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Captain Manmohan Singh Kohli (b. 11 December 1931 at Haripur) is an internationally renowned Indian mountaineer. An officer in the Indian Navy who joined the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, he led the 1965 Indian expedition which put nine men on the summit of Everest, a world record which lasted for 17 years.

Mohan Kohli was President of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation from 1989 to 1993. In 1989, he co-founded the Himalayan Environment Trust.

He has been honoured with the

  • Padma Bhushan
  • Arjuna Award.
  • Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
  • IMF Gold Medal
  • Punjab Govt’s Nishan-e-Khalsa
  • Delhi Govt’s Most Distinguished Citizen of Delhi Award
  • Tenzing Norgay Lifetime National Adventure Award

and several international recognitions

Achievements & Honours

  • Internationally renowned Himalayan mountaineer, Captain Manmohan Singh Kohli is best known as leader of the epoch-making Indian Everest Expedition 1965.
  • This achievement electrified the nation. Nine climbers reached the summit creating a world record which India held for 17 years. Public euphoria reached a crescendo. People danced in the streets. On return of the team from Nepal to India, breaking all protocol, the Prime Minister headed the reception at the airport. In another unprecedented move Arjuna Award for the entire team and Padma Bhushan/Padma Shree for eleven were immediately announced.
  • His tallest tribute came from none other than the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi: “The record of Commander Kohli’s expedition will find special mention in history. It was a masterpiece of planning, organization, teamwork, individual effort and leadership”.
  • A full-length film on the expedition with music by Shankar Jaikishan was released all over India and abroad.
  • The story of the spectacular achievement was serialised in several national newspapers and magazines.
  • The leader, with some members, was felicitated at Brussels, Paris, Geneva and Rome. Tenzing Norgay accompanied Captain Kohli to several countries.
  • In India, Chief Ministers of almost all the States invited the team to their capitals and honoured it at State and Civic receptions.
  • Adventure clubs and Himalayan expeditions multiplied several fold triggering national resurgence.
  • Golden moments of his life came on 8 September 1965 when he was invited to address Members of both the Houses of the Indian Parliament in Central Hall where heads of each and every political party vied with each other to pay their highest tributes.
  • Indira Gandhi described the 1965 success as one of India’s six major achievements after Independence.