Kangchenjunga

Kangchenjunga

Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world (after Mount Everest and K2), with an elevation of 8,586 meters (28,169 ft). Kangchenjunga translated means "The Five Treasures of Snows", as it contains five peaks, four of them over 8,450 metres. The treasures represent the five repositories of God, which are gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books. Kangchenjunga is called Sewalungma in the local Limbu language, translates as 'Mountain that we offer Greetings to'. Kanchenjunga or Sewalungma is considered sacred in the Kirant religion.

Three of the five peaks (main, central, and south) are on the border of North Sikkim district of Sikkim, India and Taplejung District of Nepal, while the other two are completely in Taplejung District. Nepal is home to the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project run by the World Wildlife Fund in association with Government of Nepal. The sanctuary is home to the Red Panda and other montane animals, birds and plants. India's side of Kangchenjunga also has a protected park area called the Khangchendzonga National Park.

Although Kangchenjunga is the official spelling adopted by Douglas Freshfield, A.M. Kellas, and the Royal Geographical Society that gives the best indication of the Tibetan pronunciation, there are a number of alternative spellings which include Kangchen Dzö-nga, Khangchendzonga, Kanchenjanga, Kachendzonga, Kanchenjunga or Kangchanfanga. The final word on the use of the name Kangchenjunga came from His Highness Sir Tashi Namgyal, the Maharaja or chogyal of Sikkim, who stated that "although junga had no meaning in Tibetan, it really ought to have been Zod-nga (treasure, five) Kang-chen (snow, big) to convey the meaning correctly". Following consultations with a Lieutenant-Colonel J.L.R. Weir (HMG political agent to Sikkim), he agreed that it was best to leave it as Kangchenjunga, and thus the name remained so by acceptance and usage.

Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world, but calculations made by the British Great Trigonometric Survey in 1849 came to the conclusion that Mount Everest (known as Peak XV at the time) was the highest and Kangchenjunga the third-highest. Kangchenjunga was first climbed on May 25, 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band of a British expedition. The British expedition honored the beliefs of the Sikkimese, who hold the summit sacred, by stopping a few feet short of the actual summit. Most successful summit parties since then have followed this tradition.

Information based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanchenjunga