OVER HUNDRED ASCENTS OF SHIVAJI FORTS (1954-1958)
Chhatrapati Shivaji was the greatest adventurer of our times. Captain Kohli, after joining the Indian Navy at INS Shivaji, Lonavala and under their inspiration, commanded the Deep Sea Scouts of the Indian Navy in 1954. During the next four years he and his Deep Sea Scouts made over 100 climbs of various forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Within 3 years the Deep Sea Scouts became the best Scouts Troop in India.
Commissioned Instructor officer, Udaiavar and he planned to proceed to Kulu near Manali and from there trek to Shimla. It was a seven-day trek and would take them close to the 8,300-foot Shoja Pass. They were keen to buy sleeping bags and a rucksacks. But in spite of a frantic search, both in Bombay and Delhi, they drew a blank. Eventually, they left Kulu with suitcases on their backs. What a way to undertake a Himalayan trek! Starting from a height of 3,600 feet in Kulu, their trek took them gradually higher and higher. On the north-east and east, Kulu is separated by the Central Himalayan Range, dividing it from Lahaul and Spiti. The entire landscape in this part of the mid-Himalayas is lush green and very pleasing to the eye. During the first two days they passed a number of small villages. The scenery was indeed superb, but their backs, ladden with suitcases, ached. Despite loads, they started enjoying the trek. Each small village en route had a cluster of houses huddled together. The sloping roofs with projecting eaves and the wooden verandas with carved woodwork looked charming. The terraced fields were dotted with walnut and apricot trees, fringed with belts of evergreen oaks whose leaves are used for fodder in winter. Their ordeal was over when they reached Shimla.
LEADS INDIAN NAVY’S FIRST HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION
TO DIFFICULT NANDA KOT (22,510 ft) - 1959
DIFFICULT NANDA KOT (22,510 ft) - 1959
In 1958, after four years full of adventure in the mountains of Lonavala, Captain Kohliís turn had come for sea-time. Destiny once again played a role. He was posted to the training ship, INS Kistna whose commanding officer, Commander John Atkinson, was a mountaineer and had planned the first All Naval Expedition to Nanda Kot. Just before the departure of the expedition, due to sudden illness of Cdr Atkinson, Lt. Kohli received the honour of leading Indian Navyís first expedition to the Himalayas and that too to a difficult peak. Kohli surmounting unexpected challenges, succeeded in planting the national flag and the naval ensign on the summit of Nanda Kot. On return, the national flag was presented to Prime Minister Nehru and the Naval Ensign to Vice Admiral Katari.
Lt. M.S. Kohli presenting the National Flag hoisted on the
summit of Nanda Kot to Prime Minister Nehru
Naval Ensign was presented to Vice-Admiral R.D. Katari