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Who We Are

Bull’s Retreat is an initiative of Mercury Himalayan Explorations Ltd. (MHE), India’s pioneering adventure travel company.

We’re often asked why the resort is named Bull’s Retreat. So here’s a little story that you may enjoy: It was his first boxing bout at the National Defence Academy (NDA) and he was facing an opponent at least a foot taller than him. Cadet Kumar fought the round like only he knew how - by locking in his thick muscular neck and charging through the much taller man. The worthy opponent, Senior Cadet Sunith Francis Rodrigues won that round and went on to become the Chief of Army Staff. Kumar lost that bout but went on to earn the sobriquet "Bull" that has stuck till this day. His propensity to relentlessly charge into every challenge that came his way didn't diminish and he went on to be India's most decorated soldier-mountaineer: the first to put India on Everest (1965), first to scale Nanda Devi (1964), and first to climb Kanchenjunga from its toughest north-east face (1976), a feat described by The British Alpine Journal as ‘far more difficult than the Everest ascent’.

His feat in 1981, is, however, one for which India will forever be grateful. In April of 1981, Colonel Narinder "Bull" Kumar, planted the Indian flag on the Siachen Glacier and became the first person to scale the uncharted Siachen — the world’s largest glacier — from its freezing snout to its icy source. In his salty style, Kumar says: “Once you get the heights, you’re the tiger. We put the tricolor at the farthest end of Siachen.”

In 1984, Colonel "Bull" Kumar’s reconnaissance formed the bedrock of Operation Meghdoot, when India thwarted Pakistan’s occupation of Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield. As Indian troops established more posts, a key base on the glacier was named Kumar Base: perhaps the only living Indian army officer to enjoy this singular honor.

This highly-decorated officer of the Kumaon Regiment retired from the Indian Army in 1982 and founded Mercury Himalayan Explorations (MHE) - the pioneer of adventure travel in India. Until 2010, this resort was MHE's "jungle camp" for the lovers of white water rafting in Rishikesh, Today, Bull's Retreat is an 18-room forest resort that welcomes pilgrims and thrill seekers alike, with a heart that continues to beat for adventure. "This is like my second home, and when I see young people coming here to be with nature, everything seems right with the world!" says Col. Kumar.