A place not less than a paradise for the mountaineering lovers or those with keen interest on mountain climbing and facts related to it, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Museum in Darjeeling offers a wide-ranging exhibit to enlighten the visitors about the world of mountain climbing and its history. Used as a laboratory for research purpose and by students, the museum is open to public and fascinates visitor of any age and gender.
Timing: 9:30am to 4pm (Thursday closed)
Location: Jawahar Parbat, HMI, Darjeeling, West Bengal .
Entry Fees: Rs.50 .
To all the people who dream of climbing the highest mountain peak in the world or who are just curious about that world and facts related to mountain climbing, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Museum in Darjeeling, West Bengal, is not less than a dream come true place. Established in 1957, the HMI museum is the oldest mountaineering museum of the country and serves as a key source for researchers and mountaineering students while also being open to the general public.
The museum is divided into many different sections displaying exhibits related to the Himalayas and mountain climbing. Upon entering, you will find a huge 3D model of the Himalayas displaying the entire range with all the principal peaks, several mountaineering exhibits such as accessories like ice axe/hammer, night apparel, boots, etc., in the ‘Equipment in Vogue’ section. The exhibition also includes badges of several mountain clubs and associations from around the world, a section of wireless sets, gas lamps, head lamps, snow shovels, pit furnace, oxygen cylinders with controllers, compass, etc., that are used during a mounting expedition, and a section of boot latches, water flasks, camp shoes, etc. To keep the interest of the visitors, the museum also has on display various exhibits related to the Himalayan region such as women dressed in their ethnic attire, information about the different races and languages, species such as Himalayan Crow, Red Legged Partridge, flying squirrel, snow fox, etc. on display.
Other highlights of the museum are on the upper floor that comprises life-size models of mountaineers showing crevasse crossing and many large portraits which includes a portrait of Tenzing Norgay on top of the Everest along with Edmund Hillary. A massive model displayed on a table top of the Himalayas that shows the main peaks such as Nanda Devi, Trishul, and other ranges of Western, Central, and Eastern Himalayas.Now comes the Everest section which showcases a chronological account of the attempts made to climb up the highest peak. You will get to know about the controversial incident of George Mallory and Andrew Irwin who disappeared near the summit in 1924. There are gears, clothing, and accessories displayed which were used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay during their expedition in 1953. A fascinating picture of a dead eagle at an altitude of 26,000 foot is also displayed here which was found during the 1960 Everest expedition. Other pictures and exhibits related to mountain climbing and mountaineers who have successfully climbed the Everest are also showcased here which makes the museum an interesting place to spend time.