Nanda Devi by Sandeep Madadi: An immersive and engaging read

Nanda Devi by Sandeep Madadi: An immersive and engaging read

A Book Review

Category Trekker Space

By Venkat Ganesh Gudipaty

When I first heard of Mt Nanda Devi, for me, it was just the second highest peak of India. 

Years later, I had heard my coworkers speaking in awe about the first time they saw the mountain. I saw a few pictures on the internet. Yes, it was a beautiful mountain. But nothing more. 

All that changed when I picked up “Nanda Devi” by Sandeep Madadi.

Right from the foreword by Anindya Mukheerjee, the book grabbed my attention . His words beautifully captured the essence of the mountain, highlighting its beauty, history, and the geography that drew the explorers and mountaineers to it. 

While Sandeep clearly sets expectations in his preface to the book, to tell you that the book is neither a story of how the mountain was conquered nor a tale of self-discovery. 

Rather it is an account of the mountain, the mythology, the history and the legends surrounding it. 

And that is what I loved the most about the book.

Madadi does talk about his trek to the Outer Sanctuary of the mountain. 

But intersperses it with fascinating details about the explorers like Eric Shipton and HW Tillman who made it to Inner Sanctuary in 1934 or first successful ascent by Tillman in ‘36, or death of Willi Unsoeld’s daughter, Nanda Devi’s (named after the mountain itself) tragic death during their Indo-American Expedition in 1976. 

At the same time he outlines the culturals myths and legends surrounding the mountain. The sense of light-heartedness and humor he shares in the day to day conversations between his fellow trekmates and himself on the journey makes you want to be a part of this team. 

Throughout the book, Madadi masterfully weaves together these historical accounts with his own experiences on the mountain, making for a truly immersive and engaging read despite the non-linear nature of the narrative. 

Overall, Nanda Devi left a lasting impression on me.

Read book review of Dreaming of Everest

Venkat Ganesh Gudipaty

Training Managar

About the author

Venkat Ganesh is a Training Manager at Indiahikes.

Being a Senior Trainer, Venkat has been the mentor of Assistant Trek Leaders who join Indiahikes.

To give a peek at his experience, after graduation Venkat worked for big telecom giants in India. Post that he set off to travel. During his travels, Venkat taught English in Vietnam, embarked on a solo bike trip to the Himalayas, and trekked to Sar Pass, Sandakphu, Sham Valley, Chadar trek, and the Western Ghats.

Venkat joined Indiahikes in 2019. He soon became an integral part of the Experience Team.

Besides trekking and travelling, Venkat enjoys cooking, reading, and riding bicycles. He loves animals. He has adopted two dogs -- Lola and Pepper. You can write to him at to get in touch