Influence of Himalayas in Indian Continent
The Great Himalayas, consisting of a series of parallel ranges and having about 2500km length from west to east stands like a great wall on the northern side of Indian continent. The most significant geographical structure of India influences our nation in such a way that no other mountain system have influenced any other nation.
- PHYSICAL BARRIER
It acts as a compound wall that separates India from central and East Asian countries. It also accounts for the difference in climatic and weather patterns between Indian sub-continent from the rest of Asia.
- NATURAL FRONTIER
The Himalayas acts as a defense barrier and have been protecting India from foreign invasions since early times. History gives us the evidence that no invaders attacked India after crossing the Himalayas. Even though China's aggression is an exception, the significance of Himalayas cannot be ignored completely.
- CLIMATIC INFLUENCE
The Himalayas play a very important role in influencing the climate of India. India is a monsoon land only because of the presence of Himalayas. It traps the monsoon winds from Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal and forces them to shed their moisture content within the Indian sub-continent in the form of snow and rain. It also blocks the cold winter storms of East Asia from entering India, thus protecting us from severe cold. The Himalayas splits the westerly jet streams into two branches such that the southward branch entering India plays a significant role in bringing the monsoon.
- SOURCE REGION OF RIVERS
The Himalayas is the abundant reservoir of Great Indian rivers such as Ganga, Indus and Brahmaputra. The snow melt in summer and precipitation in winter makes them perennial rivers. i.e, having water throughout the year. The abundant waterfall, huge snowfield and large glaciers feed these drainage systems. The Himalayan rivers give life to the northern India.
- FERTILITY OF SOIL
The entire northern plains were made by the Himalayas. The Himalayan Rivers carry slits on their way down and deposit in the northern plain. These alluvial deposits are responsible for the high fertility of this land. Therefore, it is often said that northern great plain is a gift of Himalayas.
- HYDRO ELECTRIC POWER PROJECTS
The Himalayan valley with natural waterfalls offers the best location for construction of dams. The vast potential of Himalayan rivers offer a great range for construction of many mainstream dams.
- BIODIVERSITY AND VEGETATION
The Himalayan ranges is famous for its rich biodiversity. There is altitudinal zonation of vegetation from the tropic to the alpine. The forests provide fuel woods, medicinal plants and various raw materials that are needed for the forest based industries. Rich pastures for grazing is also an adding feature of the Himalayas.
The Himalayas does not have much flat lands, so offers slopes that are terraced for cultivation. The major crop is Rice. Crops like wheat, maize, potatoes, ginger, and tobacco are also cultivated. Tea is a unique crop which grows only on hill slopes. Many fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, mulberries, cherries along with citrus fruits are grown in the Himalayan region.
- MINERAL RESOURCES
Himalayan region contain many valuable mineral resources. The tertiary rocks have vast potential of mineral oil. Coal is found in Kashmir. Also minerals such as Copper, Cobalt, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Antimony, Tungsten, Limestone, Gypsum and Magnetite are also present in the Himalayan locality. The presence of Gold, Silver and other semi-precious and precious stones are also the feature of Himalayan region.
The beautiful landscapes on Himalayan mountain offer a great tourist spot. Increasing popularity of winter sports, snowfall and the cool climate, when neighboring places are under the scorching heat of summer attracts millions of tourists from different parts of the world. Hill stations such as Missouri, Shimla, Kulu, Manali, Nainital, Chamba, Ranikhat, Almora, Darjeeling, Mirik, Gangtok etc. provide huge scope of tourism due to its scenic beauty as well as healthy environment.
The Himalayas is known as the house of Gods. Apart from its tourist places, the region is studded with sanctified shrines. Kedarnath, Badrinath, Vaishnodevi, Kailash, Amarnath, Tungnath, Uttarkashi, Gangotri, Yamunotri etc. which are at high altitudes are famous pilgrim centers in the Himalayas.