“Himalayas” is a Sanskrit word which means “Abode of Snow”. It is a vast mountain range in Asia which stretches from Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal and China. The Highest mountain of the world Mt. Everest (8,848 meters) is located in Himalayas and most of the peaks present there exceed 7,200 meters altitude. Some of the famous peaks areMt. Kailash (6,638 m), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) (Third Highest Mountain of the World), Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 m).
India has the greatest share of Himalayas (2,400 km)
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
Himalayas in Nepal (800 km)
- Himalayas occupy 75% part of Nepal.
- Highest mountain – Mt. Everest, including 8 peaks above the altitude of 8,000 m lies in this country.
The Himalayas have highly diverse people living there with different religions and different languages. There is Hindusm in the Southern ranges of Eastern Himalayas, Islam is widespread in the West, and Buddhism is practiced in the Northern ranges of Western Himalayas.
Enormous languages are spoken there Urdu/Hindi/Nepali/Tibetan/Chinese which are very different from each other.
In Himalayas there are many holy and sacred places which are connected to Mythology and plays a great role in the lives of people and their beliefs.
Different people in Himalayas have different languages, clothes, culture, tradition, their architecture and beliefs. It is a great place to find diversity.
Many places of Himalayas are of Religious importance in these religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Himalayas are Highly Rich in Flora and Fauna
Himalayas being the unique chain of mountains are very popular and known by everyone, people often visit different parts of Himalayas because the charm of this place is captivating and attracts people of different areas to explore the inherent beauty which is God gifted.
The Himalayas have a variety of Flora and Fauna which has always been the attraction of this place, it is a nature lover’s heaven with heavenly sceneries. There are abundant forests of Pine, Deodar, Spruce, Silver Fir, Conifers and Blue Pine which are found in the Western region but the Eastern region have Rhododendrons, Maples, Oaks, Alder, Birch and Willows.
It is a home of numerous animals of different species. It consist of Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks for protection of Wildlife and for the people who want to experience the highly rich Flora and Fauna of this place.
It is divided in Three parts:
- Great Himalayas – These are the highest mountain range of Himalayas, the mountains present here are of average 6,000 m and the peaks more than 8,000 m are situated here.
- Lesser Himalayas – These are on the south of Hidari, their average height is more than 3000 m.
- Outer Himalayas – These are the ranges present on south of the Lesser Himalayas, 1200 m is the average height.
Glaciers and Lakes
After Antarctica and Arctic, the Himalayas are the third largest deposit of Snow and Ice in the whole world. Here are approximately 15,000 glaciers which store ample of water that’s fresh.
There is a large list of Indian glaciers some of them are –
- Gangotri and Yamunotri
Himalayas have hundreds of Lakes, some of them are sacred and worshiped by the people. Most of the Lakes which are present at high altitude are glaciated.
Some Himalayan Lakes are –
- Chandra Taal
- Bhrigu Lake
- Satopanth Tal
Why Trekking in the Himalayas?
Variety of Treks
It includes a different variety of mountain ranges from high altitude to low altitude, which offers the best treks in the sanity of mountains. The people who are looking for low altitude treks and the ones looking for high altitude treks, can easily find their perfect trek here.
Rich in Biodiversity
Himalayas are the mountains with a charm of biodiversity, the people who are nature lovers and want to explore the highly rich flora and rare species of animals, then there can be no better place than these captivating mountains, it is one of the most richest places for Flora and Fauna, it can be found in abundance here.
Populated and Unpopulated regions
Some parts of the Himalayas are populated and some of them are not populated at all, only few villages are found at high altitude and it is very surprising to see that the people have adjusted themselves according to the environment, living there can be the most beautiful thing or can be very harsh. Still you can see the smiling faces of villagers satisfied in whatever they have and accept every condition in which they have to live.
Explore the Cultural Diversity
The cultural diversity of these places can be explored there can be nothing great than knowing new people and exploring their culture. The traditions, their beliefs, dresses and food everything is different, so if you plan to trek the Himalayas you get a chance to know the Himalayan life of people.
The Change in Sceneries
The changing sights are one of the reasons to go trekking in Himalayas because as the altitude is gained, the sceneries start getting clearer and better, the spectacular views are very extraordinary away from hustle and bustle of city life and the environment is soothing, people also go there for peace of their mind.
Himalayas are a Popular Trekking Destination
Trekking has enhanced, it’s no more only rugged and rough. The techniques and equipment have got advanced. Improved methods have increased the scope of Trekking and it has become easier as compared before. “Himalayas” are a popular trekking destination and many passionate people want to traverse them, they attract people across the globe.
Written by - Tulika Negi