For some entering into the forties and fifties is like getting old. And for some being a 99-year-old is still young. At least the spirit of the national award-winning educationist Chithran Namboodiripad who is planning to trek the Himalayas for the 30th time indicates so.
He visited the Himalayas for the first time in 1952 with a dear friend but had to come half-way after suffering from food poisoning.
Bed Time Stories Inspired Chithran Nampoothiripad
Chithran Namboodiripad first heard about the Himalayas when he was a child. His old neighbor used to tell him and his brothers’ bedtime stories that also involved mythological tales involving the Himalayas. This made little Chithran very curious and he would stay awake for long hours thinking about the glories of mountain ranges.
He was also inspired by his neighbor who would walk from their Mookuthala village in Malappuram to Uttarakhand’s Badrinath. The 99-year-old recollects how his neighbor named Kashi Nambeeshan would take a trip to various pilgrim centers in the Himalayas.
At that time, Chithran had no idea that he will scale the heights of the Himalayas in the latter half of his life for 29 times and more.
Chithran Till Date Completed 29 Trips To Himalayas
Since last almost three decades Chithran has now made it a habit of going to the Himalayas in the month of October every year. He has consecutively completed 29 trips off the mountain ranges and is now planning to complete his 30th trip.
While talking to media Chithran Namboodiripad said, ”I did my first trip in 1990 where I visited Badrinath, Kedarnath and other places in the Himalayas. Since then, I’ve been up there every year, without any breaks. This is a big year for me as I will visit the Himalayas for the 30th time. It is only in October though. Hopefully, I don’t fall sick before then.”
According to Chithran Himalayas are fascinating because they are the origin of all the big rivers in India. He does not mind traveling to any part of the mountain ranges and just loves to visit the sources of the rivers such as Gangotri from where the river Ganga originates.
Chithran says that it is difficult to trek beyond Gangotri and hence most of the people do not go there often.
The Himalayas Are Perfect Natural Barrier
Chithran Namboodiripad believes that the Himalaya mountains are the perfect natural barrier standing between India and the other countries. He thinks that in the absence of Himalayas, India would be very much vulnerable to invasions from its neighboring countries.
The national award-winning educationist said that in the earlier days it was difficult to access several places in the absence of a road. Hence travelers and trekkers in those days had to walk a lot for hours on hilly terrain.
Now it is easier to go by bus, ride on horseback and even take a train or fly to the closest possible distance.
Founded First School In Mookkuthala
The family of Chithran Namboodiripad wanted him to become a lawyer but he was more interested in teaching. So he became a teacher and opened the first school in Mookkuthala on his family land stretch of 5 acres.
Later on, he donated the school to the government after running the institution successfully for long years for just Rs.1.