Nanda devi-The enchanting mountain

The enchanting Nanda devi is the second highest mountain in India and the 23rd highest in the world. It has an elevation of 7,816 meters and is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is the highest mountain lying entirely in India as the Kanchenjunga is shared by India and Nepal.

Nanda devi is encompassed by the Nanda devi and Valley of flowers national park, a high altitude national park also a UNESCO world heritage site. Several other high rising peaks of more than 6500 meters elevation are present in the park.

Nanda devi is considered as a Goddess in Uttarakhand. An avatar of Goddess Durga, Nanda devi is believed to be married to Lord Shiva. Various interesting stories about Nanda devi are prevalent in different parts of Uttarakhand.

Nuclear threat

Sometime is the 1960s, the American CIA with the help of Indian Intelligence Bureau took an expedition to ND in order to set up a nuclear powered spying device to monitor the Chinese activities in the Indo-Tibetan region. The team met severe weather conditions and retreated leaving the device behind with the thought of getting back later.

When they got back, the device was nowhere to be seen and was probably buried deep inside snow. Still to this date the device is missing. Some believe that it might be polluting the Ganges.


Nanda devi was first scaled by Noel Odell and Bill Tillman, two English mountaineers in 1936. Because of its location and surrounding high mountains, it took more than five decades to even find the suitable start point of the ascent.

The government of India currently does not allow climbing ND. However climbing Nanda devi east, also known as Sunanda devi (7,434 meters) is permitted.

DIsclaimer: The disputed regions are not considered while ranking the Nanda devi’s elevation in India.

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