The story of an amazing journey to one of the remotest, most mysterious places on earth
Until 1934 the Nanda Devi Sanctuary had never been visited by human beings. Surrounded by 20,000 foot peaks which effectively seal off the mountain at their centre it is virtually impenetrable. But in 1934 Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman solved the problem in the first of their great Himalayan expeditions by forcing a way up the river gorge. The onset of war meant that the Sanctuary remained un-visited for many years and it was then closed to travellers for political reasons. After a brief period in the seventies when it was opened for expeditions the Indian Government again closed the Sanctuary.
In 2000 the Sanctuary was entered for one single visit. Hugh Thomson was offered a place on this unique expedition led by Eric Shipton's son, John Shipton and the great Indian mountaineer, Colonel Kumar. This journey forms the basis of the book. Woven through it are all the amazing stories that surround the mountain - a powerful blend of myths and politics.
Hugh Thomson's previous books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland and Nanda Devi, a journey to a usually inaccessible part of the Himalayas. He has led many research expeditions to Peru. He is also a film-maker and has won many awards for his documentaries, which include Indian Journeys with William Dalrymple, and Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History. He lives in Oxfordshire.