A billion lives depend on the wayers of the Himalayas; sixty million live in this mountain range, while the rest live in its foothills, on the plains of the Indian subcontinent. For them, the Himalayas are a providential water tower. Despite their astonishing diversity, all these peoples share the common belief that this is a 'Sacred Land' and this mountain range is, above all, the 'Abode of Snow' where pure water springs, rivers gush and lakes are crystal-clear. In this mosaic of peoples, languages, religions and lands, water plays a vital part in the geographical distribution of the various ethnic groups, their social organization and the way they see themselves. With its stunning photographs and embedded videos, this volume offers an anthropological insight into the various bonds formed between man and water in the Himalayas. In doing so, it also stresses both the importance of this water tower of Asia, which provides for a thousand million people, and the scope of the current economic and ecologic issues that are at stake.