Book Review – Nanda Devi by Sandeep Madadi
Nanda Devi written by Sandeep Madadi is a fascinating and engaging account of his expedition to one of the toughest mountains in the world.
It is like going on an expedition with the author. His detailing feels like real-time updates. As I was going through the book, page after page, I could feel being on the trek myself. I was having a conversation with the local people through his pen. The book has extensive detailing, which is why readers feel part of the story. This is what I wonder the most. How he has made note of his daily journey by the end of the day, after a tough and gruelling walk through the toughest terrains.
The author has described his journey to Nanda Devi with anecdotes from the local folklore and beliefs of the local people. The writing style is such that reader finds himself with the author in avalanches, rains and everything that was happening there. As you turn page by page, you feel like moving through snow-clad mountains, valleys, and villages in the rain, ice and harsh winds.
It is the story of the strength of the human spirit which is strong enough to face and conquer the toughest challenges posed by nature. The mythology, folklore, and mysterious tales shared by the author make “Nanda Devi” an interesting read. The mountaineering expeditions are a symbol of strength and endurance.
The book is not only a travel account but also highlights local issues. Like the Indian government’s decision to close the access to the inner sanctuary of Nanda Devi, after it was declared a National Heritage site in 1982. How this decision played havoc with the locals as portering was the only available work in the area? He also highlighted the importance of taking care of the fragile ecosystem of mountains.
This book is also a novella set among pine forests and ice-clad mountains. The book speaks about myriad cultures, traditions, beliefs, gods and histories, which the author has encountered on his track to and fro the Nanda Devi. The reader not only gets familiar with places but also with flora & fauna and lakes which are the backdrop to this story, the relationship between man and nature, and the value of legends and taboos. Readers will know about the local traditions and how the mountaineering expeditions are helping the local economy.
The book contains many statistics about Nanda Devi, experiences of other expeditions and many other relevant details which I am sure are going to be useful for the next generation of aspirants who want to conquer Nanda Devi or any other peak. I am sure, this book will kindle the desire in many readers to go on a mountaineering trip at least once.
Besides his own account, the book has details about other older efforts made on these tracks. Overall, it is an interesting book for nature lovers, whether you have been on a mountaineering expedition or not.
My Rating – 4/5
Language – Easy to comprehend.
Recommended, especially for households who have young children. Such books help children to understand the strength of the human spirit and willpower.
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Wanna go on the track to Nanda Devi? Buy the book here.