Top Ten Fascinating Facts about the Himalayas You Never Knew
Most people are aware of the fact that the snow-clad Himalayas is one of the highest mountain chains, but you will be surprised to know that this peak grows approximately 20mm every year. It is not the only interesting fact about the Himalayas, there are plenty more mentioned in this list.
If you have ever seen the images of the high mountain peaks draped with snow, deep river gorges, large glaciers and diverse range of flora and fauna, chances are they might be the pictures of the Himalayas. It is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world, situated in the northern border of India and spread across six Asian countries -India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, China and Nepal. The Himalayas contains some of the highest peaks in the world that includes Mount Everest, Karakoram and Kanchenjunga. It is the perfect holiday destination for the nature lovers as its enchanting beauty magnetizes everyone. The Himalayas is also known as the "Abode of God" as it is considered divine among the people belonging to different religions. For every adventure enthusiast, it is a dream to climb the Himalayas and explore its beauty. The amazing beauty of the Himalayas fascinates every visitor and makes it one of the best places to visit on earth.
10. Youngest Mountain Range and Restless
The Himalayas is considered to be the tallest and youngest mountain ranges (approximately 70 million years old). A continental collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates resulted into the development of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Various geological tests conducted by scientists have confirmed that this great mountain range still moves approximately 20mm every year. Because of this restless or continuous movement of the plates, the whole Himalayan region is prone to various natural disasters like earthquakes, tremors and landslides.
9. Salubrious Climate Perfect for Unforgettable Vacations
The climate of the Himalayas tends to differ according to height. It gets cooler as the height increases and gets wetter as the altitude decreases. As a result, the climate of the Himalayan region is very unpredictable and changes very rapidly. There are usually two major seasons experienced over here, which are winter and summer. During the summers, the temperature remains quite salubrious making it an excellent summer holiday getaway. In the winter season, the region receives extreme snowfall with bone-chilling temperatures.
8. Diverse Topography Makes This Mountain Range Unique
The topography of the Himalayas is very unique and promotes different ecological systems. The grasslands and coniferous forests can be found at the higher altitudes. The sub-tropical broadleaf forests are very well spread out between the middle altitudes. The tropical rainforests are scattered at the lower elevations. There are more than 15,000 glaciers in the Everest. The Himalayas is also the source of prominent rivers in Asia like the Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra and Yarlung.
7. Naming the Gigantic Mount Everest
In Nepal, people called the Himalayas by the name 'Sagarmatha' that means the Goddess of the Universe. The Tibetans call it Chomolungma. However, the Mount Everest was named by Sir Andrew Waugh, a British Army Officer to give respect to his predecessor, Colonel Sir George Everest, Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843.
6. A God by Itself
In Hindu religion, the Himalaya is known as the Giri-raj, which means the "King of the Mountains". The Hindu people consider the Himalayas as a sacrosanct place and believe it to be the dwelling place of Gods. It has got mention in the epic Ramayana, Mahabharat, Rig Veda, Skanda Purana and many other Puranas. Many saints regard the Himalayas as the land of holy practices where perform the penance and worship the Lord.
5. Home to the Exotic Wildlife Creatures and Flora
The Himalayas serve as a natural habitat to some of the exotic species of animals like the snow leopard, wild goat, Tibetan sheep, musk deer and mountain goats. To watch the majestic snow leopards, you have to climb the higher altitudes of the mountain. Besides the animals, many diverse and beautiful species of birds are found in the region such as the brown rock chat, grey bushchat, black rumped flameback woodpecker, verditer flycatcher, hill patridge and Himalayan bulbul which are simply a treat to the eyes. The flora of the Himalayas includes Deodar, Rhododendron, Juniper, teak, rosewood and Pine trees.
4. Scaling the Highest Peak of the World
Climbing Mount Everest, one of the highest peaks in the world is an adventure of a lifetime for many people. Edmund Hillary was the first person to reach the top of mountain on May 29, 1953. After reaching the summit, Hillary took some pictures and buried the red and blue pencils of his adorable daughter. More than 5000 people are believed to have climbed the Everest. Many adventure enthusiasts take up the challenge of climbing the peak every year and for some of them it is quite an enthralling experience. Apart from the Mount Everest, there are several other popular peaks for climbing in the Himalayas that can be climbed like the K2, Kanchenjunga, Lahotse and Dhaulagiri.
3. A Perfect Amalgamation of Rich Culture and Religion
You can find people of various cultures and religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism in the Himalayas. The Himalayan people are known to be very friendly and help the tourists visiting the region in every possible manner. There are plenty of beautiful Buddhist Monasteries in the Himalaya region that really captivate the attention of the visitors. The prominent Hindu pilgrimage destinations such as the Amarnath, Kedarnath and Badrinath are nestled in the Himalayas.
2. Abode of Snow that Never Melts
The term Himalaya also means abode of snow. This is because the mountains of the Himalayas are covered with the deposit of ice and snow. The upper portion of the Mount Everest (above 5,500 km) is draped with snow that never melts. The glaciers situated around this mountain range are a reservoir of crystal-clear fresh water.
1. Source of Inspiration for Adventure Enthusiasts and Mountaineers
The Himalayas acts as a source of inspiration for many adventure junkies and mountaineers those who want to experience a great adrenaline rush in their veins. The Everest is not a very easy peak to climb as the rugged terrains, deep snow and harsh weather present great challenges to the mountaineers to climb the peak. It really tests the endurance, stamina, strength and climbing skills of the mountaineers.
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