At the confluence of terror and hostile living conditions, the Siachen glacier is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Known as the “highest battleground in the world”, Siachen reeks of climatic hostility, perched in the eastern Karakoram Ranges. Since 1984, the Indian armed forces have braved the chill and protected the northern frontiers of India.
Here are things you should know about Siachen:
The perilous war-zone puts our brave jawans at a risk of frost-bites that can happen even if they touch a gun barrel with bare hands for 15 minutes!
Just touching the trigger with your bare hands can result in a loss of fingers. Yes, it’s that cold!
The human body begins to deteriorate at 5400 meters above sea level.
No sleep, no appetite.
While you enjoy hot home-cooked food, fresh food is rare for the valiant guardians of the north.
A fruit like orange or apple can turn rock hard in a matter of minutes.
Siachen experiences over 30 feet of snowfall a year.
Mountaineers can only venture when the weather is at its best, the jawans have to guard it 24/7 for 365 days a year.
Snowstorms travel over 100 miles an hour, sometimes for 3 weeks at a stretch!
The temperature drops to minus 60 degrees. Yes, – 60 degrees.
They have to warm-up even before they can relieve themselves.
Since 1984, almost 900 army men have lost their lives in Siachen.
Harsh terrain and extremely hostile living conditions claim most lives in Siachen.
Yet nothing deters the valiant soldiers from enjoying the simple pleasures of everyday life!
“We do the difficult as a routine. The impossible may take a little longer”
….reads a plaque at the headquarters of the Indian Army formation in Siachen.