View The Himalayas in a larger map
Himalayas, the word is derived from Sanskrit as “Him” (snow) and “alaya” (abode) – literally means “abode of snow”. The Himalayas is a mountain range that stretches approximately 2400 kilometers (1500 mi) across Nepal, Bhutan, India, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan with the first three countries having the dominance over most of the range. The Himalayas are adjoined on the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, on the north by the Tibetan Plateau, and on the south by the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The three parallel ranges of the Himalayas are often referred to as the Greater Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, and the Outer Himalayas. Himalayas is the home to the planet’s highest peaks including the world’s highest Mt. Everest (8,848m) and comprise over a hundred mountains over 7000m in elevation. The Himalayas is rich in biodiversity. The diversity of altitude, soil and rainfall conditions combined with the high snow line supports a variety of distinct plant and animal groups. Due to climate change, Himalayan unique flora and fauna is undergoing structural and compositional changes. Climates range from tropical at the base of the mountains to perennial snow and ice at the highest elevations.