Tibet has some of the world's tallest mountains, with several of them making the top ten list. Mount Everest, located on the border with Nepal, is, at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), the highest mountain on earth. Several major rivers have their source in the Tibetan Plateau (mostly in present-day Qinghai Province). These include the Yangtze, Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, Ganges, Salween and the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River).The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, along with the Yarlung Tsangpo River, is among the deepest and longest canyons in the world.
Tibet has been called the "Water Tower" of Asia. The Indus and Brahmaputra rivers originate from a lake (Tib: Tso Mapham) in Western Tibet, near Mount Kailash. The mountain is a holy pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Tibetans. The Hindus consider the mountain to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The Tibetan name for Mt. Kailash is Khang Rinpoche.
There are over 800 settlements in Tibet. Lhasa is Tibet's traditional capital. It contains two world heritage sites – the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, which were the residences of the Dalai Lama. Lhasa contains a number of significant temples and monasteries, including Jokhang and Ramoche Temple.
The atmosphere is severely dry nine months of the year, and average annual snowfall is only 18 inches (46 cm), due to the rain shadow effect. Religion is extremely important to the Tibetans and has a strong influence over all aspects of their lives.