Do you have what it takes to scale the Himalayas 29 times? Well, 99-year-old Chitran Namboodirippad certainly does, and he even has plans for the 30th venture. By Gayatri Moodliar
To say it takes grit and determination to scale the Himalayas is a severe understatement. To do it a second time is a feat to reckon with. To do it 29 times? That’s pretty much unheard of. And, to do it when you’re one year away from hitting 100—that’s inimitable. But that’s exactly what Chitran Namboodirippad, the former Additional Director of the Kerala Education Department, did in the tail-end of 2018 as part of a 118-member group from Thiruvananthapuram.
Namboodirippad turned 99 on December 19, and he already has plans for his 30th visit come December 2019, when he’s struck the century. He visited all the pilgrimage spots on his visit, including Badrinath and Kedarnath, and in an interview with The Hindu, he spoke about his fascination with the mountain range. “They were an attraction for me right from my childhood days. An old man named ‘Kashi’ Nambeeshan used to live near my Pakaravur Mana [home] in Mookkuthala village in Malappuram district. He had gone to Kashi 10 times. On one of his trips, he went to the Himalayas, too. He used to tell us stories about his Himalayan adventure. This sparked my interest in making the pilgrimage to the Himalayas. Its peace will attract anyone.”
While his story includes an unfathomable 29 successful trips, he’s also a prime example of the fruits of perseverance and hard-work, as his first trip didn’t come to fruition. In the same interview, he disclosed the cause of his initial ‘flop’: food-poisoning.
So, next time you think about cancelling that future trek because of the biting cold and tricky terrain, or if you’re just unable to do it the first time around, let this provide you with a treasure trove of inspiration, and, perhaps, a goal for you to set for yourself.