Stage set for Mt Kanchenjunga diamond jubilee celebrations
Kathmandu, November 15
Nepal is all set to mark the diamond jubilee of the first ascent of Mt Kanchenjunga (8,586 metres), the world’s third highest mountain, by organising a three-day-long programme from November 22.
The diamond jubilee organising committee, during a press conference in the Capital today, announced that all preparatory works are in the final stage to welcome over 50,000 national and international visitors to a three-day event in Taplejung, home to Nepal’s second-highest mountain.
Ramesh Baral, press and publicity coordinator of the event, said that the diamond jubilee event is mainly aimed at promoting the region while there were four more peaks that measure above 8,000 metres.
The name ‘Kanchenjunga’ means five treasures of snow, according to Baral.
“Prime minister, ministers, parliamentarians and renowned climbers are scheduled to inaugurate the grand ceremony at Suketar,” he said. The event would also encourage policymakers and other stakeholders to invest more in the Kanchenjunga area.
A British expedition led by renowned climber Sir Charles Evans, along with Joe Brown and George Christopher Band, made the first successful ascent of Mt Kanchenjunga on May 25, 1955.
“There are over a dozen sub-committees working round the clock in the district to make the event a success,” Baral informed.
Mt Kanchenjunga annually draws hundreds of mountaineers and trekkers while the record for successful ascent stands at only 344 till date, according to Bal Bahadur Tamang, secretary of the organising committee.
Iswari Paudel, deputy coordinator of the event, said that travellers could reach Suketar via road and air travel. “We will also put helicopters on standby to facilitate visitors,” he said. “We want to give a message that Kanchenjunga is safe for all and have prepared well to host the world travellers.”
According to him, the event will also help publicise the district’s flora and fauna including lakes, Pathivara temple and other natural treasurers. “Pathivara is a renowned pilgrimage destination,” he said.
According to the schedule, there will be different programmes, including felicitation of mountaineers, cultural shows, industrial fair, adventure sports, sight-seeing, video documentary shows, health camps and training programmes for hotel workers, among others.
“It is a national event as the government and Nepal Mountaineering Association along with other stakeholders are involved in the main celebration committee,” Chhowang Sherpa, coordinator of the organising committee, said.
According to organisers, the event would also be helpful in exploring the tourism potential of the eastern region in the world. “Kanchenjunga promotion certainly plays a key role in economic growth of the region,” Sherpa said.
Taplejung locals are also urging the government to prioritise the Kanchenjunga area, as the trekking and hiking trails are in need of immediate rehabilitation. “The government must set up a Kanchenjunga tourism promotion fund,” Dawa S Lama, a tourism entrepreneur said.