During his tenure, former Indian ambassador Deb Mukharji trekked several peaks, but visiting the rugged and culturally-rich region of Dolpo in mid-western Nepal remained an unfulfilled desire. There was no possibility of getting away for two or three weeks, that a trip to Dolpo required. Last year, he finally trekked through the region with a group of friends. The hardest part, at the age of 78, he quips, was to climb in and out of tents. Photographs from the recent expedition, along with photographs clicked in the last six decades, comprise the exhibition “Tall Tales from the Himalaya” that is on at India International Centre in Delhi.
The showcase introduces us to the mighty Himalayan peaks right from 1959, when Mukharji first climbed them at 18. The view from the Valley of Flowers shows a rocky picturesque terrain and snow peaked mountains. Mukarji describes the view as ‘ as a view that one can never forget’. One has to see things from the eyes of the lens,” notes Mukharji, who has authored three books: The Magic of Nepal (Rupa, 2005), Visions of the Infinite (2009) and Kailash And Manasarovar: A Quest Beyond the Himalaya (2013).
Concerned about the delicate ecosystem of the Himalayas being destroyed by a constant development, he notes, “In the name of promoting religious tourism, highways are being built through the mountains. I love The Himalayas but when I can’t go because of my age or infirmities, I won’t. It is not essential to have the facilities that will enable me to. What is happening is devastating.”The exhibition is on at India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, till February 19.