Donate  |   News  |   Events  |   Downloads  |   Contact

JCN Award

Jagdish C. Nanavati Award for Excellence in Mountaineering

Jagdish Nanavati was the backbone and conscience of The Himalayan Club. He was the Secretary from 1972 to 1992, President from 1993 to 1999 and President Emeritus from 2000 onwards.

JCN as he was known was born on November 19, 1928 in the same year that the Club was founded in Simla. He started trekking as a young man, scrambling extensively all over the Western Ghats and in the Himalaya for over 40 years. He completed his mountaineering course at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in 1958 and arranged with the Principal to have three instructors sent to Bombay every year to train youngsters in rock climbing. Thus began The Climbers Club and the popular climbing courses at the Parsik Hills near Bombay which continued into the early 70’s. Among the Sherpas brought down to teach were such illustrious names as Ang Kami, Nawang Gombu, Dorjee Lhatoo and Da Namgyal. Later on, disagreements with The Climbing Club led him to resign, just in time to take on the reins of The Himalayan Club as it shifted Head Office from Calcutta to Bombay. With unwavering zeal and dedication JCN brought about a renaissance in the functioning of the Club’s activities and kindled the same enthusiasm in other sections. Although Jagdish Nanavati climbed no great peaks, his deep understanding of mountains and brilliant analytical mind made him an expert on authentication of expeditions. Indeed, he was known as the last reference point for authenticating controversial climbs in the Indian Himalaya. In 2008, he was appointed Ombudsman of The Himalayan Club, a perfect choice, to whom would be referred all matters concerning the Club’s governance, and who would ensure proper adherence with standard mountaineering procedures for all expeditions as laid down by the IMF.

Jagdish Nanvati’s death on June 29, 2011, left a huge void not only in The Himalayan Club but in the mountaineering world at large.

In 2013 to honour his memory, The Himalayan Club and the Nanavati family instituted The Jagdish C Nanavati Award for Excellence in Mountaineering – an annual award carrying a cash prize of Rs. 51,000/-.

Jagdish Nanavati Award for Excellence in Mountaineering


Terms of Reference for Applicants

The Award

JCNAEM will be an annual award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 51,000/-. Award is for Indian expeditions only.


  1. An expedition or exploration organised by an Indian team ( Led by an Indian National and majority of the team members are Indian)
  2. Research and Planning – this will include elements such as whether the area has been studied thoroughly; whether the area under consideration is unusual / a pioneering route, area or exploration; logistical planning – accuracy and implementation
  3. Execution – Whether the execution has followed the plan and the logistical planning is successful (route, rations, emergency management etc)
  4. Reporting – The expedition report must be precise, accurate, accompanied by coordinates, photographs, maps. As there maybe language barriers, all applicants must submit a report in English for purposes of consideration.
  5. Sensitivity to the environment – least carbon footprint and cleaning of earlier waste.
  6. Welfare / Insurance measures for hired support – load bearers, route openers, cooks, support staff
  7. Extent of reliance on support staff for establishing high camps and opening routes – level of acknowledgement of their support
  8. Success of expedition / Actual summiting will be considered but will not be the main criteria to decide awardee.

Methodology and Schedule

  1. The Editors of the Himalayan Journal and the Hon Secretary will screen applications and send eligible ones to the Jury for final decisions, under information to the Managing Committee of the Himalayan Club
  2. The Jury will be appointed by the Managing Committee. Persons of repute and experience in mountaineering and exploration and its literature would be appointed.
  3. The jury may decide that no expedition is worth the award in any given year. This decision also will be final and the amount will not be carried forward.
  4. Time frame for submission of applications – the period of consideration for any given year will be November to October. Final date of submission will be
  5. December 15. The Jury will submit their findings by January 15 and the awardee will be informed accordingly.
  6. A representative / leader of the winning expedition will be invited to Mumbai to make a presentation. The award money, expenses for travel, stay and local hospitality will be borne by the Nanavati family. Mandakiniben Nanavati will hand over the cheque to the representative at the HC Annual Seminar. A certificate with the HC logo and a drawing/photo of Jagdish Nanavati will also be awarded.
  7. The process will be completely transparent but the decision of the Jury will be final and binding.

Send in your applications to the Hon Secretary, The Himalayan Club at the office address.

Past Winners

Anindya Mukherjee (JCN 2012)
Exploration of Zemu Gap from South

Leader: Anindya Mukherjee

Debabrata Mukherjee (JCN 2013)
Exploration over the sources of the Ganga to Chaukhamba Col

Leader: Debabrata Mukherjee

JCN 2014 - Team Rassa Glacier Expedition
Exploration of the Rassa Glacier, Eastern Karakoram

Leader: Divyesh Muni

JCN 2015 - Team Ryong Kharu Expedition
Exploration of the Ryong Kharu Lungpa area, Eastern Karakoram

Leader: Divyesh Muni

JCN 2017 - Team Karakoram Traverse
Exploratory Karakoram Traverse Expedition

Leader: Divyesh Muni

Anindya Mukherjee and Lakpa Sherpa
Sunderdhunga Khal : Ascent from the South

Leader: Anindya Mukherjee


Lindsay Griffin - JCN Jury
Lindsay Griffin
Admiral VS Shekhawat
Admiral VS Shekhawat
Lhatoo Dorjee - Jury
Lhatoo Dorjee
Akhil Bakshi
Akhil Bakshi
Anindya Mukherjee
Anindya Mukherjee