Himalayas, the world's highest mountain range (with Map & Photos)

The Himalayan range, or the Himalayas, is the highest mountain range on Earth, and contains the highest peaks in the world. It includes Everest and K2, as well as other minor mountains and several glaciers. It may come as a surprise that despite its size, it is one of the geologically youngest mountain systems in the world.

Himalayas Mountain Range
Himalayas Mountain Range

Its location encompasses south-central Asia. Home to some of the most spectacular formations on the planet, it stretches across thousands of kilometers of Tibet and part of central Asia, through 5 countries: Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Pakistan. The mountain range is the third largest deposit of ice and snow on the planet, second only to the Arctic and Antarctica.

Himalayas Mountain Range
Himalayas Mountain Range

Its name comes from the Sanskrit Himā-laya, which means "abode of snow"; It is a word composed of himá, which means "snow", "winter" or "frozen"; and ā-laya, "abode." Over time, many towns or groups of people have settled in or around the mountain range, and a unique culture has developed, with very identifiable characteristics. The Sherpas, people of the mountains of Nepal, are famous mountaineering guides for their knowledge of the montane environment and their adaptation to life in the heights.

Likewise, the Himalayan mountains are a powerful religious element for the nearby towns. They are of great importance to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs, and many monasteries and temples are located on the cliffs. The Himalayan territory has a large number of natural sacred sites.

Himalayas Mountain Range
Himalayas Mountain Range

Characteristics


The Himalayas are about 2,400 kilometers long, stretching east to west from the Indus River through the countries of central-eastern Asia to the Brahmaputra. Its width is 161-241 kilometers.

Its limits to the northwest are the mountain ranges of the Karakorum and the Hindu Kush massif, to the north is the Tibetan plateau and to the south the Indo-Gangetic plain. It covers 75 percent of the territory of Nepal. In its entirety, it is made up of three parallel chains: the Great Himalayas ( Greater Himalayas ), the highest and northern; the Lesser Himalayas and the Outer Himalayas ( Outer Himalayas ).

This mountain range is home to 14 peaks of more than 8,000 meters of elevation above sea level, and it is estimated that more than 100 of its mountains exceed 7,200 meters. Mount Everest is the most famous, but its peaks include Kanchenjunga, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, K2, the Kailash and the Manaslu. The entire mountain range contains around 15,000 glaciers whose capacity is 12,000 cubic kilometers of fresh water. In the Great Himalayas, the mountains have an average elevation of 20,000 feet above sea level, that is, just over 6,000 meters; there are Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga. In the Lesser Himalayas, south of the Great Himalayas, the mountains have heights ranging from 3,657 to 4,572 meters above sea level, while in the Outer Himalayas the average height is 914 to 1,219 meters in elevation.

Himalayas Mountain Range
Himalayas Mountain Range

Some of the main rivers of central and western Asia run through the Himalayas. The Indus, the Ganges, the Yarlung Tsangpo, the Yellow, the Mekong, the Nujiang and the Brahmaputra stand out. The three river systems of Asia, the Indus, the Ganges-Brahmaputra and the Yangtze, have their source in the mountain range. These rivers help to regulate the planet's climate (especially in the center of the continent and the Indian subcontinent) and often carry huge flows of sediment. There are also hundreds of lakes scattered throughout the Himalayan region, although the vast majority are located less than 5,000 meters high.

General Information


The Himalayans mountain system at the junction of Central and South Asia is over 2900 km long and about 350 km wide. The area is about 650 thousand km². The average height of the ridges is about 6 km, the maximum is 8848 m - Mount Chomolungma (Everest). There are 10 eight-thousanders - peaks over 8000 m above sea level. In the northwest of the western chain of the Himalayas, there is another highest mountain system - the Karakorum.

The population is mainly engaged in agriculture, although the climate allows for the cultivation of only a few types of cereals, potatoes and some other vegetables. The fields are located on sloping terraces.

Himalayas Mountain Range Map