Mount Everest is known as Chomolungma, Sagarmatha and Everest. The local name for Mount Everest the world’s highest peak is “Chomolungma”, which means “Holy Mother”. Chomolungma is pronounced “CHOH-moh-LUHNG-m”. Local sherpa, kulung, thulung, khaling indigenous people worship Chomolungma as a goddess with deep respect. Sherpa, kulung, thulung, khaling fall under Kirati. The indigenous Sherpa people resides in the Everest. Not only in Nepal but also in Tibet it is known as Chomolungma. We can assume that local people living in Everest region call it Chomolungma from many generations but the name Sagarmath and Everest is more popular. It is said that there used to be other names also besides Chomolungma, Sagarmath and Everest.

How is Sagarmatha named ?

In Nepali language it is known as “Sagarmatha” (सगरमाथा) which was coined by a historian Baburam Acharya who is also known for the study of ancient Nepalese inscriptions. He first used this word in Sharada monthly Magazine. Mt. Chomolungma lacked an official name in Nepal until 1956 and two decades after the publication of the essay, the government of Nepal adopted the term “Sagarmatha” officially. Sagarmatha translated as “the Head of the Earth touching the Heaven”. In another book of Baburam Acharya named China, Tibet and Nepal he wrote: “The name Sagarmatha already existed; I only discovered it; it is not that I christened the mountain with a new name”. He was a historian and literary scholar known as the historian laureate (इतिहास शिरोमणि) of Nepal.

How is Mount Everest named ?

The name “Mount Everest” was named after Colonel Sir George Everest who was born in Wales on July 4, 1790. He is a British surveyor and geographer who identified the highest mountain in the world. Initially the British referred to the 29,035-foot-tall pinnacle as Peak XV. Later, the surveyor general of India named Andrew Waugh proposed that it be named for his predecessor, Sir George Everest and it became popular as Mount Everest.

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