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Foothills of the Himalaya
Credit: Jesse Lewis
For centuries the Himalaya have served as a geographical transition zone between different ecosystems and different ethnic groups of people situated between the lowlands of the Indo-Gangetic plains and the high Tibetan plateau of China. Trade routes between these two regions have persisted for centuries and continue to link people and ideas here today. Trekking through these ancient trade routes is one of the best ways to truly experience the enormous geographic, ecological and cultural diversity of the Himalayan region.
This journey begins North of Kathmandu in Nepal's temperate "hill" region. The hill or Pahad zone of Nepal abuts the mountains between 2,625 to 13,123 feet (800 and 4,000 meters) in altitude ascending from subtropical climates below 3,937 feet (1,200 m) to alpine climates above 11,811 feet (3,600 m).
Only in a country as mountainous as Nepal could elevations this high be called "hills"! Most people reside in these lush valleys making use of the temperate climate to farm crops. In places such as this Garung village, people farm wheat and millet on ladder- like terraces ascending high up the slopes.