The Himalayas are very useful to India in many ways. The Himalayas form a strong natural barrier to our country in the North. It is very difficult to cross these high mountains. It can only be crossed in summer when snow melts over its passes. For centuries, it has stood as a strong defense wall for the country. The other advantages of Himalayas are as under:
(i) Climatic barrier :
The Himalayas are a great climatic barrier. They save our country from the cold and dry winds of Central Asia, It also prevents the rain-laden monsoon winds of Indian Ocean from crossing over to Northern countries and causes heavy rain-fall in the Northern India. If there were no Himalayas, our country would have been barren like the Thar Desert.
(ii) Vegetation :
The Himalayan slopes have dense forests. Trees of many types grow in these forests. These forests are a store-house of timber and wood. These forests provide shelter to many kinds of wild animals and birds.
(iii) Rivers :
The Himalayas are the source of all the great rivers of Northern India. In summer the snow on the Himalayas melts and provides water to these rivers throughout the year. The water of these rivers is used for irrigation and for producing electricity. The rivers also bring new fertile soil with them, deposit it in the plains and make them fertile.
(iv) Hill Stations :
All the beautiful hill stations in Northern India like Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Shimla, Kulu, Manali, Dharamshala, Dehradoon, Nainital are located in the Himalayas. Thousands of visitors come to these hill stations.
(v) Mountaineering :
Some of the world's highest peaks are in the Himalayas. Adventurous people from all over the world come for mountaineering in the Himalayas.
(vi) Herbs :
Many useful herbs which are used as medicines grow on the slopes of Himalayas. Tea is also grown on the Himalayan slopes. India is a big producer of tea.
(vii) Soldiers :
The life on the Himalayas is very tough. The people living in the hills are tough and hardworking. They prove useful soldiers for the Indian Army.