Monday, 10 May, 2021
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Tenzing Hillary Memorial Park built at Jiri



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By Kailash Lama
Charikot, May 3 : It was at 11:15 am of May 29, 1953 when Nepali national Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary succeeded to become the first individuals to reach a top Mount Everest, the highest peak of the world.
After it, names of Tenzing and Edmund were penned in history as they paved the way for other people around the world to climb the highest peak.
In a bid to honour the feat made by Tenzing and Edmund, a park has been constructed at Ward 4 of Jiri Municipality in their names.
“Edmund and Tenzing had stayed in Jiri while on their way to Mt. Everest. We have named it as ‘Tenzing Hillary Memorial Park’. It is built in memory of the two famous mountaineers,” said Tanka Bahadur Jirel, Mayor of Jiri Municipality.
Since there was no air route to Lukla then, Edmund and Tenzing had walked towards Everest via Jiri. Earlier, Jiri was known as the entry point for Mount Everest.
Edmund and Tenzing had travelled for nsix days from Kathmandu to reach Jiri since there was no roadway as well. The duo had arrived in Jiri with a British Mountaineering Team.
“The team had arrived in Jiri after a six-day trek from Kathmandu. They had pitched their tents on the bank of the river flowing through Sikri Village to spend the night,” said 68-year-old Keshar Bahadur Jirel, a local.
Through Jiri, it was a 14-day trek to reach the Everest Base Camp.
According to the locals, they transferred a canteen owned by Phurtake Shrepa to the park. It was being operated for the staffers of a livestock farm. The reason for turning a canteen into a park was that Edmund had lived there during his Nepal visits after conquering Mount Everest.
During 1972/73, Edmund Hillary had also helped build and operate schools and hospitals at Bamti Bhandar of Ramechhap district and Bhaganje, Junbesi, Kharikhola, Chaurikharka, Namche, Khumjung, Thame, Tengb0oche, Pangboche and Forche villages of Solukhumbu district.
“When Edmund used to come to look over the hospitals and schools he established, he used to stay at the canteen. It was in 1976 when Edmund arrived to stay here for the first time,” said Jirel, the 60-year-old.
As per the elderly, construction of the park in memory of Edmund and Tenzing was a small gift from the locals in return to the support they received from him in health, education and drinking water service sectors.
The local level has constructed a fence around the canteen area and erected busts of Edmund and Tenzing as well.
“The canteen will be transferred into a museum where several historic items will be placed,” said Mayor Jirel.