H. P. S. Ahluwalia

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H. P. S. Ahluwalia
Maj. Haripal Singh Ahluwalia.jpg
Born (1936-11-06) 6 November 1936 (age 85)
Alma materSt. George's College, Mussoorie, India
Years active1995
Board member ofChairman, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre
Spouse(s)Bholi Ahluwalia
Parent(s)Father- Mr. Sarjit Singh
Mother- Mrs. Harbans Kaur
AwardsPadma Bhushan
Padma Shri
Arjuna Award
Military career
Allegiance India
Service/branch Indian Army
Years of service1958-1968
Service numberIC-11112[1]
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1965

Major Hari Pal Singh Ahluwalia (born 6 November 1936) is an Indian mountaineer, author, social worker and retired Indian Army officer. During his career he has made contributions in the fields of adventure, sports, environment, disability and social work.[2] He is one of the six Indian men and twenty first man in world that climbed Mount Everest. On 29 May, 12 years to the day from the first ascent of Mount Everest the fourth and last summit with H. C. S. Rawat, Phu Dorjee Sherpa Ahluwalia made the summit. This was the first time three climbers stood on the summit together

Following his advanced training at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, he climbed extensively in Sikkim, Nepal and later he climbed Mount Everest on 29 May 1965. The 1965 Indian Army expedition was the first successful Indian Expedition to Everest which put 9 mountaineers on top, a record to last 17 years led by Captain M S Kohli. He along with Avtar Singh Cheema, Nawang Gombu Sherpa, Sonam Gyatso, Sonam Wangyal, C.P. Vohra, Ang Kami Sherpa, Harish Chandra Singh Rawat and Phu Dorjee Sherpa summited the peak in 1965 and became the first Indians to successfully climb Mount Everest.[3][4][5][6][7][8] During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he suffered a bullet injury to his spine which resulted in his confinement to a wheelchair. Presently, he is the Chairman of Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. He has written thirteen books and has also produced an award-winning serial, Beyond Himalaya, which has been telecast all over the world on Discovery and National Geographic channels.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Hari Pal Singh Ahluwalia was born on 6 November 1936 and brought up in Shimla along with his two sisters and two younger brothers. His father was employed as a Civil Engineer in the Indian Central Public Works Department.

For his academic career he went to St Joseph's Academy, Dehradun and St. George's College, Mussoorie. There, he discovered his interest in photography and rock climbing. Along with graduation, his interest in rock-climbing increased. Some of the places where Ahluwalia did his rock climbing are Garhwal, Sikkim, Nepal, Ladakh, and of course Mount Everest.

Military career[edit]

Major Ahluwalia (center) in his Army days

After his graduation Ahluwalia joined the Indian Army as an officer, receiving a commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Electrical-Mechanical Engineering branch on 14 December 1958.[1] He was promoted to lieutenant on 14 December 1960 and to captain on 14 December 1964.[9][10] Seeing action during the 1965 war with Pakistan, he was wounded by a bullet in his spine, which left him confined to a wheelchair. He received an early discharge from the Army on 8 January 1968,[11] with the honorary rank of major.[12]

Expeditions and adventures[edit]

After treatment at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England, he continued to pursue his love for adventure by organising pioneering events such as the first Ski Expedition to Mount Trisul, the first Trans-Himalaya Motor Expedition (1983),[citation needed] and the Central Asia Cultural Expedition (1994)[citation needed] following the Silk & Marco Polo's Route through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, entering China in the Asian City of Kashgar, Yarkhand and returned via Tibet and Kathmandu.

Ahluwalia has also been the President of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and Delhi Mountaineering Association. He was also the Chairman of Special Ability Trust (created to assist young achievers with disabilities with fellowships and scholarships), Youth Exploring Society (with its chapter in Ireland, West Germany and Italy), Rehabilitation Council of India (a Statutory Body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment), Chairman of Planning Committee of Persons with Disability of 12-year plan and Chairman of the Committee of Drafting Country Report.

Professional career[edit]

Indian Spinal Injuries Centre

Realizing the needs of persons with spinal injuries, Ahluwalia, with the support of his friends, set up the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India in 1993. He also served as an IOFS officer. His experiences have appeared in school books. He met many great achievers such as Indira Gandhi, APJ Abdul Kalam et cetera.


  • Chairman – Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.
  • Chairman – Planning Committee of Persons with Disability of 12 five-year plan and Chairman of the committee of drafting country report.
  • Former president – Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
  • Former president – Delhi Mountaineering Association.
  • Former chairman – Special Ability Trust (created to assist young achiever with disabilities with *fellowships and scholarships).
  • Former chairman – Youth Exploring Society (with its chapter in Ireland, West Germany and Italy).
  • Former chairman – Rehabilitation Council of India (a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment).
  • Member – Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.
  • Member – Planning Commission – Steering committee of the Social Welfare and other special groups.
  • Member – National Consultation on National Policy for PwD.
  • Member – CII Core Group on Disability.
  • Member – National Finance and Revenue Committee constituted by Ministry of Finance.
  • Member – CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation), in collaboration with AISPO-ITALY.
  • Member – International Spinal Cord Soc


  • Higher than Everest
  • The Summit Within
  • Eternal Himalaya
  • Beyond the Himalayas
  • Everest- Where the Snow never melts
  • Hermit Kingdom Ladakh
  • Ladakh Nubra The Forbidden Valley
  • Tracing Marco Polo's Journey


Medal bar[edit]

IND Padma Shri BAR.png Wound Medal-India.svg
IND Samanya Seva medal.svg IND Samar Seva Star Ribbon.svg IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
Padma Bhushan Padma Shri Wound Medal
Samanya Seva Medal Samar Seva Star Raksha Medal 9 Years Long Service Medal

National Awards[edit]

International Awards[edit]

  • FRGS – Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (United Kingdom)
  • Fellowship conferred for significant contribution to studies and literature written on Environment and Adventure
  • CONDOR-DE-ORO – A high Argentinean honour given for overall contribution to adventure writing / participation in Adventure Sports.
  • Advisor/Consultant to the Argentina Everest Expedition
  • World Health Initiative for Peace Award, 29 July 2013


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 12 September 1959. p. 226.
  2. ^ "H.P.S. Ahluwalia -". www.everesthistory.com.
  3. ^ "First successful Indian Expedition of 1965-". www.istampgallery.com.
  4. ^ "First successful Indian Expedition of 1965-". www.thebetterindia.com.
  5. ^ "First successful Indian Expedition of 1965-". www.youtube.com.
  6. ^ Kohli, M. S. (December 2000). Nine Atop Everest-First successful Indian Expedition of 1965-. books.google.com.sa. ISBN 9788173871115.
  7. ^ "The first Indians on Everest-First successful Indian Expedition of 1965-". www.livemint.com.
  8. ^ "The first Indians on Everest-First successful Indian Expedition of 1965-". www.himalayanclub.org.
  9. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 21 January 1961. p. 20.
  10. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 20 March 1965. p. 146.
  11. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 3 March 1973. p. 295.
  12. ^ "Part II-Section 3". The Gazette of India. 15 September 1997. p. 5.
  13. ^ "Arjuna Award for The first Indians on Everest on 1965-". www.sportsauthorityofindia.nic.in.
  14. ^ "Padma Shree for The first Indians on Everest on 1965-". www.dashboard-padmaawards.gov.in.
  15. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Everest conqueror cautions against perils of professional climbing". The Tribune. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2014.