Himalayas- Snow, alaya abode. ‘Abode of Snow is also known as the king of mountains. The well known range of mounatins now is called the Himalayas. The mounatin range forms the northern barrier of the Indian peninsula, containing the highest eevation of th e world. Himalayas is the youngest system in the world formed in Oligocence period. Himalayas gave birth to great rivers Indus and its four tributaries.
The snow-clad Himalayas have been described by Kalidasa as the ‘King of mountains (nagdhiraja), enclosing divnity (devtama) who stands between the two oceans as measuring rod as were, of the earth.’ From the Pamirs in Pakistan to the easternmost bend of the Brahmaputra in Assam, the majestic Himalayas rise across a length of 2,500km.
From the most ancient times they have attracted pilgrims from all over India, and in their sublime presence people have felt the grandeur and the infinity of the pure spirit.
The Himalayas have not only proceed the country from invasion from North, but hvae also sheltered the vast plains of Northern India from the ice colds winds of the Tibet and have played a great part in determining the climate of North India.
Within their folds stand 92 of the 94 peaks in Asia that measure above 7,300m. The highest peak is Mount Everest (8,863m, in Nepal), followed by Kanchenjunga (8,598m), and Nanda Devi (7,817m). Kullu, Chamba, Kashmir are some of the exquisite valleys cradled by these magnificent mountains. India’s mighty rivers like the Ganga, Yamuna, Sutlej, Ravi, Chenab and Brahmaputra originate from the melting snows of the Himalayas.
For a clearer understanding of this colossal mountain range, the Indian Himalayas can be divided into three zones – the Shiwaliks or the Outer Ranges on the southern wing, the Middle Ranges like the Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar, and the Greater Himalayas with the highest and oldest peaks (many of these are in Nepal).
However don’t get taken in by the sheer size of the Himalayas; compared to some of the mountains of the world, they’re actually babies! The central core of the Himalayas began to rise barely 35 million years ago, making them the youngest of the most awe-inspiring ranges in the world.
The 5 million-year-old Shiwaliks are much younger. These peaks are still growing at the rate of about 5mm a year. The effects can be felt in the form of violent earthquakes that rock the region separating the mountains from the plains.