Chhanda Gayen (ছন্দা গায়েন, 9 July 1979 – 20 May 2014) was a Bengali mountaineer, martial artist, explorer, teacher of self-defense, best known for being first civilian woman from the Indian state of West Bengal to climb to the summit of Mount Everest (at 7 A.M., 18 May 2013). She summited Mount Everest and Lhotse in 2013 in the same expedition. She was awarded as "Sera Avishkar" in Sera Bangali 2013 from ABP Ananda (8 August, 2013).
Climbing and mountaineering
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Chhanda Gayen was born in a Bengali Kayastha family from Kolkata. At a very young age, she was inspired by her mother, Jaya Gayen, a hobby trekker. She started with a basic rock climbing training from the Institute of Exploration (1998). Besides different small trekking and climbing expeditions, she attended many relevant training programs of mountaineering. She joined a rock climbing Basic Course in 1998 organized by The Institute of Explorations, Kolkata at Susunia Hils, Bankura, WB followed by Standard Course, organized by the Gorabazar Baharampur Town Club, WB in 2005 at the same Hills. In 2006, she completed basic mountaineering courses from HMI (Darjeeling) with an advanced mountaineering training course. She attended Alpine Climbing Camp 2007 arranged by Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. She prepared herself with a deep groundwork for being mountaineering instructor through MOI from HMI. She additionally attended an adventure trekking camp in 2012, organized by the Himalayan Nature and Adventure foundation.
As a National Cadet, she participated in the All India Sikkim trek arranged by NCC. In 2007, she summited Mount Fluted. Next year, she reached the vertex of both Mount Yogin 1 and Mount Yogin 3, which was an Indian record for a woman. Her next expedition, at Mount Gongotri was in 2009. She participated in 17 IMS East Zone sports Climbing competitions in 2011. In the same year she reached the zenith of Mount Manirang. She summited Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse in same expedition in 2013, a world record.
On 20 May 2014, she went missing along with two sherpas in an avalanche while descending the western side of Mount Kanchenjunga in Nepal. All three of them were later declared to have died in the avalanche.
- Parashar, Uptal (22 May 2014). "Woman climber, 2 Sherpas killed on Kanchenjunga". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Ghosh, Amrita (2012). "Fulfilling her father’s dream". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Sikdar, Bitan (2013). "Howrah woman on top of the world". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Mount Everest conquered by West Bengal's Chanda Gayen". The Indian Express. 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Manik Banerjee. Woman mountaineer, Chanda Gayen from West Bengal climbs Mt. Everest. The Hyderabad Deccan 18 May 2013 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Mount Everest conquered by West Bengal's Chanda Gayen. Press Trust of India : Kolkata, Sat 18 May 2013 
- "Mamata Banerjee heads to Nepal to rescue missing Indian Mountaineer Chhanda Gayen". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
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