Snow Capped Mountains that Breathe Life: A Take on Himalayas on International Mountains Day

Snow Capped Mountains that Breathe Life: A Take on Himalayas on International Mountains Day

The Himalayas have fascinated us since childhood, and it has been the scintillating snow land we’ve longed to visit at least once. The 2500 km long mountain range has more depth, significance and unique properties to it than we can imagine. This International Mountains Day, we shall look at some of the unique characteristics of the Himalayas and its magnificence.

Intriguing Facts About Himalayas

Interestingly, the Himalayas were formed about 60-70 million years ago, which makes them comparatively younger than other older mountain ranges in the world. The snow clad mountain covers about 16.2% of India’s geographical area. 

The thick snow cover naturally protects the nation from harmful radiation of the Sun and keeps the air and water quality of the region under control. 

Home to 1500 glaciers, such as Siachen, Baltero, Biafo, Nubra and Hispur, with 6008 tonnes of ice, the Himalayas have one of the richest snow deposits in the world. It is also said that the mountains grow an inch every year and are quietly in motion.  

Unparalleled Biological Diversity

Accustomed to the cold winters and pleasant summers, the soil and plants agree with the climate and grow well. Presence of mineral rich rocks, freshwater springs and perennial rivers feed nutrients to the fertile soil of the Himalayas. In return, the forests recharge the underground aquifers and balance the wheel of life. 

About 30.16% of India’s fauna live in the Himalayan region, with about 1249 species of butterflies, 280 species of mammals, 940 types of birds, 316 species of fish, 200 kinds of reptiles and 80 categories of amphibians. 

There are also rich varieties of plants, rare flowers, healthy crops and medicinal herbs tucked away in the ranges, making the Himalayas abound with natural wealth of all kinds. 

Rare Medicinal Herbs

We all know the story of how Sanjeevani, an elixir of the Himalayas saved Lord Lakshman’s life. The mountains possess several other medicinal herbs, flowers and plants with healing properties. The following herbs have vast medicinal properties, however a few are listed below:

    • Atis (Aconitum heterphyllum): Cures abdominal pain, diabetes and diarrhea
    • Pink Arnebia (Arnebia Euchroma): Best for hair problems, chronic diseases, cough and cold.
    • Salam Panja (Dactylorhiza hatagirea): Fights cancer, alerts mind and restores energy levels.
    • Himalayan Fritillary (Fritillaria Roylei): Treats asthma, fever, arthritis and eye diseases.
  • Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa): Protects the body from cell damage, cancer and diabetes.
      • Himalayan May Apple (Podophyllum hexandrum): Alleviates constipation, cancers, bacterial infection, biliary fever, septic wounds and insect bites. 
  • Indian Snakeroot (Rauwolfia Serpentina): Ideal to treat hypertension, anxiety, insomnia and schizophrenia.
  • Stonecrops (Rhodiola imbricata): Possesses antioxidant, anti aging and radioprotective properties
    • Kushta, Indian Costus Root (Saussurea lappa): Offers skin protection, cures gastric ulcers, arthritis and chronic inflammation.
    • Sweet Leaf (Stevia Rebaudiana): A natural sweetener, it has antifungal, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. 

    Threats to the Mountains

    Albeit it’s heartening to know the plentiful wealth of the mountains, we are equally worried of the threats facing the terrain. Drastic climate change, rapid urbanization and littering have caused significant damage to ecological balance of the Himalayas. 

    There has been a steep decline in wildlife population and growth of certain rare medicinal plants due to poaching, unethical sourcing of plants etc. It is high time we take steps to minimize these dangers as much as possible. 

    How Can You Help?

    As an individual, group and community, you always have the power to make a small difference and a massive change. It all starts with you. Here are a few steps you can take towards preserving the sanctity of Himalayas:

    • Conscious tourism 
    • Ensure zero littering of the place, carry your plastic and non-biodegradable wastes with you
    • Stay and eat locally, support local businesses
    • Buy from brands that ethically source crops and plants. Check out Valley Culture to buy ethically sourced naturally processed Himalayan food products.
    • Reduce electricity and fuel consumption in general
    • Consume more locally produced food

    To Sum Up

    This Mountains Day, let us vow to do our part to preserve the Himalayas, our spectacular mountain range and the glorious home it provides to its flora, fauna and humankind. The small steps we take in reverence to the mountains can make a huge positive impact for us and for generations to come. From the community of Valley Culture, wish you all a happy mountains day!

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