Though instituted in 1957 in the form of a Sponsoring Committee for the Cho Oyu Expedition, the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) dates its birth on May 15, 1958 - the day on which the expedition gained its objective and the Indian National Flag flew over the 8,155-metre-high summit of Cho Oyu.

This spectacular success encouraged the committee to sponsor more expeditions, including the first Indian Everest Expedition, in 1960. On January 15, 1961 a permanent organisation was set up taking its present nomenclature with its headquarters at New Delhi. It was registered on November 3, 1961.

The main objectives of the Foundation are to organise, support and provide a base for mountaineering expeditions, skiing, rock-climbing, trekking at high attitudes and to promote, encourage, support and execute schemes for all other kinds of adventures.

Since its inception, the Foundation has organised and sponsored 32 expeditions, supported financially as well as technically some 500 Indian expeditions. It has been giving scholarship's for training in mountaineering, holding special training camps for selected mountaineers, arranging mountaineering equipment and maintaining stores for Indian expeditions, extending financial help to encourage treks and adventure at high altitudes, assisting in maintenance and improvement of environment and wildlife aspects of the Himalayas.

The IMF registers peaks for climbs for foreign expeditions, helps them to get governmental clearances and finds liaison officers for them. It arranges weather broadcasts where required and liases with the Air Force for helicopter rescue work and for land rescue or search through appropriate agencies.

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation is celebrating its Silver Jubilee celebrations from August 27 to 29 in collaboration with Air India and the department of Tourism. During the 3-day fixture, important aspects of Himalayan trekking and mountaineering, which have gained considerable popularity in recent years, are proposed to be discussed. A Consortium of Travel Agents has been formed in India and they have worked out several pre and post Meet treks in our mountains with some of the world's leading mountaineers participating in these adventerous Himalayan pursuits.

Membership of the IMF is conferred upon persons who have distinguished themselves in the field of mountaineering or have rendered valuable service in the promotion and spread of mountaineering and allied sports. The sponsoring Committee considers and invites persons to become members; the total number of members at any one time is not to exceed 60.

The IMF has all along had distinguished civil servants as its Presidents, including Sir Raghavan Pillai and Shri S. S. Khera. Since 1966, when Shri H. C. Sarin took over as its President, the mountaineering activities within the country have multiplied manifold. In fact, some historians have termed it as 'Explosion in Mountaineering'. The Foundation's first concern is to preserve the purity and safety of the Himalayan ecosystem.

(Text by courtesy: Indian Mountaineering Foundation).

Description of Designs

The stamp, designed by India Security Press, Nasik shows Nanda Devi, the highest peak in the Kumaon Himalaya. First Day Cover portrays Indian Mountaineering Foundation Headquarters Complex, New Delhi. Cancellation has been designed by Alka Sharma.

Date of Issue : 27.8.1983