History of Sagarmatha in Nepal


Mother nature sure is breathtaking when you pause and appreciate it in a world that is full of technological advancements. There exists a national park in Nepal that features mountains, glaciers, deep valleys and even some rare species. The historic Sagarmatha National Park makes up 124,000 hectares and is home to the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest.


Photo Courtesy of Peak Visor

Having been established in July 1976, the Sagarmatha National Park is found in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal. The official announcement of its creation was in 1973 at the 3rd International Congress of the World Wide Fund for Nature held at Bonn, Germany.

Eventually, it was included in the World Heritage Site list back in 1979. A buffer zone, which is an area of land designated for environmental protection, was proclaimed in January 2002. It became Nepal’s first national park and was included in the list in the National World Heritage Site.

The name of the park is a Nepali word which is derived from the word “sagar” meaning sky and “matha” meaning head. Therefore, Sagarmatha translates to “forehead of the sky”. The park aims to conserve the Everest Ecosystem as well as its endangered wildlife and the rich Sherpa culture. The Sherpa (also known as Sharwa) is a group of mountain dwelling people of Nepal. “Easterner” is the meaning behind their name.


Photo Courtesy of Tiger Encounter

Culture within the Sherpa is based on a clan system and heritage is decided through patrilineage (relating to the father). The Sherpa haven’t attempted scaling the region’s mountains as they believed it is the home of the gods. Furthermore, they prevent foreign climbers from vandalizing and polluting activities.


Photo Courtesy of Mpora

One of many species of animals found in the Sagarmatha National Park is the Clouded Leopard. This mammal can weigh up to 50 pounds and is found at the foothills of the Nepali Himalayas. This type of cat is able to hang upside down under large branches by using their paws and claws that are large and sharp for gripping.

They can climb head first down from trees and only few animals can do it. The average lifespan of a clouded leopard is 12 to 15 years but they may live up to 17 years with human care. The conservation status of the clouded leopard is considered to be vulnerable.


Photo Courtesy of The Third Pole

The red panda is another animal that is present at Sagarmatha and is an endangered species. It is an omnivore type and loves to be in the trees. They are notable for their amazing acrobatic skills and they have a special thumb-like wrist which gives them an extra grip as they climb. Their tails also add to their skill making them useful for balancing. The reddish coats of the red panda give them camouflage in the moss and trees they live at.


Photo Courtesy of The Third Pole

Probably the most famous attraction in Sagarmatha National Park is the tallest mountain in the world. Its Tibetan name is Chomolungma meaning “Goddess Mother of the World” or “Goddess of the Valley.” It was only in 1852 when it was considered to be the highest point on Earth. The mountain was known as Peak XV back then before eventually changing the name in 1865 taken from Sir George Everest who was a British surveyor general of India.


Photo Courtesy of iStock

The mountain can be compared to a three-sided pyramid. September is when the snow level at the summit is highest and its lowest in May. New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first men to have climbed the summit in 1953.

With its high mountain ranges, glaciers, deep valleys and animals, Sagarmatha National Park is definitely a place of history and is a living proof of how majestic nature can be.

References:

Britannica

National Geographic

UNESCO

Sagarmatha National Park Website

Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Written by Jan Marbella

Jan Marbella is a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise and a 4th year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of De La Salle University DasmariƱas.

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