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"Himalaya" and "Imaus" redirect here. For the genus of moth, see Imaus (moth).

For other uses,

see Himalaya (disambiguation).


The north face of Mount Everest seen from the path to the base camp
in Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Highest point

Mount Everest (Nepal & China)


8,848 m (29,029 ft)


275917N 865531E


2,400 km (1,500 mi)


General reference map of the Himalayas.

Range coordinates

28N 82ECoordinates:

28N 82E

NASA Landsat-7 imagery of Himalayas

The Himalayas or Himalaya (/hmle./ or /hmlj/; Sanskrit: , Nepali: , Hindi:

, Urdu: ;fromSanskrit hima (snow) + laya (dwelling), literally meaning "abode of snow"[1])
is a mountain range in South Asia which separates the Indo-Gangetic Plain from the Tibetan

Plateau. This range is home to nine of the ten highest peaks on Earth, including the highest, Mount
Everest. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks
are sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism.
The Himalayas are bordered on the north by the Tibetan Plateau, on the south by the Indo-Gangetic
Plain, on the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, and on the east by the Indian
states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The western anchor of the Himalayas Nanga Parbat
lies just south of the northernmost bend of the Indus River, while the eastern anchor Namcha
Barwa is situated just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. The Himalayas span
five countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan, China (Tibet), and Pakistan, with the first three countries having
sovereignty over most of the range.[2]
Lifted by the collision of the Indian tectonic plate with the Eurasian Plate,[3] the Himalayan range runs
northwest to southeast in a 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) long arc. The range varies in width from 400
kilometres (250 mi) in the west to 150 kilometres (93 mi) in the east. Besides the Greater Himalayas,
there are several parallel lower ranges. The southernmost of these, located along the northern edge
of the Indian plains and reaching about a thousand meters in altitude, are called theSivalik Hills.
Further north is a higher range, reaching two to three thousand meters, known as the Lower
Himalayan Range.
Three of the world's major rivers the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra arise in the
Himalayas. While the Indus and the Brahmaputra rise near Mount Kailash in Tibet, the Ganges rises

in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Their combineddrainage basin is home to some 600 million

1 Ecology

2 Geology

3 Hydrology

3.1 Lakes

4 Impact on climate

5 Religions of the region

6 See also

7 References

8 Further reading

9 External links

Main article: Ecology of the Himalaya
The flora and fauna of the Himalayas vary with climate, rainfall, altitude, and soils. The climate
ranges from tropical at the base of the mountains to permanent ice and snow at the highest
elevations. The amount of yearly rainfall increases from west to east along the southern front of the
range. This diversity of altitude, rainfall and soil conditions combined with the very high snow line
supports a variety of distinct plant and animal communities. The extremes of high altitude (low
atmospheric pressure) combined with extreme cold favor extremophile organisms.[4]
The unique floral and faunal wealth of the Himalayas is undergoing structural and compositional
changes due to climate change. The increase in temperature is shifting various species to higher
elevations. The oak forest is being invaded by pine forests in the Garhwal Himalayan region. There
are reports of early flowering and fruiting in some tree species, especiallyrhododendron, apple
and box myrtle. The highest known tree species in the Himalayas is Juniperus tibetica located at
4,900 metres (16,080 ft) in Southeastern Tibet.[5]