Google dedicates doodle to pioneer Indian explorer Nain Singh Rawat’s 187th birth anniversary

NEW DELHI: Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 187th birth anniversary of Nain Singh Rawat, who is known to be the first Indian explorer to survey Tibet, determine the exact location and altitude of Lhasa, map the Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) and also give the details of the gold mines of Thok Jalung.

Rai Bahadur Nain Singh Rawat was born in 1830 in Milam village situated the foot of glacier Milam where the river Gori Ganga originates. In his youth, Rawat left school and explored different centres in Tibet along with his father. During his exploration, he became familiar with Tibetan people and learnt the language and costumes. Later, these same skills sets came handy when he worked as a ‘spy explorer’.

In 1855, Rawat was first recruited by German geographers the Schlagintweit brothers – Adolf and Robert – when they were sent to explore and survey India. Rawat’s first exploration trip with the Germans was between 1855 and 1857, where he travelled to Lakes Manasarovar and Rakas Tal and then further to Gartok and Ladakh. Later, after working with the Schlagintweit brothers, Rawat joined the Education Department and was the headmaster of a government vernacular school in his village from 1858 to 1863.

Later, in 1863, Rawat along with his brother was sent to Dehradun, where they received training on the use of scientific instruments and ways of measuring and recording at the Great Trigonometric Survey office for two years.

Rawat’s last and greatest journey was from Leh in Ladakh via Lhasa to Assam in 1873. He was also honoured with many awards by the Royal Geographical Society for his achievements and contributions.

The great explorer died in Moradabad after suffering from cholera in 1882.

The doodle is designed by Hari & Deepti Panicker and is described as, “a silhouette diorama illustration, portraying Nain Singh Rawat as he might have looked on his travels — solitary and courageous, looking back over the distances he had walked, rosary beads in hand, and staff by his side”.

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