Last week, residents of Kathmandu, Nepal, woke up to the magnificent view of Mount Everest after decades after the COVID-19 induced lockdown forced pollution levels down across the world.
While the sight would not have been possible just two months ago, shutting down of transportation and economic as well as industrial activities has greatly improved air quality and brought down air pollution levels.
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.More breathtaking images by @AbhushanGautam: https://t.co/IqFZw39haC pic.twitter.com/ErTJa7kPJo— Nepali Times (@NepaliTimes) May 15, 2020
The tallest peak in the world at a height of 29,029 ft, Mt Everest became visible from Kathmandu for the first time that many residents can remember on May 10. The image was captured by photographer Abhushan Gautam and shared on Twitter by the news outlet Nepal Times. Gautam clicked the photo from Chobar, about 200 km away from Everest.
The visibility of Mt Everest is not the only upside to the lockdown. With better air, residents seem to be in better respiratory health. Hospitals in Kathmandu which otherwise sees a swell in patients suffering from asthma, COPD and other respiratory disorders at this time have recorded a drop in the number of patients, Nepal Times reported.
Others also shared images of the mountain range, visible clearly from Kathmandu, on social media.
Everest is not the only peak that has become visible from plains in the near past. Earlier in April, the Dhauladhar mountain range, part of the Himalayan range in Himachal Pradesh, became visible from Jalandhar in Punbjab.
In May, Nepali journalist Chandra Kishore spotted Mt Langtang in Nepal from the Sarlahi plain bordering India.