The world's highest mountain chain, the Himalayas is on the northern border of India, separating the country and some areas of Pakistan from the vast Tibetan plateau on the north. It extends from west to east in a huge arc of about 2500 km. Covering 610 sq km, the Himalayas passes through the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and the Himalayan countries of Nepal and Bhutan.
The word Himalaya in Sanskrit means 'abode of snow'. The Himalayas is an amazing sight of ranges, tiers of rock, sharp sky-piercing peaks and canyons, and deep citadels of ice. It is grouped into four longitudinal mountain belts from south to north known as Outer Himalayas,
Lesser Himalayas, Greater Himalayas and Tibetan Himalayas. From west to east, it is also divided into three mountainous regions - the Western Himalayas, the Central Himalayas and the Eastern Himalayas.
The tropical rainforests and the tropical deciduous forests are the main types of forests found in the Himalayas. Thousands of species of flora and fauna flourish in the region.
The world's highest mountain peaks, including the Everest (8850 m), K2 (8611 m) and Kanchenjunga (8598 m) are in the Himalayas. The major rivers the
Brahmaputra, Sutlej, and Ganges originate from here.
The Himalayas are the greatest attraction to mountaineers and trekkers. Geologists believe that these majestic mountains rise at the rate of about 8 to 10 cm per year.