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Posted at: Mar 24, 2015, 12:56 AM; last updated: Mar 24, 2015, 12:39 AM (IST)

An inborn trekker, Bawa has many books to his credit

Maps of routes to remote villages

  • While roaming around the Himalayas, he prepared maps of routes to remote villages, some even beyond the snowline. Maps on the Himalayas, featuring in all major guide books, have been prepared by Bawa.
An inborn trekker, Bawa has many books to his credit

Manmohan Bawa at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23

An inborn trekker, writer and painter, Manmohan Bawa is a multifaceted personality. He gathered firsthand information from places of historical importance to write his novels and stories based on history. Not only fiction, he paints landscapes and draws maps.

While roaming around the Himalayas, he prepared maps of routes to remote villages, some even beyond the snowline, which help tourists and trekkers a lot. Maps on the Himalayas, featuring in all major guide books, have been prepared by Bawa.

While talking to The Tribune, Bawa said he was a traveller first and then an author. “The time of five or six hours, which I devote to making a painting, is very enjoyable for me. I forget the outer world when I paint,” said Bawa.

Bawa started trekking in his childhood days. Initially, he travelled the central India and coastal areas on a cycle along with his brother Manjit Bawa. After that he started trekking to remote areas of the Himalayas. While residing at Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, Bawa crossed the snowlines of several Himalayan ranges and wrote a book, “Aao Chaliye Barfaan De Paar” (Let’s go beyond the snow).

His travel guide books, including “Andithe Raste Uche Parvat” (The unseen trails and high mountains), “Ikk Parvat te Do Darya” (One mountain and two rivers) and “Jungle Jungle Parvat Parvat” are highly useful for budding trekkers. “Jungle Jungle Parvat Parvat” is part of Panjab University curriculum. His other books, “Adventure in the Snow”, “Adventure in the Mountains”, “The Indian Himalayas”, “Tour and Trekking Guide to Ladakh” have been published in English.

“Nowadays, Punjabis are running behind the rupees, dollars and pounds. They reside in foothills of the Himalayas but rarely visit the mountains. This materialistic race is taking them away from nature, art and literature. This is the root of socio-political crisis of Punjab”.

Bawa wrote his first fiction book, “Ek Raat”, in 1962. He has written several story books and novels based on his experiences of such places where people created a history. His novel “Yudh Naad” isabout the era of Alexander and “Yug Ant” about the empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Both novels are unique pieces of historical fiction in Punjabi. “An author should visit the area to which he is talking about. He has to interact with the people there, visit the landmarks to broaden his vision,” says Bawa. 

Bawa has roamed around the world and written several travelogues.

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