Nikolay Przhevalsky Biography
Birthday: April 12, 1839 (Aries)
Born In: Smolensk, Russia
Nikolay Przhevalsky was a Russian explorer who contributed significantly to European knowledge of Central Asia. Even though he was unable to reach his ultimate goal, the holy city of Lhasa in Tibet, he successfully explored many areas in Northern Tibet, including many places hitherto unknown to the Western world. With the help of his meticulously drafted route surveys and vast plants and animals collections, he greatly enriched the geographic knowledge of east-central Asia in the European nations. Born into a noble family in Russian Empire, he studied at the military academy in St. Petersburg following which he became a geography teacher at the Warsaw Military School. His love for geography was so intense that he also gave public lectures on the history of geographical discoveries. Determined to explore the world, he successfully petitioned the Russian Geographical Society to send him on an expedition to Irkutsk, in central Siberia. His first expedition was immensely successful following which the Russian Geographical Society sent Przhevalsky to Mongolia and northern China on a three-year expedition. He explored many areas then unknown to the West and was determined to reach the holy city of Lhasa in Tibet, a feat he could not accomplish. He fell ill and died of typhus in 1888 after he drank contaminated water from a river.