Pokhara celebrates Mt Annapurna Day

POKHARA: Annapurna Ascent Day was marked in Pokhara on Wednesday amid a plethora of programmes organized specifically to celebrate the occasion.

The day commemorates the first ascent of the 8,091-metre high Mt. Annapurna by a French mountaineer 59 years back.

It was on June 3, 1950, that Frenchman Mauris Herzog and Luicas Lachenal scaled Mt. Annapurna-I before tourism proper started functioning as an industry in Pokhara.

In connection with celebrating Annapurna Day, an interaction was held here on Tuesday on ways to promote mountaineering activities and tourism around the Annapurna region.

On Wednesday, a morning procession was taken out by tourism entrepreneurs and various organisations in the area to mark the day.

A team comprising tourism entrepreneurs, people interested in mountaineering in the Himalayas and journalists has left for Sardikhola Village Development Committee (VDC), 20 kilometres north from Pokhara. The team has gone there in connection with conducting a study for developing Sardikhola VDC into a tourism hub around Mt Annapurna.

Nepal Tourism Board former member Basudev Tripathi said 103 mountaineers have scaled Mt. Annapurna-I until 2005.

He said that 56 mountaineers, including some famous names, have lost their lives while attempting to climb the Mt Annapurna peak.

Tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara have announced a three-day celebration at the people's level. A series of programmes has been planned for the event, said president of Pokhara Tourism Council, Bachchuram Tiwari.

The Annapurna massif comprises seven peaks including Annapurna-I and six otherd that are over 7,000 metres high. To the east of this massif lies the 8,164-metre high Mt Manaslu and to the west the 8,167-metre high Mt Dhaulagiri.