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Nagadhiraj  Himalaya   A Review  of  the  Indian  Himalayan         
                                                                       by Harish Kapadia

                                         East Karakoram

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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                                             East Karakoram  

Behind the town of Leh runs the Khardung range, continuously from west to east. From the meeting point of the Shyok and lndus rivers and going eastwards this range meets the Pangong range. North of both these ranges lies the East Karakoram. Some of the highest peaks in the Indian Himalaya are in this region. A motorable road, one of the highest in the world, crosses Khardung la to enter the Shyok valley. From the pass, Saser Kangri II is seen to advantage. Its west peak was climbed by the Indo-Japanese team while the east peak, at the same height (of7518 m) remains virgin. The Saser group was explored by Jimmy Roberts and its main peaks have all been climbed, except one. Saser Kangri I has had received ascents from both the eastern and western approaches and has a long record of climbs. Saser Kangri III was once climbed by an Indian team coming from the east. Peak 7287 m, which Roberts called 'Plateau Peak' is the major unclimbed feature here.

Going further north is the Central Asia Trade Route which cuts across the range to cross Saser la. This historic pass whose moods vary with fickle weather conditions has killed many mules and some persons. One is likely to find bleached bones on this pass as well as on the trail ahead, hence the nickname: 'Skeleton Trail'. On the trail and its subsidiary routes stands Mamostong Kangri, first climbed in 1984 and Aq Tash, a stupendous rocky pyramid. I have crossed the Saser la twice and on the second trip we went to the unknown Chong Kumdan glacier on the Shyok. Three peaks of the group, including the main peak at 7071 m were climbed by us along with several others. Chong Kumdan is known for a dam it created several times in the past on the Shyok. The advancing Chong Kumdan glacier blocked the Shyok in the winter. With summer the river swelled up causing the dam to break, and it caused floods and havoc till many hundred kilometres downstream, The trail continues to the Karakoram Pas and finally leads to Central Asia.

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