June 3: The first ascent of Mt Annapurna is being observed today with a variety of programmes. On June 3, 1950, Maurice Herzog of France successfully climbed Mt Annapurna.
Annapurna Ascent Day is being celebrated with various programs, President of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Gandaki chapter, Dharmaraj Panthi said, adding, "Annapurna Ascent Day is a special day of mountain tourism in Nepal."
Nepal became a unique attraction of mountain tourism in the world following the successful scaling of Mt Annapurna, hence it is important to keep the dignity and importance of this day alive.
It was only after the French team led by Herzog climbed the 8,091 meters high Mt Annapurna I, that Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary scaled the world's highest peak, Sagarmatha or Everest on May 29, 1953.
According to former president of TAAN Western Regional Association, Som Thapa, Mt Annapurna is also bestowed with the title of the world's oldest mountain in the field of mountaineering.
Pokhara became a tourist destination for many after the successful scaling of Mt Annapurna.
Every year on Annapurna Ascent Day, TAAN Gandaki chapter has been promoting a tourist village located in the lap of Mt Annapurna. This year a short distance trek is being carried out under the Mardi Himal trekking route from Hemja to Astam.
Mt Annapurna and 7629 square kilometers around it have been protected through the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).
Annapurna Ascent Day is also celebrated under the protected area of ACAP by the area offices of Ghandruk, Lwang, Sikles, Bhujrung, Jomsom, Lomanthang and Manang.
Annapurna Century Tourism Festival coordinator Lalit Gurung shared that Annapurna Marathon (42.195 km) will be held from Annapurna Base Camp to Ghandruk on the occasion. He said that 56 athletes including foreigners have already reached the base camp for the marathon. -- RSS