The Mussoorie Mountain Festival was founded in 2005. Originally established with the aim of celebrating Mussoorie’s literary heritage, this popular event soon redefined itself more broadly to encompass all aspects of mountain culture, art and natural history. Organized by Woodstock School’s Hanifl Centre for Outdoor Education and Environmental Study, the festival has featured more than 200 eminent speakers, including authors, mountaineers, conservationists, artists, photographers and musicians.
2020 Mussoorie Mountain Festival
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mussoorie Mountain Festival is reinventing itself as a virtual online event focusing on the Himalaya as a limitless source of knowledge, adventure, inspiration and biodiversity. A series of one-hour sessions will be produced, each consisting of a compilation of recorded talks, readings, interviews, slide-show exhibitions and short films. These will be released through Hanifl Centre’s YouTube channel on three successive days – 7, 8, 9 December, 2020. Watch this space for further information!
SpeakersGo To Schedule
Ady Manral is a folk fusion singer songwriter, based in the foothills of the Himalayas on a quaint h... Read more
Akshay joined Hanifl Centre in the summer of 2015 to provide operational & programming support. With... Read more
Andrew Alter graduated from Woodstock School in 1978. He completed his doctoral studies in Ethnomusi... Read more
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra's The Book of Indian Essays: Two Hundred Years of English Prose is forthcomi... Read more
Brig. Ashok Abbey is a highly experienced mountaineer, who has been passionately climbing for over f... Read more
Over the last four decades, Naresh and Rajesh Bedi have used their talents and energies to capture t... Read more
Bernadette McDonald, A.O.E. was the founder of The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture and has authore... Read more
A unique and eclectic band from Kathmandu, Nepal, Cadenza Collective led by drummer and composer Nav... Read more
Sir Chris Bonington is one of the UK’s most eminent mountaineers, renowned both as a climber and a... Read more
D. R. Purohit
Professor D.R. Purohit is a senior theatre activist, scholar, mentor, writer, actor, director and ex... Read more
Doug Scott is renowned as one of Britain’s most talented and prolific high altitude climbers. He h... Read more
Dr. Gregory Wray is a Professor of Biology at Duke University. His research focuses on the evolution... Read more
Harish Kapadia is a distinguished Himalayan mountaineer, author and long-time editor of the Himalaya... Read more
Himanshu Joshi is a singer, music composer, poet, writer, photographer and filmmaker. Greatly influe... Read more
A city girl gone feral, Janaki Lenin is the author of two volumes of My Husband and Other Animals. H... Read more
Jigmet Angmo has been a student at Woodstock for the last 10 years and is currently the Student Coun... Read more
Jon Warren’s photography career was launched at Woodstock School, in Mussoorie, India, where a tea... Read more
Dr. Jono Lineen is a curator at the National Museum of Australia. He spent over 20 years traveling t... Read more
Lalitha Krishnan is a nature-documenter who feels privileged to live at 7,500 ft surrounded by the m... Read more
Lokesh Ohri is an anthropologist, author and activist, who lives and works in the Himalayas. He is w... Read more
Majka Burhardt is a professional climber, conservation entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker. Majka is... Read more
Mamang Dai is a poet and novelist from Arunachal Pradesh. A former journalist, Dai also worked with ... Read more
Maninder Kohli was drawn to the mountains at an early age inspired by his father, Captain MS Kohli, ... Read more
Manoj V Nair began watching birds when he was twelve and this early interest has since continued una... Read more
Max Marble claims Mussoorie as his spiritual home. He was born in Landour Community Hospital and att... Read more
A writer and photographer with a deep affinity for the Indian Himalayas, Michael Benanav has authore... Read more
Mohammad Muneem Nazir
Mohammad Muneem Nazir is a poet, singer and songwriter. He is the co-founder of ‘Alif’, a contem... Read more
Namita Gokhale is an award-winning writer, publisher, and festival director. She has written ninetee... Read more
Nandini Purandare is the Hon. Editor of The Himalayan Journal. For several years she, along with Dee... Read more
Orchestra naïF, formed in 1965 by poets, Jhaffur Khan Azad Darakht and Joel Banner Baird, is an ens... Read more
Pasang Yangjee Sherpa, Ph.D. is an anthropologist based in Seattle, U.S.A. Her research areas includ... Read more
Prajwal Parajuly—the son of a Nepali-Indian father and a Nepalese mother—hails from the former H... Read more
Dr. Pushpesh Pant is an Author, Columnist, Broadcaster, Anchor, and some time Teacher. He has taught... Read more
Ramachandra Guha is one of India’s foremost historians and biographers. His books include a pion... Read more
Dr. Rodney Jackson is Executive Director at Snow Leopard Conservancy. He is a leading expert on wild... Read more
Rohit Chakravarty is a PhD student at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany... Read more
Rukun Advani got his PhD from Cambridge University in 1982 and worked for eighteen years in academic... Read more
Sanjay Nepal has been working as a tour guide & trip leader since September 1997 in Nepal, India, Bh... Read more
Dr. Sanjay Panday is a lecturer at Folk Performing Arts, HNB Garhwal University. After his masters i... Read more
Sanjay Sondhi is a Dehradun-based naturalist. An engineering graduate from IIT-Kanpur, in 2009, he s... Read more
Sanjeeva Pandey has maintained an abiding passion for the Himalayas, especially for conservation of ... Read more
The Woodstock Students Virtual Choir Production was completely recorded from home by WS Students, ed... Read more
Dr Sejal Worah is a resident of Mussoorie and Delhi, depending on the hat she is wearing. As Program... Read more
Shavaun Kidd is the Outreach Conservation Educator for the Snow Leopard Conservancy. She also serves... Read more
Shekhar Pathak is a Himalayan traveler and a historian. He has published many books, research papers... Read more
Shweta Basnett is from Sikkim and has been working on the Himalayan Rhododendrons for over a decade.... Read more
Stefan Fiol researches drumming, dance, ritual practice, popular music and the histories of commerci... Read more
Stephen Venables was the first British mountaineer to reach the summit of Mt. Everest without supple... Read more
Suchit Basnet is a leading ornithologist and naturalist from Nepal. He began his career in wildlife ... Read more
Sujeev Shakya is a thought leader who traverses many worlds. He earned the title of Nepal's CEO (chi... Read more
Suman Singh Panwar
Suman Singh Panwar's story mirrors the mountains that sustain him - constantly shifting but towering... Read more
Suniti Bhushan Datta
Suniti Bhushan Datta is a consultant wildlife biologist, mountain/wilderness skills instructor, natu... Read more
Takar Nabam hails from Doimukh, Arunachal Pradesh, India. In 2002, he was gifted his first guitar ... Read more
Tania Saili Bakshi
Dr. Tania Saili Bakshi, third generation Mussoorie-wali has had a highly professional successful tr... Read more
Tetseo Sisters are siblings who have spent their young lives promoting the nearly forgotten music of... Read more
Virginia Jealous’s most recent book is Rapture’s Roadway. It’s a memoir about her father’s o... Read more
MMF '20 SCHEDULE
8:00 PM IST Watch Session 1
Speakers - Tetseo Sisters: Naga Folksong | Chris Bonington: Himalayan Climbs | Janaki Lenin: Bar-Headed Geese | Lokesh Ohri: Capt. Young and Mahasu Devta | Lalitha Krishnan: Biodiversity of Landour | Hanifl Centre Video | Michael Benanav: Last of the Dokpas | Himanshu Joshi: Kumaon Folksong | Virginia Jealous: Laurence Hope’s Poetry | Rohit Chakravarty: Bats of Uttarakhand
9:10 PM IST Watch Session 2
Speakers - Rodney Jackson: The Snow Leopard Conservancy | Ady Manral: Landour Sky | Bernadette McDonald: Winter 8000 | Max Marble: A Minute in Mussoorie | Vivek Sarkar: Cicadas | Namita Gokhale: Being a Himalayan Writer | The Great Himalayan Traverse | Pasang Sherpa: The Sherpa Community in America | Cambridge Book Depot | Nandini Purandare and Harish Kapadia: The Himalayan Journal | Akshay Shah: Remembering D.C. Kala | Doma's Inn: Making Momos
8:00 PM IST Watch Session 1
Speakers - Cadenza Collective: “Lai Bari Lai” | Greg Wray: Frank Wesley’s “Birds of India” | Doug Scott: Himalayan Climbs | Bedi Brothers: Snow Leopards in Spiti | Majka Burhardt: Legado Project | Lalitha Krishnan: Birds in Paradise | Surbhi Agarwal: Mussoorie Heritage Centre | Arvind Krishna Mehrotra: Poems | Pitt in the Remote Himalaya | Pushpesh Pant: Aloo Gutuk | Hapurwalo: Tea Break
9:10 PM IST Watch Session 2
Speakers - Woodstock Choir: "Seasons of Love" | Suchit Basnet: Birds of Nepal | Jon Warren: Climbing Bandar Punch | Sanjeeva Pandey: The Great Himalayan National Park | Tania Saili Bakshi: Landslides in Mussoorie | Max Marble: A Minute in Mussoorie | Prajwal Parajuly: Being a Himalayan writer | Manoj Nair: Birds of Mussoorie | Shewta Basnett: Rhododendrons of Sikkim | Suman Panwar: Agoda Village | Jono Lineen: Into the Heart of the Himalaya | Stefan Fiol: Garhwali Song
8:00 PM IST Watch Session 1
Speakers - Mohammad Muneem Nazir: Kashmiri folksong | Mamang Dai: Poems | Max Marble: A Minute in Mussoorie | Stephen Venables: Mt. Everest, Kangshung Face | Sejal Worah: Jabarkhet Nature Reserve | Sanjay Panday: “A River Returns to its Source“ | Suniti Bhushan Datta: Biodiversity of Dehradun | The Great Himalayan Traverse | Ramachandra Guha: Himalayan Environmental History | Shekhar Pathak: A History of Chipko | Rukun Advani: Permanent Black, Publishing in Ranikhet
9:10 PM IST Watch Session 2
Speakers - Woodstock Choir: "Sound of Music" | Sanjay Nepal: the Living Goddess | Shavaun Kidd: Searching for the Snow Leopard | Andrew Alter: Himalayan Drumming | Jigmet Angmo: Kashmir to Ladakh | Lalitha Krishnan: Langurs of Landour | Orchestra naïF: “Out of the Olives” | Maninder Kohli: IMF Film Festival | Ashok Abbey: The Indian Mountaineering Foundation | Sujeev Shakya: Unleashing the Vajra | D. R. Purohit: Mahabharata in Garhwal | Sanjay Sondhi: Butterflies of Deolsari | Takar Nabam: “Goodnight”
2019 Mussoorie Mountain Festival
If you are passionate about the outdoors, the 2019 Mountain Festival is for you. The theme of this year's festival revolves around Health and Risk Management for Outdoor Programmes in the Himalaya. The festival begins on the 7th of March, with screenings of films from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation's 2019 Mountain Film Festival, followed by live music by 'Traffic Jam', a Rock Band from Manipur. Sessions on the 8th will be held at Parker Hall of Woodstock School, covering topics ranging from health, fitness and veganism to managing risk in the outdoors. On the 9th, sessions will be at Hanifl Centre, where speakers will address case studies in wilderness medicine, safety recommendations from experts in the rafting and adventure travel industry, and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
Wg Cdr Amit Chowdhury
Sandeep Kumar Maity
Dr. Seth Collings Hawkins
MMF '19 SCHEDULE
4:45 pm - Festival opening at Parker Hall followed by screening of selected films from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation Mountain Film Festival 2019
6:00 pm Dinner – Quad dining hall + Food Stalls in the Quad area
7:00 pm - Live Music at the Win Mumby Gymnasium: Traffic Jam, a Rock Band from Manipur and Ady Manral from Woodstock School
9:00 am - Welcome: K. Krishnan Kutty, Festival Director
9:05 am - Opening remarks: Dr. Jonathan Long, Principal Woodstock School
9:10 am - Priming for Climbing Big, Light & Fast - Prerna Dangi
9:50 am - Should safety be first in Wilderness Activities - Keynote speaker: Dr. Seth Hawkins
10:50 am - Felicitation of Distinguished Guest - Tine Mena (Everester) from Arunachal Pradesh introduced by Shikha Tripathi
11:00 am - Q & A with Tine Mena and Shikha Tripathi
11:10 am - TEA BREAK – Flagpole area
11:25 am - Live demonstration: First Aid Scenario at Flag Pole area - Hanifl staff
12:25 pm - LUNCH – Quad dining room
1:45pm - Outdoor Education at Chadwick School in South Korea: Finding a Sense of Place - Stuart Slay
2:30 pm - Finding your own Everest: The story of a Vegan Mountaineer - Kuntal Joisher
3:15 pm - Outdoor Education at Woodstock School - Woodstock students
4:00 pm - Tea – Quad dining room. End of Day 2.
11:00 am, 2:00 pm & 5:00 pm - Climbing Workshop - Sandeep Kumar Maity
9:30 am - Seven Sigma: Managing Risk and Operational Excellence in Adventure Operations - Ajeet Bajaj
10:15 am - Enterprise Risk Management for the Outdoor & Adventure Industry of India - Mark Vermeal
11:00 am - TEA BREAK – Hanifl Centre dining room
11:15 am - River Running: Safety and Accident Prevention - Vaibhav Kala
12:00 pm - Risk Management in the Indian Himalaya - Maninder Kohli
12:45 pm - LUNCH – Hanifl Centre dining room
1:30 pm - Kurt Hahn: No risk, no learn! - Dr. Jonathan Long
2:15 pm - Case studies in Wilderness Medicine - Dave McEvoy
3:00 pm - Panel discussion - moderated by Wg Cdr Amit Chowdhury - Dave McEvoy, Mark Vermeal, Maninder Kohli, Shantanu Pandit
3:45 pm - TEA BREAK – Hanifl Centre dining room
4:00 pm - Festival concludes
Course Fee - Rs. 5,625/- (inclusive of GST); for further details click here
2018 Mussoorie Mountain Festival
If you are passionate about the outdoors, the
The 2018 Mussoorie Mountain Festival looks at the Culture and Heritage of the Himalaya through the prism of
ancient Indian aesthetic philosophy - Navarasa, which means Nine Emotions in which Nava signifies nine and
Rasa signifies Emotions. The nine rasas of ancient Indian philosophy being: shringara (beauty, love), karuna
(compassion), adbhuta (awe, wonderment), shant (peace, equanimity), hasya (laughter, mirth), veer (valour,
heroism), bhaya (fear), vibhatsa (disgust) and raudra (anger, fury).
Presentations are arrayed to portray the Navarasa’s through subjects like folklore, life of the intrepid Sherpas, the superhuman effort of mapping the Indian subcontinent, indigenous architecture, conservation efforts in the cold desert town of Leh, traditional drumming from Manipur, traditional medicine, disappearing languages, poetry, Woodstock students' snow camping expedition experiences, the power of roaring Himalayan rivers, arts and crafts, as well as laughter-the best medicine.
This festival has been programmed in collaboration with Art Conservationist, Anupam Sah.
Chhemet Rigzin and Stanzin Chokdup
Dhruv Chandra Sud
Dr. Tenzin Lhanzey
MMF '18 SCHEDULE
4:30 pm - Festival opening at Parker Hall followed by screening of film Land of The Gods (Dev Bhoomi) (Serbia /92 mins/ 2016) Directed by Goran Paskaljević. A visually stunning fable set in a remote Himalayan village, where the return of a native who has been wandering for 40 years (Victor Banerjee) stirs dark memories and old grudges. Followed by a Q & A with Victor Banerjee and Goran Paskaljević.
6:30 pm - Inauguration of exhibition at Lyons Lounge: THE CARING PATH to Conserving Art - A curated display explaining the nuances of art conservation through the medium of objects, illustrated text panels, and replicas of artworks that span a period from the Indus Valley Civilization to contemporary times. The exhibition and display are supported by ConservArte: Citi-CSMVS Art Conservation Project.
6:45 pm – Dinner – Quad dining room.
8:30 am - Welcome: K. Krishnan Kutty, Festival Director.
8:35 am- Opening remarks: Dr. Jonathan Long, Principal Woodstock School.
8:45 am- Introduction & presentation of the “Navarasa” theme in context of the Himalaya by Anupam Sah. Using images of the arts of the Himalaya, Anupam will illustrate the meaning of Navarasa, the nine emotions.
9:30 am- Felicitation of Pertemba Sherpa.
9:45 am- Life of a Sherpa - Pertemba Sherpa. Pertemba’s talk will focus on his life as a Sherpa, living and working in the shadow of Mt. Everest. At the age of 11 he began working as a kitchen helper for mountaineering expeditions and over the years, became a very successful mountaineer and received multiple awards from the Government of Nepal.
10:30 am- TEA BREAK – Flagpole area
11:00 am - The Great Arc - Mapping the Indian Subcontinent – John Keay. Author, John Keay will speak on the work of the Great Trigonometrical survey and its nineteenth-century measurement of the Himalayas as featured in his best-selling book The Great Arc.
11:45 am- Zorig Chusum – 13 Traditional Arts from Bhutan - Tshewang Peldon. The Institute of Zorig Chosum in Thimpu is the premier institution of traditional arts and crafts set up by the Government of Bhutan with the sole objective of preserving the rich culture and tradition of Bhutan and training students in all traditional art forms. Tshewang Peldon, Director of the Centre will talk about the institution and its activities.
12:30 pm- LUNCH – Quad dining room.
1:00 - 1:45pm - Pung Cholom – Traditional drum dance from Manipur (Quad area) The dance involves highly skilled acrobatic and graceful body movements. The complex acrobatic feats involving jumps and leaps to the changing rhythms has been ingenuously incorporated from Manipur’s famed martial art form ‘Thang Ta’ and ‘Sarit sarak’.
1:55 pm -Handmade Architecture: Living, Learning & Building in the Lower Himalayas – Dhruv Chandra Sud. Dhruv’s session will focus on building with natural materials in the Himalaya.
2:40 pm- Old Town of Leh: Restoration & Revival – Monisha Ahmed. The old town of Leh was once a rich urban environment of old houses, temples and winding alleyways. Located in the high Himalayas, for centuries it played a prominent role in the cultural, political and trade relations of the region. Today, it is threatened by decay and redevelopment. This presentation will look at its development and importance in the western Himalayas, its gradual decline and efforts being made to restore and reuse its spaces.
3:25 pm - Traditional Tibetan Medicine - Dr. Tenzin Lhanzey. An integral part of Tibetan culture has been their traditional medical system developed over centuries. Tibetan medicine (Sowa Rigpa) is based on the theory of 5 elements and 3 principle energies while love & compassion are primary ethics for the Tibetan doctor.
4:10 pm - Tea - Quad dining room. End of Day 2.
9:30 am - Sound, Music & Nada: Making Sense of Himalayan Drumming - Dr. Andrew Alter. In this talk, Dr. Alter will weave together stories about drummers and their craft to explain how drumming is sound knowledge. Hearing drums from a distant mountain ridge we listen to make sense of what it means. Is it a wedding party moving along a ridge? Is someone celebrating a festival at the local temple? Is there someone dancing?
10:15 am- Vanishing Himalayan Languages – Dr. Shekhar Pathak. Dr. Pathak will be in conversation and discuss the history of languages and how Indian languages have been surveyed. He will talk about the Himalayan languages in danger of being lost forever, the UNESCO report, and the importance of language, folklore, oral traditions and scripts.
11:00 am- Book launch: Submerged Tehri; The Last Poems – A bilingual edition, translated by staff of the Landour Language School. A new bilingual edition of Hemchandra Saklani’s Hindi and Garhwali anthology Doobti Tehri ki Aakhri Kavitaiyen. The anthology memorializes the royal capital of Tehri, which was submerged under the reservoir created by the Tehri Dam. A few of the poems will be read in both Hindi and English, and a few poets and translators will be facilitated.
11:15 am- TEA BREAK – Flagpole area.
11:30 am - How the Best Prepare for the Worst - Live demonstration: First Aid Scenario at Flag Pole area – Hanifl staff.
12:30 pm - LUNCH – Quad dining room.
1:30 pm - The Third Pole: Himalayan Glaciers, Wetlands and Rivers - Stephen Alter. Exploring the cultural and ecological landscapes of Himalayan glaciers, wetlands and rivers this presentation touches on aspects of nature’s fury and our disgust over the way in which these resources are abused.
2:15 pm - Of Camps and Shooting Boxes: Dehra and Mussoorie – Lokesh Ohri. The talk will focus on the origins of Dehra Dun and Mussoorie, the interesting historic characters that lived here and why we should know about them. The talk will also focus on the region's significance for early exploration of the Himalayas and how the work of people like Dietrich Brandis, George Everest, Nain Singh added to our knowledge of the sub-continent.
3:00 pm - TEA BREAK - Flagpole area.
3:15 pm - Snow Camping Expedition: Presentation by Woodstock Students.
4:00 pm - Festival concludes.
EXHIBITION in Lyons Lounge - March 15 - 17 | 9:00am - 4:00 pm
The CARING PATH to Conserving Art - A curated display explaining the nuances of art conservation through the medium of objects, illustrated text panels, and replicas of artworks that span a period from the Indus Valley Civilization to contemporary times. The exhibition and display are supported by ConservArte: Citi-CSMVS Art Conservation Project.
LIVE SCULPTURE MAKING DEMONSTRATION - March 16 & 17 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
By master sculptor Chhemet Rigzin & son Stanzin Chokdup from Ladakh..
For Middle Years & Early Years Students at Woodstock School:
- Folk Tales from Sikkim by Minket Lepcha
- Reading and interactive session with Stephen Alter based on his book The Cloudfarers
2017 Mussoorie Mountain Festival
In 2017, the Hanifl Centre took on the curation of the Festival under K. Krishnan Kutty and Renu Oberoi (Assistant Director of the Festival). “Conservation” as it relates to the Himalaya was the theme and distinguished authors, photographers, filmmakers, mountaineers and conservationists came together for panel discussions, story sharing and open dialogue on topics related to the theme.
MMF '17 SCHEDULE
5:00 pm — Festival opening at Parker Hall
5:10 pm — Banff Mountain Film Festival, 2017 World Tour
6:45 pm — Dinner break
7:00 pm — Opening set - Ady Manral
7:30 pm — Naga Folk and Blues concert - Rewben Mashangva
9:00 am — Welcome Address: K. Krishnan Kutty, Festival Director
9:15 am — Climbing Everest Saved My Life! - Deshun Deysel
10:00 am — Discovering the Yeti in Mussoorie in 1956 - Daniel Taylor
10:45 am — Tea break
11:15 am — Felicitation of renowned mountaineer from Uttrakhand, Ms. Chandraprabha Aitwal
11:45 am — The Waste Warriors Mission: A Clean India - Jodie Underhill
12:30 pm — Lunch break
1:30 pm — Wandering Tigers: Journeys of Hope - Ravi Singh
2:10 pm — Himalaya Bound: A Journey with Nomads in North India - Michael Benanav
3:00 pm — Tea break
3:30 pm — FESTIVAL OF IDEAS:
In Your Night: Experience of Night in Semi-Urban North India - Shanti Mathias
Bringing Sustainable Light to Mussoorie - Aseem Aggarwal
Benefits and Implications of Dam Construction in the Himalayas - Egor Suvorov
5:00 pm — End of Day 2
9:00 am — FESTIVAL OF IDEAS:
WOODSTOCK STUDENTS Is Globalization Worth the price of Folk Culture? - Tanashya Batra
Root Causes Of and Responses to the Epidemic of Farmer Suicides in India - Harsh Yadav
10:00 am — Himalayan Wolves: Ecology, Insights and Conservation - Salvador Lyngdoh
10:30 am — Ecological and Socio-Political Situation of Large Carnivores in the Romanian Carpathians - Europe's Strongholds for Bears, Wolves and Lynx - Christoph Promberger
11:00 am — Discussion on Wolf Conservation Moderator - Steve Alter
11:15 am — Tea break
11:30 am — Exploring new Peaks in the Himalaya: Conservation Through Adventure - Martin Moran
12:15 pm — Legend and Lore of Spiti - Kishore Thukral
01:00 pm — Lunch break
01:45 pm — Conservation Facets of Himalayan Art - Anupam Sah.
02:30 pm — Mustang - The Lost Tibetan Kingdom: Tradition and Change - Sujoy Das
03:15 pm — Screening of Film Race to Save the Amur Falcon. Dir Shekar Dattatri. Followed by an interaction with Bano Haralu
04:00 pm — Festival concludes
Glimpses Of MMF '17