The highest and the youngest mountain range in the world are the mighty Himalayas. The term comes from sanskrit ” Him” meaning ice and “Alaya” meaning abode. In modern times Himalayas are the biggest challenge for mountaineers. With over 100 peaks rising to heights above 20000 feet it is indeed the highest place on earth. The Himalayas stretch for about 1,551 miles (2,400 km) from west to east between Nanga Parbat in Pakistan occupied Kashmir to Namjagbarwa in Tibet.
The Himalayas can be divided into four longitudinal mountain ranges :
- Outer or Sub-Himalayas known popularly as the Shivalik Range
- The Lesser or Lower Himalayas.
- The Greater Himalayas.
- Tethys or the Tibetan Himalayas.
The ranges were formed due to crashing of the Indian subcontinent plate with the Eurasian plate. The place where the Himalayas now stand was a sea known as the Tethys Ocean. When the plate crash happened the rocks were thrown upwards forming a mountain range. Gradually the water from the ocean receded and the mountains came to fore. The vast amount of water became glaciers which are the birthplace of many rivers that flow across the Indian subcontinent in the present ear. Even till today fossils of sea animals are found in the Himalayas.
The Himalayas are the reason for India having monsoon rains. The monsoon winds carrying precipitation crash against the Himalayas causing monsoons. More interesting facts about Himalayas in the next post.