Himalayan Mountains
   Himalaya (the abode of the snows) is a vast moun-tain range spreading across six countries: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Tibet (ruled by China). Geographically it separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan plateau. Fourteen of the highest peaks in the world are found in the Himalayas. The sources of several of the rivers of India are found here. Both the Indus River of Pakistan and the GANGES of India begin in these snow-covered mountains.
   The Himalaya is an important mythological site for Indian tradition. Lord SHIVA and his wife, PARVATI, are said to live on the peak KAILASA, an important pilgrimage site in Tibet just across the border from Nepal. The Himalayas are personified as HIMAVAT, the father of SAT I, Shiva’s first wife. The Himalayan lake Mansorovar is said to be the source of the Ganges. HANUMAN the monkey god was said to have gone to the Himalaya to get the mountain of herbs that saved LAKSHMANA’s life in the RAMAYANA story.
   Further reading: Cornelia Dimmit and J.A. B. van Buitenen, eds. and trans., Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); J. A. Dowson, A Classical Dic-tionary of Hindu Mythology (Portland, Ore.: Trubner, 2003); Swami Sundaranand, Himalaya through the Lens of a Sadhu (Gangotri: Tapovan Kuti Prakashan, 2001).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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