See also: the Himalayas (homonymy)
The the Himalayas , in Sanskrit “remains snows”, ( him “snow” and alaya “house, remains”), or chain of the Himalayas , is a whole of assembly lines being stretched on more than 2400 km length and broad from 250 to 400 km, which separates the Indian sub-continent from the plate Tibetan in the south of Asia. It begins, in the west in Nanga Parbat in Pakistan and finishes, in the east in Namche Barwa in Tibet. This mountainous unit, delimited in the west by the valley of the Indus river and in the east by the valley of the Brahmapoutra river, covers a surface of approximately 600000 km ².
The Himalayas shelter more the high mountains of the world, that is to say the 14 tops which culminate with more than 8000 meters of altitude, of which the mount Everest, highest of all. These high summits gave place to many forwardings of famous mountaineers and all were conquered.
The Himalayas still belong to a vaster mountainous unit than one indicates by Aire Hindu the Kush-Himalayas (HKH), which includes/understands in addition to the chains of Hindu-Kush and Pamir, those of the Karakoram which prolongs the Himalayan chain in the west. This vast unit overlaps eight country and shelters more than 140 million people.
According to the theory of the Plate tectonics , the Himalayas are the result of the collision of the Indian Plaque and the Eurasian Plaque. This collision began with the cretaceous superior (approximately 70 million years ago), the indo-Australian plate, which moved towards north at the speed of 15 centimetres per year, having run up against the Eurasian plate. The ocean Téthys, which separated them, completely disappeared approximately 50 million years ago. The indo-Australian plate continues to move at the constant speed of approximately 5 centimetres per year, being inserted under the Eurasian plate and thus causing the rise in the Himalayas and the Plateau Tibetan.
The India behaves as a punch which presses and which deforms the Asian Lithosphère on more than 3000 kilometers in the north of the Himalayas. The Tibet is cut by large Failles which absorbs this deformation. On the east coast of the Indian punch, the Burmese Chains and the islands Andaman and Nicobar in the Indian Ocean were also created by the movement between India and Eurasia.
This intense tectonic activity makes the area very active from the point of view seismic. Moreover, of the Seism S histories magnitude 8 and more are documented on the southern face of the Himalayas.
The Himalayas extend on more than 2400 km, since Nanga Parbat, in Pakistan, in the west until Namche Barwa in the east. It comprises three parallel chains laid out in order of altitude and geological era.
Young person of the three chains “sub-Himalayan is known as” (hills of Shivalik) and rises with approximately 1200 meters of altitude. It was formed by erosion since the formation of the Himalayas. Parallel with this chain is that of the “Low Himalayas” whose altitude varies: 2000 to 5000 meters. Lastly, the chain more in north, the “Large Himalayas”, are oldest of the three. It rises with more than 6000 meters of altitude and comprises a great number of the more high summits of the world, of which the three first are the Everest, the K2, and the Kangchenjunga. The Himalayas cover the major part of the Nepal and the Bhutan and almost entirely occupy the State Pakistan board of the Balistan and the States Indian following: Jammu, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. At the border of Sikkim and Bengal West extends the Edge from Singalila, whose more high summits are the Sandakfu mount, higher point of the state of the Bengal-Westerner to 3636 meters, follow-up of the Peak Falut, which culminates with 3595 meters. Lastly, the Himalayas overlap very a small portion of the south-east of the Tibet (however, the Plateau Tibetan does not form part of the Himalayas).
EcologyThe fauna and the flora of the Himalayas vary according to the climate, precipitations, altitude and the ground. The tropical climate dominates with the foot of the mountains, while eternal snow characterizes more the high summits. The height of annual precipitation increases by west in is on the face of the chain. This variety of the climate, altitude, precipitations and the ground generates vegetable and animal communities and ecosystem S so diversified.
Forests in the plainsIn the indo-gangetic Flat at the base of the mountains, alluvial plain drained by the river systems of Indus, Gange and Brahmapoutra, the vegetation varies from west in is according to precipitations. The north-western area is characterized by its xerophilous forests with thorn-bushes which occupy the plains of Pakistan and Indian Pendjab. More in the east, the wet forests of leafy trees border the course higher of Gange than the Uttar Pradesh and those of the lower course occupy the Bihar and the west of the Bengal. These forests are subjected to monsoons, and the leafy trees which are there lose their foliage during the dry season. The semi-sempervirentes forests (green almost all the year), because of the wetter medium in the valley of the Brahmapoutra, occupy the plains of the Assam.
The belt of TeraiAbove the alluvial plains extends Terai, seasonal marshy zone made up of sandy and argillaceous grounds. The rains are more abundant there than they are it in the plains, and the current of the rivers which go down from the Himalayas slows down in the plane zone of Terai where those overflow, there thus depositing a fertile silt during monsoon, then they drop in dry season. The ground water of Terai is raised, and the central part of the belt of Terai is composed of Savanes and meadows of Terai-Duar, mosaic of meadows and steppe, of forests sempervirentes of leafy trees, of which some of the vastest meadows in the world. The meadows of the belt of Terai constitute the habitat of the Indian Rhinocéros (Rhinoceros unicornis) .
The belt of BhabharAbove the belt of Terai a known dry zone under the name of Bhabhar is where the ground, porous and rock, consists of remains coming from the higher chains. Bhabhar and the lower part of the chains of the Shivalik are characterized by a subtropical climate. In this subtropical zone, the Pine forest, mainly made up of Pine to chir (Pinus roxburghii) , occupy the western end, and the forests of leafy trees, where the sal (Shorea robusta) prevails , occupy the central part.
Mountain forestsOn average altitude, the tropical forests leave room to the forests of leafy trees (in the west) and close to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Above, and mainly in the east, forests of conifers and leafy trees develop.
Alpine shrubs and mountain pasturesAbove the west-north-west meadows, on more the high summits of the Himalayas, the tundra prevails. The mountain pastures are the habitat of the leopards of snows (Uncia uncia) , a threatened species.
Glaciers and rivers
The chain of the Himalayas has a very great number of glaciers of which most known Siachen, and the largest glacier of the world apart from the polar regions. Other glaciers are also very famous: Gangotri and Yamunotri (Uttaranchal), Nubra, Biafo and Baltoro (area of Karakoram), Zemu (Sikkim) and glaciers of Khumbu (area of the Mount Everest).
The highest areas of the Himalayas are covered with snow all the year in spite of their proximity with the tropics, and the glaciers feed from many rivers which are divided into two great systems:
the rivers, in the west, gather the valley of Indus whose river of the same name is longest. The Indus starts in Tibet, the confluence of Sengge and Gar, and runs towards south-west in direction of Pakistan to the sea of Arabia (or sea of Oman). Indus is also fed by Jhelum, Chenab, Charmed, Beas, and Sutlej (among the principal ones).
- the majority of the other rivers of the Himalayas drain the valley of the Gange and the Brahmapoutra. Gange occurs in the glacier of Gangotri, where it bears the name Bhagirathi, then runs towards south-east through the plains of the north of India. Its principal affluents are Alaknanda and Yamuna. Brahmapoutra occurs in the west of Tibet under the name of Yarlung Zangbo (or Tsangpo), and crosses Tibet of west in is before reaching the North-East of India, where it moves towards the south. Gange and Bramhapoutre meet in Bengladesh and are thrown in bay of Bengal by the largest delta of the world.
The rivers more in the east feed the Ayeyarwady river which takes its source in the east of Tibet and which crosses the south while passing by Myanmar to the sea of Andaman.
The Salween, the Mekong, the Yangzi and the Huang He (yellow River) are all originating in the plate Tibetan, but they are not regarded as truths rivers of the Himalayas. To indicate this whole of rivers, certain geographers speak about rivers perish-Himalayans .
Recently, of the scientists noted a notable acceleration of the withdrawal of the glaciers of the area because of climate warming. However in fact the glaciers feed the rivers, and their reduction involves periods of increasingly long drynesses. However, the effects will be felt only in a few years and could result in many natural disasters causing of the thousands of deaths.
The area of the Himalayas includes/understands hundreds of lakes. The majority are at an altitude lower than 5000 meters, and their size decreases in altitude. More the big lake, the Pangong you so, skirts the border between India and Tibet. It is located at 4600 meters of altitude and measurement 134 km length on 8 km broad. One of the lakes being in more high-altitude is the Gurudogmar in the North Sikkim, located at 5148 meters (source: SRTM). Another important lake is the lake Tsongmo, close to the Indochinese border in Sikkim.
The lakes of mountains are known by the geographers under the name of Laquet S if they were created by a glacial activity. The “small lakes” are located mainly close to the tops of the Himalayas, with approximately 5000 meters of altitude.
Impact on the climate
The chain of the Himalayas has a strong influence on the climates of the Indian sub-continent and the plate Tibetan. As it prevents the dry and icy winds which blow towards the south to reach India, the climate of all the south of Asia is much hotter than that of other areas located at the same latitude. The Himalayas form also a barrier preventing the winds of monsoon coming from the Bay of Bengal from progressing towards north, which explains why the northern slope of the chain is arid while its southern slope wet because is exposed more to the rains of monsoon. Lastly, the Himalayas would be also one of the big factors in the formation of the deserts in Central Asia, such as the Désert S of Taklamakan and Gobi.
The Himalayas stop the disturbances which come from the west and which prevail in Iran during the winter. These disturbances cannot go further, which causes heavy snowfalls in the Kashmir and of strong rains in the areas of the Punjab and the North of India. While making obstacle with the winds of north, the valley of Brahmapoutra is favourable with these winds, which causes a fall of the temperatures in the North-East of India and with the Bangladesh. Brahmapoutra particularly undergoes winds violent one during monsoon.
Axes of circulation
The rough ground of the Himalayas makes that there are only very few possible roads to travel in the mountain. The main roads are:
- the Gangtok, with the Sikkim, which goes until Lhasa, with the Tibet, while passing by the collar of Nathula and by the collar of Jelepla (the road of Silk);
- the Arniko road which connects Nepal to the Tibet by the collar of Kodari;
- the collar of Rohtang, in Himachal Pradesh, India;
- the road of Srinagar, with the Kashmir, which passes by Leh and goes until the Tibet. Considered nonsedentary, this road is not used much nowadays.
Political aspect and culturalThe gigantic size of the Himalayas limited the human migrations between north and the south. The differences are notable as soon as one compares the religions, the habits and the languages of China and India. The contacts having been very few, the conflicts were avoided: thus the Indian peninsula has escaped with the Mongolian conquests of Genghis Khan.
Principal topsFoot-note : The tops in Pakistan are with dimensions Pakistani of the line of control, but are claimed by India.
Mountaineers and explorers of the Himalayas
- Nazir Pidgin, exploring Pakistani, 1st mountaineer to be climbed, one after the other, two mountains of more than 8000 meters of altitude (Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II).
- Sir Edmund Hillary (born in 1919) exploring New Zealander and Tenzing Norgay (1914 - 1986) Sherpa Nepalese which, making team, was the first to reach the top of the Mount Everest in 1953.
- Jerzy Kukuczka (1948 - 1989), climbing Polish, considered as one of best climbing of all times. He has climbs the 14 tops of more than 8000 meters of altitude more quickly than no matter whom and opened 10 new ways.
- Reinhold Messner (born in 1944), Italian mountaineer, considered as one of best climbing of all times. He was the first to climb the 14 tops of more than 8000 meters of altitude.
- Harish Kapadia (born 1945), mountaineer and author.
Religions, mythologies and legends
Many places of the the Himalayas have a religious significance in the Hindouisme and the Bouddhisme.
- Badrinath, temple dedicated to Vishnu.
- Kedarnath, place where one of the 12 Jyothirlingams is.
- Devaprayag, place where Alakananda and Bhagirathi meets to form the Gange.
- Kailash, top of 6714 meters regarded as the residence of Shiva.
- Lake Manasarovar, place of pilgrimage.
- Rishikesh, temple dedicated to Lakshmana.
- Amarnath, cave where a naturalness Shivalingam of ice is formed a few weeks per year. Thousands of people visit this cave during these a few weeks.
- Of many Buddhist temples as well as the residence of the Dalaï Lama.
The Himalayas in art
Shangri is to it a novel whose action proceeds some share in the Himalayas. The history, inspired of the legend of Shambhala, was included in the news Lost Horizon of the writer English James Hilton in 1933.
- Tintin in Tibet is traditional of the cartoon written and illustrated by the Belgian author Hergé in 1960. Tintin, young person to defer, share for the Himalayas in order to inquire into the crushing of one plane following dreams in which he saw his friend Tchang among the victims.
- the film Vertical Limit (2000) is held on the top of the K2, with the Pakistan.
- the Himalayas (film) exact Title: The Himalayas, the childhood of a chief; film free-Nepalese of Eric Valli (1999). The history proceeds in Dolpo in the North-West of Nepal. Though somewhat fictionalized, it is used as groundwork to illustrate the traditional lifestyle of alive Bothia in the high Nepalese Himalayas.
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