Kangchenjunga Mountain

The summit of world’s third highest mountain has never been reached

Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. It rises with an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft) in a section of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal that is limited in the west by the Tamur River and in the east by the Teesta River. Kangchenjunga is located on the boundary between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim.

The Geological Survey of India indicates the summit of Kangchenjunga at 8,598 m (28,209 ft). It is the highest peak in India and the easternmost of the peaks higher than 8,000 m (26,000 ft). It is called Five Treasures of Snow after its five high peaks, and has always been worshiped by the people of Darjeeling and Sikkim.

Two of the five peaks are in Taplejung District, Nepal. The other three peaks – main, central, and south – are on the border of North Sikkim and Nepal. Kangchenjunga Main is the second highest peak in Nepal after Mount Everest.

Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world, but calculations based on various readings and measurements made by the Great Trigonometric Survey of India in 1849 came to the conclusion that Mount Everest, known as Peak XV at the time, was the highest. Allowing for further verification of all calculations, it was officially announced in 1856 that Kangchenjunga is the third-highest mountain.

Kangchenjunga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of a British expedition. They stopped short of the summit as per the promise given to the Maharaja of Sikkim that the top of the mountain would remain inviolate. Every climber or climbing groups that have reached the summit have followed this tradition. Other members of this expedition included John Angelo Jackson and Tom Mackinon.