New Delhi: The defence ministry’s Dirang-based National Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports has launched a one-of-its-kind expedition to hoist the national flag at the highest point of all the country’s state. The mission was flagged off by the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, from NIMAS, Dirang.
During the flagging-off event, the chief minister said, “It is a matter of pride for us that such a rare mission has begun from Arunachal Pradesh.”
The mission, which is named “Har Shikhar Tiranga”, is a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav initiative of the Indian government to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture, and achievements. The Har Shikhar Tiranga (tricolour on every summit) campaign to take the national flag to all the states of the country and hoist it on their highest summits.
The mission has been conceived by Colonel Ranveer Singh Jamwal SM, VSM**, who is also the director of the NIMAS. Col Jamwal has the distinction of being the only Indian to have conquered Mount Everest three times and the highest points of seven continents, collectively called the Seven Summits.
The NIMAS team of mountaineers has already scaled the highest mountains of seven northeastern states. On Monday, the team reached the summit of Mount Reo Purgyal in Himachal Pradesh, which is at an altitude of 6,816 metres.
The team that reached the peak of Mount Reo Purgyal had Colonel Ranveer Singh Jamwal, Naib Subedar Vikram Gurung, Naib Subedar Tsewang Chausgail, Havildar Jaypal Singh, Havildar Rakesh Yadav, Naik Debendra Bdr GM, Naik Logu K, Amit Chaudhary, Doriee Khandu, Tosap Rime, Rupak, Thuten, Raja, Deka.
It is noteworthy that the summit is at the line of actual control (LAC) with China, and it was the first time that mountaineers were able to climb it in May. The peak is usually climbed in July or August when snow is less.
The Har Shikhar Tiranga expedition is expected to culminate by October 15 after the climb of Mt Jongsong in Sikkim, which is at 7,462 metres above sea level. This climb is also considered to be technically challenging. The summit has been conquered only three times, until now. The October 15 date also includes a buffer for contingencies related to terrain, weather, and other unforeseen scenarios.
Although the highest peak under Indian control is Kanchenjunga (8,586 metres) in Sikkim, it is closed for climbs. The next highest is Nanda Devi (7,816 metres), in Uttarakhand. However, it is a world heritage site and national biosphere reserve. Therefore, the team won’t be climbing it either. This leaves Uttarakhand’s Mount Kamet (7,756 metres) as the highest climbable mountain in India. The team expects to reach its top in June.
In this expedition, the lowest summit in terms of elevation will be the Someshwar fort in Bihar, which is around 800 metres in altitude. The NIMAS team expects to climb it in August.
Some of the other highest points include Kerala’s Anamudi, Tamil Nadu’s Doddabetta, Maharashtra’s Mount Kalsubai, Himachal Pradesh’s Mount Reo Purgyil, and Rajasthan’s Guru Shikhar. The NIMAS team will also climb the Nun Peak, which is on the border of two Union territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Talking to reporters on the expedition, the leader of the team, Col Jamwal, said, “This expedition has a long-term aim as it is going to give a reason to people of each state to be proud of such points and it can raise interest among the youth to visit the points at least once, thus stimulating tourism potential too.”
“It was a dream to hoist the Indian flag on all the highest points of the nation. It took us more than three months to plan this campaign. It’s a movement for my motherland, to do something that has never been done,” he said. The colonel further added, “The Har Shikhar Tiranga mission intends to spread the gesture of inclusivity, inculcate and promote the spirit of adventure, and capture the vibrant landscape, unique culture, and the unadulterated remote areas in our states.”