Adventurer Ajeet Bajaj unfurled the tricolour at the South Pole as India celebrated Republic Day on Friday, achieving the unique feat of becoming the first Indian to go to both North and South Poles.
Forty-year-old Bajaj, who had successfully reached the North Pole in April last year, arrived at the South Pole after a month-long expedition.
"I would first like to wish all Indians a very happy and peaceful Republic Day," the adventurer told a private news channel from South Pole.
Bajaj was part of a four-member team, the other three being Americans.
"I am just unfurling the national flag here and that was a very proud moment and I consider myself proud to be an Indian and I feel there are no challenges we Indian are not capable of taking on," he said.
"We have to work together as a team, strive for excellence and also do whatever we can to put the Indian flag on top," Bajaj said.
The temperature at South Pole when the team reached there was -35 degree Celsius and the wind chill was about -45 degree Celsius.
Asked to compare the two poles, Bajaj said unlike the North Pole, which is a wilderness, there is a big American research station in South Pole, where a lot of research is done.
He also said the South Pole is higher at 3,300 feet. "It is colder and higher. There is less oxygen here, but the North Pole is technically more difficult," Bajaj said.