Kishen Singh (explorer)

  (Redirected from Krishna Singh Rawat)

Rai Bahadur Kishen Singh or Krishna (1850–1921) was a native Indian explorer, termed a pundit by the British, who was employed by the Survey of India.[1][2][3]

His code-name was 'A.K.' and his accomplishments would rival those of his famous cousin Nain Singh (code-named 'The Pundit').[4]

Kishen Singh
Born1850 (1850)
Died1921(1921-00-00) (aged 70–71)
OccupationAsian explorer

Early lifeEdit

He was born to a trader named Deb Singh. He was born at Milam village on India-China border now in present day Pithoragarh district. His elder brother was Mani Singh. His cousin Nain Singh was also an explorer.[5][6][7]

Education (1862–1867)Edit

Singh simultaneous studied and worked as assistant at the Garbyang government school in the Dharchula area, and later progressed to obtain the Tehsil Mudarisi diploma from the Normal School at Almora. He taught at Milam Girl's School and the Garbyang government school.[5][6][7]

Explorer (1867–1885)Edit

Hired and trained by the Geological Survey of India's Dehradun office, Singh then participated in the Great Trigonometrical Survey, and later became a trainer for the survey. James Walker, the superintendent of the survey, took him and his cousin Nain Singh on expeditions of Tibet and Central Asia. He was part of the several important expeditions listed below.[8][9][1][10]

  1. 1869 Kailash-Mansarovar expedition.
  2. 1871–1872 ShigacheLhasa expedition.
  3. 1873–1874 YarkandKashgar expedition, second expedition of this area by Sir Thomas Douglas Forsyth.
  4. 1878–1882 DarjeelingLhasaMongolia expedition, stayed in Lhasa for a year masquerading as a merchant, surveyed Mekong, Salween, and Irrawaddy rivers.

He was also the first person to map the Ramgarh crater on a finer scale of (1 : 63,360).[11]

Retirement and death (1885–1921)Edit

Singh retired in 1885. In 1913 he became a guardian patron of the "Johar Upkarini Mahasabha" grassroot development co-operative society of the Johar Valley. He died in February 1921.[2][3]


He received the following:[1][2][3]

  1. Royal Geographic Society, honored him with an inscribed gold watch and 500 Indian rupees.
  2. Paris Geographical Society, a gold medal.
  3. Italian Geographic Society, a gold medal.
  4. British government of India, title of Rai Bahadur.
  5. British government of India: with a grant of jagir by British in Sitapur district of present day Uttar Pradesh with annual revenue of INR1850.

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c Derek J. Waller, 2004, "The Pundits: British Exploration of Tibet and Central Asia," University Press of Kentucky.
  2. ^ a b c Dr. Sher Singh Pangtey, 1992, "Madhya Himalaya Ki Bhotia Janjaati (Bhotia Tribe of the Central Himalayas)".
  3. ^ a b c Indra Singh Rawat, 1973, "Indian Explorers of the 19th Century".
  4. ^ Dean, Riaz (2019). Mapping The Great Game: Explorers, Spies & Maps in Nineteenth-century Asia. Oxford: Casemate (UK). pp. 165, 200–9. ISBN 978-1-61200-814-1.
  5. ^ a b Kenneth Mason, 1923, "Kishen Singh and the Indian Explorers", The Geographical Journal, Vol. LXII-July to December.
  6. ^ a b Babu Ram Singh Pangtey, 1980, "Johar Ka Itihaas (History of Johar)".
  7. ^ a b Peter Hopkirk, 1982, "Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Race for Lhasa", Oxford University Press.
  8. ^ Clements R. Markham, 1878, "A Memoir on The Indian Surveys", 2nd Ed., W H Allen & Co., London, p.189.
  9. ^ Charles E. D. Black, 1891, "A Memoir on The Indian Surveys (1875–90)" , London , p.168.
  10. ^ Account of the Pundit's Journey in Great Tibet - Capt. H. Trotter, The Journal of the Royal Geographic Society (1877).
  11. ^ Balasundaram, M., Dube, A. Ramgarh, 1973, "Structure, India", Nature (journal), 242, 40 doi:10.1038/242040a0.

External linksEdit