Mount Everest is Visible From Kathmandu, Nepal for First Time in Living Memory

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mount everest, Kathmandu,
Everest visible from Kathmandu for the first time in living memory. Credit: Abhushan Gautam

Last week Mount Everest was visible from Kathmandu for the first time in living memory. The picture above, taken from Chobar by Abhushan Gautam, of the world’s highest peak over 120-miles away, would not have been possible two months ago, reports the Nepal Times.

Due to the global lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, vehicles are off the roads, and industry has ground to a halt, resulting in significantly reduced air pollution and clean air above Nepal.

Hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses brought on by pollution and poor quality air in the area have also seen a sharp drop in the last couple of months.

“Many of our COPD patients who need regular follow-up haven’t shown up because their symptoms have eased. Some have called to say they don’t require oxygen therapy anymore.”

– Raju Pangeni, a pulmonary care specialist at HAMS Hospital

kathmandu,, nepal
Credit: US Embassy Kathmandu

Vehicular emissions are by far the biggest source of air pollution in Kathmandu Valley, and one study calculated it accounts for as much as 70% of all particulate matter at street level.

The concern is that once lockdown measures are removed people will return to their normal way of life and may even avoid public transport more than pre-pandemic to avoid social contact, and this once-in-a-lifetime sight will be shrouded in smog yet again. For now, though, the residents of Kathmandu can revel in its majesty.

kathmandu, everest, nepal,
Kathmandu is about 125-miles from Everest (as the crow flies)

Kathmandu is the capital and second-largest metropolis of Nepal in area, with a population of around 2.5 million.

Mount Everest is Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The China–Nepal border runs across its summit point. The current official elevation of 8,850 m (29,035 ft), was determined in 1999 by climbers using GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment.

Charlotte Fox
Mount Everest. Photo: Wikipedia

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85 thoughts on “Mount Everest is Visible From Kathmandu, Nepal for First Time in Living Memory

  1. In living memory of whom, a tenth grader? Over the past 50 years that I’ve lived here, I’ve seen the view of the Himalayas, and Everest from the Kathamandu valley floor many times and even in recent times as well. And yes the valley has become badly polluted due to vehicles, brick factories and N. India poliution that is spreading throughout Nepal

  2. A beautiful vision of how it used to be, but only on clear days after a rain, as attested to by the early British residents’ diaries. It is in my living memory of visiting Chobar in 1964 and 1972 to have had this divine darshan. Sigh, I guess “living memory” does not include those of us over 70.
    The linguistic gender discussion is fascinating. “Everest” indeed is named after the British Surveyor General, although it was an Indian surveyor who first documented the height from the nearby Bihar plains. As far as I know there was no Nepali name until this documentation was brought to the attention of the Rana rulers, who gave it the name of “Sagarmatha”, ‘mother of the ocean’. The local Tibetan name, “Chomolungma” refers, I am told by Tibetan scholars, to the seven fairies of Tibetan tradition. But as this is so obscure, everyone has gone along with morphing this into “Goddess mother of the earth”. I think this is a fitting title, and it is unfortunate that pinjing transliteration renders this “Xomolangma”. I welcome linguistic scholars to correct and deepen my limited understanding.

  3. It’s very possible that this story is not true or that it is leaving out information that would change the conclusion.

  4. The article says “for the first time almost anyone can remember” not “the first time in living memory”

    Two of my father’s best friends were was in Nepal in the 50s, and could see it then, and they are still alive. Back then there were only six cars in Kathmandu, including a Bentley which had been carried from India to Nepal over the mountains and hills…

    1. Thats an interesting bit of information. Only 5 cars in 50’s. Google says its 444,759 now. Almost 90000 times.

  5. Seeing the mountain known as Mt. Everest ,a Western name dating from 1865 vs many ancient Nepalese & Tibetan contenders, from Kathmandu is a wonderful blast from the past. Modern history says it was first sighted in 1846 from the Indian side and known as Peak B. The great British survey of the area recorded 6 different measurements in Nov 1849 ,none closer than 108 miles away, and called it Peak XV as they began their map calculations. Nothing like an absence of pollution for good things to happen once again.

    1. Boy, girl who cares. The point is pollution is down a we can see Mt Everest. How glorious is that

  6. Can you publish this photo without the arrow? I would love to use this as a phone/tablet background

  7. And all we have to do is return to the economy of 1600’s. Don’t think that because things aren’t so bad right now this is sustainable. We’re coasting and soon to start running down.

    Limited lighting, limited transport, millions die from crime and starvation, lifespans shortened, killer diseases come back, slavery comes back, huge die offs at some point because of famine and war for resources.

    Granted having the air cleaner is a goal but we have to keep what we have to fund the research and build the solutions. Keep in mind that the previous age that brought us here was much dirtier, much more deadly and not much fun.

    Keep in mind the strides we’ve made and they’ve only been possible because of the economic power of the world.

    1. I read an article several years ago that predicted the human population in 2100 will be around 600-750 million people. It posited that all-out nuclear warfare between China and Russia is inevitable.

      1. I think world population exceeded 750 million some time ago. Maybe you meant Trillion?

    2. Nothing you say has any remote likelihood. It’s a ridiculously bad argument utterly ignoring reality. More people die now in absolute terms of poor air every year, of gun crime every year, of road traffic accidents than ever died in the 17th Century.
      Many people, who are not the victims of marketing, live happy fulfilled lives without the endless but unnecessary trappings of excess consumerism.
      More people live hungry or in poverty globally now than were even alive in the 17th Century (estimated by various historians as in the region of 500 millions globally.)
      You prattle nonsense.

    3. I don’t know all the details regarding death reasons and rates. But I can only ask, if what you’re saying is true, why is the population exploding over the last 100 years versus the previous x1000 years?

    4. “All we have to do” is take a longer (more mature view) and learn how to clean up after ourselves. You can’t justify a messy kitchen simply because a meal has been prepared.

  8. 99.63 miles according to Google Maps and straight line mapping.
    Still a fare distance !!

        1. I believe David Castro was referring to “Earth”.

          In any case, who determines the gender of something? I would defer to the Creator.

          1. If the creator is the one in/of the Bible, the Hebrew ‘adha ma’ iis probably the one we want. Seems to have given us ‘a•dham’, for Adam. We read, “for out of [the ground] you were taken.” Gen 3:19.
            That doesn’t make the earth our creator, though. We’re souls- breathing things- with life in us. Question is, where did life come from?

      1. Earth is our mother entity. Not to say Earth is a “woman”, but that earth is femme in birthing life. Earth is not an objectified “it”.

        1. Many of the organisms on earth are not defined by male & female – in fact the origins of life (microbial) reproduce by splitting.

          The Idea that earth is femminine is wrong. Gender does not apply to a planet, as such it IS infact an “it”.

      2. Why then do we refer to our planet as “mother earth”? Why are the articles in German, French, Spanish, an Italian all feminine? Yes, the earth is a “her”.

      3. First, What does this even matter on this subject?

        Second, Do you “realize” that English is not the only language in this world? And many languages do consider the word for “earth” as a feminine word?

        Third, You must have a very interesting life to take a bone on something like that.

        1. When I was teaching I told my English and Lit students that language is for communicating. “It” or “her” would serve for that.

          Belgium has been pretty rigidly divided into Flemish (culture and language), and Walloon (French) for some centuries. There have been cases of homicides committed over a wrong word in a wrong part of the country- or town.
          Things quieter lately, I’m told.

          S.I. Hayakawa’s Language in Thought and Action is a good reference, with some neat stories.

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