Wednesday, 19 June 2013


5 June 2013 - 10 June 2013 at Tumling, Darjeeling

The train slowly whistled out of Kolkata station carrying a group of 23 Gold and 3 Silver aspirants, all set to complete our qualifying Adventurous Journey. The enthusiasm was unbeatable as some of us were boarding a train for the first time and some will be seeing the mountains for the first time.  We, a group of 11 Awardees from Emmanuel Ministries, 4 from All Bengal Women's Union, 2 from Sarada Math, 4 from New Market Boys School and 5 from Pavement Club, along with our instructors, reached NJP station at 11 am. After a quick breakfast at the station, we drove up to Manebhanjan in cars. The view was breath-taking. It rained all along the six-hour journey. Finally, we reached and settled down in our allotted rooms. Ashim sir took a survival session and briefed us about the Tumling trek and mountain etiquette.  

Next morning, we started our march towards Tumbling. It was doing to be difficult. The sky was cloudy and it was still raining. It didn't seem like it would stop any time soon.  Dragging our bags and ourselves, panting for breath, we reached Chitrey, three kilometres away from where we started.

The route from Maneybhanjan to Chitrey is the steepest trek. The road was covered with moss and the 'short-cuts' had been eaten up by overgrowth of bushes. After a hot cup of tea and a bite of yak-cheese, we carried on with our journey. Next stop was at Lamedhura. The trail went up and down like the waves in the ocean, and we followed it. The forest seemed unaware of our presence, blooming with bright flowers and the song of birds. We were exhausted by the time we reach Lamedhura. None of us had undertaken such a trek before. Moving slowly, we took another good three hours to reach Tumbling. The clouds cleared,-opening the lovely Singhalila Range in front of us. We stayed in the Mountain huts (Shikkar).

The next morning was fresh and clear. We started walking towards Jobari. From Jobari, one gets a good look of the Singhalila National Park. We returned, packed our bags, took lunch and set out again and trekked down to Maneybhangyang via Meghna and Chitrey. We stopped for tea at Chitrey. This time downhill, back to Manebhanjan. While walking down, the only thought that lurked in our head was 'how did we walk up all this distance?' That time we understood the true nature of the words 'pushing one-self to get to greater heights.'

Next day after having our breakfast at Maneybhangyang, we loaded our baggage on to the Landrover and made our way down to Mirik. At Mirik the participants went shopping and sight-seeing. Then we continued our journey onward to NJP and stopped in between for lunch. We arrived at New Jalpaiguri station at 2pm and all of us rested at the waiting hall till we boarded our return train. This experience will be unforgettable. None of us could have thought that we were capable of completing the trek. But we did. We pushed ourselves. We learned. We shall ever be grateful to the Award to present us with the scope to discover ourselves. 

-   As narrated by the Awardees.

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