Image for Monsoon mountains

Monsoon mountains

Duration: 02:03

On their southern face, the mountains are thickly forested. Why is this so different to the dry lands beyond the snows? At 3,000 metres, in the great Himalayan forests of northern India, some of the peaks are enveloped by clouds and rise to above 7,000 metres. This great Himalayan barrier intercepts the moisture-laden winds of the monsoon, forcing them upwards to release their burden of rain and snow, creating a carpet of lush vegetation. Grey langurs feast on the young shoots of Indian horse chestnut. These are the same langurs that we find over much of India, but more thickly furred, to withstand the cold of the mountains. In winter these forests are deep in snow, but in spring they burst into a new growth a banquet of opportunity for leaf eaters like langurs. As you climb up the mountains the forest changes. Oak and chestnut give way to spruce and fir, and on the edge of the alpine meadows, to birch. One group of plants extends over that whole range of altitudes: rhododendrons.

Available since: Fri 4 Jun 2010

Credits

Key talent
Mike BIRKHEAD
Producer
Pelham ALDRICH-BLAKE
Camera Operator
Andrew ANDERSON
Camera Operator
Jim CLARE
Camera Operator
John DAVEY
Camera Operator
Justine EVANS
Camera Operator
Geoff GARTSIDE
Camera Operator
Chip HOUSEMAN
Camera Operator
Gavin THURSON
Camera Operator
John WATERS
Camera Operator
Mark YATES

This clip is from

Land of the Tiger MOUNTAINS OF THE GODS

5/6 A wildlife spectacular along the length & breadth of the Himalayas, from the high deserts of Ladakh to the forested foothills on India's Eastern borders.

First broadcast: 15 Dec 1997

Image for MOUNTAINS OF THE GODS Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss