The Himalayan range is home to the planet's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. The Himalayas include over a hundred mountains exceeding 7,200 metres (23,600 ft) in elevation. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia – Aconcagua, in the Andes – is 6,961 metres (22,838 ft) tall. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks are sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism. The Himalayas, also Himalaya,, literally, "abode of the snow" is a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau.
Three of the world's major rivers, the Indus, the Ganges, and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra all rise near Mount Kailash to cross and encircle the Himalayas. Their combined drainage basin is home to some 600 million people.
The Himalayas abut or cross five countries: Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan, with the first three countries having sovereignty over most of the range. The Himalayas are bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, on the north by the Tibetan Plateau, and on the south by the Indo-Gangetic Plain.