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Travelogue Himachal

Nagadhiraj  Himalaya   A Review  of  the  Indian  Himalayan         
                                                                       by Harish Kapadia


About the auther:- Mr Harish Kapadia is a veteran Mountaineer & writer.This was one of the earliest Himalyan travel recorded in the Indian range.This article is based on 40 years of personal mountaineering experience of the auther in the indian Himalayan. Courtesy:- Yojana

                                                                                                               Though a lot has been done in the Indian Himalaya in the last Millennium, a lot remains to be done. After all what is a 100 years for the Nagadhiraj Himalaya, standing there for centuries. We must Pledge to know more about the range and protect it.

                                                                                                                                                      " In the northern direction there is a noble souled mountain called the Himalaya He is Nagadhiraj, the Lord of all mountains, with his two  extending arms fathoming the eastern and western oceans He stands unsurpassed as the measuring rod of the earth ''                                                                    Kalidas   in   Kumarsambhava


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After two years on crutches to recover from that injury, I was on my way to north Sikkim. We were amongst the early trekkers allowed there. On our visit to the Green Lake, Zerksis Boga and I went across high passes to the Lhonak valley. Freshfield had written that the july snow storms here are 'proverbial'. We were spared a sample. Once, as we neared Thangue Boga suddenly sat down near a bridge. The slope before us was covered with yellow rhododendrons in bloom. Such are the pleasures of Sikkim. I took one photo then he firmly stopped me: 'No more photos please. This loveliness must belong only to memories, Harish " he said.  

While trekking in Sikkim I was often reminded of the history of this region. Pre-war expeditions attempting Everest from the northern approaches passed through Sikkim and thus many famous names were registered in the rest house log-books. Calcutta was the headquarters of the British Raj so the approach to Sikkim was easy and quick. Cooke, Hunt and Kellas had done some excellent climbing here, the Himalayan Club built a hut at the foot of the Sela pass. That allowed trekkers to go across from Lachen to Lachung valleys without carrying a tent or much food. When I visited the hut, it was in ruins, but I could imagine the echoes of memsahibs ordering khansamas to fetch tea!  

Kanchenjunga is the prime attraction of Sikkim Himalaya. Paul Bauer and his German team repeatedly attempted it but were stopped by the northeast spur, which they could not cross. Finally it was in 1977 that an Indian army team crossed that spur, to reach the summit from this side. Kanchenjunga rises steeply from the Zemu glacier-too steeply even for the setting sun to be visible from late-afternoon. Doug Freshfield, who was here in 1899 wrote about an 'Eastern sunset', which we witnessed years later. The steep rise of Kanchenjunga blocks the western horizon and the sun disappears behind it. Thus early in the afternoon dark shadows gather over the glacier. The east, up to Bhutan, remains brightly lighted for a long time with its changing colours, creating a unique illusion.    Next page

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