Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute celebrated its 50 years of establishment today at Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok, Sikkim. The Golden Jubilee celebration was graced by the state Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director S. Asif Ibrahim and other dignitaries.
According to isikkim.com, this first Mountaineering Institute in the state was founded in Gangtok in 1963. Since then, the premier Institute has so far conducted 159 Basic Mountaineering Courses, 29 Advance Mountaineering Courses and trained more than 8000 personnel from the IB, Assam Rifles and NSS besides helping the local youth in attaining proficiency in mountaineering from Sikkim.
Following the death of Sonam Gyatso, the first Everester from Sikkim and the founder principal of the institute in 1968. In his remembrance, the institute was later renamed to Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute. The Tibet Road in Gangtok, now called Sonam Gyatso Marg, is also renamed after him.
From the modest beginning as an adventure club in 1961, it assumed the status of a full-fledged mountaineering institute in 1963. In view of the pristine beauty and location of many peaks above the height of twenty two thousand feet, namely, Mt. Khangchendzonga, Mt. Kabru, Mt. Talung, Mt. Siniolchu, Mt. Simvo, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Rathong, and Mt. Paunhari.