AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, India–Karakoram, Nomenclature in the Terrong Valley

Nomenclature in the Terong Valley. The following names have been proposed to the Survey of India. Sondhi = a sudden beautiful appearance. Sundbrar = a beautiful place. There is a place by the name of Sundbrar in Baltistan. Kashmiri Brahmins and Hindus along with several thousand people used to gather at this place on a certain day in June. They would worship the goddess Laxmi and wait for the rising of water and pray for it to appear. At an appointed time a stream would fill the basin and the multitude would shout, “Sondhi!” This phenomenon portrays Hindu rituals deep inside Muslim Baltistan. Lharimo = holy, painted mountain. Doab = meeting place of two waters. Safina = boat. In Balti philosophy this is a special boat which carries one to Heaven. Saigat = leopard’s leap. This peak tilts (leaps) toward the giant Rimo peaks. Chorten = the Buddhist symbol. Ngabong Terong. Ngabong = Bacterian camel, the famous double-humped camel of Yarkand. A few are still seen in the Nubra valley. Terong is from Te = that and Rong = valley. Siab Chushku. Siab = meeting place of three waters (North and South Terong and Shelkar Chorten Glaciers) Chushku = temporary camp. Rimo = striped mountain. Terong and Rimo are officially accepted names. It should be noted that Indira Col was named in 1912 by the Workmans after the goddess Laxmi. With recent political developments there is a misconception that this col, now the northernmost point of India, is named for the late Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, but of course this is not true.

Harish Kapadia, Himalayan Club