The Himalayan mountain system is the planet’s highest and home to the world’s highest peaks, the Eight-thousanders, which include Mount Everestis (mainly located in Nepal) and K2. To comprehend the enormous scale of this mountain range consider that Aconcagua, in the Andes, at 6,962 m (22,841 ft), is the highest peak outside Asia, whereas the Himalayan system includes over 100 mountains exceeding 7,200 metres (23,622 ft).
The Himalaya Range or Himalayas meaning “abode of snow” (“Him” means Snow & “Alaya” means House or abode), was coined by the ancient Indian pilgrims who have travelled in these mountains since time immemorial. The Himalayas is made up of three parallel ranges–the Greater Himalayas, the Central Himalayas, and the Outer Himalayas. The Himalaya mountain range is about 2,400 kilometers in length and varying in width from 240 to 330 kilometers, which includes various outlying subranges, stretches across six countries-: Afganistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.
INDIA -: possesses the largest portion of the Himalayan chain, practically the entire westren section, the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakand as
well as Darjelling sector located between Bhutan and Nepal.The most intresting section of the Himalayas are Leh –Ladakh( in jammu and kashmir state) and Kinnaur and Spiti valley ( in Himachal pradesh state). A great variety of tribes and cultures have developed in the North Indian Himalayas. This has been aided by the fact that the mountain people have mostly lived in valleys isolated from the rest of the world, with entry and exit points lying over high mountain passes. As a result, they have been able to develop their own distinct cultures and traditions.
The Hindu pilgrim routes, the low valleys that abruptly rise up in mighty high mountain ranges, the stunning mountain landscape, the high passes, the mighty snow capped peaks, big glaciers, beautiful crystal clear water lakes, the lovely trekking routes, densely forested areas laying just a mountain range away from barren cold deserts, and the lovely tribal people of the mountains with their diverse religion and culture- these are some of the reasons why people have been so fascinated by the North Indian Himalayas.
Since most of India’s northern boundary lies in these Himalayan mountains, many areas close to the international borders have been declared off-limits (restricted areas) for tourists, especially for foreigners, but can be visited with the special permission “ Inner Line Permits”( can be obtained at various district headquarters in the Himalayas.)