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The Himalayas: Trip of a Lifetime

Home to the highest peaks on the planet, the Himalayas begin in Pakistan stretching across

India, Bhutan and Nepal until reaching China in the east. This is a majestic landscape of mountains, deep valleys and glaciers, dominated by Mount Everest (otherwise known as Sagarmatha in Nepali) at 8,848m above sea level. The country most closely identified with the Himalayas is Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Everest.Since the first successful ascent by Sherpa Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hillary more than 60 years ago, there have been thousands of attempts at the world’s highest mountain. But in 2015 — a year overshadowed by the April 25th earthquake — it was the first time in over 40 years that there was no successful summiting of Everest. The earthquake destroyed villages, and triggered landslides and avalanches across the country; the death toll exceeded 8,000 and thousands more were injured.But with the country’s good-value range of accommodation standards and easy access to the mountains from its capital, Kathmandu, tourist arrivals will, in time, recover. Until then it is a good moment to visit because trails will be quieter than normal and visitors will receive a very warm reception by supporting the country in its hour of need. Another good-value Himalayas destination is India, which also boasts mighty mountains, an array of traditional festivals and fervent religious rituals. India has three significant mountainous regions: Ladakh, the largest district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir; the undersung area of Kumaon in Uttarakhand, and the former Buddhist kingdom of Sikkim in the shadow of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak.
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