Nanda Devi

Nanda Devi (Hindi: नन्दा देवी) is the second highest mountain in India, and the highest located entirely within the country. (Kangchenjunga, which is higher, is on the border of India and Nepal.) It is the 23rd-highest peak in the world. It was considered the highest mountain in the world before computations in 1808 proved Dhaulagiri to be higher. It was also the highest mountain in India until 1975 when Sikkim, the state in which Kangchenjunga is located, joined the Republic of India. It is part of the Garhwal Himalayas, and is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, between the Rishiganga valley on the west and the Goriganga valley on the east. The peak, whose name means "Bliss-Giving Goddess",[4] is regarded as the patron-goddess of the Uttarakhand Himalaya. In acknowledgment of its religious significance and for the protection of its fragile ecosystem, the peak as well as the circle of high mountains surrounding it—the Nanda Devi sanctuary—were closed to both locals and climbers in 1983. The surrounding Nanda Devi National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

Nanda Devi
Mt. Nanda Devi
Highest point
Elevation7,816 m (25,643 ft) [1]
Ranked 23rd
Prominence3,139 m (10,299 ft) [1]
Ranked 74th
Isolation389 kilometres (242 mi)
List of Indian states and territories by highest point
Coordinates30°32′33″N 79°58′15″E / 30.54250°N 79.97083°ECoordinates: 30°32′33″N 79°58′15″E / 30.54250°N 79.97083°E[1][2]
Native nameनन्दा देवी
Nanda Devi is located in India
Nanda Devi
Nanda Devi
Location in India
LocationChamoli, Uttarakhand, India
Parent rangeGarhwal Himalayas
First ascent29 August 1936 by Noel Odell and Bill Tilman[3][4]
Easiest routesouth ridge: technical rock/snow/ice climb

Description and notable features

Nanda Devi is a two-peaked massif, forming a 2-kilometre-long (1.2 mi) high ridge, oriented east-west. The western summit is higher, and the eastern summit, called Nanda Devi East, (locally known as Sunanda Devi) is the lower one. The main summit stands guarded by a barrier ring comprising some of the highest mountains in the Indian Himalayas, twelve of which exceed 6,400 metres (21,000 ft) in height, further elevating its sacred status as the daughter of the Himalaya in Indian myth and folklore. The interior of this almost insurmountable ring is known as the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, and is protected as the Nanda Devi National Park. Nanda Devi East lies on the eastern edge of the ring (and of the Park), at the border of Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar districts.

Together the peaks may be referred to as the peaks of the goddesses Nanda and Sunanda. These goddesses have occurred together in ancient Sanskrit literature (Srimad Bhagvatam or Bhagavata Purana) and are worshipped together as twins in the Kumaon, Garhwal and as well as elsewhere in India. The first published reference to Nanda Devi East as Sunanda Devi appears to be in a recent novel (Malhotra 2011) that has the Kumaon region as backdrop.

In addition to being the 23rd highest independent peak in the world, Nanda Devi is also notable for its large, steep rise above local terrain. It rises over 3,300 metres (10,800 ft) above its immediate southwestern base on the Dakkhini Nanda Devi Glacier in about 4.2 kilometres (2.6 mi), and its rise above the glaciers to the north is similar. This makes it among the steepest peaks in the world at this scale, closely comparable, for example, to the local profile of K2. Nanda Devi is also impressive when considering terrain that is a bit further away, as it is surrounded by relatively deep valleys. For example, it rises over 6,500 metres (21,300 ft) above the valley of the Goriganga in only 50 km (30 mi).[5]

On the northern side of the massif lies the Uttari Nanda Devi Glacier, flowing into the Uttari Rishi Glacier. To the southwest, one finds the Dakkhini Nanda Devi Glacier, flowing into the Dakkhini Rishi Glacier. All of these glaciers are located within the Sanctuary, and drain west into the Rishiganga. To the east lies the Pachu Glacier, and to the southeast lie the Nandaghunti and Lawan Glaciers, feeding the Lawan Gad; all of these drain into the Milam Valley. To the south is the Pindari Glacier, draining into the Pindar River. Just to the south of Sunanda Devi, dividing the Lawan Gad drainage from the Dakkhini Nanda Devi Glacier, is Longstaff Col, 5,910 m (19,390 ft), one of the high passes that guard access to the Nanda Devi Sanctuary.[5] For a list of notable peaks of the Sanctuary and its environs, see Nanda Devi National Park.

Exploration and climbing history

Shaded contour map of Nanda Devi region

The ascent of Nanda Devi necessitated fifty years of arduous exploration in search of a passage into the Sanctuary. The outlet is the Rishi Gorge, a deep, narrow canyon which is very difficult to traverse safely, and is the biggest hindrance to entering the Sanctuary; any other route involves difficult passes, the lowest of which is 5,180 m (16,990 ft). Hugh Ruttledge attempted to reach the peak three times in the 1930s and failed each time. In a letter to The Times he wrote that 'Nanda Devi imposes on her votaries an admission test as yet beyond their skill and endurance', adding that gaining entry to the Nanda Devi Sanctuary alone was more difficult than reaching the North Pole.[1] In 1934, the British explorers Eric Shipton and H. W. Tilman, with three Sherpa companions, Angtharkay, Pasang, and Kusang, finally discovered a way through the Rishi Gorge into the Sanctuary.

When the mountain was later climbed in 1936 by a British-American expedition, it became the highest peak climbed by man until the 1950 ascent of Annapurna, 8,091 metres (26,545 ft). (However higher non-summit elevations had already been reached by the British on Mount Everest in the 1920s, and it is possible that George Mallory reached Everest's summit in 1924.) It also involved steeper and more sustained terrain than had been previously attempted at such a high altitude.[4] The expedition climbed the south ridge, also known as the Coxcomb Ridge, which leads relatively directly to the main summit.[3] The summit pair were H. W. Tilman and Noel Odell; Charles Houston was to be in place of Tilman, but he contracted severe food poisoning. Noted mountaineer and mountain writer H. Adams Carter was also on the expedition, which was notable for its small scale and lightweight ethic: it included only seven climbers, and used no fixed ropes, nor any Sherpa support above 6,200 m (20,300 ft). Eric Shipton, who was not involved in the climb itself, called it "the finest mountaineering achievement ever performed in the Himalaya."[4]

After abortive attempts by Indian expeditions in 1957 and 1961, the second ascent of Nanda Devi was accomplished by an Indian team led by N. Kumar in 1964, following the Coxcomb route.

CIA mission

From 1965 to 1968, attempts were made by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in co-operation with the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB), to place a nuclear-powered telemetry relay listening device on the summit of Nanda Devi. This device was designed to intercept telemetry signals from missile test launches conducted in the Xinjiang Province, at a time of relative infancy in China's missile program.[6] The expedition retreated due to dangerous weather conditions, leaving the device near the summit of Nanda Devi. They returned the next spring to search for the device, which ended without success. As a result of this activity by the CIA, the Sanctuary was closed to foreign expeditions throughout much of the 1960s. In 1974 the Sanctuary re-opened.

Subsequent climbs

Nanda Devi from Kausani
The southwest side of Nanda Devi photographed from Kausani

A difficult new route, the northwest buttress, was climbed by a 13-person team in 1976. Three Americans, John Roskelley, Jim States, and Louis Reichardt, summitted on 1 September. The expedition was co-led by Reichardt, H. Adams Carter (who was on the 1936 climb), and Willi Unsoeld, who climbed the West Ridge of Everest in 1963. Unsoeld's daughter, Nanda Devi Unsoeld, who was named after the peak, died on this expedition.[7][8] She had been suffering from "diarrhea and flare-up of an inguinal hernia, which had shown up originally on the second day of the approach march", and had been at 7,200 metres (23,600 ft) for nearly five days.[9]

In 1980, the Indian Army Corps of Engineers made an unsuccessful attempt.

This was followed in 1981 by another Indian Army expedition of the Parachute Regiment, which attempted both main and eastern peaks simultaneously. The expedition had placed a memorial to Nanda Devi Unsoeld at the high altitude meadow of Sarson Patal prior to the attempt. The successful attempt lost all its summitteers.

In 1993, a 40-member team of the Indian Army from the Corps of Engineers was given special permission. The aim of the expedition was multifold – to carry out an ecological survey, clean up the garbage left by previous expeditions, and attempt the summit. The team included a number of wildlife scientists and ecologists from Wildlife Institute of India, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, World Wide Fund for Nature and Govind Ballabh Pant Institute for Himalayan Environment and Development amongst others. The expedition carried out a comprehensive ecological survey and removed from the park, by porter and helicopter, over 1000 kilograms of garbage. Additionally, five summiteers scaled the summit: Amin Nayak, Anand Swaroop, G. K. Sharma, Didar Singh, and S. P. Bhatt.[10]

Partial timeline

Nanda Devi view from Almora
Nanda Devi view from Almora
  1. 1934: First entry into the inner Sanctuary by Eric Shipton and H. W. Tilman
  2. 1936: The first ascent of Nanda Devi by Odell and Tilman.
  3. 1939: First ascent of Sunanda Devi by Klarner, Bujak.
  4. 1951: Attempted traverse and death of Duplat and Vignes. Second ascent of Sunanda Devi.
  5. 1957: First Indian attempt on Nanda Devi led by Major Nandu Jayal.
  6. 1964: Second ascent of Nanda Devi by Indian team led by N. Kumar. Nawang Gombu, first man to climb Everest twice, climbs main peak in between his Everest climbs.
  7. 196?: Covert ascent by Indo-American expedition?
  8. 1975: A 13-member Indo-French expedition led by Y. Pollet-Villard including Coudray, Renault, Sandhu, and Chand ascend the western peak. Pollet-Villard, Cecchinel and Lhatoo climb eastern peak but do not complete traverse.
  9. 1976: Fifth successful ascent by 13-member Indo-American expedition. Three members (John Roskelley, Jim States, Lou Reichardt) reach summit despite extremely adverse conditions. Nanda Devi Unsoeld died from acute mountain sickness.
  10. 1976: A 21-member Indo-Japanese team approaches the south ridges of main peak and eastern peak simultaneously, and achieves the first traverse, going from Sunanda Devi to the main summit.
1977 Nanda Devi South Face - Eighth ascent by Eric Roberts, Gil Harder, Len Smith and Stuart Jones.
  1. 1980: An Indian Army expedition by the Corps of Engineers led by Jai Bahuguna unsuccessfully attempts the peak, driven back by bad weather from 7600m.
  2. 1981: An Indian Army expedition by the Parachute Regiment attempts both main and eastern peaks simultaneously but has the highest ever number of casualties on the mountain.
  3. 1981: A second Indian-led expedition places women climbers on the peak.
  4. 1993: Indian Army team from the Corps of Engineers, led by V. K. Bhatt, succeeds in placing five summiteers on top, including Amin Naik, Anand Swaroop and. G. K. Sharma.
  5. 1995: A Polish expedition turned back after losing their expedition leader while climbing the head-wall to the eastern summit. Two weeks later an International Army Expedition (Himex: climbers from India, Great Britain, Australia, United States and Nepal) undertook a climb to assess the mountain 13 years after its closure, attempting the Polish route: Longstaff Col, over the eastern summit, to the western and return. After the eastern summit the American Special Forces climber Jakob Nommensen fell to his death and disappeared in the Sanctuary; his body was not recovered.
  6. 2001 : Indian Army Garhwal Rifles Expedition was undertaken in the post-monsoon season in Aug–Sep. Led by Col. Ajay Kothiyal with Samrat Sengupta as deputy leader, the expedition achieved success when two teams reached the summit on 26 & 27 Sep 2001 and placed eight members atop the Nanda Devi. The expedition also undertook the noble task of bringing back the garbage left by previous expeditions.
  7. 2007: An Indian Army expedition led by Major Shyamal Sinha of the Kumaon Regiment Centre, Ranikhet attempted to scale the eastern summit and clean up the trekking route by collecting the garbage, but Sinha and four other climbers went missing in bad weather after reporting on 26 September 2007 that they were going down to a lower camp. Sinha was a Kargil war hero who had won the Vir Chakra.
  8. 2013: In May 2013, a small team attempted to summit Nanda Devi in tribute to Roger Payne, who died on 12 Jul 2012. The team consisted of four climbers and two sherpas. The climbers were Ananth HV, Suman Guhaneogy, Alok Das, and Anindya Mukherjee, and the sherpas were Thendup Sherpa and Temba Sherpa. The team was unsuccessful in summiting due to high wind faced at a height of 7,100 m on 23 May 2013, forcing them back to the base camp.
  9. 2014: Following the failure of the 2013 expedition, another attempt was made by Anindya Mukherjee, George Rodway, Thendup Sherpa, Temba Sherpa, Dup Tsering, Lhakpa Sherpa, and Himanshu Pandey. On 3 July 2014, the summit was reached by Thendup Sherpa, Anindya Mukherjee, Temba Sherpa, and Dup Tsering. The team claimed that they brought rubbish with them from the summit that was left by previous expeditions.

Recent history and conservation

The folk characters of Latu and Lati durinɡ the mask dance festival in lata villaɡe, nanda devi national park in indian himalayas
Mask Dance in lata village, the gateway to Nanda Devi National Park

After the re-opening of the sanctuary in 1974 to foreign climbers, trekkers, and locals, the fragile ecosystem was soon compromised by firewood cutting, garbage, and grazing. Serious environmental problems were noted as early as 1977, and the sanctuary was closed again in 1983.[3] Currently, Nanda Devi forms the core of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (which includes Nanda Devi National Park), declared by the Indian government in 1982. In 1988, Nanda Devi National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, "of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humankind."[11] The entire sanctuary, and hence the main summit (and interior approaches to the nearby peaks), are off-limits to locals and to climbing expeditions, though a one-time exception was made in 1993 for a 40-member team from the Indian Army Corps of Engineers to check the state of recovery and to remove garbage left by prior expeditions.[10] Sunanda Devi remains open from the east side, leading to the standard south ridge route. After a sustained campaign by the local community as reflected in the Nanda Devi Declaration[12] of 2001, the core zone of the Nanda Devi was opened for limited eco tourism activity in 2003. In 2006, the campaign invited women trekkers from 4 countries during the inaugural trek inside the National Park. As a follow up, the Campaign for Cultural Survival and Sustainable Livelihoods has now designed an Interpretive Trek to the Nanda Devi National Park.[13] An Interpretation Center on Bio Cultural Diversity of the Nanda Devi National Park is under development in the village of Lata, the gateway to the Nanda Devi National Park. A maximum number of 500/season trekkers are now allowed to enter the core zone till Dharansi between the months of May to October. The trek to Nanda Devi National Park starts from the village of Lata, located 25 kilometers upstream from the town of Joshimath on Niti-Malari highway


  1. ^ a b c "High Asia I: The Karakoram, Pakistan Himalaya and India Himalaya (north of Nepal)". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  2. ^ The Himalayan Index gives the coordinates of Nanda Devi as 30°22′12″N 79°58′12″E / 30.37000°N 79.97000°E.
  3. ^ a b c Harish Kapadia, "Nanda Devi", in World Mountaineering, Audrey Salkeld, editor, Bulfinch Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8212-2502-2, pp. 254–257.
  4. ^ a b c d Andy Fanshawe and Stephen Venables, Himalaya Alpine-Style, Hodder and Stoughton, 1995, ISBN 0-340-64931-3.
  5. ^ a b Garhwal-Himalaya-Ost, 1:150,000 scale topographic map, prepared in 1992 by Ernst Huber for the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, based on maps of the Survey of India.
  6. ^ "River Deep Mountain High". Caravan Magazine. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2013. |first= missing |last= (help)
  7. ^ J. Roskelley, Nanda Devi: The Tragic Expedition (The Mountaineers Books, 2000) ISBN 0-89886-739-8
  8. ^ American Alpine Journal, 1977.
  9. ^ Unsoeld, Willie (1977). "Darkness at Noon: The life and death of Nanda Devi Unsoeld". THE AMERICAN ALPINE JOURNAL.
  10. ^ a b Sanan, Deepak (1995) Nandadevi – Restoring Glory Sapper Adventure Foundation & Wiley Eastern Limited ISBN 81-224-0752-8
  11. ^ Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks – UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  12. ^ "Nanda Devi Bio Diversity Conservation and Ecotourism Declaration". 14 October 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  13. ^ Misra, Neelesh (15 September 2006). "Nanda Devi opens door". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 December 2018.


  • Aitken, Bill. (reprinted 1994). The Nanda Devi Affair, Penguin Books India. ISBN 0-14-024045-4.
  • Kohli, M.S. & Conboy, K. (2003). Spies in the Himalayas: Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs, University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-1223-8.
  • Jose, Vinod (2010). River Deep, Mountain High, The Caravan Magazine.
  • Malhotra, Ashok (2011) Nude Besides the Lake, Createspace ISBN 978-1463529390
  • Roskelley, John. (2000). Nanda Devi: The Tragic Expedition, The Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-739-8 .
  • Sanan, Deepak. (1995) Nandadevi – Restoring Glory – New Age International (Wiley Eastern Ltd), New Delhi. ISBN 81-224-0752-8.
  • Shipton, E., Tilman, H.W. & Houston, C. (Reprinted 2000). Nanda Devi:Exploration and Ascent, The Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-721-5.
  • Sircar, J. (1979) Himalayan Handbook, (private pub., Calcutta).
  • Takeda, Peter. (2006) An Eye at the Top of the World: The Terrifying Legacy of the Cold War's Most Daring C.I.A. Operation, Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56025-845-4.
  • Thomson, Hugh (2004) Nanda Devi: A Journey to the Last Sanctuary, Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-297-60753-7
  • Tilman, H. W., The Ascent of Nanda Devi, Cambridge University Press. 1937.

External links

Bill Tilman

Major Harold William "Bill" Tilman, CBE, DSO, MC and Bar, (14 February 1898 – 1977) was an English mountaineer and explorer, renowned for his Himalayan climbs and sailing voyages.

Chandraprabha Aitwal

Chandraprabha Aitwal (born 24 December 1941) is an Indian mountain climber and one of the pioneers of Indian women mountaineers. She was awarded 2009 Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for Lifetime Achievement, given by the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. She has climbed Nanda Devi, Kanchanjunga, Trishuli and Mt. Jaonli.

Dehradun railway station

Dehradun railway station is a railway station in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India, on the Northern line of the Northern Railway network. It is owned by Indian Railways.

It is established in year 1899 by Britishers. Some of the important lines operating from Dehradun Railway Station that run are 'Dehradun Jan Shatabdi Express, Dehradun Express, Allahabad Link Express, Dehradun Shatabdi Express, Varanasi Dehradun Express, Dehradun Amritsar Express, Doon Express, Mussoorie Express, Kathgodam Express, Nanda Devi Express and Kochuveli Dehradun Superfast Express.

The station is the Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT), which is 4.5 kilometre from the bus stand and the main taxi stand.

The nearest airport to the station is the Jolly Grant Airport, about 24 kilometers from the station.

It is the last station on the Northern railway line in the area.

Dunagiri (mountain)

Dunagiri (7,066 m) is one of the high peaks of the Chamoli District Himalayas in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It lies at the northwest corner of the Sanctuary Wall, a ring of peaks surrounding Nanda Devi and enclosing the Nanda Devi Sanctuary.

Dunagiri was first climbed on 5 July 1939 by the Swiss climbers André Roch, F. Steuri, and D. Zogg, via the southwest ridge. In 1975, Joe Tasker and Dick Renshaw climbed a particularly difficult route on the southeast buttress in a significant milestone for alpine-style climbing. In 1978 the first Australian Himalayan expedition by the Australian National University Mountaineering Club made the fourth ascent via the south-west ridge. Lincoln Hall and Tim Macartney-Snape made the final summit attempt with Macartney-Snape successfully summiting.

Gori Ganga

Gori Ganga (also Gori Gad) is a river in the Munsiari tehsil of the Pithoragarh District, part of the state of Uttarakhand in northern India. Its principal source is the Milam Glacier, just northeast of Nanda Devi along with the Glaciers of the Ralam River, and the Pyunshani and Uttari & Dakshini Balati Glaciers that lie on the western face of the Panchachuli Peaks.

The alpine trans-humant village of Milam is located one kilometer below the snout of the glacier. Here a left-bank stream called Gonka joins the Gori. The valley provides the approach route for access to peaks such as Nanda Devi East, Hardeol, Trishuli, Panchchuli, and Nanda Kot.

The Gori is also fed by glaciers and streams flowing from the eastern slopes of the east wall of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, and those flowing west from the high peaks of Panchchuli, Rajramba, and Chaudhara, including the Ralam Gad and the Pyunsani Gadhera. The Kalabaland-Burfu Kalganga glacier system also flows into the Gori Ganga Valley from the east.The principal rivers joining the main trunk Gori river are listed below -

Panchu Gad - True Right Bank at Panchu / Ganghar

Burfu Gad - True Left Bank at Burfu

Lwa Gad - True Right Bank below Martoli

Poting Gad - True Right Bank at Bogdayar

Ralam Gad - True Left Bank upstream of Ruspiabagad

Jimia Gad - True Right Bank at Jimmighat

Suring Gad - True Right Bank at Suring Gad / Ghat

Madkani or Madkanya - True Left Bank at Madkot - This river originates from the Pyunshani and Balati Glaciers at the base of the Panchachuli Peaks

Ghosi Gad - True Left Bank at Baram

Rauntees - True Right Bank at Garjia. This is the only major rain fed stream joining the Gori River.

Goriganga joins the Kali River at Jauljibi.

Hugh Thomson (writer)

Hugh Thomson is a British travel writer, film maker and explorer. His The Green Road Into Trees: A Walk Through England won the 2014 Wainwright Prize for nature and travel writing.He was appointed as a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Oxford Brookes University in 2012–2014.He has led research expeditions in Peru exploring Inca settlements, including the discovery of Cota Coca in 2002 and a 2003 study of Llaqtapata. He has also led filming expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Mexico.Thomson is also an award-winning film maker: his Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History television series was nominated for the Huw Wheldon Award For The Best Arts Programme or Series in the 1997 BAFTA awards and the three-part Indian Journeys he created with William Dalrymple won the 2001 Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series.He has an MA from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His grandfathers were G. P. Thomson and W. L. Bragg, both of whom, and both their fathers J. J. Thomson and W. H. Bragg, won the Nobel prize in physics.

Kafni Glacier

The Kafni Glacier is located in the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas, to the southeast of Nanda Devi. The glacier gives rise to the Kafni River, which is a tributary of the Pindar River. The Pinder River is a tributary to Alaknanda River, which eventually is one of the two headstreams of the Ganges. This is relatively small glacier but a popular trekking destination along with Pindari Glacier.

List of mountain peaks of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is a Himalayan state of India. This mountainous state contains, in its northern section, some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. Many of them are unclimbed; many are unnamed. A large number of peaks in Uttarakhand are still not open for climbing due to security reasons, as this region borders Tibet.

Milam Glacier

Milam Glacier is a major glacier of the Kumaon Himalaya. It is located in the tehsil of Munsiyari, part of the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) northeast of Nanda Devi. It ranges in elevation from about 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) to about 3,870 metres (12,700 ft) at its snout. It covers around 37 km2 (14 sq mi) and is 16 km (10 mi) long. Milam glacier was reopened in the year 1994. It was closed in 1962, so it was inaccessible for trekkers and other visitors. It is a popular destination among trekkers now. The suitable time to visit the glacier is from mid of March to May. Monsoons set in during the month June which herald the menace of landslides and roadblocks.The trekking for the Milam glacier commences from Munsiyari.Milam Glacier is situated on the south facing slope of the main Himalayan range. It originates from the eastern slope of Trishuli and the southern slope of its eastern subsidiary Kohli. The subsidiary glaciers coming off the peaks of Hardeol, Mangraon (6,568 m), Deo Damla (6,637 m), and Sakram (6,254 m) on the eastern rim of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary flow into it from the west, while on the east it is fed by glaciers from Nanda Gond (6,315 m) and Nanda Pal (6,306 m). The glacier is the source of the Goriganga River. The village of Milam lies near the snout of the glacier; Munsiyari, further down the Goriganga valley, is the base for the trek to the glacier.

Mohan Singh Gunjyal

Mohan Singh Gunjyal is an Indian mountaineer and adventure sportsman. He is one of the summiters of Mount Everest, entering the list when he successfully climbed the highest peak in the world on 12 May 1992. He achieved the feat, taking the Southeast ridge route via the south face, as a member of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Everest expedition group, which included Santosh Yadav, the first woman to summit the peak twice within a year. He has received the Tenzing Norgay National Award for outstanding achievement from the President of India in 2004. (6) He is a former Assistant Commandant of Indo-Tibetan Border Police and presently working as Director (Technical Training) at the Uttarkashi-based Nanda Devi Institute of Adventure Sports and Outdoor Education. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honor of the Padma Shri, in 2006, for his contributions to the sport of mountaineering.

Nanda Devi AC Express

The 12205/06 New Delhi Dehradun Nanda Devi Express is a Superfast train belonging to Indian Railways that runs between New Delhi & Dehradun in India. It is a daily service. It operates as train number 12205 from New Delhi to Dehradun and as train number 12206 in the reverse direction.

Nanda Devi National Park

The Nanda Devi National Park or Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, established in 1982

, is a national park situated around the peak of Nanda Devi (7816 m) in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India. The entire park lies at an elevation of more than 3,500 m (11,500 ft) above mean sea level.

The National Park was inscribed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. The latter was expanded and renamed to Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks in 2005.

Within the National Park lies the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ring of peaks between 6,000 metres (19,700 ft) and 7,500 m (24,600 ft) high, and drained by the Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga Gorge, a steep, almost impassable defile.

The National Park is embedded in the 2,236.74 km2 (863.61 sq mi) sized Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, which, in turn, is encompassed in the 5,148.57 km2 (1,987.87 sq mi) buffer zone around the Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks UNESCO site.

Best time to visit Nanda Devi National Park is from May to October.

Nanda Devi Raj Jat

The three-week-long Nanda Devi Raj Jat is a pilgrimage and festival of Uttarakhand in India. People from the entire Garhwal division-Kumaon division as well as other parts of India and the world participate in Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra. The goddess Nanda Devi is worshipped at dozens of places in Kumaon and Garhwal, but the region around Mt. Nanda Devi and its sanctuary, which falls in the Pithoragarh district, Almora district and Chamoli district, is the prime area related to Nanda Devi. In Chamoli, Nanda Devi Raj Jaat is organized once in 12 years. The Jaat (meaning Yatra or pilgrimage) starts from kansuwa village near Karnprayag and goes up to the heights of Roopkund and Homekund with a four horned sheep. After the havan - yagna is over, the sheep is freed with decorated ornaments, food and clothings, and the other offerings are discarded.

An annual Nanda Jaat is also celebrated. The Raj Jaat procession goes through villages, where there is a recognized Nanda Devi temple. At Koti, a night halt of the participants takes place where a night-long worship and celebrations take place.

Though in the Johar Valley region, there is no tradition of Nanda Raj Jaat but the worship, dance and the ritual of collecting Bramhakamal (it is called Kaul Kamphu) is part of Nanda festivals. The Nanda Devi fair is held at Almora, Nainital, Kot (Dangoli), Ranikhet, Bhowali, Kichha and also in the far flung villages of Lohar (like Milam and Martoli) and Pindar valleys (like Wachham and Khati). In the villages of the Pinder valley, people celebrate the Nanda Devi Jaat (journey) every year, while in Lohar people come from far and wide to Danadhar, Suring, Milam and Martoli in order to worship the Goddess. In Nainital and Almora, thousands take part in the procession carrying the dola (or litter) of Nanda Devi. It is said that the Nanda Devi fairs started in Kumaon during the reign of the King Kalyan Chand in the 16th century. A three-day fair is held at Kot Ki Mai or Kot Bhramari Devi. The fair at Saneti comes every second year. Both these fairs are rich in folk expressions, and many village products are brought for sale.

Due to the heavy rain and cloudburst in June 2013 in Uttarakhand, which led to major loss of life and property and caused massive destruction to the region, the Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra from 29 scheduled to take place in August 2013 was postponed to the year 2014.

Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks

The Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National Parks is an UNESCO World Heritage Site in Uttarakhand, India. It possesses of two core areas about 20km apart, made up by the Nanda Devi National Park and the Valley of Flowers National Park, plus an encompassing Combined Buffer Zone.

In 1988 the site was inscribed as Nanda Devi National Park (India). In 2005 it was expanded to encompass the Valley of Flowers National Park and a larger buffer zone and it was renamed to Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks.

The areas of the site are

630.33 km2 (243.37 sq mi) - Nanda Devi National Park core area

87.50 km2 (33.78 sq mi) - Valley of Flowers National Park core area

5,148.57 km2 (1,987.87 sq mi) - Buffer zone

Nanda Kot

Nanda Kot (Hindi-नन्दा कोट) is a mountain peak of the Himalaya range located in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state in India. It lies in the Kumaon Himalaya, just outside the ring of peaks enclosing the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Nanda Devi itself. The name Nanda Kot literally means "Nanda's Fortress" and refers to the abode of one of the sacred forms of the Hindu Goddess Parvati who in legend has made her sanctuary amongst the ring of lofty mountains in the region.

Nanda Kot is connected to the Sanctuary wall by a high pass known as the Pindari Kanda, 5,269 m (17,287 ft). This pass, Nanda Kot itself, and the ridge proceeding south from the peak together form the divide between the Pindar and Ghori Ganga River valleys, with Dana Dhura Pass connecting the two sides. The Kaphni (or Kafani), Pindar, Lawan, and Shalang Glaciers drain the south, west, north, and east sides of the peak respectively.The first attempt to climb Nanda Kot was made in 1905 by T.G. Longstaff, who proceeded by way of the Lawan Valley and Lawan Glacier. The first successful ascent of the summit came in 1936 by a Japanese team led by Y. Hotta. A new route involving a direct ascent of the south face was successfully undertaken by a British expedition led by Martin Moran in 1995. Mountaineering expeditions to Nanda Kot today typically follow the route through Loharkhet, Dhakuri Pass, Khati Village to Dwali base camp.

Outlying subpeaks of Nanda Kot include:

Changuch, 6,322 m (20,741 ft)

Kuchela Dhura, 6,294 m (20,650 ft)

Nandabhaner (or Nandabhanar), 6,236 m (20,459 ft)

Dangthal, 6,050 m (19,849 ft)

Lespa Dhura (or Laspa Dhura), 5,913 m (19,400 ft)

Lamchir, 5,662 m (18,576 ft)

Shipton–Tilman Nanda Devi expeditions

The Shipton–Tilman Nanda Devi expeditions took place in the 1930s. Nanda Devi is a Himalayan mountain in what was then the Garhwal District in northern India, just west of Nepal, and at one time it was thought to be the highest mountain in the world.

Nanda Devi is surrounded by a ring of mountains enclosing the Sanctuary which, despite decades of attempts, no one had been able to enter. In 1934 Eric Shipton, Bill Tilman and their three accomplished Sherpas succeeded in finding a climbing route into the Sanctuary via the Rishi Ganga gorge. Then in 1936 Tilman and Noel Odell, as part of an American–British team, climbed to the 25,643-foot (7,816 m) summit making Nanda Devi the highest mountain ever to have been climbed at that time.

It was only in 1950 that a higher summit was reached when Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal climbed Annapurna. Nanda Devi itself was climbed for the second time in 1964.

Sunanda Devi

Nanda Devi East (Hindi: नंदा देवी पूर्व) locally known as Sunanda Devi is the lower of the two adjacent peaks of the highest mountain in Uttarakhand and second highest mountain in India; Nanda Devi is its higher twin peak. Nanda Devi and Nanda Devi East are part of the Garhwal Himalayas, and are located in the state of Uttarakhand. The graceful peaks of twin mountains are visible from almost everywhere in Kumaon. The first ascent to Nanda Devi East peak in recorded history appears to be in 1939 by Jakub Bujak and Janusz Klarner. The elevation of Nanda Devi East is 7,434 m (24,390 ft) and its prominence is 260 m (850 ft).


Trisul is a group of three Himalayan mountain peaks of western Kumaun, with the highest (Trisul I) reaching 7120m. The three peaks resemble a trident - in Hindi/Sanskrit, Trishula, trident, is the weapon of Shiva. The Trishul group forms the southwest corner of the ring of peaks enclosing the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) west-southwest of Nanda Devi itself. The main peak, Trisul I, was the first peak over 7,000 m (22,970 ft) to have ever been climbed, in 1907.

Valley of Flowers National Park

Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian national park, located in North Chamoli, in the state of Uttarakhand and is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Birds found in the park include Himalayan monal pheasant and other high altitude birds. At 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level, the gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east. Together, they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya. The park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km2 and it is about 8 km long and 2 km wide. Both parks are encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (223,674 ha) which is further surrounded by a buffer zone (5,148.57 km2). Nanda Devi National Park Reserve is in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

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