Sagarmatha National Park (1979)

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United Nations (Geneva) 1982. National Park of Sagarmatha (Mount Everest), Nepal.

Sagarmatha is an exceptional area with dramatic mountains, glaciers and deep valleys, dominated by Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world (8,848 m). 

Several rare species, such as the snow leopard and the lesser panda, are found in the park. 

The presence of the Sherpas, with their unique culture, adds further interest to this site. 

  • United Nations (Geneva) 1982. National Park of Sagarmatha [Mount Everest], Nepal. 

Sagarmatha National Park lies to the northeast of Kathmandu. The park was gazetted in July 1976. It covers an area of 1,148 sq. km. of Himalayan ecological zone. 

The park includes the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Kosi and Bhote Kosi Rivers. The park is largely composed of the rugged terrain and gorges of the high Himalayas ranging from 2,845m at Monju to the top of the world, Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) at 8,848m above sea level. Other peaks above 6,000m are Lhotse, Cho-Oyu, Thamserku, Nuptse, Amadablam, and Pumori. 

Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, the surveyor-general of India who was the first to produce detailed maps of the Indian subcontintent including the Himalayas.

Nepal 2004. Sagarmatha. Mount Everest. Nepal 2994. Sagarmatha. Mount Lhotse. Nepal 2004. Sagarmatha. Mount Cho-Oyu.
Flora and Fauna
Forests of pine and hemlock cover the lower elevations of the national park. At elevations of around 3500 meters and above, forests of silver fir, birch, rhodendron and juniper trees are found. The forests provide habitat to at least 118 species of birds, including Danphe. 

Blood pheasant, Red-billed chough, and yellow-billed chough. Sagarmatha National Park is also home to a number of rare species, including snow leopard and panda. 

  • Nepal 1959. Himalayan Monal, also known as Danphe, [Lophophorus Impejanus].  

Nepal 1959. Sagarmatha. Himalayan Monal, also known as Danphe (Lophophorus Impejanus).

Nepal 1977. Sagarmatha. Spiny Babbler (Turdoides Nipalensis). Nepal 1977. Sagarmatha. Green Magpie (Cissa Chinensis). Nepal 1977. Sagarmatha. Cheer Pheasant (Catreus Wallichii). Nepal 1977. Sagarmatha. Great Hornbill (Buceros Bicornis).
The mountains of Sagarmatha National Park are geologically young and broken up by deep gorges and-glacial valleys. 

Vegetation includes pine and hemlock forests at lower altitudes, fir, juniper, birch and rhododendron woods, scrub and alpine plant communities, and bare rock and snow. The famed bloom of rhododendrons occurs during spring (April and May -- see Chitwan National Park) although other flora is most colorful during. the monsoon season (June to August). 

  • Nepal 1975. Panda [Ailurus Fulgens]. 

Nepal1975. Sagarmatha. Panda (Ailurus Fulgens).  

Nepal 2003. Sagarmatha. Himalayan Rhubarb. Nepal 2003. Sagarmatha. Night Jasmine. Nepal 2003. Sagarmatha. Lotus. Nepal 2003. Sagarmatha. Picrorhiza.

The park is populated by approximately 3,000 of the famed Sherpa people whose lives are interwoven with the teachings of Buddhism. The main settlements are Namche Bazar, Khumjung, Khunde, Thame, Thyangboche, Pangboche and Phortse. 

Nepal 1973. Sagarmatha. Nepalese Sherpa Costume.

The economy of the Khumbu Sherpa community has traditionally been heavily based on trade and livestock herding. 

But with the coming of international mountaineering expeditions since 1950 and the influx of foreign trekkers, the Sherpa economy today is becoming increasingly dependent on tourism. 

  • Nepal 1973. Nepalese Sherpa Costume. 
  • Nepal 1993. Sherpa Sundane. 

Nepal 1973. Sagarmatha. Sherpa Sundane.

When speaking about Sagarmatha National Park and Mount Everest it is indispensable to mention also Sir Edmund Hillary (b. 1919) who, on 29th May 1953, together with the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986), became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border. They reached the top of the world at 1130 local time after a gruelling climb up the southern face. The two men hugged each other with relief and joy but only stayed on the summit for 15 minutes because they were low on oxygen. Mr Hillary took several photographs of the scenery and of Sherpa Tenzing waving flags representing Britain, Nepal, the United Nations and India. Sherpa Tenzing buried some sweets and biscuits in the snow as a Buddhist offering to the gods. 

Nepal. Great Britain 2003. Sagarmatha. Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

Edmund Hillary has been honoured on a number of postage stamps world wide; this British stamp issued 2003 is the only one that show both Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. 
  • Great Britain 2003. Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Ascent of Everest. 

They looked for signs of George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine who had disappeared in 1924 in a similar attempt to conquer Everest, but found nothing. Then they began the slow and tortuous descent to rejoin their team leader Colonel John Hunt further down the mountain at Camp VI. When he saw the two men looking so exhausted Col Hunt assumed they had failed to reach the summit and started planning another attempt. But then the two climbers pointed to the mountain and signalled they had reached the top, and there were celebrations all round. 

Nepal 1982. Sagarmatha. Se-teant set of three stamps showing Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, and Mt. Nuptse.

Col Hunt attributed the successful climb to advice from other mountaineers who had attempted the feat over the years, careful planning, excellent open-circuit oxygen equipment and good weather. Mr Hillary described the peak, which is 29,028 feet (8,847 m) above sea level, as "a symmetrical, beautiful snow cone summit". He was one of the members of the expedition led by Eric Shipton in 1951 that discovered the southern route to the top of the mountain. A year later, Tenzing reached the record height of 28,215 feet (8,599 m) during a Swiss expedition led by Raymond Lambert. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Nepal (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Nepal section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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