An Introduction

The Himalayan Club | Activities | Social Initiatives | The Club Center


The Himalayan Club's objective: To encourage and assist Himalayan travel and exploration, and to extend knowledge of the Himalaya and adjoining mountain ranges through science, art, literature and sport.

The Himalayan Club

The Himalayan Club, founded in 1928, is one of the earliest clubs to have been established in the sub-continent.

In the pre-war years, every expedition to the Himalaya and Karakoram was assisted by the Club members - right from clearing baggage from the docks, to assisting them with advice, routes and purchase of provisions and even selecting the Sherpas and porters.

After Everest (1953), the number of expeditions increased in frequency. Nepal opened its doors to foreigners, and in India mountaineering caught on as a sport inspiring the youth to aspire for high adventure.

The role of the Himalayan Club has modified to an extent to keep pace with the changing times. A plethora of climbing clubs and trekking-cum-mountaineering agencies have taken up their own localised activities. The Club, therefore, continues in its main mission by offering a meeting ground for its members - talks, slide-shows and films are organised regularly; the Club offers scholarships to the courses run by the three mountaineering institutes in India, for needy students; it has a fair stock of equipment which it hires out to its members for a nominal charge and its in house journals every year the Himalayan Journal and the Himalayan Club Newsletter. These publications have now been recognised as the foremost authority in climbing in the Himalaya, Kararoram and the Hindu Kush.

The club enjoys a worldwide membership with its presence in almost all the countries, and has most of the famous mountaineers amongst its members.

Activities

Publications

The Himalayan Journal Published since 1929, it is the most authentic and authoritative reference on the activities in the Himalaya. It covers climbing, explorations, scientific observations and almost all aspects related to the Himalaya. The contributors include some of the best writers and climbers active in the range. In April 2012, Volume 67 was published.

The Himalayan Club Newsletter Published since 1951, the Newsletter covers the climbs in the Indian Himalaya exhaustively. The other major events in the Himalaya, news and views and details of the Himalayan Club activities are covered. Number 60 was published in February 2007.

E-Letter Keeping with the modern trend the E Letter is started since 2005. It is sent electronically through E mails of members and to anyone requesting for it. Edited by young editors, it is sent periodically covering the Club news and current events in the world of mountains.

The Himalayan Club Website The exhaustive Web site covers various aspects related to the Club, like activities, articles, application forms, subscription rates and all the news from The Himalayan Club Newsletter and E Letters.



Libraries

Himalayan Club Libraries at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata The Himalayan Club houses a large library of books at the India International Center, Max Muller Road, Lodi Estate, New Delhi. It is a unique and large collection of books open to all members of the club. Member will require a proof of membership to read books at the library premises. Similar sub-libraries operate at Mumbai and Kolkata.

Soli Mehta Library at Mumbai Our past editor Soli Mehta donated all his books to the Club when he passed away. This collection is stored at the library of the Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, Rampart Row, Mumbai 400001. Members can visit the library with proof of membership obtained from the Club office.

Lecture Series

Arun Samant Memorial Lectures An annual series of lectures and/or seminars by eminent mountaineers from India are held every year in memory of Arun Samant, climber and someone who worked for the Club in many capacities.

Kaivan Mistry Memorial Lectures Kaivan died in mountains in 2000. His family has donated funds to start a series of lectures to be held annually, generally by a speaker invited from abroad.

Sarat Chandra Das Memorial Lectures This popular lecture series is held at Kolkata. Specially invited speakers deliver lectures on a variety of subjects.

Events

Annual Seminars at Mumbai and Kolkata These annual events are held at different times of the year. It has covered celebrations of mountains like Kangchenjunga, Nanda Devi and Kamet. Film festivals, lectures on current expeditions by speakers from India and abroad are held.

London Re-union Since few decades a reunion of members of the Himalayan Club in Britain is held during the last week of April. It is a popular event held at the Oriental Club in London with a dinner and lecture. It always draws a full house.

Annual Dinner, Mumbai Generally after the annual seminar the Club dinner is held in Mumbai, keeping alive the club tradition.

Workshops and Lectures Workshops like expedition planning, map reading, literature and other subjects are held often. Lectures on recent treks and expeditions are held once or twice a month during September to February.

Kekoo Naoroji Book Award The award was started by the Naoroji family, in memory of Kekoo Naoroji, Past President and a great supporter of the club. Each year the award is given to an outstanding book on the Himalayan subject, from the entries received.

Jagdish Nanavati Awards Jagdish C. Nanavati, President Emeritus of the Himalayan Club, was an eminent personality. Two Awards have been instituted in his memory in cooperation with the Nanavati family.
  1. Jagdish Nanavati Award for Excellence in Mountaineering: For a mountaineering expedition or exploration organised by an Indian team.
  2. Jagdish Nanavati Garud Medal: For any person who has excelled over the years while working for expeditions, performed an exemplary act of help, support or rescue to a party in the mountains.

Sponsorships

Expedition Sponsorship The Himalayan Club sponsors expeditions by its members to the Himalaya. This is granted for a worthwhile project by members and without any liability.

Standard Chartered Bank Mountain Scholarship and Kesarbai Kilachand Scholarship These scholarships are available to needy persons for undertaking a mountain training course in India.

J. B. Waller Equipment Fund The fund was donated in memory of Mr J B Waller to purchase equipment or for any other worthwhile cause.

Special Events

Special celebrations held by the Club : for the Golden Jubilee (1978) (50th year), 60th year (1988), the new Millennium(2000) and the 75th year (2003). Celebrations for the 80th year (2008).

Special books published by the Club and few of these titles were sent complimentary to entire membership : Exploring the Hidden Himalaya (Soli Mehta and Harish Kapadia), Garhwal (Jashbhai Patel), A Passage to Himalaya (Harish Kapadia, editor), The Himalayan Expedition Planning Book (Arun Samant) The Himalayan Club CD Rom (Harish Kapadia, editor) on history of the Club and collections from the Himalayan Journals. Himalayan Vignettes (K.N. Naoroji) Touching Upon the Himalaya (Bill Aitken)

Social Initiatives

Anand Ram Fund: In 2007, during a Club sponsored expedition one of the Kumaoni support staff, Anand Ram, expired due to high altitude sickness. He is survived by his wife, three children and mother. The Club has set up a fund to support Anand Ram’s family.

Rebuild Ladakh: On 5th August 2010, a massive cloud burst followed by flash floods devastated Ladakh. In order to support rehabilitation of Ladakh, the Club decided to take up two projects:
1) To assist the rebuilding of damaged houses in remote villages.
2) To assist rebuilding of the Children’s Hostel in Leh.

Sherpa Project: This project was initiated in 2012 to record the lives of Sherpa climbers and their families in Darjeeling beginning from the earliest days of exploration and expeditions in the Himalaya.


The Club Center

This is the headquarters of the Club. It is situated in a central locality, in heart of Mumbai. All are invited to visit and take advantage of the facilities offered and view the displays. It is open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 pm and staff is available to help.

Reference Material

Lt. Nawang Kapadia Collection Lt. Nawang Kapadia Collection contains a large collection of maps. Available for reference at the center and sent by post to members at cost. This is one of the largest collection Himalaya maps with almost all maps of the Western Ghats (the Sahyadris) range near Mumbai and Maharashtra.

Lt. Nawang Kapadia collection also contains videos, DVDs with facility to view them at the center. Television and DVD players are provided to view any material, including transparencies and multi media projections.

The Himalayan Club library of books The collection of books for reference are housed at the center. Members can borrow these books for reference and reading as per rules.

Editor’s papers All papers, articles, photos, maps received for the Himalayan Journal are kept in bound albums. It contains letters received, many from historic personalities. The papers are indexed for easy reference.

Archives of historical photos, papers and mementos from various historical personalities. Many members have donated mementos from their expeditions and collections. More are being added.

Activities

Meetings The HCC holds meetings and lectures organised by the Club, including meetings of the Managing Committee.

With prior permission any other organisations or members can hold meetings on topics related to the Himalaya at the HCC.

The HCC is open to all and any member or others are welcome to visit.