The Mystical Subcontinent that is South Asia
South Asia is home to the Himalayas, a mountain range that literally reaches the skies. The Himalayan mountains make up the planet’s tallest peaks, including Mount Everest, and with more than one hundred mountains that are over 7,000 meters high, taller even than the tallest mountains outside South Asia. The Himalayas is rich with legends, mysteries and amazing natural bounty. Where else can you find mountains whose base bathe in tropical climate all year round but whose peaks are capped with snow all year round?
Also, the Himalayas cradles three major rivers, the Ganges, the Indus and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra. The Indus flows through Pakistan, India and Tibet, onto the Arabian Sea. Ganges River, on the other hand, is the most sacred body of water in India. It is, in fact, regarded and worshipped as a Hindu goddess. To the faithful, rivers in South Asia are looked upon as deities or celestial cows that give out life-giving milk. There are about 600 million people living near and along these three rivers and whose lives depend upon them.
Other than the Himalayan peaks and rivers, South Asia is also home to the exotic, mystical and beautiful Indian Peninsula, which includes Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. The fact that India has more than 1.2 billion residents and embraces four major world religions makes this country truly fascinating in so many ways. The ways people dress, dance, sing, create and express themselves are unique to this country alone.
Some of the top attractions in India are the Virupaksha Temple, Kanha National Park, Harmandir Sahib (“Golden Temple”), Jaisalmer, Ajanta Caves and, of course, the iconic Taj Mahal.
In addition to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, other countries that complete the South Asian subcontinent are Bhutan, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tibet and the Maldives. They work together through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.