Hindustan tibet road an engineering feat wanderwisdom 3 gases in the atmosphere


"Sir Charles Napier", the then Commander-in-chief of British Army in India, designed the map of the road. The entire resources and immense machinery at the disposal of the East India Company were put into the service for the execution of the project. Hence the work on the Great Hindustan Tibet Road began, which continued for the rest of the second half of the nineteenth century. Reasons for the Construction of the Road

There were various reasons for constructing the road to Tibet. At that time the system of forced labor without salary called "begari" was prevalent in the hill states of Himachal Pradesh. These unpaid laborers were pressed into all types of service like transport of timber, goods and even the Govt. files to Shimla.

The Governor-General Lord Dalhousie was greatly disturbed by this system and he wanted to improve the conditions of the road these men trudged for errands. Therefore for his own trip to Kalpa in Kinnaur district, and to create trade ties with Tibet. he ordered the commissioning of the Hindustan-Tibet road. Ends of the Road

The Southwest end of the road is at Ambala in Haryana, while the Northeast end is at Khab in Himachal Pradesh. Beginning from Kalka, the first lap went up to Sanjauli at Shimla and was used for the vehicular traffic by 1860. Thereafter a 560 feet long traffic tunnel was constructed beyond Sanjauli in Shimla.

The stretch of 228 miles of the route from Shimla to the Shipki La pass on the Indo- Tibet border goes up to Shipki village in Tibet. It is the same "Shipki La" pass through which the author of "Seven years in Tibet" came to India. The Significance of the Road

For inter-border trade the local traders used other passes also, like Lukma-La or Gongma-La pass; Yamrang-la pass; Gumarang-la pass: Shimdang la pass; Raniso-la pass; Keobarang pass etc. The traders of Himachal belonging to the Baspa valley and the adjoining areas used Yamrang-la pass and the Chor-Gad valley area to reach Tibet.

I found the book Seven Years in Tibet, a quite interesting travelogue. Translated into 53 languages, Seven Years in Tibet is an autobiographical travel book. It is about the real-life experiences of an Austrian mountaineer Henrich Harrer during his stay in Tibet, between 1944 and 1951. This was the period of the Second World War and the time of the invasion of Tibet by People’s Liberation Army of China in 1950.

The book deals with the story of an escapade of the author and his friend from the British internment camp in India. They traveled across Tibet and reached the capital Lhasa, and lived there for the next seven years. The book provides a detailed description of the contemporary life and culture of Tibetan.

In 1954, the book became a bestseller and about three million copies were sold in the US. Two films based on the book were made in 1956 and 1997. Besides the album of David Bowie named Earthling contains a song, titled “Seven Years in Tibet”.

In 1948, Harrer became a salaried official and a court photographer of the Tibetan government in 1948. His job was to translate the foreign news. He introduced ice-skating in Tibet and made a film on it on the directions of the 14th Dalai Lama. He became a tutor friend of Dalai Lama.

Harrer wrote in Seven Years in Tibet, “Wherever I live, I shall feel homesick for Tibet. I often think I can still hear the cries of wild geese and cranes and the beating of their wings as they fly over Lhasa in the clear, cold moonlight. My heartfelt wish is that my story may create some understanding for the people whose will to live in peace and freedom has won so little sympathy from an indifferent world."