For almost all of us living in concrete jungles, the idea of spending a few days in the hills infuses life as we view those mountains as the perfect vacation spots. But the mountains that we seek to enjoy ourselves, are not really mountains for they are just a part of the whole family of mountains with their big daddies looking over them from way above. It is these high ranges that contain some of highest peaks in the world and are thus, literally, the top of the world. What’s interesting though is the fact that all of these mountains are located in the Himalayan region within the Indian subcontinent. Although they possess little or no civilization due to the harsh and inhuman conditions t hey bear, they are no stranger to the human kind as expeditions are constantly taken to scale these high peaks. It is a list of these high peaks that we bring to you here in this article.
20. Nuptse, Mahalangur Himalaya
Nuptse in Tibetan means ‘Western peak’. It is located in the Khumbu region of Mahalangur Himalaya and is among one of the surrounding mountains of Everest. First climbed in 1961 by Dennis Davis and Sherpa Tashi, Nuptse is 20th on our list of highest mountain peaks in the world.
19. Distaghil Sar, Hispar Karakoram
Located in the Karakoram range of Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, Distaghil Sar is about 7884 m high and almost 3 km wide. It was climbed in 1960 by Günther Stärker and Diether Marchar who were part of an Austrian expedition team. It is the highest peak in its own range i.e. Hispar Muztagh.
18. Himalchuli, Manaslu Himalaya
Himalchuli peak is a part of Nepalese Himalayas and lies south of Manaslu, which is one of the highest peaks in the world. With a height of 7894 m, Himalchuli is the second highest peak in its own mountain range i.e. Mansiri Himalaya. It saw its first successful ascent in 1960 when Hisashi Tanabe of Japan climbed it.
17. Gasherbrum IV, Baltoro Karakoram
Gasherbrum IV, as the name suggests, is one of the peaks in the Gasherbrum mountain ranges which are located in Pakistan. It is a part of the north-east end of the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram range of the Himalaya. Gasherbrum is an Urdu word which means “Shining wall”. The other 3 peaks located in Gasherbrum mountains are well above 8000 m while this one is about 7932 m high.
16. Annapurna II, Annapurna Himalaya
Annapurna peaks are part of the Annapurna mountain ranges which form a major part of the Himalayan ranges. About 7934 m high, Annapurna II lies in the eastern ranges of the Annapurna ranges and quite contrary to what people believe, is an independent peak. It was first climbed by Richard Grant, Chris Bonington and Sherpa Ang Nyima in 1960 and has since seen very few ascents.
15. Gyanchung Kang, Mahalangur Himalaya
Gyanchung Kang lies between two of the highest mountains in the world, both of which are above 8000 m, i.e. Cho Oyu and Everest. Part of Mahalangur Himalaya, it spreads between the borders of Nepal and China. First climbed in 1964 by Japanese, Gyanchung Kang marks an important point in our list as it is the highest mountain in the world which is below 8000 m. It’s 7952m high.
14. Shishapangma, Jugal Himalaya
We now enter the elite club in mountain peaks as all the peaks listed from here on have a height of more than 8000m ! Shishapangma maybe the lowest of all 8000 m peaks but that doesn’t make it easy to climb. Located between Tibet and China, it lies in the restricted area where foreigners are not allowed to visit due to administrative reasons. The 8027 m high peak got its name from Tibetan dialect in which Shishapangma means “crest above the grassy palins.”
13. Gasherbrum II/K4, Baltoro Karakoram
As stated above, Gasherbrum II is located in the Karakoram range and lies above Gasherbrum III. The 8035 m high peak was first climbed by Austrian climbers in 1956. Gasherbrum II is also popularly known as K4 which implies that it is the fourth mountain in the Karakoram ranges.
12. Broad Peak / K3, Baltoro Karakoram
At 8051 m, Broad Peak or as it is popularly known among the locals, Falchan Kangri, K3 is the 12th highest peak on our list. It bears some very harsh conditions around it and climbing for most part of the year is near to impossible in these ranges.
11. Gasherbrum I /Hidden Peak / K5, Baltoro Karakoram
The fifth peak of the Karakoram range K5 got another name in the late 20th century that was “Hidden peak” because of the extreme remoteness it was located in. The 8,080 m high peak was first climbed in 1956 by Pete Schoening and Andy Kauffman who were a part of an 8 member American expedition.
10. Annapurna I, Annapurna Himalaya
As we get into the top 10, the height of the peaks keeps getting taller and number of successful ascents smaller. The Annapurna main or Annapurna I is the tenth highest mountain in the world with a height of 8,091 m. Annapurna gets its name from the Sanskrit word which means “full of food”.
9. Nanga Parbat, Nanga Parbat Himalaya
Locally known as Deo-mir, Nanga Parbat is about 8,126 m high and is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It is also called by the name of “Killer mountain” as it has seen one of the highest number of unsuccessful expedition attempts and has never been climbed in winter.
8. Manaslu, Manaslu Himalaya
Manaslu comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Manas’ which means “intellect” or “soul”. It is located in the Lamjung district of Himalaya and is very close to Annapurna range. It is 8,163 m high. A Manaslu Conservation area has also been set up around it for sustainable and environmental purposes.
7. Dhaulagiri I, Dhaulagiri Himalaya
The Dhaulagiri mountains spread across more than 100s of Km from the Kalingandaki river in Ganges to Bheri river in Nepal. One of its peaks, Dhaulagiri I is about 8,167 m high and is the 7th highest mountain in the world. Highest point in the Gandak river basin, Dhaulagiri gets its name from Sanskrit word Dhaula which means “dazzling” and Giri which means “mountain”.
6. Cho Oyu, Mahalangur Himalaya
Cho Oyu in Tibetan means “Turquoise Goddesses”. At about 8,201 m, it is one of the highest peaks of Mahalangur Himalaya and lies 20 km west of Mt. Everest. Due to its moderate slopes and nearby passes, Cho Oyu is generally considered to be the easiest 8000 m peak to climb.
5. Makalu, Mahalangur Himalaya
We are now in our top 5 and it gets high from here, really high, so high that the 8,485 m high Makalu peak features at the bottom of it. Part of the Mahalangur Himalaya, Makalu is an isolated peak in the shape of four sided pyramid. It was first climbed in 1955 by French mountaineers.
4. Lhotse, Mahalangur Himalaya
Lhotse comes from the Tibetan word which means “Southern peak.” It is the second highest mountain in Mahalangur Himalaya with a height of 8,516 m, the first one being the Everest itself. The main summit of Lhotse was first climbed in 1956 by Swiss team of Ernest Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger.
3. Kangchenjunga, Kangchenjunga Himalaya
Until 1852, this was known to be the highest mountain in the world with a height of 8,586 m. Highest peak located in India, Kangchenjunga mountain range is also called the “five peaks of snow” and is worshipped by the people of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Apart from that, it also is a centre of tourist activities as it has quite a bit of literature around it.
2. K2 / Qogir /Godwin Austen, Baltoro Karakoram
The Baltistan region of Pakistan bears the highest point in the Karakoram range and Pakistan, in the name of K2. With a height of 8,611 m, K2 is popularly known as the savage mountain due to the sheer difficulty it poses to those who attempt to climb it. In fact, it has seen one of the lowest number of successful ascents and has never been climbed in winters.
1. Mount Everest /Sagarmatha /Chomolungma, Mahalangur Himalaya
And now after an arduous journey of 19 mountains, we have finally reached the top of the world, Mt. Everest or Sagarmatha as it is known in Nepal or Chomolungma as it is known in Tibet. It was first discovered in 1802 and saw its first successful attempt in 1953 when Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norge climbed it. Since then, it has seen 1000s of expeditions from people around the world who have attempted to climb this summit but only a few have succeeded. After all, it 8,848 m high!