Ancient people called the roof of the world Himalaya, a Sanskrit word meaning “the Abode of Snow.” Claiming nine of the world’s ten highest peaks, the Himalayan Range stretches nearly 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers), separating the Tibetan Plateau from the Indian subcontinent. It is a place of incomparable beauty - and danger.
Scientists believe the Himalayan Mountains were formed when two different tectonic plates collided, forcing crumpled rock formations upwards. Fourteen of those rock formations, which we call mountains, have peaks higher than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet).
Looking up, in the Eastern Himalaya, one sees an abode of snow. But closer to the ground, particularly in the area near Mt Everest, we find a rich diversity of plant and animal life.
Biologists have referred to this part of the Nepal Himalaya as a “pure ecological seed,” but it has also become “one of the ten most threatened biological treasures on Earth.”
Depending on the terrain (ranging from soaring mountain peaks or foothills, to subtropical jungles or desert plateaus), we find endangered species like the snow leopard, the striped-face red panda, musk deer and Himalayan black bear. We also find flowers, like gorgeous Himalaya rhododendron and beautiful orchids.