Situated in the province of Gandaki in Manang district at the thirty four kilometers east from Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Annapurna stands proudly and splendidly with the height of 8091 metres along Annapurna range spreading around the length of 55 kilometres. The Annapurna range consists of series of high mountain peaks and four of them, apart from Mount Annapurna, are named after ‘Annapurna’ itself. They are Annapurna II (7939 metres), Annapurna III ( 7555 metres ), Annapurna IV ( 7525 metres) and Annapurna South ( 7219 metres ).
Between the range of Dhaulagiri and that of Annapurna, there flows the Kali Gandaki river forming an enchanting gorge, known as Andha Galchhi, meaning blinding gorge, at Dana of Myagdi, which, it is said, is the world’s deepest gorge, with the depth of 6967 metres. The total Annapurna region has been conserved by the project called Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which, it is claimed, is one of the world’s most successful projects in the field of the conservation of nature.
One important fact about Mount Annapurna is that it is the first above eight thousand metre mountain in the world climbed by humans. The French citizen Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachanel climbed up the top of Mount Annapurna on June 3, 1950. These two mountaineers had initiated their expedition aiming to climb Mount Dhaulagiri, but changed their mind and decided to make it to the peak of Annapurna, which was completely unexplored and alien to the world until then.
The book “Annapurna” written by Herzog, is a precious gift to the world as it contains the detailed story of how they climbed the Mt Annapurna despite the tough and harsh crossroads of their expedition. The first Nepali to climb Annapurna was Sonam Walung Sherpa, who ascended to the top on October 13, 1977.
The literal meaning of Annapurna is “filled with grains”, or it can also be described as “The Goddess of Grains”.
-Article written by: Bedu Khatiwoda for Land Nepal