Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest peak in Africa. It is one of the seven summits of the world that most mountaineers aspire to climb at least once in their lifetime. These seven peaks represent the seven continents of the world, and the reason why mountaineers climb each one of those is to see the world from the highest point of all continents.
In March 2018, Samanyu Pothuraju from Hyderabad visited Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, with a purpose. The seven-year-old wanted to climb the highest peak in Africa—the Uhuru peak of Mt Kilimanjaro—and set a world record.
Accompanied by his mother, Lavanya, coach Thammineni Bharath and a fellow mountaineer Shangabandi Srujana, the young boy started his ambitious trek.
His simple response to overcome the challenges he faced during the trek is inspirational. Neither bad weather nor a pain in his leg could stop Samanyu from setting the world record.
“It was a rainy day, and the road was full of stones,” he told ANI. “I was afraid and had pain in my legs, but I took rest in between and reached the peak. I like snow a lot, and that is the reason I went to Mt Kilimanjaro.”
The journey to 5895 metres was not as easy as Samanyu makes you feel with this statement.
In fact, his mother Lavanya had started the trek with him but had to give up midway because of her health conditions. Climatic differences on the Indian mountains where Samanyu practised, and on Mt Kilimanjaro, too were vastly different. The team started from the base on March 29 and reached the summit on April 2.
Speaking about how Samanyu generated interest in mountaineering at such a young age, Lavanya told India Today, “His peer group and a mountaineering event hosted by his school inspired him to take up mountaineering.
His coaches at school suggested that he was strong and had a lot of potential and that is how Mount Kilimanjaro came into the picture.”
Practising for this ambitious trek required a lot of effort from both Samanyu and Lavanya. She used to get up at 3 a.m. every day to get him ready for practice. Although Lavanya lost her stamina after walking a few kilometres, she encouraged Samanyu to get ahead in the game.
And what wonders he did with it! Samanyu has successfully broken the world record set by Montana Kenney from the USA by just three days. Montana completed the summit when she was 2284 days old, while Samanyu achieved his goal when he was 2281 days old.
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Next on the list for Samanyu is Australia. Lavanya said, “I am delighted for my son. Our next target is Australia—10 peaks in May end, and that will also be the record for my son.”
There is a wonderful gift waiting for Samanyu if he succeeds in setting the record.
“Pawan Kalyan is my favourite actor, and my mom has promised me that she will make me meet him if I try the world record. I will go to Australia next month and try to do this,” he said.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)