|Kangchenjunga - Makalu Tracking Map|
Kangchenjunga, in the Himalayan Range, is the third highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest and K2, with an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft). Kangchenjunga means "The Five Treasures of Snows", as it contains five peaks, four of them over 8,450 m (27,720 ft). The treasures represent the five repositories of God, which are gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books. It is also the name of its section of the Himalaya. including twelve more peaks over 7000 meters and then some 33 over 6000.
Kangchenjunga is called Sewalungma in the local Limbu language, meaning Mountain that we offer greetings to. Sewalungma is considered sacred in the Kirant religion.
Three of the five peaks (main, central, and south) are on the border of the Indian North Sikkim and Taplejung District of Nepal, while the other two are completely in Taplejung District. Nepal is home to the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project run by the World Wildlife Fund in cooperation with the Government of Nepal. The sanctuary is home to the red panda and other montane animals, birds and plants. The Khangchendzonga National Park is located in India.
|Kangchenjunga early in the morning, from Chouda Pheri, Sikkim|
Kangchenjunga is the official spelling adopted by Douglas Freshfield, A.M. Kellas, and the Royal Geographical Society that gives the best indication of the Tibetan pronunciation. There are a number of alternative spellings which include Kangchen Dzö-nga, Khangchendzonga, Kanchenjanga, Kachendzonga, Kanchenjunga or Kangchanfanga. The final word on the use of the name Kangchenjunga came from His Highness Sir Tashi Namgyal, the Maharaja or chogyal of Sikkim, who stated that "although junga had no meaning in Tibetan, it really ought to have been Zod-nga (treasure, five) Kang-chen (snow, big) to convey the meaning correctly". Following consultations with a Lieutenant-Colonel J.L.R. Weir (British political agent to Sikkim), he agreed that it was best to leave it as Kangchenjunga, and thus the name remained so by acceptance and usage.