Pandit Nain Singh Rawat was one of the first of the late 19th century Indian explorers to explore the Himalayas for the British. Rawat was born on 21th October, 1830, in Milam village from the valley of Johar, present day Uttarakhand.
After his schooling, Rawat visited different places in Tibet with his father, and learned the Tibetan language, customs and became familiar with the Tibetans.
He was first Indian explorer to survey Tibet, determine the extract location and altitude of Lhasa, map the Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) and also give the details of the gold mines of Thok Jalung.
In 1855, Rawat was first recruited by German geographers the Schlagintweit brothers Adolf and Robert, when they were sent to explore and survey India.
In 1863, Rawat along with his brother was sent to Dehradun, where they received training on the use of scientific instruments and ways of measuring and recording at the Great Trigonometric Survey office for two years.
Rawat was honoured with several awards from the Royal Geographical Society. Among them was a gold medal for his contributions to mapping part of the Himalayas.
On June 27, 2004, an Indian post issued a commemorative stamp featuring Nain Singh Rawat for his contribution in the Great Trigonometric Survey.