As independent India turned 71-years-old, citizens are celebrating not just across the country's length and breadth, but also at the highest of heights! What's more, the person being referred to here is barely in his teens! After making the headlines with some stellar 'youngest ever' achievements, 13-year-old Aaryan Balaji has now hoisted the Indian flag in Ladakh and sung the National Anthem in a stirring display. Aaryan is on a training-cum-acclimatization climb in Spangnak, Ladakh and celebrated Independence day in the high mountains amidst freezing cold weather.
As Aaryan is currently preparing for his next expedition, he is training in Ladakh and is currently in a base camp which is 4500m above Kyagar Tso, near Tso Moriri in the Changtang region of Eastern Ladakh. Traversing a multitude of passes over 5000m, Aaryan could comfortably arrive at the gully leading to the Eastern Shoulder of Spangnak Ri, where he underwent training on snow-craft and climbing. At about 6050m altitude, Aaryan sang our National Anthem to ring in the 72nd Independence Day and dedicated his climb to the soldiers who have laid their lives for our glorious nation and also to those holding fort in the borders, high seas and blue skies.
Aside from having been awarded the National Child Award in 2014, Balaji is also the youngest ever to trek up to Everest Base Camp and had previously climbed Mt Kalapattar at the age of 6. Moreover, he also represented the country in the World Unicycling Championships at Montreal, Canada in 2014, becoming the first Indian to do so.
In a few days from now, he will climb Stok Kangri before he returns to give his 8th class midterm examination at NCS in Mumbai. Later, in December this year, he is scheduled to scale the tallest peaks of Antarctica and South America, back-to-back.
Previously, in an exclusive interview with Republic TV, Aaryan opened up about his interests. The adventure sports enthusiast talked about the challenges he faced and his short-term goals. In the interview, he said, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, who is an avid adventurer and has been on many successful expeditions.
Read the interview here.