Climate & vegetation
· Rainshadow Effect
The Yeti Factor
· Glimpses of Buddhism
· Invaluable Butter
· Kailash and Mansarovar
· Jokhang Temple
Tibet is surrounded on three sides by vast mountain systems: the Kunlun mountains of Central Asia in the north, the Karakoram range in the west and the Himalayas in the south.
The first recorded European exploration of the Trans Himalayas was carried out by the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin. Hedin explored Tibet and the Xinjiang (Sinkiang) region extensively. He identified the sources of the Brahmaputra, Indus, and Satluj rivers, and, in 1906, explored and named the Kailas Range.
The southern part of Tibet falls within the Himalayan region. Some of the world's highest mountains define the southern border of Tibet. These include Mt Everest (8,848 m) -- the highest mountain in the world, Namcha Barwa (7,756 m / 25,445 ft) -- around which the Brahmaputra carves a fantastic gorge to enter India, and Gurla Mandhata (7,728 m / 25,355 ft). Running north of the main Himalayan range is the Kailas Range, named thus by Hedin.
Between the two ranges lies the river valley region extending for about 1,000 km from west to east. The Brahmaputra River (known in Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo) flows from west to east through most of this region. The Tibetan plateau is the source of some of the biggest rivers in the Himalayas. The Brahmaputra, Indus and Satluj are three Trans Himalayan rivers that originate in Tibet, cut across the main Himalayas making fearsome gorges and then flow towards the plains.
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