also found at high altitude. Hunted for its musk, it is now rare and endangered. Other endemic or near endemic herbivores include the Himalayan tahr, the takin, the Himalayan serow, and the Himalayan goral. The critically endangered Himalayan subspecies of the brown bear is found sporadically across the range as is the Asian black bear. In the mountainous mixed deciduous and conifer forests of the eastern Himalayas, Red panda feed in the dense understories of bamboo. Lower down the forests of the foothills are inhabited by several different primates, including the endangered Gee's golden langur and the Kashmir gray langur, with highly restricted ranges in the east and west of the Himalayas respectively. [35]

The unique floral and faunal wealth of the Himalayas is undergoing structural and compositional changes due to climate change. Hydrangea hirta is an example of floral species that can be found in this area. 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 m (16,080 ft) in Southeastern Tibet. [43]

Culture

Jain pilgrims paying obeisance to Tirthankar Rishabhdev near Mount Kailash. Jains at Kailash.jpg
Jain pilgrims paying obeisance to Tirthankar Rishabhdev near Mount Kailash.

The Himalayan population belongs to distinct cultural isolated indigenous Himalayan population. Those cultures – Hindu (Indian), Buddhist (Tibetan), Islamic (AfghanistanIranian) and Animist (Burmese and southeast Asian) – have created here their own individual and unique place. [5]

In Indian tradition, Rishabhdev's son Emperor Bharata Chakravartin, after whom India was believed to be named Bharatvarsha attained nirvana at Mount Kailash. Shravanabelagola2007 - 23.jpg
In Indian tradition, Rishabhdev's son Emperor Bharata Chakravartin, after whom India was believed to be named Bharatvarsha attained nirvana at Mount Kailash.

There are many cultural aspects of the Himalayas. In Jainism, Mount Ashtapad in Himalayas is a sacred place where the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhdeva attained moksha. It is believed that after Rishabhdeva attained nirvana , his son, Emperor Bharata Chakravartin, had constructed three stupas and twenty four shrines of the 24 Tirthankaras with their idols studded with precious stones over there and named it Sinhnishdha. [45] [46] [47] For the Hindus, the Himalayas are personified as Himavath, the father of the goddess Parvati. [48] The Himalayas is also considered to be the father of the river Ganges. 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. [49]

The Buddhists also lay a great deal of importance on the Himalayas. Paro Taktsang is the holy place where Buddhism started in Bhutan. [50] 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 or mahasiddhas. They consider the saligrams to be representatives of the Tibetan serpent deity known as Gawo Jagpa. [51] 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. [51] 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 colors and patterns unique to their ethnic backgrounds. Finally, some people place a great importance on jewellery. The Rai and Limbu women wear big gold earrings and nose rings to show their wealth through their jewellery. [51]

Religions

Taktshang.jpg
The Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan, also known as the "Tiger's Nest"

Several places in the Himalayas are of religious significance in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. A notable example of a religious site is Paro Taktsang, where Padmasambhava is said to have founded Buddhism in Bhutan. [52]

In Hinduism, the Himalayas have been personified as the king of all Mountain – "Giriraj Himavat", father of Ganga and Parvati (form of Adi Shakti Durga). [53]

A number of Vajrayana Buddhist sites are situated in the Himalayas, in Tibet, Bhutan and in the Indian regions of Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Spiti and Darjeeling. There were over 6,000 monasteries in Tibet, including the residence of the Dalai Lama. [54] Bhutan, Sikkim and Ladakh are also dotted with numerous monasteries. The Tibetan Muslims have their own mosques in Lhasa and Shigatse. [55]

Resources

The Himalayas are home to a diversity of medicinal resources. Plants from the forests have been used for millennia to treat conditions ranging from simple coughs to snake bites. [49] Different parts of the plants – root, flower, stem, leaves, and bark – are used as remedies for different ailments. For example, a bark extract from an abies pindrow tree is used to treat coughs and bronchitis. Leaf and stem paste from an arachne cordifolia is used for wounds and as an antidote for snake bites. The bark of a callicarpa arborea is used for skin ailments. [49] Nearly a fifth of the gymnosperms, angiosperms and pteridophytes in the Himalayas are found to have medicinal properties, and more are likely to be discovered. [49]

Most of the population in some Asian and African countries depend on medicinal plants rather than prescriptions and such. [48] Since so many people use medicinal plants as their only source of healing in the Himalayas, the plants are an important source of income. This contributes to economic and modern industrial development both inside and outside the region. [48] The only problem is that locals are rapidly clearing the forests on the Himalayas for wood, often illegally. [56]

The Himalayas are also a source of many minerals and precious stones. Amongst the tertiary rocks, are vast potentials of mineral oil. There is coal located in Kashmir, and precious stones located in the Himalayas. There is also gold, silver, copper, zinc, and many other such minerals and metals located in at least 100 different places in these mountains. [57]

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of India geography of the country of India

India lies on the Indian Plate, the northern part of the Indo-Australian Plate, whose continental crust forms the Indian subcontinent. The country is situated north of the equator between 8°4' north to 37°6' north latitude and 68°7' east to 97°25' east longitude. It is the seventh-largest country in the world, with a total area of 3,287,263 square kilometres (1,269,219 sq mi). India measures 3,214 km (1,997 mi) from north to south and 2,933 km (1,822 mi) from east to west. It has a land frontier of 15,200 km (9,445 mi) and a coastline of 7,516.6 km (4,671 mi).

Kangchenjunga Third highest mountain in the world, in Nepal and India

Kangchenjunga, also spelled Kanchenjunga, is the third highest mountain in the world. It rises with an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft) in a section of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal delimited in the west by the Tamur River, in the north by the Lhonak Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east by the Teesta River. It lies between Nepal and Sikkim, India, with three of the five peaks directly on the border, and the remaining two in Nepal's Taplejung District.

Geography of Nepal

Nepal measures about 880 kilometers (547 mi) along its Himalayan axis by 150 to 250 kilometers across. It has an area of 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 sq mi).

Geography of Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a sovereign nation, located towards the eastern extreme of the Himalayas mountain range. It is fairly evenly sandwiched between the sovereign territory of two nations: first, the People's Republic of China on the north and northwest. There are approximately 477 kilometres of border with that nation's Tibet Autonomous Region. The second nation is the Republic of India on the south, southwest, and east; there are approximately 659 kilometres with the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, and Sikkim, in clockwise order from the kingdom. Bhutan's total borders amount to 1,139 kilometres. The Republic of Nepal to the west, the People's Republic of Bangladesh to the south, and the Union of Myanmar to the southeast are other close neighbours; the former two are separated by only very small stretches of Indian territory.

Karakoram

The Karakoram is a mountain range spanning the borders of China, India, and Pakistan, with the northwest extremity of the range extending to Afghanistan and Tajikistan; its highest 15 mountains are all based in Pakistan. It begins in the Wakhan Corridor (Afghanistan) in the west and encompasses the majority of Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan) and extends into Ladakh (India) and the disputed Aksai Chin region controlled by China. It is the second highest mountain range in the world and part of the complex of ranges including the Pamir Mountains, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayan Mountains. The Karakoram has eighteen summits over 7,500 m (24,600 ft) height, with four of them exceeding 8,000 m (26,000 ft): K2, the second highest peak in the world at 8,611 m (28,251 ft), Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II.

Geography of Tibet

The geography of Tibet consists of the high mountains, lakes and rivers lying between Central, East and South Asia. Traditionally, Western sources have regarded Tibet as being in Central Asia, though today's maps show a trend toward considering all of modern China, including Tibet, to be part of East Asia. Tibet is often called "the roof of the world," comprising tablelands averaging over 4,950 metres above the sea with peaks at 6,000 to 7,500 m, including Mount Everest, on the border with Nepal.

Manaslu Mountain in Nepal

Manaslu is the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8,163 metres (26,781 ft) above sea level. It is in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. The name Manaslu means "mountain of the spirit" and is derived from the Sanskrit word manasa, meaning "intellect" or "soul". Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956 by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition. It is said that "just as the British consider Everest their mountain, Manaslu has always been a Japanese mountain".

Tibetan Plateau A plateau in Central Asia

The Tibetan Plateau, also known in China as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau in Central Asia and East Asia, covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Northwestern Yunnan, Western half of Sichuan, Southern Gansu and Qinghai provinces in Western China, Indian regions of Ladakh and Lahaul and Spiti as well as Bhutan. It stretches approximately 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) north to south and 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) east to west. It is the world's highest and largest plateau, with an area of 2,500,000 square kilometres (970,000 sq mi). With an average elevation exceeding 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) and being surrounded by imposing mountain ranges that harbor the world's two highest summits, Mount Everest and K2, the Tibetan Plateau is often referred to as "the Roof of the World".

Rolwaling Himal

Rolwāling Himāl, , knows as a (Gaurishankar) rural municipality, is a section of the Himalayas in east-central Nepal along the Tibet border. Rolwaling Himal includes Melungtse 7181m and Melungtse II 7023m inside Tibet and Gaurishankar 7134m on the Nepal border with some 50 additional peaks over 6000m, all extending from the Nangpa La pass where the Mahalangur section begins, southwest to the Tamakosi River. The Labuche Himal section rises beyond the Tamakosi to the northwest. Rolwaling Himal is bounded on the south by the Rolwaling Valley which contain several small sherpa villages Tasi Nam, Simigau and Beding under rolwaling valley, Tasi Nam is the largest town of the area. Five to six days are required to reach Namche Bazaar after Tasilapcha pass. Visitors can trek to Everest base camp by crossing Tasilapcha or fly from Kathmandu to Lukla.

Namcha Barwa

Namcha Barwa or Namchabarwa is a mountain in the Tibetan Himalaya. The traditional definition of the Himalaya extending from the Indus River to the Brahmaputra would make it the eastern anchor of the entire mountain chain, and it is the highest peak of its own section as well as Earth's easternmost peak over 7,600 metres (24,900 ft).

Khangchendzonga National Park

Khangchendzonga National Park also Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a National Park and a Biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India. It was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in July 2016, becoming the first "Mixed Heritage" site of India. It was recently included in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. The park gets its name from the mountain Kangchenjunga which is 8,586 metres (28,169 ft) tall, the third-highest peak in the world. The total area of this park is 849.5 km2 (328.0 sq mi).

Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains

The Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains are a 700-kilometre (430 mi) long mountain range, and subrange of the Transhimalaya System, located in the Tibet region and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

Arun River, China–Nepal

The Arun River is a trans-boundary river and is part of the Kosi or Sapt Koshi river system in Nepal. It originates in Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China where it is called the Phung Chu or Bum-chu.

Eastern Himalaya Flora: Oaks, mangnolias, laurels and birches covered with moss ferns; coniferous forests of pine, fir, yew and junipers with undergrowth of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboos; lichens, moses, orchids, and other epiphytes dominant (high humidity, rain)

The Eastern Himalayas extend from eastern Nepal across Northeast India, Bhutan, the Tibet Autonomous Region to Yunnan in China and northern Myanmar. The climate of this region is influenced by the monsoon of South Asia from June to September. It is widely considered a biodiversity hotspot, with notable biocultural diversity.

Great Himalaya Trail A long-distance hiking trail

The Great Himalaya Trail is a route across the Himalayas from east to west. The original concept of the trail was to establish a single long distance trekking trail from the east end to the west end of Nepal that includes a total of roughly 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi) of path. There is a proposed trail of more than 4,500 kilometres (2,800 mi) stretching the length of the Greater Himalaya range from Nanga Parbat in Pakistan to Namche Barwa in Tibet thus passing through, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Although an actual continuous route is currently only a concept, if completed it would be the longest and highest alpine hiking track in the world.

Noijin Kangsang the highest peak of Lhagoi Kangri mountain range in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China.

Noijin Kangsang is the highest peak of Lhagoi Kangri mountain range in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. It lies between the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Yamdrok Lake and the Himalayas mountain range.

Mountains of Bhutan

The mountains of Bhutan are some of the most prominent natural geographic features of the kingdom. Located on the southern end of the Eastern Himalaya, Bhutan has one of the most rugged mountain terrains in the world, whose elevations range from 160 metres (520 ft) to more than 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) above sea level, in some cases within distances of less than 100 kilometres (62 mi) of each other. Bhutan's highest peak, at 7,570 metres (24,840 ft) above sea level, is north-central Gangkhar Puensum, close to the border with China; the third highest peak, Jomolhari, overlooking the Chumbi Valley in the west, is 7,314 metres (23,996 ft) above sea level; nineteen other peaks exceed 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Weather is extreme in the mountains: the high peaks have perpetual snow, and the lesser mountains and hewn gorges have high winds all year round, making them barren brown wind tunnels in summer, and frozen wastelands in winter. The blizzards generated in the north each winter often drift southward into the central highlands.

The ecology of the Himalayas varies 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 climate, altitude, rainfall and soil conditions supports a variety of distinct plant and animal species, such as the Nepal gray langur

Kangri Garpo

Kangri Garpo is a mountain range in eastern Tibet, located primarily in Nyingchi Prefecture as well as a portion of Qamdo Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The mountain range lies to the east of the Himalayas and to the west of the Hengduan Mountains. The mountains are geographically a southern extension of the eastern Transhimalayas.

References

  1. Yang, Qinye; Zheng, Du (2004). Himalayan Mountain System. ISBN   978-7-5085-0665-4 . Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  2. Wadia, D. N. (1931). "The syntaxis of the northwest Himalaya: its rocks, tectonics and orogeny". Record Geol. Survey of India. 65 (2): 189–220.
  3. Valdiya, K. S. (1998). Dynamic Himalaya. Hyderabad: Universities Press.
  4. Le Fort, P. (1975). "Himalayas: The collided range. Present knowledge of the continental arc". American Journal of Science . 275-A: 1–44.
  5. 1 2 3 Apollo, M. (2017). "Chapter 9: The population of Himalayan regions – by the numbers: Past, present and future". In Efe, R.; Öztürk, M. (eds.). Contemporary Studies in Environment and Tourism. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 143–159.
  6. "Is Hindu Kush a part of the Himalayas?". study.com.
  7. "Regional Information".
  8. "Definition of Himalayas". Oxford Dictionaries Online. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  9. Roshen Dalal (2014). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. ISBN   9788184752779. Entry: "Himavan"
  10. Dickinson, Emily, The Himmaleh was known to stoop .
  11. Thoreau, Henry David (1849), A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.
  12. Himalayas. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  13. 1 2 "The Himalayas: Two continents collide". USGS. 5 May 1999. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  14. (1995) Geologists Find: An Earth Plate Is Breaking in Two
  15. Mount Everest – Overview and Information by Matt Rosenberg. ThoughtCo Updated 17 March 2017
  16. "Plate Tectonics -The Himalayas". The Geological Society. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  17. 1 2 3 Kuhle, M. (2011). "The High Glacial (Last Ice Age and Last Glacial Maximum) Ice Cover of High and Central Asia, with a Critical Review of Some Recent OSL and TCN Dates". In Ehlers, J.; Gibbard, P.L.; Hughes, P.D. (eds.). Quaternary Glaciation – Extent and Chronology, A Closer Look. Amsterdam: Elsevier BV. pp. 943–965.
  18. glacier maps downloadable
  19. Kuhle, M. (1987). "Subtropical mountain- and highland-glaciation as ice age triggers and the waning of the glacial periods in the Pleistocene". GeoJournal . 14 (4): 393–421. doi:10.1007/BF02602717. S2CID   129366521.
  20. Kuhle, M. (2005). "The maximum Ice Age (Würmian, Last Ice Age, LGM) glaciation of the Himalaya – a glaciogeomorphological investigation of glacier trim-lines, ice thicknesses and lowest former ice margin positions in the Mt. Everest-Makalu-Cho Oyu massifs (Khumbu- and Khumbakarna Himal) including information on late-glacial-, neoglacial-, and historical glacier stages, their snow-line depressions and ages". GeoJournal. 62 (3–4): 193–650. doi:10.1007/s10708-005-2338-6.
  21. "Sunderbans the world's largest delta". gits4u.com. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  22. Gaillardet, J.; Métivier, F.; Lemarchand, D.; Dupré, B.; Allègre, C.J.; Li, W.; Zhao, J. (2003). "Geochemistry of the Suspended Sediments of Circum-Himalayan Rivers and Weathering Budgets over the Last 50 Myrs" (PDF). Geophysical Research Abstracts. 5: 13,617. Bibcode:2003EAEJA....13617G. Abstract 13617. Retrieved 4 November 2006.
  23. "The Himalayas – Himalayas Facts". Nature on PBS. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  24. "the Himalayan Glaciers". Fourth assessment report on climate change. IPPC. 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  25. Shi, Yafeng; Xie, Zizhu; Zheng, Benxing; Li, Qichun (1978). "Distribution, Feature and Variations of Glaciers in China" (PDF). World Glacier Inventory. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2013.
  26. Henderson-Sellers, Ann; McGuffie, Kendal (2012). The Future of the World's Climate: A Modelling Perspective. pp. 199–201. ISBN   978-0-12-386917-3.
  27. "Vanishing Himalayan Glaciers Threaten a Billion". Reuters. 4 June 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  28. Kaushik, Saurabh; Rafiq, Mohammd; Joshi, P.K.; Singh, Tejpal (April 2020). "Examining the glacial lake dynamics in a warming climate and GLOF modelling in parts of Chandra basin, Himachal Pradesh, India". Science of the Total Environment. 714: 136455. Bibcode:2020ScTEn.714m6455K. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136455. PMID   31986382.
  29. Rafiq, Mohammd; Romshoo, Shakil Ahmad; Mishra, Anoop Kumar; Jalal, Faizan (January 2019). "Modelling Chorabari Lake outburst flood, Kedarnath, India". Journal of Mountain Science. 16 (1): 64–76. doi:10.1007/s11629-018-4972-8. ISSN   1672-6316. S2CID   134015944.
  30. "Glaciers melting at alarming speed". People's Daily Online. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  31. 1 2 3 O'Neill, A. R. (2019). "Evaluating high-altitude Ramsar wetlands in the Sikkim Eastern Himalayas". Global Ecology and Conservation. 20 (e00715): 19. doi: 10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00715 .
  32. Photograph of Tsho Rolpa
  33. Tsho Rolpa
  34. Drews, Carl. "Highest Lake in the World" . Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  35. 1 2 3 O'Neill, Alexander; et al. (25 February 2020). "Establishing Ecological Baselines Around a Temperate Himalayan Peatland". Wetlands Ecology & Management. 28 (2): 375–388. doi:10.1007/s11273-020-09710-7. S2CID   211081106.
  36. Romshoo, Shakil Ahmad; Rafiq, Mohammd; Rashid, Irfan (March 2018). "Spatio-temporal variation of land surface temperature and temperature lapse rate over mountainous Kashmir Himalaya". Journal of Mountain Science. 15 (3): 563–576. doi:10.1007/s11629-017-4566-x. ISSN   1672-6316. S2CID   134568990.
  37. Devitt, Terry (3 May 2001). "Climate shift linked to rise of Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau". University of Wisconsin–Madison News. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  38. http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu 19. Juni 2019: Melting of Himalayan Glaciers Has Doubled in Recent Years
  39. Maurer, J. M.; Schaefer, J. M.; Rupper, S.; Corley, A. (2019). "Acceleration of ice loss across the Himalayas over the past 40 years". Science Advances. 5 (6): eaav7266. Bibcode:2019SciA....5.7266M. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aav7266. PMC   6584665 . PMID   31223649..
  40. Philippus Wester, Arabinda Mishra, Aditi Mukherji, Arun Bhakta Shrestha (2019). The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People. ISBN   978-3-319-92288-1 https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-92288-1
  41. Kunda Dixit / Nepali Times 5. Februar 2019: Himalayan Glaciers on Pace for Catastrophic Meltdown This Century, Report Warns
  42. Hogan, C. Michael (2010). Monosson, E. (ed.). "Extremophile". Encyclopedia of Earth . Washington, DC: National Council for Science and the Environment.
  43. Miehe, Georg; Miehe, Sabine; Vogel, Jonas; Co, Sonam; Duo, La (May 2007). "Highest Treeline in the Northern Hemisphere Found in Southern Tibet" (PDF). Mountain Research and Development. 27 (2): 169–173. doi:10.1659/mrd.0792. hdl:1956/2482. S2CID   6061587. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2013.
  44. Jain Pooja-Kavya: Ek Chintan. ISBN   978-81-263-0818-7.
  45. Jain, Arun Kumar (2009). Faith & Philosophy of Jainism. ISBN   978-81-7835-723-2.
  46. "To heaven and back". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  47. Jain, Arun Kumar (2009). Faith & Philosophy of Jainism. ISBN   978-81-7835-723-2.
  48. 1 2 3 Gupta, Pankaj; Sharma, Vijay Kumar (2014). Healing Traditions of the Northwestern Himalayas. Springer Briefs in Environmental Science. ISBN   978-81-322-1925-5.
  49. 1 2 3 4 Jahangeer A. Bhat; Munesh Kumar; Rainer W. Bussmann (2 January 2013). "Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 9: 1. doi:10.1186/1746-4269-9-1. PMC   3560114 . PMID   23281594.
  50. Cantor, Kimberly (14 July 2016). "Paro, Bhutan: The Tiger's Nest". Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  51. 1 2 3 Zurick, David; Julsun, Pacheco; Basanta, Raj Shrestha; Birendra, Bajracharya (2006). Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya. Lexington: U of Kentucky.
  52. Pommaret, Francoise (2006). Bhutan Himalayan Mountains Kingdom (5th ed.). Odyssey Books and Guides. pp. 136–137. ISBN   978-962-217-810-6.
  53. Dallapiccola, Anna (2002). Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend . ISBN   978-0-500-51088-9.
  54. "Tibetan monks: A controlled life". BBC News. 20 March 2008.
  55. "Mosques in Lhasa, Tibet". People's Daily Online. 27 October 2005.
  56. "Himalayan Forests Disappearing". Earth Island Journal. 21 (4): 7–8. 2006.
  57. "Resources and power" . Retrieved 25 January 2020.

Further reading