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Highest mountain peak in India

Discussion in 'Trekking and Mountaineering' started by FennKevin, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. FennKevin

    FennKevin New Member

    I am planning a trip to India, to do some mountaineering and also for my passion for photography.
    During my trip to India, I wish to visit the highest mountain peak in India and would like to know which one it is and where is in India.

    I am not too sure about climbing the mountain, but I do want to visit the place for some photography shots.

    Other mountaineers, please provide some information about climbing the highest peak in India as I would love to know more about it.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    Highest-mountain-peaks-India.

    Overview

    Does the idea of conquering unknown heights thrill you? Are you that someone who just isn't satisfied with viewing mountains from a distance? In India, several mountain ranges flank various regions of the country. Perhaps the most well-known mountain ranges are that of the Himalayas and the Karakoram, which are both included in the Greater Ranges of Asia. From these mountain ranges, you would find some of the highest mountains of the country. Now, each mountain might have a peak or several peaks, and a highest point, called the summit. In this guide, we would highlight the highest mountains in India and where you can specifically find them.

    Highest Mountain Peaks in India

    1. Kanchenjunga (Sikkim) - Kanchenjunga is India's highest mountain, located at an altitude of about 8,586 metres. It is also the world's third highest mountain, after Everest and K2. Kanchenjunga has five main peaks that lie on the areas of Nepal and India. The main, central and southern peaks are shared by both countries, in Taplejung of Nepal and in North Sikkim of India. On the other hand, the western peaks lie completely on the Taplejung area of Nepal. The first ever attempt to climb the summit of Kanchenjunga was in 1905, when Aleister Crowley along with his team reached around 6,500 metres of the mountain. Due to bad weather conditions that can lead to avalanches, the team was forced to turn back. Several attempts thereafter had been made by other mountaineers to reach the mountain's summit, but they were all futile. It was only in 1955, when Joe Brown and his team continued the route undertaken by Aleister Crowley, into the southwestern area of the mountain, that the summit of Kanchenjunga was finally reached. Due to a promise to the Chogyal ruler back then though, the team stopped short of the summit as the Buddhists believe that the top of the mountain should remain free from humans to keep it sacred. Keep in mind that most treks undertaken are from the Nepal side and though there were some treks done from the Indian side, most attempts have been unsuccessful. Further, the local government has banned trekking from the Indian side during recent times because of complaints of the devout Buddhists. However, if you just want to photograph it, you can go for the Goecha La trek instead. From the Goecha La, you can have an unobstructed view of the southeast side of the Kanchenjunga. The trek lasts for 10 days and can be considered as a moderate climb, which takes you around beautiful rhododendrons and grasslands during summer.
    • Height in Metres - 8,586 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Himalayas
    2. Nanda Devi (Uttarakhand) - The Nanda Devi is the second highest mountain in India, located in Uttarakhand, situated about 7,816 metres above sea level. But in essence, Nanda Devi is India's highest mountain if you want to be more technical about the location, since it lies completely in the country. The Nanda Devi has two peaks, though the western peak is considered as the main one. Nanda Devi herself is a local goddess of the Kumaon region, her name can be translated as the Bliss-Giving Goddess. There have been many attempts to enter the sanctuary of the Nanda Devi but the first ever successful attempt was made by Eric Shipton and Harold William Tilman during the year 1934. The main route leading to the summit was discovered by these two British mountaineers. In fact, Harold William Tilman was a part of the first team to have successfully reached the summit of the Nanda Devi in 1936. Interestingly, the mountain was closed for expeditions from the years 1968 until 1974. Because of a botched CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and IB (Indian Intelligence Bureau) operation of implanting a nuclear-powered listening machine to keep track of China's missile activities, the entire mountain has to be closed for trekking activities. The team had to leave behind the machine, comprising of deadly plutonium capsules, because of adverse weather conditions. When they came back to retrieve the device, it was nowhere to be found and until now, the whereabouts of the device is yet to be discovered. Though the mountain was opened for expeditions in 1974, the fragile ecosystem of the region was damaged by the trashes left behind by some mountaineers. Access to the area and the summit is restricted nowadays but you can still trek to reach Pachu Nala and Gori Ganga where you can enjoy the northeastern side view of the Nanda Devi from.
    • Height in Metres - 7,816 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Garhwal Himalayas
    Nanda-devi-peak.
    Nanda Devi (Image from Chandrashila)

    3. Kamet (Uttarakhand) - Mount Kamet in Uttarakhand is the country's third highest mountain. Since the two other mountains mentioned above are closed for expeditions, Mount Kamet can be considered as the highest mountain open for trekking in India as well. It is sometimes referred to as the brother of Mount Abi Gamin and can be approached by trekking from this point. The remoteness and isolation of the mountain makes the trek very treacherous and dangerous. But as compared to the previous mountains, undertaking a trek in the Mount Kamet can be easier, especially if you're with an experienced team of trekkers. The mountain has two peaks and was easily accessible that treks to the region have been done as early as the 19th century. It was only in 1931 though when a team of British explorers successfully reached the summit of the mountain. During that time, Mount Kamet was the first ever mountain to be conquered that is above 7,620 metres in altitude. In 2016, the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy successfully reached the summit of Mount Kamet. The ascent occurred in a span of 40 days, as the team faced rugged terrains and high altitudes, before reaching the icy slopes of the summit. If the trek is too dangerous for you, then you can opt instead to reach Auli. From Auli, you can view several mountain peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas very clearly, including Mount Kamet. You can ride the Auli Ropeway or even indulge in easier treks around the hill station, like the Gorson Bugyal trek or Kuari Pass trek.
    • Height in Metres - 7,756 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Garhwal Himalayas
    4. Saltoro Kangri or K10 (Jammu & Kashmir) - Towering at a height of 7,742 metres above sea level is the Saltoro Kangri, located in a disputed area bordering Pakistan and India. The Saltoro Kangri is also known as K10, with its western side located on the Pakistani Saltoro Range and its eastern side located on the Indian Siachen Glacier Region. Because of its location, Saltoro Kangri is a little explored mountain, especially as compared to the previous mountains mentioned. The same Eric Shipton mentioned above attempted to reach the peak of Saltoro Kangri but didn't continued all the way to the summit. In 1962, a joint expedition made by the Pakistani and Japanese lead to the successful summit of Saltoro Kangri. The team was lead by Professor T. Shidei and included other mountaineering experts like T. Kato and Doctor K. Hayashi. Pakistani members included Rajar Bashir and Pervez Khan. According to the report of Professor T. Shidei, the ascent was quite difficult, being engulfed in dangers and wading through deep snow in most parts of the climb. As of now, there have been no available information about other attempts to the mountain. Even viewing the mountain from a distance can be quite difficult as it is located at a disputed area that access is very restricted to.
    • Height in Metres - 7,742 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Karakoram
    5. Saser Kangri I or K22 (Jammu & Kashmir) - The Saser Kangri is a part of the Karakoram Range, specifically located on the easternmost side. Its sub classification is on the Saser Muztagh Range, which comprises of three mountains. The highest of these three mountains is the Saser Kangri I, which is also known as K22. It is situated at an altitude of about 7,672 metres above sea level. The earliest attempt to climb the mountain is around 1908 when Doctor Tom Longstaff approached the western side of Saser Kangri but failed to reach its summit. Most attempts since then has been from the western side which proved to be the enemy, as to this date, that area remains unconquered. It was only in 1973, when Commander Joginder Singh and his team climbed the mountain through its eastern side was its summit reached. In 1987, a joint expedition made by the Indian Army and British Army was done to explore the various areas of the western side of the Saser Kangri I. The team was led by Ivar Hellberg and they successfully made various camps in the entire Saser Kangri Range. For the normal trekkers though, access to the Saser Kangri I and other areas of the range is limited. In Leh though, you can clearly view the Saser Kangri I from the Khardung La. This pass is located just before you reach the Shyok Valley or Nubra Valley of Ladakh.
    • Height in Metres - 7,672 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Karakoram
    Saser-Kangri-I.
    Saser Kangri I (Image from Vyacheslav Argenberg)

    6. Mamostong Kangri (Jammu & Kashmir) - Also a part of the Karakoram Range is the Mamostong Kangri. Its sub classification is on the Rimo Muztagh Range, which also comprises of three mountains. The highest of these three is the Mamostong Kangri, which is located in the border areas of Pakistan and India. Part of a disputed area, the mountain remains pristine and unexplored for the most part. The name of the mountain can be translated to a Thousand Fogs. The thick fogs enveloping the mountain had lead to various deaths of explorers who have ventured into the remote areas of it, hence the name was coined. During the early 19th century, many expeditions were done around the surrounding areas of the mountain, particularly its glaciers. It was only in 1984 when the mountain summit was reached, through a combined team of Indian and Japanese explorers lead by both Colonel Balwant Sandhu and Yoshio Ogata. In 2010, the renowned team, the Himalayan Club, had also successfully conquered the summit of the Mamostong Kangri. The team had to cut down their members, some of which had to descend to lower camps due to lower supplies of food. One of the leaders, Debraj Dutta, stayed behind, along with three other sherpas, and was successful in hoisting the Himalayan Club's flag on the summit. You need prior permit to access this restricted area which is why it remains cut off from the rest of India.
    • Height in Metres - 7,516 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Karakoram
    7. Saser Kangri II (Jammu & Kashmir) - The Saser Kangri, as mentioned above, is a part of the Karakoram Range, specifically located on the easternmost side. It is also sub classified in the Saser Muztagh Range and is the second highest mountain on the range. Though lower in altitude, the Saser Kangri II is the second highest unexplored mountain in the world until 2011. In 1946, renowned mountaineer Lieutenant Colonel James Owen Merion Roberts scaled the area around Saser Muztagh Range, including the Saser Kangri II. It was only in 1984 when an Indo-Japanese Team lead by Hukam Singh approached the mountain's Sakang Lungpa Glacier side that the summit was reached. The trek was done in around a three week's time, because the routes leading to the summit were not yet as clear during that time. In 2011, mountaineers Mark Richey and Steve Swenson were able to climb the summit of the Saser Kangri II as well. Both are members of the American Alpine Club which lead to another accomplishment of the team. Unlike the former team, they were able to finish the summit in a span of four days only. For those who aren't expert trekkers, the Saser Kangri II can be easily seen from the Khardung La of Leh.
    • Height in Metres - 7,513 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Karakoram
    8. Saser Kangri III (Jammu & Kashmir) - Also a part of the Saser Muztagh Range is the Saser Kangri III, the third highest mountain in this range. Situated at an altitude of 7,495 metres above sea level, the Saser Kangri III doesn't fall far behind from the first two mountains. This is also considered as an unexplored mountain, its summit having been conquered only in 1986 by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), headed by SP Chamoli. The team faced difficulties though, with many members suffering from hypothermia and frost bite. Fortunately, no one lost their life and the summit was successfully completed over a span of many days. Until today though, Saser Kangri III remains one of the most pristine mountain regions of India. If you are not physically fit enough for this trek, you can opt for the Stok Kangri trek instead. The trek lasts for eight days only and at its highest point, you can enjoy the clear view of the Saser Kangri III along with other mountains.
    • Height in Metres - 7,495 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Karakoram
    9. Teram Kangri I (Jammu & Kashmir) - The Teram Kangri I is a part of the Siachen Muztagh, which is another range in the Karakoram Group of Mountains. The mountain lies on the disputed Siachen Glacier Area between India and Pakistan. Again, this mountain is relatively unexplored, apart from a Japanese expedition done in 1975. However, the expedition was done from the Pakistan side of the mountain, through the eastern side of the Teram Kangri I. To this date, expeditions to the Indian side of the mountain has not been recorded. The other mountains in the Siachen Muztagh Range have been explored through Indian side already though. Owing to its remote location, viewing the Teram Kangri I from India can be quite a difficult accomplishment to try as well.
    • Height in Metres - 7,462 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Karakoram
    10. Jongsong Peak (Sikkim) - The Jongsong Peak is located on the border areas of China, Nepal and India. It is a part of the Janak Range of the Himalayan Group of Mountains. Perhaps the most popular ascent to the Jongsong Peak was made in 1930 by Professor Gunter Oskar Dyhrenfurth and his team. Incidentally, the team initially set out to conquer the summit of Mount Kanchenjunga but due to unpredictable weather conditions, they set out for the less explored Jongsong Peak instead. All their expeditions where carried out on the Nepal frontier though. It was only in 2012, when the Kolkata Branch of the Himalayan Club, attempted to reach the summit of Jongsong Peak via the northeastern side of Sikkim. This was the first ever attempt to climb a new route for the summit and thankfully, it was a successful one without any injuries along the way. Sikkim though is a restricted access area and you would need a special permit to access the state.
    • Height in Metres - 7,462 Metres
    • Difficulty Climbing - High
    • Range - Himalayas
    Jongsong-peak.
    Jongsong Peak (Image from Maplogs)

    Conclusion

    These are the top ten highest mountains in India, though some of them are located on border areas with neighbouring countries. As you can see, the top ten highest mountains are either part of the ranges of the Karakoram or Himalayan mountains. They all rise above 7,400 metres and are usually flanked by deep snow all throughout the year. You are truly in for an adventure if ever you decide to venture in trekking around these mountains. But even for the newbie trekkers, you can indulge in gorgeous mountain views by utilising the nearby hill stations or passes close to these mountains. From such places, you can have clearer views of their peaks, especially on summer days.

    I hope this helps you!:)
     

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