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Abode of snow

Incredible Himalayas, Environment, Culture, Tourism and Adventure, 2005, Hony. General editor Capt. M.S. Kohil, published for Himalayan Environment Trust by Indus Publishing Company, p. 264, Rs. 400.
Adventure Travel in the Himalaya, John Angelo Jackson, Indus Publishing Company, p. 256+colour plates, Rs. 400

You can't kill the spirit,
It's like a mountain
It's old and strong,
It goes on and on

Willie Unsoeld

THE Himalayas are one of the greatest and magnificent natural features on earth. For centuries, the splendour and majesty of these mighty ranges have fascinated people. A 3,500-km long, 8,848 metre high phenomenon. Looking upon the great Himalayan vastness is no ordinary sight: emerald lakes amidst lofty peaks, moss-green meadows, ice-white streams and rivers, huge mountains of solid ice ... . And there are the sounds. Of the sounds of nature and sublime, strange temple bells that pierce the silence.

The best description of these ranges may come from Lionel Terray in The Conquistadores of the Useless:

"I hurried still more not to miss the vision for which we had come so far. Then the miracle happened. Folded in light mist, hill after hill rolled away into the distance from beneath my feet, and over this green ocean sparkled the vast icebergs of the Himalaya. Never in my remotest dreams had I imagined such beauty could exist on earth ... time effaces all memories, but the feelings of that movement are branded in me while I live ... looking back today, I see more, that it was not only the revelation of my dreams of youth, but the beginning of an experience which has influenced me more than almost any other ... the discovery of ... a world outside our time."

A source of life

The Himalayas boast of an invaluable wealth of species of fauna and flora and are a source of life to the human civilisation. It was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who once memorably observed that for centuries the Himalayas have protected us, and now we must protect them. Thoughtless damage to this great mountain range is of great concern as it will affect a large section of the population in the subcontinent.

Incredible Himalayas brings together the writings of some of the greatest living celebrities associated with the Himalayas. It carries interesting and informative articles and not only tries to explore the various factors that can contribute to the growth of adventure and tourism, but also emphasises the need to spread awareness about the preservation of the Himalayan ecology and culture. Among the enlightening essays are those by Sir Edmund Hillary, Dr. Karan Singh, Bill Aitken and Maurice Herzog.

The book is also a presentation in the landmark year of 2005 that marks the 40th anniversary of the historic Indian expedition, of 1965, to Everest, led by mountaineer Captain M.S. Kohli. It is also the year that marks the 40th anniversary of the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttaranchal. ... perhaps a befitting way to highlight the revival of the annual season of Himalayan mountaineering tourism and the need for protection of the environment in the Himalayan region.

John Angelo Jackson has been associated with two major expeditions of the last century — the first was the Everest expedition of 1953 an the second, the expedition to Kangchenjunga in 1955. His Adventure

Travels in the Himalaya spans a period of 60 years in the Himalayan ranges. It gives an insight into the range and changes that have occurred and a history of the expeditions and travels in the Himalayas. It highlights the spirit of adventure. It also talks of ski training of Indian paramilitary forces undertaken by the author and his associations with some of the legendary mountaineers of his time.

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