Between the two giant countries, India and China, lie a beautiful land of mountains, Nepal. It is a small landlocked country with most parts of the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. It also holds the maximum number of high mountains, including the world's highest summit, Mt. Everest. In Nepal, there are 8 out of the top 10 highest peaks in the world.
Nepal, or the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a southeast landlock country rich in diverse culture, geography, natural beauty, festivals, history, and linguistics.
Geography of Nepal
Nepal has a total area of 147,516 km2, with India (east, west, and south) and China (north). It is a small landlocked southeast nation with wide geographical diversity. The region ranges from the lowest 59 meters altitude to the alpine areas above 7000 m, including the world's highest point, 8,850 m. Nepal divides into three central geographical regions; Himalayan, Hilly, and Terai. The Himalayan region is a mountainous area that begins from 3,000 m to the highest elevation of 8,850 m. It covers around 15 percent of the total land of Nepal. Similarly, Hilly lies between the Himalayan and Terai region and covers 68 percent of Nepal's land ranging from 1,000 m to 2,700 m. Finally, Terai is the low region with fewer smaller hills that covers 17 percent of Nepal's land and is the most fertile in Nepal.
Top 10 Highest Mountains in Nepal
Mt.Everest is the earth's highest peak and lies within the Mahalangur Himalayan range, standing at an elevation of 8848.86 m above sea level. Everest is shared by two countries, Nepal and Tibet. Thus, Mount Everest has its local names, Sagarmatha (Nepali) and Chomolungma (Tibet). It is a popular trekking, peak climbing, camping, and vacation destination. Everest region is famous for magnificent panoramic mountain views, ancient old monasteries of Tengboche and Pangboche, vibrant villages of Lukla, Namche, Tengboche, and more, rare floras and fauna of Sagarmatha National Park, and breathtaking sunrise and sunset views from Gokyo Ri and Kala Pathar. Mt. Everest is one of the most famous trekking destinations in the world. Nowadays it is also famous for the Everest mountain flight by helicopter in this region to take a mountain experience in a short and easy way to explore the mountains within a few hours.
Mt. Kanchenjunga is Nepal's second-highest peak, with a third global ranking, and stands at 8,586 m above sea level. The peak is a part of the Kanchenjunga Himal range, which resides in the border territory of Nepal and India. There are five peaks in this range; main (8,586 m), central (8,505 m), west (8,482 m), north (8,489 m), and kangbachen (7,903 m). Before, Mt. Kanchenjunga was the world's highest mountain until 1952. After calculation and measurement of Mount Everest's height, mount Kanchanjunga was declared the third highest. Joe Brown and George Band, a member of the 1955 British Kanchanjunga Expedition, were the first to climb the Kanchenjunga on 25th May 1955.
This region has four glaciers; Zemu glacier (the largest glacier in the eastern Himalayas) and Talung glacier in India, Yalung glacier, and Kangchen glacier in Nepal. To summit mount Kanchenjunga there are four routes; three from Nepal and one from India. Since the Kanchenjunga region is not explored much compared to areas like Annapurna and Everest, it remains a place of pristine beauty and unspoiled nature. So, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is a beautiful opportunity to explore the untouched region of the eastern Himalayas.
About 19 km southeast of Everest lies the world's eighth-highest mountain, Mount Makalu. It resides at 8,481 m above sea level in the Mahalangur ranges of the Himalayas. This sacred mountain has a shape of a pyramid. In 1954, an American expedition team led by Riley Keegan took the first climb attempt. But, the successful summit took place on 15th May 1955 by french climbers; Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy. Makalu region is famous for its unspoiled natural beauty, greenery, wildlife, waterfalls, caves, and ancient religious temple.
Another attraction of the Makalu region is Shiv Dhara, which locals believe is Lord Shiva's tap. One has to climb the dangerous rocky cliff to reach this religious site. Within the Makalu-Barun national park lies the Makalu-Barun valley, made by the Barun river, which froze during winter. It is home to various rare wild animals, birds and floras, high waterfalls, and rocks. Thus, Makalu Base Camp Trek is a lifetime experience to explore the Makalu-Barun valley and snowcapped mountains.
Mount Cho Oyu
About 20 km west of Everest, inside the Mahalangur range, lies the world's sixth-highest mountain, Mt. Cho Oyu (8, 188 m). It lies in the border region of Nepal, Tibet, and China. Due to the average slope, Mount Cho Oyu is the most effortless eight thousand peak to climb. The first attempt was organized and sponsored by the British Joint Himalayan Committee in 1952. However, the successful summit took place on 19th October 1954 by Herbert Tichy, Joseph Jöchler, and Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama.
Inside the Mahalangur Himal range lies the world's fourth-highest peak, Mt. Lhotse. It resides on the border of Tibet and Nepal at an altitude of 8,516 m. Besides the main summits, there are other summits; Lhotse I or middle (8,414 m), Lhotse II (8,372 m), and Lhotse Shar (8,383 m). The first mount Lhotse expedition took place on 18th May 1956 by the member of the swiss Everest/Lhotse expedition, Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger. As for the standard climbing routes, Lhotse follows the classic Everest south col routes, which separate from the Yellow band after camp 3. The Everest expedition takes a left, whereas the Lhotse expedition takes a right turn.
The seven h highest peak in the world, Mount Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), lies in the Dhaulagiri massif of the Himalayas in the Gandaki province of Nepal. The name Dhaulagiri comes from two Sanskrit words; Dhaula means bright or white, and Giri means peak. Besides the prominent summit, there are Dhaulagiri II, Dhaulagiri III, and IV. In 1960, the first ascend to mount Dhaulagiri took place by a Swiss-Austrian expedition with members of Max Eiselin, Kurt Diemberger, Peter Diener, Ernst Forrer, Albin Schelbert, Nyima Dorje Sherpa, and Nawang Dorje Sherpa. Between Mount Dhaulagiri and Mount Annapurna, I flows the holy Kali Gandaki river, which makes the Kali Gandaki gorge one of the world's deepest gorges.
Gandaki province of Nepal is home to one of the world's most dangerous summits, Mount Annapurna. Annapurna I (8,091 m) is the highest among the 19 peaks in the Annapurna massif and is the world's tenth-highest peak. A french expedition team, including Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, were the ones who reached the summit first-ever on 3rd June 1950. The mountain is named after the Hindu goddess of food and harvest, Annapurna. The entire Annapurna massif resides within the vast protected land called Annapurna Sanctuary or Conservation Area. It is the largest conservation region in Nepal which inhabits large varieties of floras and faunas.
Due to extreme and unpredictable weather, avalanches, and landscape formation, the Annapurna expedition has a high fatality rate. Thus, making Mt. Annapurna the most dangerous and challenging peak to climb. Apart from the beautiful mountain and natural views, the Annapurna region is home to various ethnic villages which still follows traditional culture and lifestyle. Therefore, domestic and international tourists do the Annapurna Base Camp trek, Annapurna circuit trek, Mardi Himal trek, Ghorepani Poonhill trek, and many short treks to spend their time with nature and explore the magical Annapurna region.
Also known as Kuang, it is the world's eighth-highest peak in central Nepal (Gorkha district) within the Mansiri Himal range. The first successful ascent took place in 1956 by the Japanese expedition team of Toshio Imanishi, Maki Yuko, and Gyaltsen Norbu Sherpa. The peak got its name from the Sanskrit word Manasa which means mind, soul, and intellect. Thus, locals call this peak the mountain of spirit or soul. Moreover, Manaslu is well-known for its title of the Killer mountain, as above 60 climbers lost their lives on their ascend to the summit of Manaslu. Apart from the Manaslu expedition, Manaslu is famous for trekking. People often do Manaslu Circuit Trek/Manaslu Short Circuit Trek from September-November and March-May. Another attraction of the Manaslu region includes Manaslu Conservation Area, pristine trekking trails, breathtaking views, and ancient traditional Tibetan villages.
Within the Mahalangur range are numerous highest mountains, like Everest and Cho Oyu. However, in between these giant peaks lies the world's fifteenth-highest peak, Gyachung Kang (7,952 m). This peak borders Nepal and China, whose successful ascend took place on 10th April 1964 by the Japanese expedition team of Y. Kato, K. Sakaizaw, and Pasang Phutar.
It is the second-highest mountain in the Annapurna mountain range after Annapurna I. However, this peak stands at an elevation of 7,937 m, separate from the main ridge of the Annapurna range. This world's sixteenth-highest mountain, whose first ascend was in 1960 by an expedition team of British, Nepalese, and Indian. They first climbed the north face of Annapurna IV and followed the west ridge to climb Annapurna II.