Nain Singh Rawat: The Indian Explorer Everyone Wanted
Today’s Google doodle is dedicated to Rai Bahadur Nain Singh Rawat, celebrating his 187th birth anniversary. Nain Singh Rawat is best known as the explorer who explored the Himalayas for the British.
Hailing from the Milam village situated in Johar Valley of Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, Nain Singh left studies at an early age and helped his father in Tibet. He picked up the language and local customs while in Tibet.
The British realised that Nain Singh’s skills could come in handy when learning and mapping the Tibet region and he was recruited as a spy explorer who travelled to gather cartographic details.
He charted the course of the Brahmaputra River (Tsangpo) and even mapped the trade route from Nepal to Tibet. But Nain Singh’s first expedition was with German geographers the Schlagintweit brothers. Nain Singh and two of his brothers were recruited after which they travelled through the Ladakh and Mansarovar region, which remain one of the toughest to travel even today.
In those days, Nain Singh travlled over 1,200 miles from Kathmandu to Lhasa and then to Lake Manasarovar. For his tremendous journey as an explorer, he was honoured with many awards by the Royal Geographical Society of Britain.
Today’s doodle is designed by Hari & Deepti Panicker and is a “a silhouette diorama illustration, portraying Nain Singh Rawat as he might have looked on his travels — solitary and courageous, looking back over the distances he had walked, rosary beads in hand, and staff by his side”.
Nain Singh suffered from Cholera and passes away in 1882 in Moradabad.