1. The Himalayan Region
Himalayan region lies in the northern part and is least developed. This Himalayan Mountain situated on the north part of Nepal is the youngest and loftiest fold mountain of the world. Its tremendous height is supposed to be due to subsequent uplifts during later periods of Tertiary Era. This mountain zone encompasses about 25% of the total area of the country.
• The height of the mountain runs from about 3,600 m. to 8,848 m. above sea level. Here, snowline occurs at the altitude of about 5,000 m. and the portions above this line are perpetually capped with snow. It is alleged that 4 peaks of over 8,100 m., 13 peaks of over 7,600 m. and 240 peaks of over 6,000 m. are confined to this mountain region. The northern part of Nepal is the Himalayan Region covering around 15% of the total land area of our country. It stretches between 3300 m up to 8848 m. consisting of rocky and snow-clad mountains.
• It also possesses a number of gorges, passes, glaciers, waterfalls and fascinating peaks. Out of the highest peaks in the world, eight including Mt. Everest (world’s highest) and Mt Kanchenjunga (world’s third highest) fall in this region.
• The Himalayan Mountain extends in an east-west direction for about 850 km. and commands a north-south breadth ranging from 24 Km. to 48 Km. The glaciers formed out of sliding snow have produced several U-shaped valleys and lake basins. Almost all the prominent rivers of Nepal are conceived to have originated out of the melting of glaciers. These rivers and glaciers have greatly molded the original landscape of this mountain zone.
• Though stretching the entire length of north Nepal, the Himalayan Mountain is not a single continuous range; for it is carved at its various sections by various antecedent rivers like the Karnali, Gandaki, Kosi, etc. Near the river breaks on or close to the border are located various high passes such as Kodari, Rasuwa, Mustang, Namja and so on. But most of the Himalayan passes, owing to the thick deposit of snow, remain closed during winter months. Trade and communication between Nepal and Tibet are, however, conducted through those passes during other months of the year.
• The climate is cold and topography is harsh. It consists of coniferous (lower part) and alpine and tundra (upper part) vegetation. Due to difficult and harsh topography, this region is less developed in terms of infrastructures. Though unsuitable for agriculture and poor in infrastructures, the region has great potential of development: tourism, animal rearing, and horticulture. It is the shelter for 6.7 % of the total population of Nepal, It is sparsely populated with the settlement of 34 people per sqr km. Though not much suitable for agriculture and infrastructural development, the Himalayan Region is suitable for tourism, animal rearing, and horticulture.