Sports personalities of Uttarakhand

Sports personalities of Uttarakhand 

Harsh Vardhan Bahuguna

Himalayan Expedition stories are Incomplete without mentioning the name of Bahuguna brothers. Maj Harsh Vardhan Bahuguna and Maj Jai Vardhan Bahuguna well acclaimed mountaineers from Uttarakhand region.  Harsh (1939 – April 18, 1971) was a military servant, he was deeply passionate in mountaineering. In the year of 1965, he trailed first mountain expedition to world’s largest mountain “Mount Everest”. But in that expedition he failed to climb up to the peak. He paused that target just 400 feet of the summit.

6 years after, that exactly in 1971, April 18 he again started the expedition to Mt. Everest. He lost his life in that international expedition. This incident was happened at South col region (Sharp-edged passage between Mount Everest and Lhotse). At this same place His younger Brother Maj Jai Vardhan Bahuguna lost his life 14 year later in a jinxed army expedition.  Harsh Vardhan Bahuguna served as an instructor of Skiing and Mountaineering at High Altitude Warfare School, Gulmarg. His mountaineering life and amazing travelogue expedition’s are slightly mentioned in Oxford University press’s notable travelogue book “The Himalayan Journal”. In 1972 Government of India felicitated him the highest civilian award “Padma Shri”

Chandraprabha Aitwal

She is one among the notable women mountain climbers in India, Chandraprabha (born December 24 1941) in Dharchula in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. She reached the summit of most difficulty peaks -Kamat, Kabru Dome, Abi Gamin, and Sathopanth.  Thrice times, she reached the peak of Mount Everest mountain at a peak of 28,000ft, this noteworthy achievement bagged her  in the label “the jewel of Garhwal’’

Republic India honored her, the highest civilian award Padma Shri in the year 1990. Considering her life achievement, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports- Government of India credited the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award. She is actively working in this service field for past 38 years, in the year 2009, she lead a mountain adventure expedition to famous mount Srikantha. . It was second adventure journey to Mount Srikantha. She has already reached the destiny in 2005. This adventure expedition was organized by Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF).

Awards and accolades

  • In 1990: Padma Shri – the Highest Civilian award
  • In 2009:Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2009

Nain Singh Rawat

Hailed from the Johar Valley of Kumaon region, Uttarakhand, Nain Singh Rawat was renowned Himalayan explorer. He was one of the first 19th century pundits who explored the Himalayan Mountains for the British. Nain Singh Rawat, planned the trade route via Nepal to Tibet, indomitable for the first time the place and elevation of Lhasa, and mapped a large part of the Tsangpo, the foremost Tibetan river.

Background and Life:

Rai Bahadur Nain Singh Rawat also known as Nain Singh Rawat was born in 1830, to Lata Burha in the village Milam, a bhotia place in the Johar Valley of Kumaon, at the bottom of Milam glacier where the river Gori-Ganga begins. He completed his schooling from same place i.e. Milam. After schooling, Nain Singh Rawat was started working with his father. Along with his father, Nain Singh visited many places in Tibet and learned Tibetan customs & manners, language, and became friendly with their people. All these learning and protocols proved handy in Nain Singh Rawat’s job as “Spy Explorer”.

In 1855, at the age of 25 years, Nain Singh, now a supportive and intelligent man, of customary Bhotia sturdy, stature – short and willful – was first hired by German geographers the Schalaginweit brothers. During the period of 1855 and 1857, Nain Singh made his first exploration trip with the Germans and travelled to Lakes Manasarovar and Rakas Tal and subsequently further to Ladakh and Gartok.

After the exploration trip with the Schalaginweit brothers, Nain Singh Rawat enrolled the Education Department, being selected as the principle of a government vernacular school in his native place at Milam from 1858 to 1863. He was also involved in Great Trignometric Survey and underwent for 2 years training where he learned about the use of scientific instruments and inventive ways of recording, measuring and the art of disguise. Nain Singh Rawat was extraordinarily intelligent and speedily learned the accurate use of scientific instruments like the compass and sextant. He could recognize all major stars and diverse constellations easily. This was achievable because of widespread practice and determination in the exclusive men.

Nain Singh covered 1200 miles from Katmandu to Lhasa and thence to Lake Manasarovar and went back to India in 1865–66. His final and supreme journey was from Leh in Ladhak through Lhasa to Assam in the year 1873–75. Due to his astonishing achievements and hand-outs, Nain Singh Rawat was honored with many awards and prizes by the Royal Geographical Society.

He died in 1895 with heart attack, while travelling his Jagir, a plains village approved to him by the British govt. in 1877.

Awards and accolades:

In 1868, Nain Singh Rawat was offered with an adorned gold chronometer by the RGS- (Royal Geographic Society). The Society of Geographers of Paris also honored Nain Singh Rawat with an extolled watch. The Government of India presented two villages as a land-grant to him. On June 27, 2004, an Indian post stamp featuring Nain Singh was issued remembering his role in the Great Trigonometric Survey.

Jaspal Rana

Born and brought up in Uttarakhand, Jaspal Rana is a well-known Indian shooter. He participated mostly in the 25 m Centre Fire Pistol type competitions. He achieved Gold Medal at 1994 Asian Games and Men’s 25m Centre Fire Pistol Paris at 2006 commonwealth games. Presently, Jaspal Rana is coach at the Jaspal Rana Institute of Education and Technology situated in Dehradun.Sports personalities of Uttarakhand 

Background and life:

Jaspal Rana was born on June 28, 1976 in Uttarakashi, Uttarakhand. He belongs to a Rajput family and brought up in Mussoorie, Dehradun and later on in Delhi for higher studies. Rana had done his studies at the K.V. Air Force Station Tughlkabad, St. Stephen’s and Sri Aurobindo colleges. At the beginning of his career, Rana’s coach was his father, Narayan Singh Rana, who is an ITBP officer. After that, Tibor Ganazol coached Jaspal Rana to perfection.

At the age of 12, Rana made his debut at the 31st National Shooting Championship held at Ahmedabad and succeeded a Silver Medal. In 1994, at the 46th World Shooting Championship (under junior section), he shot into Standard Pistol shooting fame and won Gold medal with a world record score at Milan, Italy.

Jaspal Rana achieved most of his medals in the Centre Fire Pistol championship, but apart from this he also won Air Pistol, Free Pistol, Standard Pistol, and Rapid Fire Pistol championships. During his professional career he has won over 600 Medals at the national as well as international levels. Rana married to Reena Rana who is fashion designer and a national level shooter. The couple is blessed with two kids, a daughter and a son. Subsequently he joined politics and currently, Jaspal Rana is an active member of Indian national congress.

Awards and accolades:

Jaspal Rana is very honorable player and due to his achievements in sports he gained many awards. When Rana was just 18 years old, he was honored with Arjuna Award, the second highest award for achievement in sports, by the Indian government. In the age of 21, he earned PadamShree and also presented National Citizen Award by Mother Teresa.

Madhumita Bisht

Madhumita Bisht is a former badminton player, from Indian state of Uttarakhand. She won eight times National singles championship, 9 times doubles winner and twelve-time mixed doubles championships. In 1982, she achieved Arjuna award and Padamshree award in 2006.

Background and life:

Madhumita Bisht (born Madhumita Goswami on 5 October 1964). She became the sub junior badminton champion in the year 1977 and won Indian National women’s singles badminton title for eight times in her career. Apart from this, she also won the doubles title for 9 times, mixed doubles titles for 12 times in her long badminton career that extends for 3 years.

In 1982, Madhumita won the bronze medal at the Asian Games and was also remains part of the bronze medal winning team at the Asian Games held in 1998. Beside this, she represented India at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and has also represented the nation at the World Cup and Uber Cup tournaments. Madhumita won the Triple Crown at the Toulouse Open, and was a second best at the USSR open organized at international levels.

Her ranking was 29th in the world in the year 1992 and one of her supreme wins in that year was when she overcome the then world No. two Kusuma Sarwanta in the second round of the Indonesian Open match. Over the years, she won many a doubles national titles with diverse partners throughout her playing career including players like Amit Ghia, Vinod Kumar, Mallika Barua, Sanat Mishra, Sudha Padmanabhan, Sindhu, Vincent Lobo, P. V. V. Laxmi and also once with her husband Vikram Singh Bisht.

In 2002, she retired from active play, and worked as chief coach for her employers Indian Railways, as a government observer, and at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) badminton academy serving young players to outshine at badminton.

Awards and accolades:

In the year of 1982, Madhumita Bisht was honored the prestigious Arjuna award for sporting distinction for her achievements in the badminton. In 2006, she was also awarded with the Padma Shree award.

Abhinav Singh Bindra

Abhinav Singh Bindra is an Indian shooter born in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.  Noteworthy achievements of Abhinav Including gold medal champion at the men’s field hockey team, 10 m Air rifle title winner at Beijing Olympic Games, 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships, and title winner at 2006 Commonwealth Games held at Glasgow. Apart this abhinav is currently serving as the board advisor member in the Go Sports Foundation, Bangalore.

His auto-biography “A shot at history” was published by HarperCollins India in the year 2011. The Book reveals the hardships the he taken to achieve his life goal. In that auto-bography he noted a famous passage that “a cricketer or a Professional golfer has many matches or tournaments to prove himself in a single year if he fails in one, but an Olympian has to wait 4 long years to prove himself if he fails once” Abhinav Bindra did his schooling from “The Doon School” at Dehradun and “St. Stephen’s School” at Chandigarh. He holds B.B.A (Bachelor of Business Administration) from the University of Colorado.

Notable Achievements

  1. In 1988 he participated Common wealth Games.
  2. In 2001 Munich world cup he selected for the Bronze category. Consecutively in that year he won six gold medals in the various international categories. Service achievements felicitated him the highest sports-man award “Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna”in 2001.
  3. In 2002 common wealth games held in Manchester, Bindra won gold in the Paris event
  4. In 2006 world shooter championship, bindra achieves the credit title as “ First Indian shooter to win a world championship gold in Zagreb ” In the same year Melbourne Commonwealth Games, he won gold in the Pairs event.
  5. In 2008 Beijing Olympics, he acquired gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Competition. This is considered as the notable life achievement in his sport’s man career. This huge life achievement bestowed him the highest civilian award Padma Bhushan.

Unmukt Chand

Unmukt Chand, born on 26th March 1993, Is an India cricketer. He play as an opener for his team and has represented his teams at various national and international tournament. His talent as a batsmen was recognized by many legends of the game including the great Australian legend Ian Chappell.


Unmukt Chand was born in a Rajput Family to Bharat Chand Thakur and Rajeshwari Chand. His both parent were teacher and belongs to Pithoragarh District ofUttrakhand.  He did his schooloing from Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. He is doing B.A. from St. Stephen’s College

Unmukt Chand was captain of the Indian Cricket Team that won Under-19 Cricket World Cup of year 2012. He played a captain’s knock of 111(not out) in final against Australia of that cup that eventually led to India’s win.

He played for Delhi Daredevils in IPL and was brought by Rajasthan for 7th Edition of IPL.  He will be playing for Mumbai Indians for 2015 edition of the IPL.

Apart from cricket, Unmukt has also written a book ‘Sky is the Limit’ in which he has described his transformation from child practicing in his backyard to the Under19 captain who lifted the world cup in the alien land.

Cups and Awards

Unmukt has won Under19 World cup and scored a century in the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy which helped Delhi lifting the cup. He has scored crucial runs every time when his team was in need of the match winning performance. With time, we hope, that he will rise to the occasion and makes India Proud on every stage.

Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey is an Indian Cricketer who was born on 10 September 1989. He is known for his explosive batting in Indian Premier League (IPL). He has played for three teams in IPL, namely, Royal Challengers Bengalore, Pune Warriors India and is currently in the team of Kolkata Knight Riders.

Background and Personal Life

Manish Pandey, full name Manish Krishanand Pandey was born in Nainital, Uttrakhand.

Manish Pandey developed his love for cricket very early in his life. Well before his teenage life, during primary education days he started playing cricket. He did his schooling from KEndriyaVidyalaya ASC center and was coached by Mr. Satish. Satish coached him from his schooling days to until the time he joined Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). Satish is a well renowned coach who coached teams of Karnatka, Haryana and Orrisa. He saw the talent in young Manish and trained him to become one the best players in IPL.

Manish was selected for Under-19 World Cup in 2008 and luckily India won that prestigious tournament that time. The cup was help in Malaysia. Manish became the first Indian Player to score century in IPL when he scored 114(not out) for Royal Challenger Bangalore against Deccan Charger in the second edition of IPL.

He has played cricket for many sides including India A, India Under-19, Karnataka, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Pune Warriors, South Zone, and Pune Warriors. He has won praises from well-known critics of the game and has received numerous man of the match awards throughout his career.


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