Annapurna

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Annapurna (Sanskrit, Nepali, Nepal Bhasa: अन्नपूर्णा) is a series of peaks in the Himalayas, a 55 km (34 mi)-long massif of which the highest point, Annapurna I, stands at 8091m, making it the 10th-highest summit in the world and one of the 14 "eight-thousanders". It is located east of a great gorge cut through the Himalaya Mountains by the Kali Gandaki River, which separates it from the Dhaulagiri massif. (Dhaulagiri I lies 34 km west of Annapurna I.)

Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which literally means "full of food" (feminine form), but is normally translated as Goddess of the Harvests. In Hinduism, Annapurna is "the universal and timeless kitchen-goddess . . . the mother who feeds. Without her there is starvation, a universal fear: this makes Annapurna a universal goddess. . . . Her most popular shrine is located in Kashi, on the banks of the river Ganga." Her association with the giving of food (wealth) led her in time to be transformed into Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth.[3]

The entire massif and surrounding area are protected within the 7,629 km2 Annapurna Conservation Area, the first and largest conservation area in Nepal, established in 1986 by the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation. The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to several world-class treks, including the Annapurna Circuit.

The Annapurna peaks are the world's most dangerous mountains to climb, with a fatality to summit ratio of more than 40%.[4]

Contents

Geography

The Annapurna massif contains six major peaks over 7,200 m:

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