Mountains are the gift of God on this earth. They symbolise the loftiness of nature and keeps the human spirit high. A wonder in itself, a mountain never ceases to fascinate human curiosity and the urge to reach its top is embedded in human existence. Climbing atop a mountain is a motivating human desire that has consumed human soul since ages. There are few things on Earth as intimidating and equally fascinating as mountains. From small but perfectly formed peaks to grand monoliths rising tall into the sky, mountains come in all shapes and sizes. Mountains are the most fascinating impression nature conveys and their bewitching beauty enthralls human spirit. It is always fascinating to survey the beautiful mountains because such exercise is highly entertaining.
Mount Cook, Southern Alps, New Zealand (12,217ft/3,724m) (Mount Cook)
New Zealand is famed for its breathtaking natural wonders and Mount Cook is no exception. The country’s highest mountain, Mount Cook is the name given by the European settlers, however, Māori have always known it as Aoraki. A young boy in a significant Māori legend, the people have always considered Aoraki as the most sacred of their ancestors.
Mount Fuji, Japan (12,776ft/3,894m)
The largest peak in Japan, Mount Fuji is simply unmistakable. The distinctive mountain is of great cultural significance to the Japanese as it’s long been considered sacred by Buddhist and Shinto pilgrims. It’s also one of the few places in the world to see lenticular clouds – a rare phenomenon when disc-shaped clouds gather at the top of the peak, resembling UFOs.
Matterhorn, Pennine Alps, Switzerland and Italy (14,692ft/4,478m)
Switzerland has some pretty magical mountains, but the jagged peak of the Matterhorn surely wins hands down. The mountain, straddling the border between Switzerland and Italy, overlooks the Swiss town of Zermatt to the northeast and the Italian town of Breuil-Cervinia to the south. The town also gives the mountain its Italian name Cervino. Sometimes even called the Mountain of Mountains, Matterhorn is symbolic of all of the European Alps.
Vinicunca, Andes, Peru (17,100ft/5,212m) (Peru)
This multicoloured mountain in the Peruvian Andes is not man-made despite what its perfectly symmetrical layers might make you think. The colourful bands, ranging from pink and red to yellow and green, are the result of sedimentary layers forming from mineral deposits over the years. Interestingly, the colourful bands haven’t always been visible. Rapid ice melt revealed the unique colours of the mountains only in the 2010s.
Ama Dablam, Himalayas, Nepal (22,349ft/6,812m)
It’s no secret that Mount Everest is the Himalayas’ most famous peak, however, this mountain range is home to many other spectacular mountains. One such mountain is Ama Dablam. Sometimes referred to as the Matterhorn of the Himalayas, the name loosely translates as mother’s necklace. This is a reference to the hanging glacier, that resembles a dablam, a traditional double-pendant containing pictures of gods worn by Sherpa women. TW