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5/29/2007

Nepal’s tallest man on world peace tour visits Bangladesh

Filed under: bangladesh,General,global islands,media — admin @ 4:54 am

DHAKA, Bangladesh: Rajan Adhikari is using the reach his fame as Nepal’s tallest man has given him to travel the world spreading goodwill.

Adhikari, along with his traveling companion Chitra Poudel, a disabled cyclist, arrived in Bangladesh last week as part of a projected world tour that will cover some 125 countries.

“Our objective is to spread the message of peace and universal brotherhood in a world suffering from violence, intolerance and hatred,” Adhikari, with Poudel translating for him, told reporters over the weekend at the Nepalese Embassy in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

“In Nepal, people know Rajan well. We want to use that popularity,” Poudel added.

Adhikari and Poudel began their journey on May 2, traveling by bus and train through Pakistan and India before reaching Bangladesh last week.

They will use local transport on the trip, supported by groups such as Nepal Airlines, Nepal’s tourism board and a local distillery, which employs Adhikari as a brand ambassador.

After a two month break, they will continue their journey, which they say will take six to 10 years.

Adhikari, who measures 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 meters), said it feels good to be so tall, but his height has its downside, too.

He needs to get his clothes, shoes and home furniture made to order. He has no unusual medical problems, but gets backaches from walking too long.

He sometimes feels hurt when people make fun of his height, said Adhikari with a quick smile.

Adhikari grew normally until age 10. At 25, he reached his current height and underwent a pituitary gland operation to control his growth hormones.

Adhikari’s wife is five feet two inches (1.57 meters) tall, and their two small children — aged 5 and 6 months — are growing normally for now.

Poudel, 24, whose right leg was affected by childhood polio, says he traveled across Nepal by bicycle, doing 18,000 kilometers (11,185 miles) in 19 days. He now heads a foundation that looks after the interests of “unusual people.”

The pair will take their first international flight next week to Thailand, and travel to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore before flying home in September, in the first phase of their tour.

During his travels, Adhikari hopes to meet Bao Xishun, a 56-year-old herdsman from China’s Inner Mongolia who at 7 feet 9 inches (2.36 meters) tall is listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest man.

After the world tour, Adhikari and Poudel say they plan to climb Mount Everest in Nepal, the world’s tallest peak.

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