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Google Doodle marks 187th birth anniversary of Indian explorer Nain Singh Rawat

Nain Singh Rawat was the first to find the location and altitude of Lhasa and he mapped the course of Tsangpo river and trade route between Nepal and Tibet.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2017 17:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nain Singh Rawat,Google doodle,Google
The Google doodle featured an illustration of the 19th century Indian explorer Nain Singh Rawat. (Google )

Google marked Indian explorer Nain Singh Rawat’s 187th birth anniversary on Saturday with a Doodle featuring an illustration of a silhouette of a man looking over mountains.

Rawat, born in 1830, belonged to the Johar Valley of Kumaon in Uttarakhand. He was the first to find the location and altitude of Lhasa .He mapped the course of Tsangpo river and the trade route between Nepal and Tibet.

The Doodle, designed by Hari and Deepti Panicker, portrays 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,” reads Google’s description of the explorer.

Rawat, who was recruited by the British for mapping, used to disguise as a Tibetan monk and walk as far as Kathmandu in Nepam, Lhasa in Tibet and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. He concealed instruments like a compass in his prayer wheel and hid his travel records as prayers. His pace during his travels remained uniform and he measures his steps using a rosary.

Rawat was also recruited by German geographers, the Schlagintweit brothers, in 1855, according to an NDTV report.

He was awarded the Patron’s Medal in 1877 by the Royal Geographical Society for his explorations. British Colonel Henry Yule advocated for awarding Rawat and spoke about him during the medal presentation ceremony. He said the explorer “is not a topographical automaton, or merely one of a great multitude of native employees with an average qualification. His observations have added a larger amount of important knowledge to the map of Asia then those of any other living man”, a Frontline article said.

A book on Rawat titled ‘Asia Ki Peeth Par’ (On the Back of Asia) was published in 2006, illuminating the writings and life of the 19th century Indian explorer.

Rawat died of a heart attack while visiting Jagir, a village gifted to him by the British, in 1895.

Google marks significant events and honours the achievements of people from different walks of life. On Thursday, the Doodle marked the 107th birth anniversary of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the first astrophysicist to have won a Nobel Prize for his theory on the evolution of stars.

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 10:32 IST