13-year-old Malavath Purna, who is the youngest female climber to scale the Mount Everest, today said that she shed "joyful tears" on reaching the summit on May 25 after battling extreme cold and fears on her way to the world's highest peak.
"When I reached the top of Everest....I felt great and proud. I shed joyful tears as I looked around and saw mighty mountains and morning sunlight," Purna told reporters at a press conference at Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi.
She recounted how she was scared to see "dead bodies" on her way to the top and how difficult climbing was amid temperatures which were as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius.
In a historic feat for Indian mountaineering, Purna on May 25 had become the youngest female climber to scale the 8,848 metres-high mountain peak.
Purna was accompanied by Sadhanapalli Anand Kumar (16), a Class 9 student from the Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, and completed the feat on Sunday morning.
Anand and Purna are both students of Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Educational Society.