Sunday, 27 December 2015

Sir George Everest, early surveyor of the Himalayas

Sir George Everest.
Sir George Everest's House, Mussoorie,
Sir George Everest (July 4, 1790 - Dec. 01, 1866), born in  Gwernvale Manor, just west of Crickhowell in Powys, Brecknockshire, Wales) was a British Geodesist, surveyor and  geographer.  He held the post of the Surveyor General of India 1830 through 1843 and  was mainly responsible for completing the trigonometric survey of India, which  formed the basis of  the accurate mapping of the subcontinent. In recognition  of  his distinguished  and dedicated services in the British India survey department,  Everest was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1827. Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, was officially renamed in his honor in 1865.
Having undergone engineering training at military schools in England, he  joined the East India Company in 1806 and served the next seven years in Bengal. During his stint in Java  (1814–16) under British occupation  of  the  Dutch  East Indies,  Everest  conducted extensive survey there. After his return to India 1n 1818, he worked with  the survey of India till 1843.  Commissioned into the Royal Artillery, in 1818, Lt. Everest became an  assistant to Colonel William Lambton, who had  just started the ''Great Trigonometrical Survey'' of the subcontinent in 1806. After  Lambton death in 1823, Everest continued the Trigonometric survey and in 1830 he became the Surveyor-General of India. He introduced innovative methods for accurate  surveys, using  special instruments  and  gathered detailed  geodetic  data from Cape Comorin (Cape Kanyakumari) along the meridian arc from southern India, extending north including the Himalayas to Nepal, a distance of about 2,400 kilometers (1,500 mi). William Lambton and his team began the crucial work in  1806  and it lasted for several decades.

The grave of Colonel Sir George Everest in St Andrews Church Hove, Sussex.
After his retirement in 1843, he returned to the UK, where, he was knighted in 1861and later elected as the vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society. Everest died in London in 1866 at the age of 76 and was  buried in St. Andrew's Church, Hove, near Brighton, England.


 01. Radhanath Sikhdar, an Indian mathematician with the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, discovered  the highest summit in the world after detailed survey data. This was later  confirmed by additional studies.

02. Earlier, the tallest peak was called Chomolungma and Sagarmatha by the Tibetans and the Nepalese respectively. In spite of it, the British made a decision in 1856  to name the peak  after Colonel George Everest, head of the survey over which Everest was quite embarrassed. Official announcement was made only in 1865  by the Royal Geographical Society.

03. Mount Everest, in the early stages was  referred to as  Peak XV.

04. For over 150 years scientists have tried to establish the exact height of Mount Everest. To settle the matter once and for all, Nepal has ordered a new survey of the world's highest mountain.
04. This enormous peak was surveyed by Everest's successor, Andrew Scott Waugh, in his capacity  as the Surveyor-General of India.