There must be a curious question after reading the title: Where is the Hindu Kush? Is it a sacred or undiscovered place somewhere in the beautiful mountains? And if so, can we escape the daily routine and plan a trip to Hindu Kush?
Well, the fact is that most of you visited the Hindu Kush but were unaware of the hidden story behind its name and the undiscovered facts about it. Cities like Dehradun and Srinagar in India make the most beautiful part of Hindu Kush. Let’s unravel the mystery of this place together!
1. What is Hindu Kush?
The harsh climatic conditions of the Himalayan range are well-known all over the world. Today, we have sufficient woollen wear to survive the wrath of extreme cold but in ancient times there was not enough supply to bear the cold. The extreme climatic conditions of the Himalayan region developed the name “Hindu Kush” for the ice-loaded mountains.
The Real Meaning of the term Hindu Kush
Boyle’s Persian–English dictionary indicates that the suffix -koš is the present stem of the verb ‘to kill’. deriving its meaning from the Persian roots The term Hindu Kush translates to “Killer of Hindu.” Coined by Ibn Battuta in his book The Rihla, reflects the harsh conditions where Indian slaves perished while being transported through these mountains.
In the 14th century, ancient India witnessed the death of thousands of Hindu slaves while they were being transported to Afghanistan due to the cold weather conditions in the Himalayas naming it “Hindu Kush” – The Killer of Hindus. So, today the Himalaya Range has a hidden name Hindu Kush associated with an uncommon incident of the past.
2. The Mythological history of Himalayas
As per the Hindu mythology, Kailash Parvat is considered as the home of Lord Shiva. Since mountains are believed to be the birthplace of Lord Shiva, so, the local and tribal people worship him a lot. Every village or city in the Himalayas has a temple dedicated to Shiva which shows the mythological belief of the locals of Hindu Kush.
Some of the major Shiva temples are famous tourist attraction of the Himalayas like Tung Nath, Rudra Nath, etc. The tribal and local people are still preserving the mythological beliefs of Hinduism and it is the most cherished thing by all the travelers.
3. Himalayas were once known as “Himavan”
Hindu Kush or Himalayas has a great history attached to it and that is the reason for another hidden name of the Himalayan region i.e. “Himavan”. Goddess Ganga, a holy river of North India is believed to be fathered by Himavat. Lord Shiva’s wife, Parvati, Goddess Ragini and several others were siblings fathered by the same man Himavat.
Since Ganga is considered to be a holy river being worshipped in the Himalayas and Parvati is the wife of the lord Shiva, so Himalayas were also known as Himavan. He was considered to be the king of the great Himalayan range as his life contributed a lot to Hindu mythology.
4. Which is the third largest Ice deposit mountain in the world?
As mentioned above, the Hindu Kush has extreme weather conditions with snow-covered mountains throughout the year. Whenever there is a long vacation break coming, most people all over India plan to visit the mountain range of the Himalayas due to the pleasing cold climatic conditions. It is always relaxing to visit the Hindu Kush reign as the weather will never disappoint you.
You may find snow in some parts of the Himalayas even in the month of May or June. It is not because the sun’s rays are unable to reach the vast mountains, but because the altitude of the land is too high for the reflective rays to create heat and also because there is too much snow that it is not easy for the rays to melt. Himalayas are considered to be the third largest ice deposit in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. So, keep your woolen wears handy whenever you visit the Hindu Kush.
5. The Himalayas have 9 out of the 10 highest peaks in the World!
The Himalayan range stretches to five Asian countries including India, Bhutan, Nepal, China and Pakistan. This mountain range spreads to 2,400 kilometers approximately and has some major attractions as well. Out of the top 10 highest peaks in the world, the Hindu Kush, or the Himalayan range owns 9.
The K2 range belongs to the Karakoram range, while the rest all the 9 top mountain ranges of the world are owned by the Himalayas including some world-famous peaks such as Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, Annapurna, etc. Everest tops the list with an elevation of 29,000 feet (approx.) above the sea level whereas Annapurna is at the last of the list with an elevation of 26,000 feet (approx.) above the sea level.
So, the next time you plan a holiday to the Himalayas, do keep in mind their cultural beliefs or the mythological factors so it will be easy for you to blend in with the locals and initiate an interesting conversation at the table. Share it with your squad and let them know the factual beauty of the great Himalayas or the new old name Hind Kush.
If you loved reading the facts about the Himalayan range also known as Hindu Kush, then do give a read to the 5 Most Unique Indian Train Stations You Should Not Miss While Travelling.
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