Standing on the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Himalaya Mountain range is the highest mountain system in the world. It starts from the Pamir range in the west and ends at the Bend of the Great Canyon on the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo, extending more than 2,400 km in total lenghth between the Tibet Autonomous Region of China on the one hand and India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan on the other. It forms a curve protruding to the south, with its main part lying in China. In the Tibetan language, “Himalaya ” means “land of ice and snow.”
This mountain range has an average altitude of 6,000 m, and a continuous array of high peaks exceeding 8,000 m west of Yadong (Chomo), among which Mount Qomolangma, Iying 8,848.13 m above sea level between China and Nepal is the highest peak in the world. At the northern foot of the Himalaya, the Yarlung Zangbo flows from west to east, and, as it turns south in a point near 950 E, cuts off the Himalayas to form deep gorges.
The Himalayas are the youngest as well as the highest ruountain range in the world. “Himalaya” in Sanskrit means “residence of snow” while Tibetans call the range the “snowy mountains.” This mountain system is made up of several roughly parallel mountain ranges, with its main range, the Greater Himalayas, starting from Mount Nanga Parbat (8,1 25 m.) in Kashmir outside China in the west, and extending along the southern edge of the Tibetan plateau in an eastward direction to Mount Namjagbarwa (7,782 m) near the Great Bend of the Yarlung Zangbo. Some geologists have likened the peaks at the two ends to two “ground nodes,” which, like nails, peg the Himalayas on the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and fix the Eurasian Plate firmly on the Indian Plate. The Himalayas are 200-300 km in width, roughly with a west-east orientation. More than 50 peaks each exceeding 7,000 m above sea level stand along the curve of the mountain body that protrudes to the south. Ten of the world’s 14 peaks with an altitude of 8,000 m and more are located there. Among them is the pyramid-shaped Mount Qomolangma, which is the highest point on the Earth. This cluster of towering peaks is a natural wonder that cannot be seen elsewhere in the world. The Himalayas are extensively covered with glaciers, which moisten vast expanses of land on the northern and southern flanks. The trees and waterfalls of the southern slopes add to the diversity of the scenery. The northern slopes feature snowy highlands and green grasslands dotted with lakes.