Beautiful Himalayas: Trekkers Paradise is not just a saying. It’s really so. The beauty of the Himalayas is in their unique Rustic, calm, tranquility, purifying power, an unperturbed natural aura -Himalaya is combination of these all. And that is the beauty of the Himalayas. The name Himalayas means ‘house of snow’. Some of the most exotic locations in the world, the highest peaks on Earth, snow-clad landscapes, beautiful meadows, lakes, rivers and valleys: all are the features of Himalayas. The region also enriched with unique flora and fauna.
How the Beautiful Himalayas were Constructed
All of us have read in geography book in our school life how the beautiful Himalayas were constructed. Still for the sake of the article, here is a few words about it. Once, all the world’s landmass was connected, forming one super-continent known as Pangea which existed during Permian Period (250 million years ago). It was divided in two parts.
Present-day South America, Africa, South India, Australia and Antarctica were in the Northern part which was known as Gondwana land. Its northern part consisted of the present-day North America and Eurasia (Europe and Asia) which is known as Laurasia or Angaraland.
There was a long, narrow and shallow sea known as the Tethys Sea in between Laurasia and Gondwanaland.
Many rivers which were flowing into the Tethys Sea, brought sediments and deposited on the floor of the Tethys Sea.
40 million years ago, the Indian plate or Gondwana land collided with the Eurasian plate or Laurasia. The enormous pressure forces resulting from this shock caused a gigantic mountain uplift which is Himalaya. The sediments deposited in Tethys sea were subjected to powerful compression due to the northward movement of the Indian Plate. This resulted in the folding of sediments.
Different stages of formation of Himalaya
Himalayas are supposed to have emerged out in three different phases.
- The first phase commenced about 50-40 million years ago when the Great Himalayas were formed. The formation of the Great Himalayas was completed about 30 million years ago.
- The second phase took place about 25 to 30 million years ago when the Middle Himalayas were formed.
- The Shiwaliks were formed in the last phase about two million to twenty million years ago.
Division of Himalaya according to formation
- Himadri or Great Himalayas
This is the Northern part of Himalaya. Average elevation of Greater Himalaya or Himadri is 6,100 m above sea level and an average width of about 25 km.This mountain range boasts of the tallest peaks of the world, most of which remain under perpetual snow. Vegetation is not present here.
- Himachal or Middle Himalaya
Himachal or Middle Himalaya is situated between the Shiwaliks in the south and the Greater Himalayas in the north.
Middle Himalayan ranges are 60-80 km wide and about 2400 km in length.
Average elevations above sea level vary from 3,500 to 4,500 m. Snow fall are seen in winter in this region.
Southern slopes are steep and bare and northern slopes are more gentle and covered by forest. Hill station like Simla, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet, Darjeeling- all are in this range.
- Shiwaliks Himalaya
Shiwalik Himalaya is the southern most part of Himalaya. It is located in between the Great Plains and Himachal Himalayas.It is Also known as Outer Himalayas.
The altitude varies from 600 to 1500 metres and length is 2400 km
The width of the Shiwaliks varies from 50 km. The southern slopes are steep but the northern slopes are gentle. Many valleys are seen here.These are called Doon.
Division of Himalaya according to length
Length wise Himalaya is divided into three region. Those are Western Himalaya, Central Himalaya and Eastern Himalaya
- Western Himalaya
Ranges of Himalaya from Kashmir in the west upto the west border of Nepal (Kali river) in the east is known as Western Himalaya.It is 880 km long.It is the widest part (500 km) of Himalaya. It is again divided in to three sub-division namely Kashmir Himalaya, Himachal Himalaya and Kumaon Himalaya.
The Ladakh plateau and the Kashmir valley are two important areas of the Kashmir Himalayan region.
The Zaskar range, Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges and the Outer Himalaya by the Shiwalik range are part of Himachal Himalayas.
Chamba, Kulu, Manali are some of the famous valleys of this region.
- Central Himalaya
Maximum part of this Middle Himalaya are in Nepal. It is 800 km long and extended between Kali river in the west and river Tista in the east. The Great Himalaya range attains maximum height in this portion.
Some of the world famous peaks Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri are located here. Gangotri, Jamunotri, Pindari glaciers of India are in this region
- Eastern Himalaya
The part of the Himalayas lies between the Tista river in the west and the Brahmaputra river in the east is called Easter Himalayas. Length of this Himalaya is about 720 km. Eastern Himalayas occupy mainly the areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.
The Himalayas take a sudden southward turn after the Dihang gorge and the hill ranges running in more or less north-south direction along India’s border with Myanmar are collectively known as the Purvanchal.
- As you are up to here, means you are interested about Himalaya. Why aren’t you going for a trekking to see the beauty of Himalaya from close proximity. Read “How to make yourself fit for successful trekking” and enjoy Himalaya.