Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who survived after being buried under an avalanche in Siachen, died in army hospital at 11.45am on Thursday.
The odds were stacked against him but the nation was pinning its hope on his fighting spirit to see him through.
As Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad battled for his life at the Army Hospital Research & Referral (R&R), students and citizens in some parts of the nation were seen organising puja ceremonies and taking part in a candlelight vigil praying for his recovery.
Siachen veterans said the window of survival at those heights - Koppad was trapped in an avalanche at 20,500 feet - was barely two to three days.
Situated on the northern edge of the Himalayas in Kashmir with altitudes reaching as high as 22,000 feet, the glacier is an icy desert and has become more prone to avalanches after recent snowfall in the upper reaches of the Valley.