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About Operation Meghdoot


The Indian Army recently commemorated 40 years since ‘Operation Meghdoot’ began, securing the Siachen Glacier.


Facts for Prelims

About Operation Meghdoot


  • Code-name for the Indian Armed Forces operation to capture the Siachen Glacier, a strategically crucial region in Northern Ladakh.

Historical Context:

  • Siachen has been a point of contention between India and Pakistan since the Karachi Agreement of 1949.
  • The area remained undivided due to the challenging terrain and harsh weather conditions.


  • India’s military response to Pakistan’s “cartographic aggression” in Ladakh, north of map reference NJ9842, where the Line of Control (LoC) was previously agreed upon.


  • Launched on April 13, 1984.
  • Unique as the world’s first assault on the highest battlefield.
  • Led by Lieutenant General Manohar Lal Chibber, Lieutenant General PN Hoon, and Major General Shiv Sharma.
  • India secured strategic heights on Siachen, deploying troops via airlifts and air-dropping supplies to high-altitude airfields.


  • Pre-empted the seizure of Sia La and Bilafond La passes by the Pakistan Army.
  • Indian troops gained control of the entire Siachen Glacier.
  • Distinguished by seamless coordination and synergy between the Indian Army and the Air Force.

Strategic Importance of Siachen:

  • Location and Altitude:
    • Situated at around 20,000 feet in the Karakoram Mountain range.
    • Known as the highest militarised zone globally.
  • Strategic Domination:
    • Dominates the Shaksgam Valley (ceded to China by Pakistan in 1963) in the north.
    • Controls routes from Gilgit Baltistan to Leh from the west.
    • Dominates the ancient Karakoram Pass in the east.
    • Observes nearly the entire Gilgit Baltistan towards the west, an Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1948.

-Source: The Economic Times

May 2024