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The Himalayas Unveiled: A Rare Sight of Nature’s Splendor During Lockdown

Madhulika Jadon



The COVID-19 pandemic had brought the world to a standstill, with people across the globe staying indoors to prevent the spread of the virus. In India, the government announced a nationwide lockdown in March 2020, allowing nature to live it up in its healing phase. With humans caged inside their houses, pollution levels went down drastically, carbon emissions scaled back, water and air quality upgraded, natural resources regenerated and restored themselves, and wildlife thrived. One unexpected benefit of this lockdown was that it blessed the Indian cities of Jalandhar, Saharanpur, Siliguri, and Sitamarhi to wake up to the dreamy view of the majestic Himalayan ranges in May 2020 as well as May 2021.

The Himalayas are a mountain range running across the countries of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China that have been a symbol of India’s natural beauty and are an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. They are home to some of the tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, and are renowned for their natural beauty and rich biodiversity. The reduction in pollution meant that the sky was clearer than usual, allowing people to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas from various cities previously obscured by haze and smog. The sight of the snow-capped peaks was a welcome distraction to many people confined to their homes in a gloomy situation.

The Himalayas’ Dhauladhar range was seen from Jalandhar in Punjab; Gangotri Hills were glimpsed from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh; Kanchenjunga was visible from Siliguri in West Bengal; Mount Everest was captured from Singhwahini village in Sitamarhi district of Bihar. People had taken to social media to share pictures and videos of the range, expressing their wonder at the sight. Dushyant Kumar, a government employee and an amateur photographer from Saharanpur, took pictures of the Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Bandarpunch ranges of the Himalayas seen from Saharanpur on May 20, 2021. “Himalayas are visible again from Saharanpur. After the rains, the sky is clear and the AQI is around 85,” tweeted Indian Forest Service official, Ramesh Pandey. Saharanpur is located approximately 200 kilometers away from the foothills of the range. Ritu Jaiswal, a government official, also asserted that the Himalayan ranges were visible from an aerial distance of 194 kilometers in Sitamarhi village.

The breathtaking sight of these ranges from these cities is a powerful reminder of the impact that human activity has on the environment. This shows us the resilience and adaptability of nature. Despite the challenges posed by human activity, the Himalayas continue to stand tall and awe-inspiring, a testament to the power and beauty of nature. However, the reduction in air pollution was a temporary reprieve and when the lockdown was lifted, the air quality deteriorated. Amid the chaos and uncertainty, the lockdowns also provided a glimmer of hope for a better climate future. The pandemic instilled optimism and showcased the potential for transformative changes in addressing climate change. The lockdown period encouraged individuals and communities to re-evaluate their lifestyles and embrace sustainable practices. Many individuals embraced sustainable habits such as reducing waste, adopting plant-based diets, and supporting local businesses. This collective shift in behavior holds promise for a more sustainable and resilient future.


Citations

  1. Himalayas visible from UP's Saharanpur again, breathtaking pics are going viral. Hindustan Times. https://www.hindustantimes.com/trending/himalayas-visible-from-up-s-saharanpur-again-breathtaking-pics-are-going-viral-101621592009535.html

  2. Himalayan Peek: Thanks to Lockdown, Mighty Himalayas Are Visible from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh. The Weather Channelhttps://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2020-05-06-himalayan-peek-lockdown-himalayas-visible-bihar-uttar-pradesh-punjab

  3. Trending News Today May 06, 2020: Wait, WHAT? Bihar Wakes Up To Stunning View Of Mount Everest After Decades As Air Clears Due To COVID-19 Lockdown. India.com https://www.india.com/viral/trending-news-today-may-06-2020-wait-what-bihar-wakes-up-to-stunning-view-of-mount-everest-after-decades-as-air-clears-due-to-covid-19-lockdown-4021269/



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