It was in 1954, the first Prime Minister of Independent India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru established the walls of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute to encourage youths to participate in mountaineering sports.
It is said that Mr. Nehru was a great admirer of Mountaineering and when he witnessed Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa conquered the summit of Everest he idealised his view to commence Mountaineering Institute all over India.
Traveller must understand that since its induction it has look to nurture the budding Mountaineers to develop the skills to conquer any summit of
the world. It is said that the first principle of this institute was Major Jayal and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa was appointed as director of field training.
For mountaineers Himalayan Mountaineering institute is not less than a pilgrimage centre because here they would get all the information required for striving high at the peaks. Within institute you will witness mountaineering institute where aspirants comes from across the world to take part in learning process beside that it has Swiss styled house and museum that relates the glory of institute.
The moment you will enter the gate after passing the trails of souvenir shops you will witness the quotation of an apt mountaineers that says May you climb from Peak to Peak. As you will walk ahead you will come across the techniques of knots that relate the mountaineering environment of an institute.
Overview of Mountaineering School of HMI
Travellers who are interested to take part in mountaineering course than simply they can talk with management and can get started according to schedules. Aspirants can enrol their name in different type of courses which is related with mountaineering. At present they offer 16 schedule courses and special courses can be avail on demand.
Some of the basic and renowned courses offered by an institute are 28 days basic mountaineering course, 28 days advance mountaineering course, adventure courses and many more.
Talking about its environment and amenities than it has all the basic and essential elements to support the cause of Mountaineering. The Jayal hall which was established to commemorate the deeds of Major Jayal can accommodate up to 150 students where they will learn about basic mountaineering core.
Library’s, museum and demo clips would enhance their brain to understand the fundamentals of mountaineering. Beside that climbing wall which is classified according to international standard would give them accurate idea regarding their loopholes.
Synopsis of HMI Museum
The museum which is divided into two sections namely Main Museum and Everest-Makalu museum would give you definite idea regarding the compilation and fundamentals of mountaineering. Within the main museum which is based at the ground floor of the institute exhibits colossal relief graph of Himalayas and its mountains ranges.
While walking within the main hall you will come across equipment in vogue section where you would have an opportunity to see mountaineering equipments like ice axe hammer, apparels, boots and many more.
The various badges of renowned mountaineering institutes across the world would definitely reveal the influence of Himalayan mountaineering institute. Beside that section of wireless sets, oxygen cylinder, gas lamps, head lamps etc would contribute in collecting more info.
Now moving across the main hall there comes a section where you will see various modes of boots, lamps, latches, water bottles, statute of Buddha, figurine of Tibetan married women and many more.
Now climbing the stairs it’s time for us to talk about Everest and Makalu section which is dominated by figurine of mountaineers. The most amazing collection of images which is related with incident of Hillary and Sherpa clinching the summit of Everest would take you back to those days when they were trying hard to reach the height.
While trailing around you will witness New Zealand made mountain mule used by Edmund Hillary and George during their British Everest voyage and moving down the line you will witness the trail of 2009 Everest expedition.
Within Everest- Makalu section you will come across the glass section that attributes or rather say distinguished the ranges of Himalaya and would give you idea regarding the heights of Nanda Devi, Trishul and other mountain ranges.
At Everest section you would have an opportunity to reveal the facts related with an attempts which were made by various mountaineers to conquer its height. What’s more amazing is it has compiled a controversial incident of 1924 British Everest Expedition.
Here you will witness the personal outfits of Tenzing Norgay like ice axe, jackets, gloves, cap and other equipments which are related with an incident Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. Now at one corner you will witness the images of those mountaineers who successfully climbed the top of Everest.
Other Amenities of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
HMI have installed a magnifying telescope which was gifted by Adolph Hitler to Maharaja Judh Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal. This powerful telescope had passed many generations and was finally established in HMI to attribute the noble cause of HMI.
Outside the walks of Himalayan Mountaineering institute you will witness the figurine of Tenzing Norgay which was established to commemorate the deeds of Mr. Sherpa and its inauguration was carried by none other than Sir Edmund Hillary.
Surrounding the environment of HMI you will witness many restaurants; cafes and tea parlour where you can walk in try some local delicacies like Momos, Chowmein and many more.
Timings of HMI
During the time of season it remains open throughout the week and during off season it remains closed during Thursday.
Traveller would require paying RS 40 to revere the brilliance of Himalayan mountaineering Institute and Himalayan Zoological Park.
How to Reach
HMI is located at a distance of 2 kms from the main town or the bus stand of Darjeeling. From Mall road it is at a walking distance and usually takes 15-20 by foot to reach this popular tourist attraction of Darjeeling.
By train- the nearest railway station to HMI is NJP which is located at a distance of around 73 km from here.
By air- the nearest airport is Bagdogra which is located at a distance of around 93 km from here.