The Himalayas

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The Himalayan mountain range is located in southern Asia. It is spread over India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Measuring up to 9,000 meters above sea level, the mountains are the highest in the world! Himalaya means ‘home of snow’. They separate the Indian subcontinent from the inner part of Asia. 

14 mountains measure over 8,000 meters from the sea level. The K2, Nanga Parbat and Mount Everest are among them. Infact, with a height of 8,848 meters, Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain. The Himalayas stretch from the Indus Valley in the west to Brahmaputra Valley in the east, covering over 1,500 miles (2,400 kms).

Mountain peaks are usually considered sacred by people living in the surrounding areas. They are mostly popular among Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, they visit these places and pray to their respective gods.

How were the Himalayas formed?

The Himalayas are considered as the youngest mountain ranges in the world. The Indian subcontinent, which was initially a part of the southern landmass, drifted to the north and crashed into Asia, resulting in the formation of the great mountain range! The ‘movement’ started about 70 million years ago and continues even now. The Himalayas continue to grow taller (about 7 cm every year). Frequent earthquakes and volcanoes are recorded in the region. 

Rivers and Lakes

The higher regions of the Himalayas are covered by glaciers and permanent snow fields. They act as the source of the streams which flow into the two big rivers in the region. The Indus flows in the west direction, it moves through Pakistan and empties into the Arabian Sea. The Ganges and Brahmaputra flow in the eastward direction and join with each other in Bangladesh. The rivers form the largest delta in the world.



In a mountain range, different types of climatic conditions prevail at different altitudes. The southern lower slopes are home to several tropical plants and tea. Trees usually grow up to a height of 4000 meters. Wheat and cereals are cultivated in higher regions. 

The Himalayas regulate the climate in both India and Tibet. They act as a barrier for monsoon winds which blow from the Indian Ocean over India. It rains heavily on the front side of the mountains, whereas dry air blows across the plains of Tibet. 


Owing to its harsh climate, the Himalayas are very sparsely populated. Majority people inhabit the lower Indian slopes. People earn their livelihood being ‘sherpas’. They guide tourists and mountaineers to the peaks of the mountain range.

The mountains have acted as a natural barrier for over thousands of years. They prevented the people from China and inner parts of Asia from mixing with the Indian population. For example, Genghis Khan, the emperor of Mongols could not expand his empire towards the south due to the tall mountains.

Most of the passes which help us cross the Himalayas are located at a height of over 5,000 meters. During winters they get covered by snow and can’t be used.


‘Mountain Climbing’ is a prominent tourist activity in the Himalayas. Towards the end of the 19th century, several mountaineers started climbing the peaks. In the year 1953, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people ever to successfully climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

Check your knowledge

 Answer) Mount Everest.

Electrostatic shielding is defined as the phenomenon which is observed when a Faraday cage is used for blocking the effects of an electric field. The use of the cage is to block the effects of an external field on the internal content.

 Answer)  Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

 Answer) Ganges Brahmaputra Delta or Sunderban Delta.

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