Avtar Singh Cheema was the first Indian to lead a successful expedition that climbed Mount Everest. He was a part of the third mission undertaken by the Indian Army, in 1965, to climb Mt. Everest after two failed attempts. He successfully conquered the mountain on 20 May 1965. He was a Captain in the 7th Bn Parachute regiment at that time. Later he was promoted to colonel.
He was awarded Arjuna award and Padma Shri for his achievements. He hails from Sri Ganganagar of Rajasthan state.