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Residents of Kathmandu Valley woke up to witness the magnificence of a lifetime when they saw Mt Everest from their homes almost 200-kms away! The spectacular sight has been made possible because of the reduction in pollution across the country owing to the lockdown. By Manya Saini

A few decades back, what would have been a stunning yet common occurrence of Mt Everest has now become a once-in-a-lifetime sight to behold for the people of Kathmandu. Locals and tourists have been deprived of these views for decades due to the blanket of pollution.

 

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The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus and the subsequent nationwide lockdown has brought much of the industrial activity to a standstill, giving nature a unique chance to heal itself. The drop in pollution has allowed for remarkable sights of the Dhauladhar Range from Jalandhar, the Himalayas from Saharanpur, and the snow-capped peak of Kanchenjunga in Siliguri to surface, taking the internet by storm.

The first pictures of Mt Everest were captured by photographer Abhushan Gautam, a journalist for Nepali Times, during early hours of the morning in Kathmandu Valley. The photographs capture a clear sight of the pristine Himalayan Range in the background, with a quint urban settlement occupying the foreground. The northern range encompassing the world’s tallest peak is located at an estimated 200-km away. For the first time in decades, the air has been clear enough to allow such visibility.

The images were shared by Nepali times, where they wrote, “The COVID-19 lockdown has cleared 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 200 km away.”

 

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The incident and several others from the last few weeks have prompted environmental activists and locals to urge the government to ensure that the positive effects of the lockdown remain constant.

As we stay home, stories across the nation of nature reclaiming itself serve to give a glimpse of the effects human activity has on the world, and how we must strive for long term sustainability.

Related: #SomeGoodNews: People In Bihar Can See The Snow-Capped Peaks Of Mt. Everest Now!