Let’s start with the introduction of the institute. Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering administered by the Government of Gujarat and is located in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan. The name of the building of the institute is Sadhna Bhawan. It can be reached by road, the nearest railway station being Abu road.
The institute is an old spacious building, well maintained.
The building has an artificial climbing wall in its premises, while it’s basic rock climbing field is in the main part of the town near the beautiful Nakki lake, the main attraction of people visiting Abu. This artificial wall climbing is a part of the basic mountaineering course syllabus.
The instructors here are also quite well experienced. The course focuses on improving your rock-climbing techniques and building your stamina.
Course offered at SVIM, Mount Abu
The institute offers 3 courses:
- Basic Course in Rock climbing. Duration: 10 Days
- Advance Rock-climbing Course. Duration: 15 Days
- Coaching Course in Rock climbing. Duration: 30 Days
You can only opt for the next Course when you complete the earlier course.
Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering Fees
The institutes charge a very nominal tuition fee of Rs.10/- per day for people outside Gujarat and free of cost for residents of Gujarat, as the institute is run by Gujarat government. Along with this, they charge Rs. 110/- per day as your food and lodging fee.
So, a Basic Course in Rock climbing of ten days amounts up to Rs.1200/- in total. I suppose a very promising amount for the quality of training the institute provides.
The successive courses after this Basic course are the Advance Rock-climbing Course of 15 days and the Coaching Course of 30 days.
Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering Fees for Advance Rock-climbing course is Rs.1,800/- only and for 30 days Coaching Course is Rs.3,600/-.
After successfully completing the 30 days Coaching Course you become an authorized trainer in rock climbing. You can also continue to become an instructor at the institute.
My certificate of the Advance Course In Rock Climbing. This course is of 15 Days.
About the Institute
The institute was established as Gujarat Institute of Mountaineering (GMI) by Dhruv Kumar Pandya and Arvind Bhai in the year 1960.
Earlier it was only established in Junagarh, Rajasthan. And its name was changed to Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering.
Later, by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, in 1969, established the second branch of the institute at Mount Abu.
So,now it has two branches, one at Junagarh, Gujarat and another one at Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
In this article, we have talked about the SVIM Mount Abu branch Rajasthan.
The name of the institute at Junagarh has been changed to Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Training Centre, on Upadhyay Ji’s name.
The enrollment form for SVIM Mount Abu and for Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Training Centre can also be downloaded from the link below:
So these are the two Mountaineering Institutes of Gujarat Government:
- Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering, Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
- Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Training Centre, Junagadh, Gujarat.
Other Top Mountaineering Institutes of India
- Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering & Winter Sports, Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir (JIM).
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, Himachal Pradesh (ABVIMAS)
- Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand (NIM).
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, West Bengal (HMI).
- National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh (NIMAS).
- Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Pandit Nain Singh Surveyor Mountaineering Training Institute, Munsiyari, Uttarkhand.
- Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute, Gangtok, Sikkim.
- High Altitude Warfare School, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir (HAWS).
The schedule of the Course.
The daily training includes a run to the basic climbing field, followed by warm-up exercises and then practising of climbing techniques.
Anyone looking up for rock climbing surely fantasies the climbing shoes but the instructors over here lay emphasis on simple shoes with rubber soles. These shoes make you put more efforts while climbing and hence your techniques improve.
There’s a cobbler available who prepares rubber soles in your simple PT shoes and makes them good enough for climbing.
In the initial days, walking techniques are introduced at 40° slabs without a belay. Belay is the safety ropes attached to the climber’s body to arrest his fall. Ascending techniques in the morning, and lunch in the noon, followed by a lecture and then descending skill, rappelling, initially in a primary field near the institute which further moves to the same field used for climbing. This increases your running to two times to the basic field.
The rock climbing further heads from 40° to 75° as people get used to walking on the rocks. Also, the climbing height increases, initially from 10 feet to 50 feet. The belays are used initially as the climbing level increases but soon the training makes you so confident that you find yourself climbing to 60 feet slab at an angle of 70°. This is my self-experience, what I initially feared was just a piece of cake after a few days and the running surely develops your stamina.
The rappelling part introduces you to the techniques of descending and equipment used. Surely, you need to learn to descend and rappelling is a fast and easy way for that, so you surely need to learn that.
Overall, the basic mountaineering course syllabus is good. Surely a little tough and makes you learn the skills and develops your stamina. Also, scoring an ‘A’ grade isn’t easy over here.
This is an image of Arbuda wall. In the advance course, rock-climbing is practised in these walls. Belay and team climbing at these walls give you a good experience.
The Advance Mountaineering Course also includes rappelling down the toad rock. There is a quite popular big rock in the shape of a toad or a frog. Here is a video from Advance Course rappelling down the toad rock in Mount Abu.
How to reach Mount Abu Mountaineering Institute?
Mount Abu Mountaineering Institute is 6 Km before the main Mount Abu city. You can de-board the bus going to Mount Abu at the point near the institute. The point is Hill N You resort. From this point, a road diverts called Goumukh Road. On this road, it’s around 1 km to the institute.
Road Routes from some of the major nearby cities:
No matter which major station you are coming from. You will have to cross Abu Road town. From here onward, the hilly route starts.
Nearest Railway Station
Abu Road is the nearest railhead. Abu road railway station is a major station and connected with all the major Railway stations.
How to reach Mount Abu from Abu Road?
The distance from Abu road Railway station to Mount Abu is around 22 km. There are a number of government and private buses flocking from Abu road to Mount Abu. They charge you something around Rs.50/-.
Also, you will find a few local jeeps going to Mount Abu. These are little too crowded and over-packed. But are frequent and charge the same amount as the buses.
The nearest Airport to Mount Abu is Udaipur at a distance of around 163 km. Udaipur is a domestic airport.
The nearest International Airport to Mount Abu is Ahmedabad Airport which is at a distance of 220 km.
Why is Mount Abu considered a perfect Hill station?
Mount Abu has a famous lake named Nakki Lake. The lake has a circumference of around 2400 meters.
This lake makes Mount Abu an ideal place for vacation.
The altitude of Nakki Lake at Mount Abu is 1,150 meters.
If you just planning to choose the course just to spend your vacation in Mount Abu, it won’t be a good idea. The institute is a government funded institute and has a few serious instructors who take their job very seriously. There is no leniency in the course.
All the 3 courses are really tough and are surely a test of your endurance and needs good stamina.