Although the Covid-19 lockdown has had adverse impact, the pollution level seems to have come down drastically. Now, for the first time in many years, Mt Everest was visible once again from Kathmandu Valley, even though it is 200km away. With reduction of vehicular emission and factories being closed due to the pandemic, it has significantly improved the air quality over northern India and also Nepal. After the northern mountain ranges were visible from many cities in India and photos went viral, now the images from Kathmandu has taken social media by storm.
Clicked by photographer Abhushan Gautam for Nepali Times, earlier this week from Chobar in Kathmandu Valley dusing dusk, the breathtaking photos have gone viral across social media sites. In a series of photos, Gauta, captured a clear view of the pristine white Himalayan range in the background, with lesser hills and sprawling urban settlement in the foreground.
Identifying each of the peaks in the range, the photographer shared a photo with an arrow for the unknown to identify the world’s highest mountain. However, he explained it appears to be smaller as it’s hidden behind Mt Kang Nachugo and Mt Chobutse, in the picture taken from Chobar area of the Nepali capital.
The #COVID19Lockdown has cleaned the air over #Nepal and northern #India. So much so that for the first time in many years, Mt #Everest can be seen again from #Kathmandu Valley even though it is 200km away.
— Nepali Times (@NepaliTimes) May 15, 2020
He also explained how the peaks were visible and the distance from Chobar referencing Google Earth.
— Abhushan Gautam (@AbhushanGautam) May 15, 2020
People on social media were excited to see the photo and claimed ‘nature is healing’.
Good question… you can see nearly the same view (South Summit) from Patan Dhoka area, and you can see the summit massif itself from Lagankhel Stupa.
— Kanak Mani Dixit (@KanakManiDixit) May 15, 2020
Amazing; never even thought that it was possible.
— Kumar Simkhada (@ksimkh) May 15, 2020
Nature has it’s own way of balancing things.🇮🇳❤️🇳🇵
— सिद्धार्थ (@SidArcher22) May 15, 2020
Let nature takeover!
— Puskar Joshi (@imPuskarJoshi) May 15, 2020
At least there’s something positive coming out if this terrible pandemic.
— Monkey Mountaineering (@monkeymountains) May 15, 2020
😍 that’s the world I want to live in.
— Andrew Bloxham (@Andrew_Bloxham) May 15, 2020
Was always fascinated by the view of the #Himalayas from #Kathmandu, but I have no recollection of actually seeing #Everest from the valley…only stories of how it can be visible on a really clear day…with the current lvl of clarity it is evidently once again visible <3 https://t.co/W6NLzZiuVb
— Swati Pujari (@PujariSwati) May 15, 2020
I absolutely love this – i have flown through this valley of fog a few times now and you see a grainy himalayan range through your window – its usually a 3 day trek before you get your first glimpse of Everest and its amazing that it was viewable from kathmandu all along ! https://t.co/RqT40QLVyI
— paul mcgonigle (@paulrmcgonigle) May 15, 2020
Nice to see clear sky and mountains – it is a result of a complex anthropogenic and natural process. It is not due to reduction of vehicular emissions only but also from emission reduction from industrial, agriculture, housing and other sectors combined with atmospheric elements. https://t.co/KWGKBev9tj
— Suman Baidya (@SumanBaidhya) May 16, 2020
If we switch to electric public transport the short reprieve with clear sky and Mt. #Everest in Kathmandu’s visibility that we are experiencing during lockdown, can be extended further, supporting local economy and reducing trade deficit with neighbouring country. https://t.co/8kf25PVNMR
— Manjeet Dhakal (@manjeetdhakal) May 15, 2020
Can we keep it this way?
Nepal spends a billion dollars a year so that healthy, fit young men can pollute our cities with fossil fuel spewing motorcycles and cars.
Make them bicycle in cities. We’ll have clean air and save a billion dollars during the recession. @NepalPoliceHQ https://t.co/txyexZEoSY
— Sushma Joshi (@joshi_sushma) May 15, 2020
According to a report by Nepali Times, although there were vehicular restrictions, the air quality in the valley didn’t improve much in April owning to wildfires in the nearby regions, however, in May the conditions improved significantly any the peaks were seen recently on one evening.
Earlier this month, photos claiming to be Mt Everest seen from a Bihar village too went viral. Images of other mountain ranges seen from Saharanour in UP and Jalandhar in Punjab too went viral with prolonged lockdown.