The Dhaulagiri massif in Nepal extends 120 km from the Kaligandaki River west to the Bheri. This massif is enclosed on the north and southwest by tributaries of the Bheri and on the southeast by Myagdi Khola. Dhaulagiri I at 8,167 metres (26,795 ft) ranks seventh among Earth's fourteen peaks over eight thousand metres. It was first climbed on May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition.
The mountain's name is धौलागिरी (dhaulāgirī) in Nepali. This comes from Sanskrit where धवल (dhawala) means dazzling, white, beautiful and गिरि (giri) means mountain. Dhaulagiri I is also the highest point of the Gandaki river basin. Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545 ft) is only 34 km. east of Dhaulagiri I. The Kaligandaki River flows between through its notable gorge, said to be the World's deepest. The town Pokhara is south of the Annapurnas, an important regional center and the gateway for climbers and trekkers visiting both ranges as well as a tourist destination in its own right.
Looking north from the plains of India, most 8,000-metre peaks are obscured by nearer mountains, but in clear weather Dhaulagiri is conspicuous from northern Bihar and as far south as Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. In 1808 A.D. survey computations showed it to be the highest mountain yet surveyed. This lasted until 1838 when Kangchenjunga took its place, followed by Mount Everest in 1858.
Dhaulagiri's sudden rise from lower terrain is almost unequaled. It rises 7,000 metres from the Kali Gandaki River 30 km to the southeast. The south and west faces rise precipitously over 4000 metres. The south face of Gurja Himal in the same massif is also notably immense.