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Geology of Himalayas

Ranges And Origin, Mountain Building, Seismic Activity

Early mountaineers from India named the Himalayas "snow abode" based on two Sanskrit words hima and laya. These early climbers were attracted to the mountains by the same features that, today, challenge climbers from all over the world. The range includes the highest peaks in the world, notably Mount Everest; glaciated valleys and snow that never melts create unsurpassable vistas; and the scenery and dangers inspire myths and religious contemplation.

The range is 1,550 mi (2,500 km) long from west to east, and it encompasses all of Nepal and Bhutan and parts of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and China. The north-south width varies from 125-250 mi (200-400 km), and they cover 229,500 sq mi (594,400 sq km) of Earth's area. In height, the range rises to the top of Everest at 29,028 ft (8,848 m); much of the area is at an elevation of 2.5 mi (4 km) above sea level. The Himalayan Mountains are actually part of a band of ranges that cross the globe from North Africa to Asia's Pacific Coast. They are bordered by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges as well as the high Tibetan Plateau.

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