HMI Darjeeling

HMI Darjeeling is one of the best mountaineering institutes in India. I got an opportunity to join Basic Mountaineering Course at the Institute where legendary Indian mountaineers have either instructed here or trained themselves. Mountaineers from HMI Darjeeling have challenged the mountains all over the world including the eight-thousanders.

This page is dedicated to the great institute when I got an opportunity to spend some time.  I will share my experience at HMI Darjeeling and the latest information about the institute.

Application for Basic Mountaineering Course at HMI Darjeeling

HMI Darjeeling conducts wide variety of courses to suit the needs of different age groups and varying difficulty levels. The courses preferred by beginners, amateurs and professionals alike are:

  1. Basic Mountaineering Course
  2. Advance Mountaineering Course
  3. Methods of Instruction Course.

It is necessary to complete the former to apply for the later.

Other courses like Adventure Course, Course for the Visually Challenged Person and Special Courses are also conducted which are more of an introduction to the world of adventure and mountaineering.

Read my experience of applying for the Basic Mountaineering Course.

Transfer of Vacancy at HMI Darjeeling

Though every applicant must try to attend the allotted course, in case of unavoidable circumstances or emergency, HMI can be requested to change the allotted course. Due to work pressure at my office, I requested HMI to transfer me into another Basic Mountaineering Course. I am thankful to HMI for considering the request and allotting another course. Though with an instruction to attend the course and such accommodation will not be possible the second time.

Read my experience of Transfer of Vacancy.

My Experience of Basic Mountaineering Course

I attended the course in September 2014. The blog posts given below share day to day experience with information which I found useful to share with readers.

Part-1: Inspiration, Preparation and Travel to New Jalpaiguri from Khandwa

Part-2: Transportation from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, HMI Darjeeling, Paper Formalities, Exploring the HMI Campus and HMI Hostel

Part-3: First Day, First Class, Introduction to Instructors, Division in Ropes, Mountaineering Equipment, Mountaineering Manners and Customs and Medical Inspection

Part-4: Second Day, Principal’s Address, Classes on Ropes and Knots, Avalanches and Himalayas

Part-5: Third Day, Classes on Rock Climbing, Mountaineering Terminology, Mountain Hazards

Part-6: Fourth Day, Meeting with Principal over Medical Reports, Practice on Tenzing Rock, Cheema Indoor Wall, Lecture on Ice Axe and Crampons

Part-7: Fifth Day, Tiger Hill Trek, Lecture on Map Reading

Part-8: Sixth Day, Rappelling Practice at Tenzing Rock, Introduction to my Roommates 

Part-9: Seventh Day, Outdoor Artificial Wall Climbing, Outing, Plan-B

Contact Details of HMI Darjeeling


Address: The Principal, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Jawahar Parvat , Darjeeling-734 101 (WB), India

E-mail ID:

Important Telephone Numbers:

Training Office —  0354 2254087
Principal — 91 354 2254083
FAX No — 91 354 2253760

Har Ki Doon Trek Day-7

Har Ki Doon Trek Day-7


Har Ki Doon Trek – Day 7 – Back to Sankri

This morning we had the breakfast of Aaloo Paranthas. We were getting ready to leave for Taluka from where we will get cabs to take us to Sankri. It will be an eleven kilometers walk and most of the time we will walk downhill. After walking for only one hour we had reached to the tea shop where we had packet lunch on the first day of trek.

There was more descent and fewer ascents which was troubling my legs. But, we had to keep walking. Today during the trek, Musician was ahead of the group. He was walking really fast. When we reached the point where two rivers were meeting, we realized that he was missing. Gajji and two other guides started searching for him. There were diversions in the route and there was a possibility of him taking the wrong road. They also considered the possibility of him reaching Taluka village as he was ahead of all of us. When they asked the local people coming from Taluka side about him they answered in negative. So the searched was focused on the diversions en-route.

After about an hour or so, one of the guides found him. He had taken a wooden bridge which was not to be crossed and kept walking further under the illusion that he was walking on the right path. But, when he saw no one coming from front and behind he stopped and returned back, during this time the guide found him.

We reached Taluka in the afternoon. There were no vehicles arrived yet to take us to Sankri. Sankri was still eleven kilometers from here but this was a flat motor route. Mountain Man and Adventurer decided to walk towards Sankri on this relaxed walk. I also followed them. In between there were streams crossing road and to prevent our shoes from getting wet, I changed in sandals and walked into the cold water. It was too cold but relaxed out feet. When we were walking further at a dense forest location, we see a civet crossing the road just ten meters ahead of us. I was walking ahead and stopped and both of them too. The civet also stopped and looked at us. This was the most beautiful animal I had seen. His fur was so clean and soft, his eyes were a mix of fear and excitement. Then he moved on and so we.

When we had covered four kilometers, we see all the other team-mates coming in vehicles behind. Many were sitting on the roof of a Bolero pick-up. We threw our bags in the back side of the vehicle and jumped in. It was fun walk and a nice ending to our trek.

This time our stay was in Hotel Swargarohini in Sankri. We collected our deposited bags from the locker room of GMVN Guest House and came to our hotel. I had a nice bath in cold water after seven days. It was refreshing. It was a feeling of coming back into the civilization. This room was shared by me and Jain.

Me, Doctor, Jain, Topper and Adventurer had a nice chat in the evening about holistic topics. I wrote the words of Henry David Thoreau from his book Walden in the diary of Topper, ‘I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to face only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived’. I was surprised that I remember it so well.

In the back side of the hotel the sun was setting and I was sitting on a chair writing this diary. It’s a beautiful view of mountains, valleys and the sunset. Sounds of children playing on front road were heard. This small village is bustling with trekkers, some going to Har Ki Doon and some to Bali pass. Our guides were already booked for the next day and were preparing for the same.

Everything feels so different this evening. I am an official trekker now and this term is addictive. It is motivating me to go for more treks and crave for wilderness. Here, I do not want to go back to my job and work like I did before. I have to try and find out the ways to make a living by travelling. I hope I do it soon.


My worries have converted into happiness.

Stress transformed to become peace of mind.

Strength has overcome weakness and all the doubts are left behind.

Survival, life and nature are not alien to me anymore.

I am so close to the heart of nature than I was ever in my dreams.

Love, affection and trust in people have become absolute in humanity.

Fear is slowly fading away, leading way to courage, respect and kindness.

This change is a promise to changes more profound.

-Mon Avis


The evening was spent relaxing and the night partying. Next day we get up little late at 06:30 am and get ready to leave for Dehradun. The vehicles had arrived and by 08:15 am me, Mountain Man, Curator, Businessman and Jain had left Sankri.  We all chatted and enjoyed a lot. We had delicious and mouth-watering aaloo paranthas in a restaurant at Mori. We reached Dehradun by 05:30am delayed by a small accident in which no one got hurt and traffic jam between Kempty Falls and Mussorie.

Me and Businessman had enough time in Dehradun to visit a mall there. We had our dinner of donuts and sandwiches there. For Businessman whose love for fast food retail outlets and names of dishes is well evident, I will have to mention that we had a Full Loaded Veg Sandwich and a Bavarian Chocolate Donuts along with Fruit Drink and Hot Chocolate.

I cannot control the nostalgia I have developed for the life in the woods where we were so free that we could run, walk, be ourselves, laugh, talk, share, drink water or fill up our bottles from any clean stream and eat nice simple food.There were instructors to guide us, friends to support us and most important we just had to go with the flow. Now, I am missing these times and the friends I have made there. I hope we all have such a good trek and such good trek mates in our future treks as well. Respect!