Nepal contains part of the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. Eight of the fourteen eight-thousanders are located in the country, either in whole or shared across a border with China or India. Nepal has the highest mountain in theworld, Mount Everest.
2. Kanchenjunga – the Five Treasure of the snow
Height: 8,586 meters
Location: Taplejung District. Part of the Northern Kanchenjunga Himalayan range
First ascenders: Gorge Band and Joe Brown
Kanchenjunga is the third-highest mountain in the world and is situated about 125 kilometers south-east of Mount Everest. The mountain is shared partly by Sikkim, India. The Kanchenjunga massif consists of five prominent peaks, and these five peaks are also called ‘the five treasures of the snow’ by the local people of the area. The mountains peaks of Kanchenjunga are held as sacred and holy by the people of both Nepal and India and because of its remote location, trekking journeys seldom take place in Nepal- making it an off-the-beaten-paths trekking experience. Kanchenjunga was first climbed on 25th May, 1995 by Joe Brown and Gorge Band; both were part of a British expedition team. The word “Kanchenjunga” comes from Tibet. It roughly translates to “five repositories of great snow”. There is a legend that originates from the local Lhopo people’s beliefs that says that the five treasures of Kanchenjunga are hidden in the mountain slopes and will only reveal themselves to the devout when the world is in grave peril. The five treasures are salt, gold, turquoise, sacred scriptures, invincible armor and medicine. The mountain is a part of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and is also believed to be the abode of the omnipotent Goddess Yuma Sammang by the local Limbu people of Nepal. Another myth surrounding the mountain is that of “the Kanchenjunga demon”. Some local people say that the mountain is home to the deity Dzö-nga– a type of yeti or a rakshasa. For generations, there have also been legends recounted by the inhabitants of the areas about a valley of immortality hidden on the slopes of Mountain. The massif of the mountain forms a watershed to several rivers of the area and the main peak of Kanchenjunga is also the source of four main glaciers that flow in the region. When seen from the vantage point of Antu Danda from Ilam, the Kanchenjunga massif looks like a white rugged wall hanging from the sky. There are four climbing routes to reach the summit of the Kanchenjunga Mountain, three lies in Nepal and one in India. Raymond Benson, the author of James Bond books, has also penned down a James Bond adventure in the Kanchenjunga Mountain in his book ‘High Time to Kill’.