Mount Machhapuchhare: Untouched Holy Mountain of Nepal

SRISTI
Updated on July 09, 2024
Mount Machhapuchhare: Untouched Holy Mountain of Nepal

Macchepuchree

Mount Machhapuchhare, also known as Fishtail Peak is one of the most popular and mysterious landmarks located in the Annapurna massif of Gandaki Province, north-central Nepal. The name fishtail comes from the fishtail-like aperture of its twin summit. It stands at a height of 6,993m (22,943 ft) which makes it the 32nd highest peak in Nepal.

The distinctive fishtail-shaped double summit has grabbed the attention of many peak climbers, trekkers, and nature enthusiasts. It is a part of Annapurna Sanctuary and lies 25 km north of Pokhara. The Annapurna sanctuary lies in between the Hiuchuli and Machhapuchhare peaks which is an oval-shaped plateau of 4000m. 

When the Indian tectonic plate and Eurasian landmass collided, it resulted in the formation of Mt. Machhapuchhare which is said to have fossils of marine species. Due to its work of art, many mountaineers were interested in climbing its peak but the Nepal Government banned the expedition of the summit in 1962 A.D. The reason behind this ban is a sacred mountain and holds reverence. There is a belief that it is the residence of the Lord Shiva, protector of the region.

The snow-covered mountains like Mt. Annapurna (8091 m/ 26545 ft), Mt.Gangapurna (7455 m/24459 ft), Mt.Hiunchuli (6441 m/ 21132 ft), etc. can be seen from the base of the mountain. One can enjoy the view of this holy mountain when you book our packages like Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek, Annapurna Base Camp with Ghorepani Poonhill Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek 9 Days, and so on. 

Behold sight of other magnificent snow-capped mountains, namely Mt. Annapurna (8091 m/ 26545 ft), Mt.Gangapurna (7455 m/24459 ft), Mt.Hiunchuli (6441 m/ 21132 ft), etc. We, the Mystic Adventure holidays team are aiming that this blog will certainly help you clear all the doubts and queries regarding the holy mountains of Nepal, Mt. Machhapuchhare.  

Sacred Mountain of Nepal, Mt Machhapuchhare

Mt Machhapuchhare is a holy mountain and has never been climbed officially. The Gurung communities regard Mt Machhapuchhare as the home of Lord Shiva, guardian of the periphery. Many religious legends state that Lord Shiva dwells at the summit of the mountains. 

Similarly, natives of the Parbat and Kaski districts believe that the two peaks of Mount Machhapuchhare are represented by two divine brothers, Nara and Narayan (Lord Vishnu). Hindu people believe that the lake below this mountain makes its view spectacular and they even offer animals and pray to the mountain for their protection and safety. 

Significance of Machhapuchhare

Machhapuchhare holds religious significance among the locals of the Annapurna region. The castes like Gurung and Magar reside in the periphery of this mountain. The locals believe that Mount Machhapuchhare is the house of the Hindu god, Shiva. 

The strong belief in Lord Shiva makes this mountain sacred and it is a sin to climb this mountain. So, officially there have been no attempts of summit climbing as it would disturb the residence of god living within. There is another saying that the shape of a fishtail mountain was formed when Lord Shiva detached a powerful demon into three pieces, head, body, and tail. This tail of the demon has formed the shape of Mount Machhapuchhare. 

Climbing History

In 1950, a British expedition led by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Roberts attempted to climb the summit. When  Wilfrid Noyce and A. D. M. Cox were closer than 150m to reach the summit they turned back as a sign of respect to the locals and then King Mahendra. They climbed via North Ridge but others believed that heavy snowfall was the reason behind their return. 

Illegal Climber of Mt. Machhapuchhare

Bell Denz, from New Zealand, attempted to climb the peak of Machhapuchhare illegally in the 1980s. He couldn't gain the victory but lost his life due to an avalanche. Since, the 1950s, there haven’t been issued any climbing permits to Mount Machhapuchhare.

Why is climbing on Mt. Machhapuchhare banned? Will the ban ever get lifted?

Mount Machhapuchhare is banned from climbing because of its religious importance. Locals believe and worship this mountain as the home of Lord Shiva and consider him as the guardian of the landmark. So, the Nepal Government stopped providing permits for mountaineers. 

 Likewise, Mt. Everest ( 8848.86 m), Mt. Annapurna(8091 m), Mt Ganesh (7422 m), and so on also have religious, cultural, and spiritual significance but climbing on these peaks is allowed. Tourism municipalities raised a concern regarding the ban uplift of the Mt Machhapuchhare in 2017. As of 2024, the ban is still firm, and seems like they won't lift the ban anytime soon. 

You can enjoy the mesmerizing view of Machhapuchhare by trekking to the Machhapuchhare Base Camp. When you are trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp, you get a chance to stay at Machhapuchhare Base Camp as well. 

Conclusion

With its mystical aura and breathtaking beauty, Mount Machhapuchhare is in the heart of adventure lovers and mountain expeditors. The remarkable blend of natural wonders and cultural richness, Mount Machhapuchhare, aka Fishtail is one of the most popular mountains in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is also considered as the backbone of Annapurna Himal due to its long spur ridge.

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