Everybody has heard of the Himalayas, but apart from Mount Everest, the majority of people out there wouldn’t know too much about this amazing region. Here are some highly interesting facts about this great place that will probably increase your Himalayan general knowledge five-fold!
One of the great facts that all kids learn when they are growing up is the name of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, but most of us know very little else about the Himalayan region where this greatest of natural wonders has its home.
Some people with an interest in Eastern religions may be aware of the fact that Buddhism has its spiritual home up there in the high mountains, but other than the fact that the Dalai Lama has a few famous friends, general knowledge questions on this part of the world would probably not go down too well in a pub quiz.
For those with the desire to learn a little bit more about this magical kingdom, here are five highly interesting facts that you almost certainly weren’t aware of before reading.
Okay, most people are probably aware that the Himalayas cover a lot of space but i’d be surprised if you knew just how big this area really is. One amazing fact about this land is that the Himalayas covers 1/10th of all the world’s surface. Take a second to think about what that actually means. 1/10th of the world is covered in one huge mountain range. When you consider the fact that the mountains stretch all the way from Pakistan and well into China it might seem a little bit more believable, but then consider just how few people actually live in an area so vast. There must be a lot of squashing going on in some of the other 9/10th of the world’s surface.
Cry Me a River
The image of the vast undulating mountains of the Himalayas is what comes to most people’s minds when you mention this part of the world, but there is much more going on here than just a lot of very tall rocks. Three of the most important and largest rivers in the world have their starting points in the Himalayas. The Ganges, the Indus River and the River Yangtze all start of their massive journeys as melting snow at the top of the world’s highest peaks.
The Tibetan Book of the What?
Those who are more spiritually inclined will almost certainly have heard of one of Buddhism’s great books, The Tibetan Book of the Dead. It is a title that has been translated into English many times and many even consider its text to have laid the groundwork for modern day psychiatry. The Buddhists obviously hold this great tome in very high regards, but nobody in the Himalayas calls it by the name we know it by. In Tibet the book is simply know as the Bardo Thodol.
Why so Big?
Geologist believe that the Himalayas came about when then there was a violent clash of what were then the two separate land masses of India and the rest of Asia. This pretty intense coming together, which happened over 70 million years ago, is what provoked the rising up of the land to such great heights.
Whistling in the Wind
Anybody who is fortunate enough to travel to the Himalayas will almost definitely come across the brightly coloured flags that wave in the wind in certain places. These flags are actually prayer flags which the people write on and then leave to blow away into nothing on the wind. They do this as they believe that by following this method the words they have dedicated to their God will flow naturally towards him, or her!