CONQUEST OF KANCHENJUNGA
Thirty first of May 1977 was a proud day for Indian Mountaineering when two climbers of the Army Mountaineering Expedition stood near the top of Kanchenjunga (28,146 ft), the highest mountain in India and third highest in the world.
Three attempts made in 1929, 1930 and 1931 had already failed and five lives lost. In 1955, a British Expedition made the first climb of the mountain from the easier Nepal side.
The Indian Expedition of 1977 made a break with the past and planned a pre-monsoon instead of a post-monsoon climb though warned by experts that it would not be possible to penetrate the narrow steep valley of Zemu before the month of May and the climbing season would be short and stormy. The Expedition made history by forcing its way through heavy snow to reach its Base Camp (16,200 ft) in March.
After intense efforts and arduous climbing lasting two months the mountaineering team under the leadership of Col. N. Kumar succeeded in establishing a final Camp. Major Prem Chand and Naik N.D.Sherpa of the Army Expedition scaled the summit of Kanchenjunga at 2.45 P.M. on 31st May, 1977 and planted the National and Army flags very near the summit. As earlier promised to the Sikkimese Lamas, they did not step on the summit but stopped six feet short of it.
Description of Design:
The design of the 25 paise stamp is vertical and shows a climber crossing crevice on a snow ladder, The design of the 100 paise stamp is horizontal and shows the Indian National Flag very near the submit.
Date of Issue : 15.1.1978