A cohort of 20 intrepid mountaineers from the National Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports (NIMAS) in Arunachal Pradesh achieved a remarkable feat of conquering the highest peaks in each Indian state and proudly unfurling the national flag atop them.
This extraordinary endeavour, known as the "Har Shikhar Tiranga" mission, was a pioneering expedition aligning with India's G20 presidency and was a prominent part of the "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav," commemorating India's 75th year of independence.
However, this audacious expedition was not devoid of its trials.
On the harrowing night of 3 October, the team, having recently scaled Mt Jongsong in Sikkim, faced a near-catastrophic threat when an unexpected cloudburst triggered flash floods.
Timely response and swift action allowed them to escape, illustrating the crucial role of mountaineer instincts and decision-making in critical moments.
Spanning the length and breadth of the nation, the journey presented formidable challenges, including navigating treacherous terrains in remote corners.
The expedition necessitated traversing a vast expanse of the country, with hurdles such as transportation unavailability, inadequate infrastructure in remote regions, security concerns in Maoist-afflicted areas, and language barriers hindering interaction with local communities.
In their perilous quest, the mountaineers also uncovered an intriguing revelation — several of the highest peaks in various states remained nameless.
Notably, the pinnacle of Punjab's highest point, nestled in the Naina Devi Range, lacked a formal designation.
Initiated on 16 October the previous year from Arunachal Pradesh, this remarkable mission encompassed a staggering 30,000 kilometres across all Indian states, etching its indelible mark as an unprecedented adventure in the annals of the nation's history.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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