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<< Indian Himalayas << About Himalayas >> << Geography of Himalayas >>

G e o g r a p h y  o f  H i m a l a y a s

Starting Point Begin your exploration with a introduction to the Himalayas. Himalayan Lands Explore the unique geography, culture, wildlife and history of the Himalayas lands of India, Nepal and Tibet. The Himalayan range runs for about 2400 km, from Nanga Parbat in the west to Namche Barwa in the east. The width varies between 250-300 km. The Himalayan range comprises three parallel ranges, arranged by elevation and geological age.  The youngest of the three is called the Sub-Himalayan range [Siwalik Hills in India] and has an elevation of about 1200m. This range is made up of erosion material from the rising Himalaya.  Running parallel to this is the lower Himalayan range which has an elevation between 2000|5000 m. a number of Indian Hill Stations very well known as : 'Shimla, Nainital and Darjeeling are located here.

The northernmost range is called the Higher Himalaya and is also the oldest of the three. It has an elevation of more than 6000 m and contains a large number of the world's highest peaks including the three highest Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenzunga. Archaeological evidence reveals that urban civilization first emerged in the valleys of the rivers coursing down from the Himalayan mountains. When man elsewhere was cautiously emerging from his cave shelters, spectacular cities flourished at Mohenjodaro and Harappa in the Indus valley.  The Indian States of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttranchal, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh lie mostly in the Himalayas.

Edge of the World

Although seemingly timeless, the Himalaya are anything but unchanging. The mountains themselves continue to grow an average of one centimeter per year, with some peaks rising ten centimeters in a single year. More alarming are the profound environmental and cultural changes occurring throughout the region. In Himalaya: Life on the Edge of the World, David Zurick and P. P. Karan explore these dynamic changes through geological records, scientific reports, and official documents dating back over a century and through years of field research and travel which have given them an intimate knowledge of the landscape and people of the Himalaya.

Birth of Himalayas

The authors provide a comprehensive natural history of the region from the birth of the Himalaya out of the tectonic disruptions beneath the primordial Tethys Sea to the variety of landforms, habitats, and climates seen today; a lively study of the peoples who make the mountains their home, tracing human history in the Himalaya back more than a thousand years; and an in-depth analysis of the relationship between nature and society in the Himalaya and the pressing problems of environmental degradation, explosive population growth, spiraling poverty, and globalization confronting the region and its people.

Challenging widely held assumptions about the current ecological crisis in the Himalaya that deforestation, for example, can be blamed exclusively on local villagers or that pollution and rampant resource exploitation occur uniformly throughout the range the authors detail a much more complex scenario in which the population explosion is only one of the many factors affecting the Himalayan landscape and in which some regions exhibit little of the environmental decline witnessed elsewhere.

Wildlife Corner

Himalaya also offers reasons for hope, documenting the success of wildlife preserves and national parks in protecting the region's fragile ecology, effective strategies of local environmental activists, the encouraging rise of ecotourism, and the introduction of both new and rediscovered techniques of sustainable agriculture.

The fauna of the alpine ecosystem depends on the tubers and roots of these plants for survival when the thick blanket of winter snow covers the hill-sides, and sources of nutrition are at a premium. However, in the absence of these herbs many animals are moving away from affected regions as they are not able to sustain themselves. As a result, the chief predator of this alpine ecosystem - the Snow Leopard is forced to move with its prey and the animal populations get concentrated into smaller areas. Thoroughly researched, engagingly written, and lavishly illustrated with helpful maps and evocative photographs, Himalaya provides a compelling account of the mountain range's natural history, cultural diversity, environmental predicament, and future survival.

Himalayan Flora

Himalayan flora is the chief victim of this abuse. But the biggest threat to some of our Himalayan flora comes from a different quarter. The large-scale removal of certain mountain herbs and plants of medicinal value is bringing about different changes within the mountain ecosystem. These plants, which include species of Saussurea, Podophyllum, Geranium, Anemone and Potentilla constitute the chief source of lean season sustenance for the high altitude fauna such as the Bharal or the Blue Sheep and the Himalayan Red Bear. These root plants, which are systematically mined from entire hill slopes and meadows in portions of Himachal Pradesh and Garhwal, are subsequently processed locally and exported for use in perfumeries and medical preparations abroad and in India.

For Future Trekkers

Trekking parties to the high mountains not only destroy the last stands of Birch and Rhododendron at the high altitudes to use as fuel wood, but they also leave behind empty tin-cans and waste that is not biodegradable in nature. Juniper bushes are likewise used as incense in camp fires. The answer to such 'abuses' is for all trekking parties and expeditions to carry with them to the mountains their own supplies of liquid fuel such as Kerosene or LPG. All garbage that is biodegradable should be buried in shallow pits in the ground, while that which is not likely to biodegrade should be carried back to the plains for recycling or proper disposal. Such actions, although seemingly insignificant in the face of Himalayan scale, can help preserve the mountains in their pristine state not only for the enjoyment of future trekkers but for the goodness of the Himalayan ecosystems.

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TRAVEL DESTINATIONS HILL STATIONS TREKKING ITINERARIES HOTELS

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Kailash Mansarover Tour Pilgrimage Tour Chardham Everest Base Camp  
Kangchenjunga Base Camp Nanda Devi Base Camp   Kangchenjunga Trek - Feel of Real Sikkim
Ladakh the Last Leg   Land of Gods: Kumaon & Garhwal   Monasteries Tour Ladakh

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BEST  HOTELS  IN  THE  HIGHEST  MOUNTAINS  OF  THE  WORLD

Hotel Inter Continental The Grand Palace - Srinagar Mayfair Hill Resort Darjeeling - West Bengal India Hotel Krishna Mountview, Kausani (Uttaranchal, India)
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T O U R   P A C K A G E S   H I M A L A Y A S
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Magical Mustang High on Nepal Land of Gods: Kumaon & Garhwal Ladakh the Last Leg Indus River Expedition
River Rafting Deoprayag-Kaudiyala-Shivpuri Wildlife Travel Corbett Amarnath Yatra (Travel) Package
Valley of Flowers & Hemkund Sahib Shrine Camping & Mountaineering Himalayas Pilgrimage Tour Chardham
Travel Kaziranga National Park Tons  Valley and Har Ki Dun Trek Paro-Lingshi-Thimpu
Secret of Bhutan-Sikkim-Darjeeling Wonderland       
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P I L G R I M A G E   I N   H I M A L A Y A S
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Kailash Mansarover Yatra   Holy Places in Sarahan  Holy Places in Tibet   Holy Places in Nepal
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