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D. K. Khullar

D. K. Khullar
Army officer
Known forEverest ascent
AwardsPadma Shri

Darshan Kumar Khullar is an Indian mountaineer, writer and a former Brigadier of the Indian Army.[1] He led the Everest expedition which included Bachendri Pal and Phu Dorjee that summitted the peak in May 1984.[2][3] The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest Indian civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1984.[4]


Born in 1941[5] at Bassi Pathana in Fatehgarh Sahib district in the Indian state of Punjab, Khullar did his education at the Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun.[1]

He was commissioned into 22 Mountain Regiment in the Regiment of Artillery in 1961. He participated in the Sino-Indian War of 1962. He commanded 168 Field Regiment. As a Brigadier, he commanded 54 Artillery Brigade (under 54th Infantry Division) in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force. He briefly commanded the corps artillery brigade in Kashmir, when the insurgency broke out. He took premature retirement from the Army in 1993.[6]

He was the principal of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling between 1981 and 1985.[1][7] He was chosen as the leader of the 1984 Everest expedition team composed of eleven men and six women, which summitted the peak in May 1984 through the South East Ridge route.[8] The team included Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest and Phu Dorjee, the first Indian to climb the peak without oxygen.[9]

Khullar is a member of the Expedition Commission of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, Berne, Switzerland.[10] He is the author of several books on mountaineering and international politics[11] and has co-authored the second book written by Bachendri Pal in 2006 about the Trans-Himalayan all-women expedition of 1997. Khullar lives a retired life in Ambala in Haryana.[1]


Some of his publications are:

  • Themes of Glory: Indian Artillery in War[12]
  • The Call of Everest: First Ascent by an Indian Woman[13]
  • A Mountain of Happiness[14]
  • When Generals Failed: The Chinese Invasion: Abdiction from Battle, Tawang, Sela, and Bomdila, 1962[15]
  • Security, Peace and Honour[16]
  • Pakistan, Our Difficult Neighbour and Allied Issues[17]
  • Pakistan our Difficult Neighbour and India's Islamic Dimensions[18]


The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1984.[4][19] He was also awarded the Arjuna award and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.[6][20]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Bachendri and brigadier join hands over book". The Telegraph. 1 February 2006. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Bachendri Pal". iLove India. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Sherpas who has Summited Everest". Everest History. 2015. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  5. ^ "WorldCat profile". WorldCat. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "About the author". Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Former Principals". Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Everest summits 151 - 300". Adventure Stats. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  9. ^ "First Man to Climb Mount Everest Without Oxygen". Colours of India. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Expedition Commission" (PDF). International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  11. ^ "DK Agencies profile". DK Agencies. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  12. ^ Khullar, Darshan (2017). Themes of Glory: Indian Artillery in War. VIJ Books (India) Pty Ltd. ISBN 978-9385563973.
  13. ^ D K Khullar (1992). The Call of Everest : first ascent by an Indian woman. Vision Books. p. 200. ISBN 9788170940883.
  14. ^ D K Khullar (1995). A mountain of happiness. Interprint. p. 118. ISBN 9788185017761. OCLC 315344825.
  15. ^ D K Khullar (1999). When generals failed : the chinese invasion : abdiction from battle, Tawang, Sela, and Bomdila, 1962. Manas Publications. p. 267. ISBN 9788170490982. OCLC 42719474.
  16. ^ D K Khullar; B K Nehru (2000). Security, peace and honour. Manas Publications. p. 232. ISBN 9788170490845. OCLC 51591756.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Pakistan, our difficult neighbour and allied issues. Pushpa Books. 2009. p. 111. ISBN 9788188039869. OCLC 421152460.
  18. ^ D K Khullar (2014). Pakistan our difficult neighbour and India's Islamic dimensions. Vij Books. p. 224. ISBN 9789382652755. OCLC 890952784.
  19. ^ "Gazette of India, No 77, page 2". Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  20. ^ "Gallantry awards" (PDF). 23 January 1988. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
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D. K. Khullar
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