Kathmandu, Dec 8: Nepal and China on Tuesday jointly announced the new height of world’s tallest mountain — Mount Everest — which now stands at 8848.86 metres.
The new height is 86 cm – a little less than 3 feet – more than the previous measurement, the country’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said at a briefing today.
Everest — earlier stood at exact 8848 metres which was measured in 1954 by Survey of India.
The previous calculation by Chinese researchers from a 2005 survey stands at 8,844 meters, while Nepal said it was a little taller, at 8,847 meters.
The precise height of Mount Everest had been contested ever since a group of British surveyors in India declared the height of Peak XV, as it was initially called, to be 8,778 metres in 1847.
According to Himalayan Times, Nepal Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi were present at the virtual programme, who read out the letters written by their respective heads-of-the-state — President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“This is a historic day,” Foreign Minister Gyawali said, while making the much-awaited announcement.
Nepal had been working on measuring Mt Everest’s height since 2011.
Both China and Nepal had agreed to jointly announce the revised height during Xi’s visit to Nepal in 2019.
The Nepal government decided to measure the exact height of the mountain amid debates that there might have been a change in its height due to various reasons, including the devastating earthquake of 2015.
The Everest was first scaled by a New Zealand national Edmund Hillary and his Nepali Sherpa climber Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
From India, Bachendri Pal became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mt Everest. Last year in 2019, she was conferred with highest civilian award Padma Bhushan by the Government.