Life in Siachen

On the icy river, where the body is pushed to the limit, Indian soldiers fight an everyday battle to survive

A soldier's life at Siachen
Soldiers at a post at Siachen preparing food

It was the end of April 1989. A 10-member patrol, including one junior commissioned officer and nine other ranks, was heading towards a post on the Siachen Glacier when suddenly it was hit by an avalanche at a height of 21,500 feet. All 10 soldiers were buried alive. All of them died. “This was before 24x7 news channels. So, few people learnt of the tragedy,” says Vijayant Kumar, a retired colonel who was then posted at Siachen as a 26-year-old captain. At Siachen, where the biggest enemy is the weather, avalanches are a reality soldiers live and cope with every day. The ...