By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Kathmandu
Nepal, the country of Mount Everest, has been remembering Sir Edmund Hillary, the joint first conqueror of the summit.
Jamling Tenzing Norgay lights a lamp in Sir Edmund's memory
Sir Edmund has died in his native New Zealand, aged 88, after a heart attack.
He continued visiting Nepal regularly until the end of his life, drawn to its communities as much as to its mountains.
Lamps have been lit in Nepal in his memory and Buddhist monks and others are offering prayers.
Ed Hillary, as he liked to be known, always felt at home in Nepal, and many people here, especially in the Sherpa community, which is so closely identified with Everest, are now in mourning.
Prayers were said at schools set up by Sir Edmund
Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of the man who reached the summit with him, said the New Zealand explorer had remained a very simple and humble man.
He said he was a father figure to Sherpas and would be greatly missed.
Nepal's tourism minister spoke of his sadness on the death of someone who made huge contributions to the country's social and economic development.
Indeed the charity founded by Sir Edmund, the Himalayan Trust, which is now run by local people, has set up nearly 30 schools and two hospitals in the high mountains - work which the late explorer said had satisfied him even more than his mountaineering.
At the trust, in Buddhist monasteries and in some of the institutions he founded in the Khumbu region over which Everest towers, lamps were lit in the mountaineer's memory.
Buddhist monks are offering prayers with the firm faith that the explorer will be reincarnated into another human life.