Memoir of an unforgettable trek: The Siraunch glacier and Mt. Trisuli in Uttarakhand

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Yonder over the hills

It is amazing how a picture or an incident could trigger open a floodgate of memories stored deep in the recesses of the human mind, allowing us to relive those moments like it had happened only yesterday. A picture of Mt. Trisuli in Uttarakhand shared by a friend recently did just that for me, taking me back in time to the Spring of 2001, exactly a decade and a half ago, to the wonderful memories of losing and finding myself in grandiose mountains of the majestic Garhwal Himalayas.

Siraunch Glacier, Mt. Trisulli ( 7035 m) at the backdrop Siraunch Glacier, Mt. Trisuli ( 7035 m) at the backdrop

I recall quite vividly one warm summer morn in April 2001, walking in to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation in Benito Juarez Marg in New Delhi, to meet the seven member British team consisting of Colin Knowles, Chris Drinkwater, Chris Smart, Angela Benham, Titch Kavanagh, Andrew Phillips and Roly Arnison. The team was proceeding…

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Memoir of an unforgettable trek – II : ‘That bloody rat’.

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Yonder over the hills

What happened to the ‘Bloody rat’ ?” came the question from a friend. For a moment I was like “What? Come again ?”. It completely caught me off guard. “What bloody rat ?”

A chapter on Angela’s novel “Lucky to be alive” about our Himalayan expedition to Mt. Trisuli West in Uttarakhand had closed off with a para thus:

Over the last supper at Base Camp thLucky to be aliveat evening Colin (Leader of the expedition) explained that he had been pouring over maps with Mo… all day trying to determine the position of the mountain that we had climbed in relation to Chalab. The trouble was none of the maps agreed on Chalab’s location. Notwithstanding Mo.. suggested a Hindi namewe could give our previously unclimbed peak, which would recognise its close ties with the three mountains forming the trident of Shiva – Trisuli, Trisuli West and Hardeol. This…

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The great wall of Kumbalgarh

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Yonder over the hills

Lodged stoically on a quite hilltop in remote interiors of the Aravali hills is a less known marvel of Indian history which, despite its significance, has not come to the attention of the public at large as compared to other famous monuments of Indian history. This is the Fort of Kumbalgarh in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. The little known but highly significant fact of this historical monument is that it lays claim to be the second longest wall in the world, second only to the Great wall of China !  First built in 15th century by Rajput ruler Rana Kumbh in whose name the place is so named, the fort and its robustly built walls that runs for a total distance of about 36 kilometers are still intact to this day.

Kumbalgarh 9
The second significant fact is that it is also the birth place of Mewar’s greatest hero Maharana Pratap Singh whose legend is sung in the annals of…

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