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Sir George Everest

Everest
Sir George Everest

Sir George Everest was British Surveyor General of India from 1830 – 43, who spent much of his time in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand in India. The name given to the highest peak in the world is after Sir George Everest. Sir George was the successor of Col. William Laubton, the great Yorkshireman, under whom almost the major part of the subcontinent was mapped by Survey of India. 

Sir George bought the Park Estate in Mussoorie located on the western edge of town in 1833 and lived here for almost a decade before retiring to England. This beautiful building was later changed to a cowshed. The Survey office of Sir George was located near Castle Hill Estate in Londour, which was acquired by the government few decades ago. The office where Sir George worked remains neglected and needs renovation to get back to its past glory. Everest has also lived in a smaller house (now a ruin) overlooking the Doon valley, called Logarithm

Interestingly, the Mount Everest name has very little to do with Sir George. After Everest’s retirement in 1843, the work of Survey of India was continued under Andrew Scott Waugh. Till 1852, the Mount Everest was not considered the highest peak in the world but was considered much lower than Kanchenjunga (8,586 mtr.). The altitude of Kanchenjunga was declared in 1840 and it was only in 1852, the survey measured Everest’s elevation as 8,839.81 mtr. The peak XV (Mt. Everest) got the pride of being highest peak in the world in 1852.

Andrew Scott Waugh wanted the peak to be named for after the name of his predecessor – Sir George Everest. Some geographers argued and expressed reservations, that the local name of the peak should be retained – Chomolungma in Tibetan. But after considerable time and debate, 1865 the mountain was given the official name as Everest and Sir George got immortalized.

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