The highest peak of the Annapurna massif is 8091 m.n.p.m. and is the tenth eight-thousander in number.
For climbers, climbing this mountain is one of the most dangerous approaches in the world.
“Annapurna” in Sanskrit means “filled with food.” The name also translates as “harvest keeper” – Shiva worshipers worship her as a guarantee of prosperity presenting with a gold ladle encrusted with jewels in his right hand and a bowl full of tasty porridge in his left hand. It is said that Annapurna will not take a single bite into her mouth until all her followers present in the temple are satisfied. Also considered a manifestation of Parvati, Shiva’s wife. In the temples, the figure of Shiva is often presented with a bowl of skull in hand, which he announces to Annapurna, asking for food.
The Annapurna massif includes the Machhapuchhare peak – 6993 m.n.p.m. considered by many to be the most beautiful mountain in the world. Among the local people, particularly tourist-oriented Pokhara, an English translation of her name – Fish Tail, or “fish tail”, was adopted thanks to the double outline of the peak visible at a certain angle from the west.
The mountain also bears the name “Matherhorn of Nepal” thanks to its distinctive silhouette. Covered with eternal snow, the pyramid shape visible from a distance rises proudly over the surface of Lake Phewa. The local people worship the mountain as the place of residence of Lord Shiva, hence the ban on climbing to the top was issued. Machhapuchhare is also the sacred mountain of the people of the Gurung caste, whose faith combines elements of Tibetan Buddhism and traditional Bon shamanistic beliefs.
In 1957, an expedition to this mountain was undertaken, however, the trip turned back 150 feet before the Machhapuchhare summit. The leader of the expedition, James Roberts, applied to the then King of Nepal for a ban on climbing to the top, justifying him with religious worship.
However, in the early eighties, a New Zealand climber, Bill Denz, took an illegal trip to Fish Tail. Officially, the Machhapuchhare summit has never been touched by a human foot, thus becoming one of the last clean places on earth – in contrast to the heavily devastated Mount Everest. Bill did not manage to find out about the possible achievement or failure of Bill.
The New Zealander died shortly thereafter in an avalanche in the Makalu region.