A great arc of mountains, composed of the Himalaya, Hindu Kush, and Patkai ranges, define the Indian subcontinent. These mountains were formed by the ongoing tectonic collision of the Indian Plate with the Eurasian Plate which started some 50 million years ago. These mountain ranges are home to some of the tallest mountains in the world and provide a natural barrier against the cold polar winds. They also facilitate the monsoons that drive climate in India. The numerous rivers that originate in these mountains provide water to the fertile Indo-Gangetic plains. These mountains are recognised by biogeographers as the boundary between two of the earth's great ecozones; the temperate Palearctic that covers most of Eurasia, and the tropical and subtropical Indomalaya ecozone that includes the Indian subcontinent and extend into Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Historically, these ranges have served as barriers to invaders.
India has seven major mountain ranges having peaks of over 1,000 m (3,300 feet). The Himalayas are the only mountain ranges to have snow-capped peaks. These ranges are:
Sahyadri or Western Ghats
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