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Welcome to HimalayaMasala

We're back! HimalayaMasala was down from October 2019 to mid-June 2020 due to technical problems. We're online again and determined to keep it that way. Our website brings you travel stories, photos, climbing and trekking adventures from the Himalaya. We mix genres that others won't, so we also bring you news and politics from the Himalayan countries - Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet and Pakistan.

Himalayan Climbs

  • Kishtwar Shivling (East Summit) - Challo - 2014

    Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen have climbed a new route on Kishtwar Shivling, in the Indian Himalaya. The mountain has only been climbed once before, in 1983.
  • Shiepra - Maaji - 2014

    Three Swiss clmbers have made the first ascent of a previously unnamed 5885m peak in Kishtwar, India, and have named the peak Shiepra.
  • Kangchenjunga - North Ridge - 2014

    Dennis Urubko has reached the summit of Kangchenjunga via the North Ridge, climbing solo above 7650m. He took just four and a half hours to reach the summit.

The Himalaya and Karakoram ranges contain all the 14 mountains in the world that exceed 8000 metres, including Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga. Together with the Hindu Kush, they also contain the great majority of the world's 7000m peaks. Our Ascent Book provides a rich record of recent climbs in the Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains.
Browse our mountaineering database

On the Blog...

  • Peter Matthiessen: A True Warrior

    12 May 2014 Writer Peter Matthiessen died on 5 April 2014. Many people know him best for his account of a journey through the Himalaya, published as The Snow Leopard. But he was also a novelist of sweeping accomplishment and ambition, and a courageous friend of the Native American people.
  • Piolets d'Or 2014

    23 April 2014 The Piolets D'Or have been awarded this year to Raphael Slawinsky and Ian Welsted for their ascent of K6 West, and to Ueli Steck for his solo ascent of the South face of Annapurna.
  • Reporting Pakistan - Terrorism and Travel after the Nanga Parbat Massacre

    6 September 2013 270,000 British nationals visit Pakistan each year. But the British government is now advising against travel to large parts of Pakistan. Is it xenophobic to talk about the hazards of travel in Pakistan?
  • Massacre on Nanga Parbat

    31 July 2013 11 people, 10 of them foreign climbers, were murdered at Nanga Parbat Base Camp in Pakistan in June. The massacre, said to be in response to US drone strikes, was part of a wave of atrocities carried out across Pakistan.
  • Everest - lawlessness and the expedition industry

    5 May 2013 Climbers Ueli Steck, Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith were attacked high on the slopes of Everest last week by a mob of Sherpas. The aftermath reflects a culture of impunity in Nepal, and the growing power of foreign-owned expedition businesses.

Himalayan Journeys >

Travelogue - travels through the Indian Himalaya from Kumaon and Garhwal to Ladakh

  • The Storm's Edge

    December 1992. One after another, the domes of the Babri Masjid came tumbling down. Muslim homes near to the mosque began to burn. And then the riots began, all over India.

  • Himalayan Sadhu

    I got a lift down the Alaknanda Valley for a few kilometres, and then I started walking. It was the beginning of my journey west from Josimath. My first destination was Kalpeshwar temple.

  • Himalayan Borders

    The border between Tibet and India is a British invention, imposed secretly on Tibet while China was in eclipse. India and China went to war over it in 1962. South of the international border there's another border - India's "Inner Line. " It divides Indians and plagues travellers.

Himalayan Images >

Photos of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (formerly called Uttaranchal), including the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalaya.

  • Map of restive areas in occupied Tibet, 15 April 2014
  • Photo of stormcloudsover the Chaukamba Masif
  • Photo of Meru Peak
  • Photo of Lingshet Monastery
  • Photo of Gaumukh - source of the Ganges
  • Photo of Julia beside the Gangotri Glacier

What's in a name?

The Himalayan ranges are sometimes called the Himalayas, and sometimes called the Himalaya. The name Himalaya seems to be at least as old as the Mahabharata, and means "abode of snow" in Sanskrit.

Variants of the name are well-established in various modern Indian languages. In these languages the word would be unchanged in the plural. The suffix "s" is now so commonplace that it probably won't go away, but it is just a European corruption of the local name. The name Himalaya better reflects local usage and history, and is becoming the favourite in scholarly usage too.
Himalaya or Himalayas?