Bachendri Pal, a very courageous mountaineer of the India, is the first Indian woman who became successful to reach to the summit of Mount Everest in the year 1984. A lady, who was born in the nearby village of the Himalayas, got her mountaineering interest and capability from her childhood. She has worked as a mountaineering instructor at the National Adventure Foundation (NAF) for years.



Main discipline: Mountaineer and Promoter for Adventure

Born: on 24th of May in 1954

Village: Nakuri in Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand), India

Nationality: Indian


Starting discipline:

  • Instructor – National Adventure Foundation
  • Chief of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (since 1984)

Notable ascents: First Indian woman to climb  Mount Everest in the year 1984.

Mother: Hansa Devi

Father: Shri Kishan Singh Pal

Education: Nehru Institute of Mountaineering


Bachendri Pal, a leading lady as an Indian mountaineer, was born on 24th of May in 1954 to the Hansa Devi and Shri Kishan Singh Pal in Nakuri, Garhwal, Uttaranchal, India. She is the woman who won the title as the “first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest” in 1984 for successfully climbing the highest peak of the Mount Everest.

She was born to the simple family in the village located near to the Himalayas regions called Nakuri, Uttarkashi. Earlier it was the District of Garhwal which is now the Uttarakhand, a northern Indian state. She was one of the 7 seven siblings of her parents, mother Hansa Devi and father Shri Kishan Singh Pal. His father was a border tradesman, a supplier of the groceries from India to Tibet.

As she was interested in doing some courageous works from her childhood, she tried mountaineering first time when she was just of 12 with her school friends for 13,123 ft (around 3,999.9 m) during one of her school picnics. She participated in the climbing event at Mt. Gangotri for 21,900 ft and Mt. Rudragaria for 19,091 ft.

She was employed as a mountaineering instructor at National Adventure Foundation (NAF). NAF was an adventure school providing training to the women interested in the mountaineering. After getting success in various small mountaineering, finally she got selected to the first mixed-gender team of India and participated in the expedition to the Mount Everest in 1984.

She is the woman who changed the value of woman in the Indian history and marked her name to the book of world records as the first Indian woman mountaineer who climbed the highest peak of the Mount Everest in world. She is the woman who created own history through her hard works and achievements. She has become an inspiring icon for all the woman mountaineers forever. She has proved that a way for woman is always open through her hard work and patience.

Currently she is employed as the Chief of Adventure Programs at the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation of Tata Group conducting the high-altitude training workshops for corporate workforce. She is also working as an active guide and trainer for the women interested in the mountaineering and river rafting.

Bachendri Pal Education

She has completed her earlier studies from the school near the village. She went to the college for her higher studies after being initiated by her school principal. She belonged to the village where girls were not given higher education because of the unavailability of the higher studies colleges in the nearby areas. After completing her maser degree in the Sanskrit language she became the first graduate woman of her village. She did B. Ed and a special mountaineering course at NIM (Nehru Institute of Mountaineering) in 1982.

Bachendri Pal Adventure

She was selected to the India’s fourth expedition called Everest’84 in 1984 to climb the Mount Everest. It was the team of 6 Indian women and 11 men selected to attempt the mountaineering to the Mount Everest. She was the only woman in that group who continued the climbing and reached the summit on 23rd of May at 1:07 p.m. and created own history. Some more adventure activities are listed below:

She participated to the summit of mt. Gangotri for 6672 meter, mt. Rudugaira for 5819 meter, mt. Kedarnath dome expedition for 6380 meter in 1986, mt. Blanc, europe for 15,782 ft in 1986, expedition to the mt. Mana for 23000 ft in 1983, mt. Srikailash expedition for 22,744 ft in 1988, mt. Kamet and mt. Abi-gamin expedition for 7756 meter and 7735 meter respectively in 1989, mt. Ruapehu, mt. Ernslow and mt. Agrius expedition of New Zealand in 1990 and etc.

She led the women’s pre-Everest expedition in 1991 to the mt. Kamet for 25,445 ft and mt. Abi-gamin for 24,130 ft. She also led the women’s 2nd pre-Everest expedition in 1992 to the mt. Mamostang Kangri for 24,686 ft and Tata’s mt. Shivling expedition.

She has become the member at many organizations such as explorer’s club of New York, Royal geographical society UK, Himalayan mountaineering institute of Darjeeling, India International Centre of New Delhi, Himalayan club at Mumbai, Nehru Institute of mountaineering at Uttarkashi, Indian Mountaineering Foundation at New Delhi and various other government and mountaineering organizations.

She is the author of book “Everest – My Journey to the Top”, an autobiography of her published by the national book trust, Delhi.

Bachendri Pal Contribution for Society

Bachendri Pal has played a great role towards the society through her big social services. Currently, she runs a big social service in Uttarkashi in association with her colleague Premlata Agarwal and a group of world-class mountain climbers (Mount Everest summiteers). They jointly carried out a relief and rescue operations for the people of villages located at farthest high altitude of Himalayas. Houses of the people living in those villages were destroyed because of the North India floods in 2013.

She also has started a training schedule to train the most willing women in mountaineering and river rafting. She did a lot for women in the field of mountaineering by organizing First Indian Women Trans-Himalayan Expedition, Indo-Nepalese Everest Expedition in 1985 (women’s team), Indo-Nepalese Women Everest Expedition in 1993 and supported in River Ganga Rafting Expedition (Haridwar to Kolkata) in 1994.


Bachendri Pal has been honored and awarded with the various national and international awards for her great achievements and accomplishments during her career. Some of the awards and honors are mentioned below:

  • In 1984, she was awarded by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation with the CSR Gold Medal for her Excellence in the Mountaineering.
  • In 1984, she was awarded with the great Indian civilian award (4th highest) called Padma Shri at the Republic day of India celebration.
  • In 1985, she was awarded with the Gold Medal by the UP government (Department of Education).
  • She got the Calcutta Sports Journalist’s Association Award in the year 1985.
  • She got National Youth Award in the year 1985.
  • She got Arjuna Award in the year 1986 by the Government of India.
  • She got Calcutta Ladies Study Group Award in the year 1986.
  • She got the FIE Foundation’s National Award in the year 1990.
  • In 1990, she has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her achievement as a first Indian woman mountaineer.
  • She was awarded with the National Adventure Award in the year 1994 by the Government of India.
  • She was awarded with the Yash Bharti Award in the year 1995 by the UP Government.
  • In 1997, she has been listed in the Limca Book of Records.
  • She got Mahila Shiromani Award in the year 1997.
  • She has been honored with the Honorary Doctorate by the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University (University of Garhwal or Garhwal University) in the year 1997.
  • In 2013, she has been awarded as a first recipient of the Virangana Lakshmibai Rashtriya Samman for 2013-14 by the Ministry of Culture, MP Government for her big achievements in the adventure sports.


Bachendri Pal is a woman of great courage and dare who achieved lot of achievements throughout her career. She never tired of her mountaineering career and continued her activity even after ascending the highest peak of the Mount Everest and became the first Indian woman to climb the highest peak of the Mount Everest. Some of her achievements are listed below:

  • She was leader of the “Vijay rally to kargil” in the year 1999. A rally, which was organized as a journey on the motorbikes by the women mountaineers in order to express the solidarity among Indian as well as a tribute to the brave Indian soldiers.
  • She had also participated to the “first women’s international climbing seminar and study tour” of UK in the year 1998.
  • In 1997 she had organized “First Indian Women Trans-Himalayan Expedition – 1997”, having team of 8 women in order to complete journey from the Eastern Himalaya to the Western Himalaya for 20,100 ft height (6,126.5 m).
  • In 1994 she had organized a Ganges River journey from Haridwar to Calcutta, called “The Great Indian Women’s Rafting Voyage – 1994”, for 2155 km in 39 days. This team had only women (18 women in 3 rafts).
  • In 1993 she had organized a team of mountaineers called “Indo-Nepalese Women’s Mount Everest Expedition – 1993” having only women in order to set a standard for the Indian mountaineering.
  • She has written and published her book called “Everest – My Journey to the Top”, a book as an autobiography of her, published By the National Book Trust, Delhi.
  • She has become a first woman of the India as well as 5th woman of the world who successfully climbed the highest peak of the Mount Everest.
  • She has become the leading woman of the Kedarnath dome expedition for 6400 meters in the year 1986.
  • She successfully climbed the highest peak of Europe (15,782 ft), mt. blanc, in the year 1986.
  • She had represented her country as a first Indian woman mountaineer in the France during the “world eminent women mountaineering meet” of 1986.


  • 1954: She was born in Nakuri, Garhwal, Uttaranchal, India
  • 1982: She successfully climbed the Gangotri I for 21,900 ft as well as Rudugaria for 19,091 ft.
  • 1984: She achieved her best title as the “first Indian woman to climb the Mount Everest”, got CSR Gold Medal and Padma Shree.
  • 1985: Awarded with the Gold Medal by the UP government, Calcutta Sports Journalist’s Association Award and National Youth Award by the Indian Government.
  • 1986: Awarded with the Arjuna Award and Calcutta Ladies Study Group Award.
  • 1990: She was listed to the Guinness Book of World Records and got Fie Foundation’s National Award.
  • 1993: She had organized the mission called Indo-Nepalese Women Everest Expedition.
  • 1994: Awarded with the National Adventure Award and participated in the River Ganga Rafting Expedition.
  • 1995: Got the Yash Bharti Award by the UP Government.
  • 1997: She was listed in the Limca Book of Records, honored with the doctorate degree from Garhwal University, was awarded the prestigious Mahila Shiromani Award and Mahila Shiromani Award.
  • 2013: Awarded with the Virangana Lakshmibai Rashtriya Samman for 2013-14.

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