The Himalayas: Asia’s incredible mountain range
The Himalayas is a mountain range in Asia. It contains many of the world’s tallest mountains, such as Mountain Everest, which is the highest of them all. Mount Everest lies on the border between Nepal and China.
Over fifty of the Himalayan mountains have a height which reaches above 23,600 feet. Of the fourteen recorded mountains in the world which have 8,000-metre peaks, ten of these are among the Himalayan range.
The Himalayas run west-northwest to east-southeast in a 2,400-kilometre long arc. Parallel mountain ranges make up the Himalayas, with the Tibetan Himalayas on the north and the Sivalik Hills on the south. Also a part of the range are the Lower Himalayan Range and the Great Himalayas (the highest and central range).
The Himalayas is the one of the most recently formed ranges in the world. It is made up of mostly uplifted sedimentary and metamorphic rock.
A number of rivers cut through the Himalayas, predominantly to the east. Therefore, the main ridge is not very clear. The Indus Basin is one of the two key river systems that the Himalayan rivers flow into.
The basin, which borders the north and west of the Himalayas, is also where the western rivers of the Himalayas flow into. It starts in Tibet and flows through India, before reaching Pakistan. It then flows into the Arabian Sea. The main river tributaries which flow in the southern parts of the Himalayas into the Indus Basin include the Jhelum tributary and the Chenab tributary, both in the Punjab region.
The Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin is the other key river system that the Himalayan rivers flow into. The Ganges river, the Brahmaputra river and the Yamuna river are among the main Himalayan rivers that flow into the Ganges-Brahmaputra. The Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers join together in Bangladesh. They then flow through the Sunderbans river delta into the Bay of Bengal. The Sunderbans river delta is the largest river delta in the world.
The complex structure, high altitude and sheer size of the Himalayan region results in a climate which is a varied range of extreme weather conditions.
The Tibetan parts of the region see dry and desert conditions. Most of the Himalayan region experiences monsoon climate. Therefore, the level of precipitation remains high between the months of June and September.
This extreme rainfall has a detrimental effect on the region and has resulted in landslides. It has also affected the operation of transport in the area. In addition, the monsoon affects tourism, as it is not suitable for trekking, mountaineering and other activities. The monsoon season is so impactful that it is included in the list of Nepal’s seasons.
The range of plants and animals found in the Himalayan region are very diverse due to the great differences in weather, altitude and soil. At the base of the Himalayan mountains, the climate is tropical. More towards the mountain peaks, there is mainly ice and snow. The snow leopard is the main predator in the highest parts of the mountains. Some types of goat reside on the mountains grassy and rocky areas, such as the Himalayan blue sheep.