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Bachendri Pal

Bachendri Pal




  • Bachendri Pal was born to a Bhotiya family on 24 May 1954 in Nakuri village of Uttarkashi district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. She was one of seven children to Hansa Devi and Shri Kishan Singh Pal.
  • She completed her M.A. and B.Ed. from D.A.V. Post Graduate College, Dehradun. She completed her B. Ed too, but after that, she decided to take mountaineer as a professional career.


  • She was in college, during her course at NIM, she scaled Mt. Gangotri (21, 900 ft) and Mt. Rudragaria. Shortly after, she was employed by the National Adventure Foundation as an instructor of women who are keen learning mountaineering.
  • After summiting many smaller peaks, she was finally being called to join the mixed-gender expedition to Mount Everest in 1984.
  • This was the fourth expedition to Mount Everest. In her group, there were six women and 11 men.


  • The team was flown to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, in March 1984, and from there the team moved onwards.
  • Half of the team members left the summit when an avalanche buried their camp. On 22 May 1984, Ang Dorjee (the Sherpa Sirdar) and some other climbers joined the team to ascend to the summit of Mount Everest; Bachendri was the only woman in this group.


  • On 23 May 1984, the team reached the summit of Mount Everest at 1:07 p.m. IST and Bachendri Pal created history. She achieved this feat on the day before her 30th birthday, and six days before the 31st anniversary of the first ascension to Mount Everest.


  • An “Indo-Nepalese Women’s Mount Everest Expedition – 1993” team comprising only women, which set benchmarks for Indian mountaineering when 18 people reached the summit including 7 women.
  • All women team of rafters in “The Great Indian Women’s Rafting Voyage – 1994”, which had 18 women in 3 rafts. It was a pioneering effort by women in successfully completing the journey in the river Ganges from Haridwar to Calcutta.
  • The “First Indian Women Trans-Himalayan Expedition – 1997”, which was an effort by 8 women, who completed the trekking journey from the eastern part of the Himalayas from Arunachal Pradesh to the western part of the Himalayas at Siachen Glacier reaching Indira Col.


  • She is awarded the third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 2019. She made her name in the Guinness book as well. She also wrote a book, covering her experience of scaling Mount Everest named “Everest – My Journey to the Top.”
  • “Over the years, my target has been to play the leadership role and help others achieve their goals. And I am happy that I could encourage so many people,” Pal says.
  • Pal is the founder and director of the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation in Jamshedpur and has guided more than 4,500 women on numerous mountain expeditions.