Himalaya: Indian Subcontinent and Himalayas

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  • Topic: Himalayas, Earth, India
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  • Published : August 19, 2012
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The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains : usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya, is a mountain rangeimmediately to the north of the Indian subcontinent. By extension, it can also refer to the massive mountain system that additionally includes the Karakoram, theHindu Kush, and other lesser ranges that extend out from the Pamir Knot. Some of the world's major river systems arise in the Himalayas, and their combineddrainage basins are home to some 3 billion people (almost half of the Earth's population) in 18 countries. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures ofSouth Asia; many Himalayan peaks are sacred in Hinduism, Buddhism andSikhism. Geologically, the Himalayas originate from the northward movement of the Indian tectonic plate at 15 cm[citation needed] per year to impact the Eurasian continent, with first contact about 70 million years ago, and with movement continuing today. This caused the formation of the Himalayan arc peaks: the lighter rocks of the seabeds of that time were easily uplifted into mountains. An often-cited fact used to illustrate this process is that the summit of Mount Everest is made of marinelimestone.[3] climate

The Himalayas have a profound effect on the climate of the Indian subcontinent and theTibetan plateau. They prevent frigid, dry Arctic winds blowing south into the subcontinent, which keeps South Asia much warmer than corresponding temperateregions in the other continents. It also forms a barrier for the monsoon winds, keeping them from traveling northwards, and causing heavy rainfall in the Terai region. The Himalayas are also believed to play an important part in the formation of Central Asiandeserts, such as the Taklamakan and Gobi.[14] The mountain ranges also prevent western winter disturbances in Iran from traveling further, resulting in snow in Kashmir and rainfall in parts of Punjab and northern India. Despite being a barrier to the cold, northerly winter winds, the Brahmaputra valley receives part of the...
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