Bachendri Pal earned a coveted place for herself in Indian history by becoming the first Indian woman to summit the Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world. A free-willing, fearless, and adventure-loving girl, Bachendri always dreamt of being a mountaineer. By dint of her hard work and sheer determination, Bachendri Pal created history when she successfully summited the Everest, thereby becoming the first Indian woman to achieve the big feat. An exemplary public figure and a noted mountaineer, Bachendri Pal is revered as an icon for all aspiring mountain climbers. By her extraordinary fete, Bachendri Pal proved that a woman could foray into any field and become successful given she has enough sensibility and determination to work towards it. Currently, Bachendri Pal is employed with Tata Steel where she conducts high-altitude training workshops for the corporate workforce. Apart from this, Bachendri Pal also works as an active guide, training women in mountaineering and river rafting. Explore this biography to know more about the early life, career, profile, and achievements of Bachendri Pal.
Bachendri Pal was born in May 24, 1954 in a village called Nakuri in Garhwal to parents – Shri Kishan Singh Pal and Smt. Hansa Devi. Her father was a border tradesman who supplied groceries from India to Tibet. From her early childhood, Bachendri Pal was a strong-spirited child – full of zip – and excelled in both academics and sports. It was at the initiation of her school principal that she was sent to college for higher studies. There she actively participated in sports and even bagged a gold medal in rifle shooting. Bachendri Pal went on to become the first girl to graduate from her village. Later on, she completed her M.A. in Sanskrit and then went on to complete her B. Ed. Driven by her passion for adventure, she enrolled in the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, which opened a whole slew of avenues for her.
Bachendri Pal got her first taste of mountaineering thrill while still at school, at the age of 12when she along with her friends scaled a 13,123 ft. high peak and during a school picnic. In 1982, during her course at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, she got the chance to mount Gangotri I (21,900 ft.) and Rudugaria (19,091 ft.). It was during this time, she got the job of an instructor at the National Adventure Foundation, an adventure school for women mountaineers. Soon after the completion of her mountaineering course, she got the chance to join the fourth expedition team headed for India’s Mount Everest Mission, the Everest-84. She along with her team members commenced their climb on May 1984. However, a sudden landslide at Lhotse glacier left her and her team members injured. However, Bachendri Pal remained undeterred and continued her climb until she reached the peak of the Everest on 23 May 1984 at 1:07 p.m., thereby becoming the first Indian woman in the world to climb the Mt. Everest. Presently, she is working as the Chief of Adventure Programs of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation of Tata Group. There she gives training to the management teams to bolster up their team spirit by teaching them skills to survive in challenging situations.
Bachendri Pal had bagged several awards and recognitions during her mountaineering career. In 1984, she received the first Csr Gold Medal closely followed by a Padmashree in 1985 and the Arjuna Award in the year 1986. In 1990, her name was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first Indian women to summit the Mt. Everest. She received the National Adventure Award in 1994 and a prestigious Yash Bharati Award from the Uttar Pradesh Government in 1995. In 1997, she received the honorary D.Litt. from the University of Garhwal and was also honored with the prestigious Mahila Shiromani Award. It was in this year that her name entered the Limca Book of Records