In an article written for Modern Review magazine in the year 1938 Jawaharlal Nehru writes,
The title of the above-mentioned article was ‘Escape’. The above-mentioned observation about the peak of Nanda Devi again reappeared in the 8th volume of ‘Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru’ on 874-75 pages.
इस लेख को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें: लिंक
Nehru Family & Himalaya
Nehru Family had their own house based in the Khali Estate of Kumaun in Uttarakhand. The Nehru family often used to stay in that house during summer. He made this observation about Nanda Devi peak while looking at this sleeping beauty from his estate in Khali which was located very close to Almora.
In a letter to his daughter Indira, Nehru repeatedly asked his daughter to visit the Himalayas. He wrote that the Himalayan mountains kept reminding him of ‘Nehru’ inside his celebrated image of Indian prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He wanted his daughter to visit the Himalayas so that she could not lose ‘Indira’ within her image of being one of the most powerful politicians in India or the daughter of the most powerful man in India. He often used to see his loving grandson Rajiv Gandhi in the mountains of the Himalayas.
The Nehru’s love for the Himalayan mountains was not limited to his Khali estate in Almora. He visited Uttarakhand frequently. He started writing all his three books including ‘Discovery of India’, in the mountains of Uttarakhand only. During the independence movement whenever he was imprisoned he expected British authority to put him either in Dehradun jail or Almora jail. He was jailed in Almora jail four times in the years 1932, 1933, 1934, and 1941.
Nehru was not the only or first person who got mesmerised by the beauty of Nanda Devi peak. In the meeting of the Geographical Journal Society on 9th January 1928, he claimed that “even though Nanda Devi peak is not the highest Himalayan peak but the most difficult peak to climb in entire Himalaya.
In the year 1905, British mountaineers Longstaff compared Nanda Devi peak with the Taj Mahal. He believed that the region around Nanda Devi was the most beautiful place to stay not just in entire India but across Asia. He also compared Nanda Devi Peak with the double-crowned Ushba mountain of the Central Caucasus.
One may see vulgarity or disrespect to Godeses Nanda Devi in his observation of Nanda Devi peak but deep inside this comparison shows Nehru’s deep love for nature and Himalayas. When he visited Srinagar Garhwal in 1938 he had the vision to develop the region into Switzerland of India as he mentioned in his other memoir.