Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Remembering Sir George Everest, the pioneer of survey of Mt. Everest July 4th - his birth anniversary

born on July 04, 1790. Sir George Everest  MountQ.org
Lobuche Peak climbing, himalayanadventuretreks.com
 In the area of Indian Survey of terrains, etc., Sir. George Everest stands out as a maverick. To tackle the problems of surveying mountain peaks, Everest came up with innovative methods. The Trigonometric Survey of India would not have achieved success, but for his sincere and dedicated work. It was the most difficult survey ever undertaken on various dangerous terrains jungles, deserts, steep valleys, and mountainous areas. In the history of world Survey, George Everest is one of the greatest pioneers whose contribution is just outstanding.

Heaven is close to mt. Everest. SantaBanta
July 4th (1790) being Sir George Everest's birth day it is good to remember this great surveyor  whose name the tallest peak (located in the Mahalangur mountain range) in the world is carrying. It is located on the border of China and Nepal. Being  a Welshman,  Everest was born on  July 4, in 1790 in  Crickhowell in Powys,  Brecknockshire, Wales,  United Kingdom. Upon completing  training in the Military Academy at Woolwich in England,  Everest  joined the East India Company in 1806  in the Royal Artillery and served the next seven years in Bengal. Between 1814 and 1816, he had a brief stint in Java under Sir Stamford Raffles. While in training at Woolwich, George excelled in maths, in particular, Trigonometry. Though the survey of Mt. Everest was carried out during the tenure of his successor Andrew Scott Waugh,  Surveyor-General of India, it was Everest who gave due importance to the Great Trigonometrical Survey of the Indian subcontinent  and in this field he made a significant contribution.  In depth  scientific understanding of this field was fundamental to the survey of  homogeneous area of the Indian subcontinent that contains all sorts of terrains from plains to tall mountains. 

Built in 1932. Everest's House, Mussoorie, HP, India.  tripadvisor.in
George Everest Peak  is about 0.5 km from Sir George Everest house. SeekPeak
George Everest  who began the work on the survey  in 1806 along with his senior Colonel William Lambton, had continued on  his project  even after his boss' death in 1823. Everest used special surveying instruments to carry out the geodetic survey all the way from Kanyakumari (Cape Comerin) in the Southern most tip of the Peninsular India to the Himalayan mountains in the north, covering 2400 km, a strenuous, but path-breaking survey that covered the entire topography of the vast continent.  Measuring angles in the horizontal and vertical planes) with primitive theodolites and other equipment then available, was a tough and time-consuming task expected to last many years. The death of Lambton who started the TSI   was a shock to him, undeterred he continued the survey as much as he could.
Everything Mountains
Later, Everest was promoted as the Surveyor-General of India. Many surveying missions were held under his directions and advice. He held the post from 1830 till 1843 and saw to it the Great Trigonometrical Survey was done to a great extent  during his period. This Survey, with meticulous care,  measured the heights of the greatest Himalayan mountains - the Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga. Yet another great achievement  of the survey was the first accurate measurement of a section of an arc of a longitude, a break-through in surveying mountainous terrains with many peaks of various heights.  
Grave of Col Sir George Everest in St Andrews Church Hove, Sussex. wikiwand.com
In 1843, George Everest gave up his post as Surveyor General, retired and went back to the United Kingdom. James Walker, who succeeded Andrew Scott Waugh saw the survey completed in 1871.  Everest became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1827 and in 1861 was knighted in recognition of his invaluable service in India. The tallest peak was known by different names by the Tibetans and Nepalese. In 1856,  decision had been taken to name the tallest peak after a man without whom we would not have come to know the accurate heights of the various Himalayan peaks. In 1865 Royal Geographical Society named the peak after Sir George Everest, unmindful of his serious objection to it. At one point of time Everest - 8,848 meters (29,029 ft) above sea level was referred to  as Peak XV.  The official Nepalese name for Mt. Everest is 'Sagarmatha' which means 'Mother of the Universe. The official Tibetan name for Mount Everest is 'Qomolangma' or 'Chomolungma', which means 'Goddess Mother of the World'. In 1866 he became the Vice-President of R.G.C.

From the Guardian July 21, 2011..theguardian.com
It was  Radhanath Sikhdar, an Indian mathematician with the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India who discovered  the highest summit in the world after detailed analysis of the survey data and his his was later  confirmed by additional studies. Everest died in London at the age of 76.   

Ten zing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first ones atop Everest in 1953 using the southeast ridge route. Since then scores of people have scaled the  tallest peak and the numbers go up evey year, so are the trashes on the tallest peak.