Forty million years ago,
a collision between two plates of the earths crust resulted
in the creation of the earths highest mountain Himalayas.
The magnificent range of the Himalayas harbors breathtakingly
beautiful scenery and dramatic environment. The high Himalayas
constituting a spectacular mountain scope are being able to
attract the heart of any new comer who is in search of challenge
The Himalayan system, about 2,400 kilometers in length and varying
in width from 240 to 330 kilometers, is made up of three parallel
ranges--the Greater Himalayas, the Lesser
Himalayas, and the Outer Himalayas--sometimes
collectively called the Great Himalayan Range.
The beauty, mystery and majesty of these mountains are due
to the thick layers of ice and snow that perpetually cover
them up. Since time immemorial, the Himalayas has captured
the dream, desires and Imagination of human beings. Even the
early Aryans looked upon these mountains as
the abode of gods and goddess and the extra ordinary objects
of beauty, scenic grandeur, peace and tranquility. These towering
mountains have aptly been called the Top of the World
and The Third Pole on the basis of the fact that
they constitute the latitudinal extremity.
Nepal, renowned all over the world for its scenic
and panoramic peaks, is the land of supernatural virgin beauty
and a real paradise for nature lovers. In 1852 the highest
mountain in the world was determined by and later named after
Sir George Everest. After determination of Mt.
Everest, no climber had been a scaled mountain of
Nepal till 1949. But, it is fact that the history of trekking
in Nepal is started after climbing and expedition of many
In 1949 the Swiss who had been earlier refused permission
to attempt Dhaulagiri, entered-east Nepal by
way of Darjeeling. The team who led by Sutter
Lohner and they explored Ramtang Glacier, Kang Bachen
peak (7902m) and the triangle of Drohmo (7008m) Jongsang peak
(7473m) and Nupchu (7028) on the Nepal Tibet
Sikkim border. They also climb Tang Kangma (6249m) on outlays
of Drohmo as well as Dzange peak (6709m) before they returned
to Darjeeling on the nineteenth day of their expedition.
In 1949 Nepal opened its frontiers to the outside world and
within eight years ten of the fourteen 8000m peaks had been
climbed, Annapurna (8091m) was the first to be climbed in
1950, this was followed in 1953 by Everest (8848m) and Nanga
Parbat (8125m). From then on the number of expeditions coming
from many different countries of the world multiplied and
by 1964 all these Himalayan giants had been climbed, one being
Shisa Pangma (8046m) scaled by the Chinese in 1964.
The highest Peak Mt. Everest of the world and other numerous
peaks have been climbed many times now. Tenzing Norge
Sherpa and Edmund Hillary reached at
top of the world Mt. Everest in 1953. Sir. Edmond Hillary
stated Nepal is the only country in the world which
is also one of the worlds great trekking paradises and
one of the nicest countries in the world for trekking.
In addition to its lofty mountains, Nepal provides beautiful
displays of its resplendent flora and fauna. Himalayas, the
highest mountain range in the world, extend along the northern
frontiers of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma. They
were formed geologically as a result of the collision of the
Indian subcontinent with Asia. This process of plate tectonics
is ongoing, and the gradual northward drift of the Indian subcontinent
still causes earthquakes (see Earthquakes, this ch.). Lesser
ranges jut southward from the main body of the Himalayas at
both the eastern and western ends.
The Greater Himalayas, or northern range, average approximately
6,000 meters in height and contain the three highest mountains
on earth: Mount Everest (8,796 meters) on the China-Nepal
border; K2 (8,611 meters, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen,
and in China as Qogir Feng) in an area claimed by India, Pakistan,
and China; and Kanchenjunga (8,598 meters) on the India-Nepal
Many major mountains are located entirely within India, such
as Nanda Devi (7,817 meters) in the state of
Uttaranchal. The snow line averages 4,500 to 6,000 meters
on the southern side of the Greater Himalayas and 5,500 to
6,000 on the northern side. Because of climatic conditions,
the snow line in the eastern Himalayas averages 4,300 meters,
while in the western Himalayas it averages 5,800 meters.
The Lesser Himalayas, located in northwestern India in the
states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal,
in north-central India in the state of Sikkim,
and in northeastern India in the state of Arunachal
Pradesh, range from 1,500 to 5,000 meters in height.
Located in the Lesser Himalayas are the hill stations of
Shimla (Simla) and Darjiling (Darjeeling).
During the colonial period, these and other hill stations
were used by the British as summer retreats to escape the
intense heat of the plains. It is in this transitional vegetation
zone that the contrasts between the bare southern slopes and
the forested northern slopes become most noticeable.
The Outer or Southern Himalayas, averaging 900 to 1,200 meters
in elevation, lie between the Lesser Himalayas and the Indo-Gangetic
Plain. In Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, this southernmost
range is often referred to as the Siwalik Hills.
It is possible to identify a fourth, and northernmost range,
known as the Trans-Himalaya.
This range is located entirely on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau,
north of the great west-to-east trending valley of the Yarlung
Zangbo River. Although the Trans-Himalaya Range is divided
from the Great Himalayan Range for most of its length, it
merges with the Great Himalayan Range in the western section--the
Karakoram Range--where India, Pakistan, and China meet.
The Mizo Hills are the southern part of the northeastern ranges
in India. The Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia hills are centered
in the state of Meghalaya and, isolated from
the northeastern ranges, divide the Assam Valley
from Bangladesh to the south and west.
The southern slopes of each of the Himalayan ranges are too
steep to accumulate snow or support much tree life; the northern
slopes generally are forested below the snow line. Between
the ranges are extensive high plateaus, deep gorges, and fertile
valleys, such as the vales of Kashmir and Kulu. The Himalayas
serve a very important purpose.
They provide a physical screen within which the monsoon system
operates and are the source of the great river systems that
water the alluvial plains below (see Climate, this ch.). As
a result of erosion, the rivers coming from the mountains carry
vast quantities of silt that enrich the plains.
The area of northeastern India adjacent to Burma and
Bangladesh consists of numerous hill tracts,
averaging between 1,000 and 2,000 meters in elevation, that
are not associated with the eastern part of the Himalayas
in Arunachal Pradesh. The Naga Hills, rising
to heights of more than 3,000 meters, form the watershed between
India and Burma.