7 Facts About The Himalayas You Never Knew
It’s still Growing!
The Himalayas are considered to be the tallest and youngest mountain ranges (only 70 million years young), which were caused by a continental collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, resulting in the development of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Various geological tests conducted by scientists have confirmed that this great mountain range still moves approximately 20mm every year. Because of this restless or continuous movement of the plates, the whole Himalayan region is prone to various natural disasters like earthquakes, tremors, and landslides.
There are Fossilized Sea Creatures
Although the Himalayan Mountains formed 60 million years ago, Everest’s history actually goes back a lot further. The limestone and sandstone rock at the summit of the mountain was once part of sedimentary layers below sea level 450 million years ago. Explorer Noel Odell first discovered the fossils embedded within Everest’s rocks in 1924, proving that the mountain had once been below sea level. The first rock specimens from Everest were brought back by Swiss climbers in 1956 and by an American climbing team in 1963.
In Hindu religion, the Himalaya is known as the Giri-raj, which means the “King of the Mountains”. The Hindu people consider the Himalayas as a sacrosanct place and believe it to be the dwelling place of Gods. It has been mentioned in the epic Ramayana, Mahabharat, Rig Veda, Skanda Purana and many other Puranas. Many saints regard the Himalayas as the land of holy practices where perform the penance and worship the Lord.
The Himalayas serve as a natural habitat to some exotic species of animals like the snow leopard, wild goat, Tibetan sheep, musk deer and mountain goats. To watch the majestic snow leopards, you have to climb the higher altitudes of the mountain. Besides the animals, there are even many diverse and beautiful species of birds
Two Men Climbed It 21 Times
Two Sherpas, Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi, hold the joint record for most Everest ascents. The pair have each managed to reach the summit an impressive 21 times. Phurba reached the top of the world three times in 2007 alone, and Apa has successfully summited the mountain almost every year between 1990 and 2011.
A Multitude of Religions
You can find people of various cultures and religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism in the Himalayas. The Himalayan people are known to be very friendly and help the tourists visiting the region in every possible manner. There are plenty of beautiful Buddhist Monasteries in the Himalaya region that really captivate the attention of the visitors. The prominent Hindu pilgrimage destinations such as the Amarnath, Kedarnath and Badrinath are nestled in the Himalayas.
Himalayas doesn’t mean what You Think it Means
The term Himalaya also means abode of snow. This is because the mountains of the Himalayas are covered with the deposit of ice and snow. The upper portion of the Mount Everest (above 5,500 km) is draped with snow that never melts. The glaciers situated around this mountain range are a reservoir of crystal-clear fresh water.
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