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Nanda Devi facts for kids

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Nanda devi
Nanda Devi peak
Nanda Devi from Kausani
The southwest side of Nanda Devi photographed from Sassanian

Nanda Devi is the second highest mountain in India, and the highest located entirely within the country. (Kangchenjunga, which is higher, is on the border of India and Nepal.) It is the 23rd-highest peak in the world.

It was considered the highest mountain in the world before computations in 1808 proved Dhaulagiri to be higher. It was also the highest mountain in India before 1975 when Sikkim, the state in which Kangchenjunga is located, joined the Republic of India.

It is part of the Garhwal Himalayas, and is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, between the Rishiganga valley on the west and the Goriganga valley on the east.

The peak, whose name means "Bliss-Giving Goddess", is regarded as the patron-goddess of the Uttarakhand Himalaya.

CIA mission

Nanda-region-map-annotated
Shaded contour map of Nanda Devi region

From 1965 to 1968, attempts were made by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in co-operation with the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB), to place a nuclear-powered telemetry relay listening device on the summit of Nanda Devi. This device was designed to intercept telemetry signals from missile test launches conducted in the Xinjiang Province, at a time of relative infancy in China's missile program.

The expedition retreated due to dangerous weather conditions, leaving the device near the summit of Nanda Devi. They returned the next spring to search for the device, which ended without success. As a result of this activity by the CIA, the Sanctuary was closed to foreign expeditions throughout much of the 1960s. In 1974 the Sanctuary re-opened.

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