Kanchenjunga, also written Kangchenjunga, is the world’s third-highest mountain.

Why Is It Famous?

The primary claim to fame of Kanchenjunga is its status as the third highest mountain in the world, thanks to its elevation of 8,586 meters.

What Is Nearby?

This mountain is part of the Kangchenjunga Himal in the Himalayas. The boundaries of this area include the Tamur River to the west, the Lhonak Chu and the Jongsang La to the north, and the Teesta River to the east. It is between Sikkim, India, and Nepal, and three of its five peaks sit directly on this border. The other two are in the Taplejung District of Nepal.

Geological Description

The landscape of Kanchenjunga includes three eco-regions. These are the savanna and grasslands of Terai-Duar, the alpine shrubs, and meadows of Eastern Himalayas, and the coniferous and broad-leaved forests of the eastern Himalayas. There are also 14 protected areas within the area’s landscape. Those regions are the habitat for plant species with global significance and endangered flagship species.

The main peak of Kanchenjunga sits 8,586 meters high. Kanchenjunga West is 8,505 meters, followed by Kangchenjunga Central at 8,482 meters, Kangchenjunga South at 8,494 meters, and Kangbachen at 7,903 meters.

Events in Time

Before 1852, experts assumed that Kangchenjunga was the world’s highest mountain. At that point, new calculations concluded that this title belonged to Mount Everest. In 1856, officials announced Kanchenjunga is the world’s third-tallest mountain, a reputation it has held.

The first to climb Kangchenjunga successfully was a British expedition that included George Band and Joe Brown in May 1955. The group stopped just short of the mountain’s summit as they had promised the Chogyal to keep the top of the mountain intact. All future climbers have kept this promise as well.


The third tallest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga is home to numerous endangered species and globally important plants.