Importance of Himalayas to India

A physical barrier:

The Himalayas form a natural boundary of the Indian sub continent. Since long they have formed a formidable barrier to the free movement of man. The Passes of the Himalayas are very high and in winter remain covered with snow. As such, in the past, no large army could cross these mountains.

Moderates Indian Climate:

  Protects India from cold blizzards coming from the north and help in maintaining moderate temperature.

  Helps in orographic monsoon rainfall by intercepting the moist air. If Himalayas were not present, India would have been a dry desert like Gobi.

Source of Perennial Rivers of India:

  Himalayan glaciers feed the perennial rivers of India.

  They are a source of many mighty rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Tista etc.

  These rivers provide water for irrigation of crops, navigation and sustenance of life forms.

Source of sediments:

  Through hundreds of river channels, they are a source of mineral rich sediments and fill the fertile plains of North India.

  The fertile plains of the Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam have all been the product of this eroded material, producing a wide variety of agricultural crops.

Biodiversity:

The Himalayan region is very rich in animal and forest resources. In the front of the outer Himalayas lies the Tarai jungle – the abode of many wild beasts like yak, leopard, bear and samba on the west, panthers and tigers in the central part and elephants, tigers, mistunes on the east. Besides, owing to a variety of climatic conditions the Himalayas are rich in forest resources.

Source of various forest produce:

They provide wood for paper pulp and timber, resin, medicine etc.

Mineral resources:

The Himalayan region contains commercially valuable minerals. Copper, lead, zinc, bismuth, antimony, nickel, cobalt and tungsten are known to occur in both the eastern and western Himalayas.

In India anthracite coal is only found in Kalakot mines of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tourism:

  They are big tourist attraction and receives both national and international tourists.

  Many beautiful hill stations have been developed.

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