Bachendri Pal, who is an Indian mountaineer, was born on 24 May 1954. In 1984, she became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. She was awarded the third highest civilian award- Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2019.
Here are some interesting facts about this special woman:
1. Bachendri Pal was born only five days prior to the first anniversary of the original ascension of Mount Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.
2. Pal completed her M.A and B.Ed from D.A.V. Post Graduate College, Dehradun.
3. She started mountaineering at the age of 12 when she, along with her friends, scaled a 13,123 ft high peak during a school picnic.
4. Pal's family and relatives were against the idea of her becoming a professional mountaineer and wanted her to become a teacher instead.
5. On the fourth expedition to the Mount Everest, her team almost met disaster when an avalanche buried it's camp. More than half the group called it quits because of fatigue and injury.
6. She achieved the feat of climbing Everest a day before her 30 birthday.
7. Pal continued to be active after ascending the highest peak in the world.
She successfully led an "Indo-Nepalese Women's Mount Everest Expedition", an all women team of rafters in "The Great Indian Women's Rafting voyage" and the "First Indian Women Trans-Himalayan Expedition."
8. Bachendri Pal along with Premlata Agarwal and a group of ace climbers including Mt. Everest summiteers arrived in Uttarkashi and carried out relief and rescue operations in the remotest high altitude villages of the Himalayas that had been ravaged in the 2013 North India Floods.