Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE By Katyayini Kesharwani
To encourage the youth to take up the adventurous activity of mountaineering as a sport, HMI was inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. At present, the institution is jointly governed by West Bengal’s state government and the Government of India. The institute has contributed immensely to the mountaineering field and conducted many expeditions to various peaks of the Himalayas such as Mt. Kamet, Mt. Makalu, and to Mt. Everest.
I urge more and more people to try mountaineering! It’s one of the toughest sports in the world, full of blood, sweat and tears. However, it’s all worth it at the end of the day. – @therohanpillai, Instagram
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute has been a leader in imparting training and education about this unique adventure sport. Numerous learning programs are conducted by this institute, which includes adventure courses and basic mountaineering training. Special courses for kids, women, underprivileged and differently-abled people are also offered here. HMI has led many successful expeditions to the most difficult terrains of the Himalayas, which include Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain crest. Some legendary mountaineers like Col Neeraj Rana, Nawang Gambhu, Bachendri Pal, and Dorjee Lhatoo have been associated with this institution.
The story of achievers in Mount Everest Mountaineering without mentioning Arunima Sinha’s name, a differently-abled who successfully scaled defying all odds would be incomplete. Another highlight of HMI is its mountaineering museum founded in 1957. A fine assortment of paintings, literary works, artefacts, and models related to life in the mountains is showcased at this museum. The historic scientific equipment named Hitler’s Telescope is also preserved in this museum, by using which you can view the lofty Khangchendzonga. The Everest section of this museum features tools, maps, and other articles that were used during several attempts to climb this peak. The perfect destination for orophiles, the HMI is only a 6-minute drive from The Elgin, Darjeeling.
Trekking with 20 kg load, staying in remote places like chowrikhang, rigourous training in rathong glacier, without having bath for 20 days, travelling solo unknown places, leaving far away from hometown and family just for this little Ice axe. Yes, this is very hard earned. – @trekkerbhau_prabhurajdravidian, Instagram
The HMI is renowned for its competent faculty that included personalities like Tenzing Norgay and winners of the nation’s highest adventure award. Tenzing Norgay, the legendary mountaineering wizard of International repute and standing, though genetically dwarf in height his success story gave him sky-high Himalayan Everest stature ‘Second to None.’
We all have to climb mountains, you know. Mountains that go way up high, and mountains that go deep and low. – @naresh_chandak, Instagram