Sunday, May 31, 2009


Nanda Devi twin peaks are the most sacred peaks in whole of Kumaon and Garhwal region of India. She is worshipped all over the place. It is not visible fully from most of the places. Because it is surrounded by high ridges running to a height of 20,000 feet and the ridge is dotted with + 24000 feet peaks.
The ridge is called the necklace of Nanda and the peaks on it are called the Jewels of Nanda Devi. Some of the jewels are the famous peaks Trishul, Nanda-Ghunti, Devisthan, Maiki-Toli , Nanda Khat, Nanda Kot, etc.

There are enough writings on Nanda Devi in hard copy and on Internet too. One can read a lot on expedition to the top, trekking to the Nanda Devi sanctuary (the place between the base of the peak and the ridge), and the great beliefs associated with this powerful Goddess of the Himalayas, why no one sets foot on top of the peak and just stops few feet below the peak. (Except 2 persons, who died later. It is a popular belief that the Goddess was angry with those people.)

There are few places in Kumaon, from where Nanda Devi is visible to the maximum extent. From other places you can see part of it; at least the tip of the unique dome shaped Nanda Devi main, will be visible.

I am not a mountaineer and no longer a trekker. I only travel where my car can go and a little trek around the tourist lodge is enough for me.

I have traveled more than 20 times or so since 1992, just to have a glimpse at the majestic Nanda Devi peaks, my magnificent obsession. The tourist lodge manager says I am the luckiest person to have seen Nanda Devi during most of my visits.

I am grateful to the powerful Goddess and like a great mother; she has always came in front of me even it might have been for a few minutes in some of my trips.

For the last so many years, my routes in Kumaon are fixed. I take the same routes, sleep in same tourist lodges.

My blog here will be limited to photographs of Nanda Devi, from Kumaon side. Nanda Devi looks very different from the Garhwal side and will not have any resemblance to what you see from Kumaon.

I travel during a fixed time of the year i.e end November to 1st week of December and again in last week of Mar when the Rhododendrons are in bloom and tourist lodge tariffs are still under winter discount. The sunset and sunrise photos are taken in different years and are always in end Nov - or Dec. That's why they look the same. In March it is normally cloud covered and rarely I saw the color on the peaks.

I am posting few photos from my collection, as the peak looks the same during the same season of the year.

You get up very early when it is still dark and pray for a cloudless sky and with great apprehension peep through the window. If it is cloudy retire back to bed else wrap yourself in blanket or dress up and go out. It will be bit dark and Nanda Devi will be whitish due to snow, before sun rise. You are happy that you will see the color when the first ray hits the peak.

1. You are waiting with camera , peaks look dull white, sun will rise from your right ( not from the east) , keep watching. The peak on the extreme right is Nanda Kot.

2. The sun hasn't yet peeped from the east, it is still darkish where you are sitting and also the foot hills. And here are the few seconds, when the peak light up in crimson red

3. The sun is still below the horizon as the sun ray spreads on the peaks, changing from crimson to Orange.

4. Same shot taken from the same place a year earlier, but in end November with a different camera. The color is not exactly same.

5 The Orange to yellow transition is difficult to capture with the type of camera I carry. Or I am so engrossed with the view that I forget to capture. I shall look for the golden yellow peaks from my collection and post later. The sharp peak to the left is Panwali Dwar , a lesser peak.

6. Nanda Devi, bright sunny morning, and view normally seen by the late risers. Now it is time to relax with more tea and after viewing other peaks from the hillock near by. ( Other peak views will be up loaded separately.)


The mid day is meant for driving around or go down to the valley, on the banks of Ram Ganga river to buy some goat meat or trout fish . Or simply bask in the sun looking at the peaks or reading books or sleep.

7. Early noon photo of Nanda Devi, in post winter time the area has more snow cover.

8. This photo is taken from a different place. As you drive through the Kumaon the view of Nanda Devi with its surrounding changes significantly. Each view is unique and enjoyable.


Sunset view is as breath taking as the sunrise. In fact the range becomes more colored in the evening. The following 4 pictures were taken within 6 minutes from the beginning to the last photo.

9. Sunset on Nanda Devi, the peak has started changing color. Panwali Dwar peak to the left

10. Nanda Devi range, Sun is close to the western Horizon, peaks are becoming orange. The chisel edged peak to the right is Nanda Kot

11. Sunset continues on Nanda devi

12. The crimson color will soon vanish as the sun has already gone below the horizon.


The following two photos are extracted from high resolution photos. It is just to give a feel. The actual views are different and the peaks don't appear as close as they appear in photos. This is mainly because of using high zoom lenses, which don't represent normal eye lenses.

13. Morning fire on Nanda Devi main and also on Nanda Khat peak, in front of Nanda Devi

14. Evening fire on Nanda Devi main and Nanda Khat peak, in front . devoid of sun in the evening..


Special acknowledgement to my younger brother , Ujan. We always travelled together in our numerous trips to the Himalayas.


Tan said...

Great- simply great!!! Photos are mindblowing too!

Tan said...

Great - Simply great!!! Mon ta bhore gelo! The photos are great too!

Kaustav Banerjee said...

oshadharon chobigulo.... sebhabe ami akhono himalayan e ghurini.but yes ei chobigulo dakhar por to amake akbar na akbar jetei habe. Thanks for the awesome photographs

Nayak said...

very nice write-up and awesome pictures

goutam.bombay said...

Nandadevi takes your breath away. The photography is of the highest order.

The write up is short'n'sweet, as it should be.

sanghamitra said...

You actually took me there...Still waiting to see Nanda Devi washed in moonlight...

goutam.bombay said...

Even in my old age, these photographs stir in me an indomitable urge to just go there.

Sharmila said...

Wonderful snaps! I have been to some parts of Himachal ... but would love the visit the Himalayas some day. :-)

goutam.bombay said...

This is my third comment. Every time i look at these pictures, something stirs. Some day...maybe some day....

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sharmila
I am so happy, you liked the snaps. It is just a glimpse of Nanda Devi from a particular place and the journey of sun from morning to evening over Nanda Devi..
When you want to explore Kumaon just drop a line here, I will plan it for you. End Oct to 1st week of Dec is the time, and for " Ud-dhato jato shakha-r shikhar-e Rhododendron guchho" Feb and march is the time.

Haven't gone to Himachal after 1987. The call of Goddess Nanda Devi is so overpowering!!
How about putting some travelogue on Himachal soon?

Have a happy time always and best regards


Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Goutam

I knew !!( I am the sooth-sayer)
What are you waiting for?
Take 5 days off for Del-lesser Himalayas-del + X No of days BOm-Noida-Bom...15th Nov to 7th Dec any time
Lets go and 15 men on a dead mans chest... etc


Sharmila said...

Thanks Ushnish for the prompt reply. I'll remember the offer ... am sure will be a great help. :-)
I'd love to make a post on that trip ... but we had visited during the rains ... so not much good photography. The only place we could capture well was Khajjiar. Maybe I'll do a post after all. :-)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sharmila
Monsoon is the time to go to lesser Himalayas. Khajiar is never more beautiful than Monsoon or may be autumn. So post a blog.
Let me try to fish out Garhwal monsoon photos.It is just awesome but nerve raking to drive. I am bit scared to drive in the monsoon these days.

prasu said...

Hi, Ushnish Ghosh ur are so..lucky to see the beauty of Himalayas for many times and we are too luck because we can also see the beautiful Himalyas because of ur pics....thank you for this post.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

dear Prasu
Many thanks for visiting my blog and the complements. I am honored.
When you love nature and its beauty, you will enjoy it no matter where you are, in US, Himalayas or at your native place in Andhra.
I will be posting more photos, travelogues here, so keep watch and you may tag this blog.
Best wishes and have a nice weekend.

Sudeshna said...

These pics are marvelous. You made me fall in love with the Himalayas once again. I'm just feeling like visiting the highs once more, I love going to the mountains, I just love the calmness of the mountains.
What camera do you use?

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sudeshna
What are you waiting for? Just pack your bag and go to the Himalayas...This is the time Oct to Mid Dec. If you want to go to Garhwal and Kumaon, just drop a line here and I will plan it for you..
Well I don't remember what camera I used.Some are through Canon EOS SLR film camera (I stopped using now). The 2006 ones are through Nikon coolpix 4, 6 mega, 10X optical zoom.
Now I just got one Canon SX1IS, you need a high zoom lens in Hills. It is 10 mega, and 20 X optical zoom..( 28 mm wide angle to 560 mm zoom, with HD video recording). But the review report of this camera is not very encouraging..let me use..else the coolpix 4 is there. Before buying a digital camera read the review reports..good sites are there on the net.
Happy photography

Chetana said...

Hi Ushnish,
Loved every bit of of this blog...n ur beautiful photography..the Himalayas look awesome...
Hv never been to dis mind blowing place...wud dfntly travel sumday.
Thx for sharing the pics.
Keep up de good work.
(Also hv a look at my new blog, whr i write wit my