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Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya

Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya

Basanta Shrestha
Birendra Bajracharya
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya
    Book Description:

    The Himalaya are world-renowned for their exquisite mountain scenery, ancient traditions, and diverse ethnic groups that tenaciously inhabit this harsh yet sublime landscape. Home to the world's highest peaks, including Mount Everest, and some of its deepest gorges, the region is a trove of biological and cultural diversity. Providing a panoramic overview of contemporary land and life in the Earth's highest mountains, the Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya is the first full-color, comprehensive atlas of the geography, economics, politics, and culture of this spectacular area. Drawing from the authors' twenty-five years of scholarship and field experience in the region, the volume contains a stunning and unique collection of maps utilizing state-of-the-art cartography, exquisite photography, and engagingly-written text to give accurate coverage of the Himalaya. The volume covers the entire 2,700-kilometer length of the mountain range, from the Indus Valley in northern Pakistan and India, across Nepal and Bhutan, to the hidden realms of northeast India. The Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya not only offers detailed explanations of geological formations, climate, vegetation, and natural resources but also explores the human dimension of the region's culture and economy. The authors devote special attention to discovery and travel, including exploration, mountaineering, and trekking. Packed with over 300 easy-to-read, custom designed full color maps and photographs and detailed text and map indexes, the Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya is a superb collector's volume and an essential reference to this vast and complex mountain region.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-7384-9
    Subjects: Geography

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Maps
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Tables and Charts
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. [Maps]
    (pp. x-xii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. xv-xvi)

    The political geography of the Himalaya is contested in many places, with China asserting its claim over territory occupied by India and Bhutan, and India asserting its claim over territory occupied by Pakistan and vice versa. The boundary lines that appear on the maps in this atlas represent the most widely accepted designations of country borders; in some cases, again by convention, they appear as something other than a recognized boundary line (for example, the disputed boundary between Pakistan and India in Kashmir is depicted as a “line of control”). Such disagreements about boundary placements suggest the somewhat fluid nature...

  8. PART ONE The Regional Setting
    (pp. 1-30)

    The slow, inexorable drift northward of the South Asian continent, beginning about 130 million years ago in the Cretaceous period and continuing into the present day, resulted in the collision of the Indian and Asian continental plates, uplifting huge sections of old, compressed sea floor and creating an extraordinary range of mountains—the Himalaya, which today stands high above all other places on earth. Evidence of this cataclysmic event, and of the mountains’ 60 million–year–old roots, can be found in the landscape, among the twisted strata of exposed rock that show the enormous pressures of buckling and folding,...

  9. PART TWO The Natural Environment
    (pp. 31-66)

    The Himalaya is one of the youngest mountain ranges on earth. Its geologic history began 60 million year ago, when India first collided with Asia, but most of its altitude was gained during the last 2 million years. The mountains continue to grow today amid widespread and frequent earthquakes. These seismic tremors signify the geologic forces that produced such spectacular highland terrain, but they also make the Himalaya a tectonically dangerous place to live. The mountains’ propensity for seismic disturbances, their steep terrain, gravity, and the forceful movement of water across the rugged slopes combine to create what geologists call...

  10. PART THREE Society
    (pp. 67-98)

    The Himalaya is home to the religious and cultural traditions of Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic civilizations, as well as numerous tribes and ethnic groups. Within these diverse societies is a meeting of the spiritual and material, which defines a traditional order for mountain life. This order has led to the devout character of the Himalayan people, to the design of local communities, and to the establishment of historical theocracies in the mountains. It permits the inhabitants to display their distinctive cultural patterns and an astonishing array of lifestyles. And it shapes a landscape in which the textures of human society...

  11. PART FOUR Resources and Conservation
    (pp. 99-142)

    The Himalayan environment provides natural resources for local people as well as for the economic development of mountain states. The villagers traditionally rely on the land for agriculture and livestock grazing; the forests for fuelwood, medicinal herbs, and timber; the rivers and streams for drinking water and crop irrigation; and the native wildlife for game hunting. These age-old practices continue amid the ever-greater requirements of the growing human population. In places where the heightened demand for resources has led to their depletion, the sustainability of village economies and environments may be threatened. Too often the result is human poverty and...

  12. PART FIVE Exploration and Travel
    (pp. 143-186)

    The first persons to explore the Himalaya left no written accounts of their travels. What we know about their ancient journeys—as part of the vast migration of humanity across Asia—is sketchy and comes from the incomplete archaeological record. It is only later, with the appearance of outsiders, that we gain a better record of travel and exploration in the mountains. Among the first documented visitors to the Himalaya were spiritual devotees in search of the legendary lands described in ancient Indian and Tibetan religious texts. According to these traditions, the mountains are filled with divine places—remote and...

  13. Sources of Illustrations
    (pp. 187-190)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 191-194)
  15. Subject and Name Index
    (pp. 195-200)
  16. Map Index
    (pp. 201-212)