What makes Yak survive in the cold of Himalayas?
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It's the thick fleece of long outdoor hair, and thick black skin on their body, which protects them from extreme cold. Yaks also have the capability to conserve heat (retain heat within themselves), and that is another quality giving toleration to low temperature, which they face in the Himalayas. Down hairs (below outdoor hairs), which are called the wool hairs, on the body of yaks provide a layer of dry air next to the skin and repels water, and thus providing thermal insulation for the conservation of heat. Yaks can easily walk on the snow as well. If you want to know more about Yaks in detail you can visit dailyexcelsior.com .
Yak is the largest animal found in the Himalayas. It is extensively used for transportation of goods, and also for riding on it, by humans, for fun and entertainment, and to travel from one place to another. There are many travel companies offering Yak Safari packages, which are nothing but riding on Yak and experiencing the thrill of traveling on the back of this huge animal and enjoying nature's beauty all around, at the same time. Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir are the two Indian states where the Himalayas dominate, and yaks are found common in the Himalayan range of mountains in these two states, mostly in alpine zones. That is the reason, yak safaris are offered in these two major states in India only, by travel companies. Yaks are very common domesticated animals in Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir, and yak safaris are organized in different parts of these two states.
Yaks are quite used to walking on steep slopes of Himalayan Mountains and can cover a long distance without getting tired. They can also easily carry a load of 50-80 kg on their back, and can trek for 7-8 hrs non-stop in the mighty Himalayas. Exploring glacial valleys, chiseled snow peaks, lakes, cascades, meadows and forests, gurgling streams on yak can be a lifetime experience.
One can experience the yak riding in Sikkim, near and around a popular and beautiful lake called Tsomgo Lake, which is at an altitude of 12,400 ft from sea level. You will also find mountains near this lake, and yak riding is also offered in these mountains. Here the yaks are beautifully decorated for the specific purpose of riding by tourists and thus generating income for a living for the locals. This lake is at a distance of 40 km from Gangtok, the capital city of the Indian state of Sikkim. Here is a nice video where people are enjoying yak riding and also many people are on foot near the Tsomgo lake.
Dzongri peak, in the village of Yuksom, in West Sikkim is another very popular trekking point to reach. One can enjoy the natural beauty of Dzongri while riding on the Yak. Unless you visit this place on your own, advance booking should be done for Yak Safari in Dzongri with tour operators like Summit Adventure, who are well versed for providing such services. Usually, Yak Safari is just a part of the trekking expedition, when you go for a trekking to the peak of Dzongri from the village of Yuksom. Here is a complete explanation of this route on darjeeling-tourism.com .
Written by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )