Sanjib Chakraborty, Award Leader from Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata is sharing the Adventurous Journey report from the diary of a participant.
As a part of the IAYP Adventurous Journey section, Silver Level Award participants braved the Singalila ridge. The Journey started on 16th March when we left for New Jalpaiguri.
On 17th after a long bus ride full of optical delights - a treat from Mother Nature, we reached Manebhanjang, our base camp. On the way we passed through the town of Kurseong - the land of white orchids. We were duly treated to a narration of a ghost story, the haunting tale about Margaret's Hope, a tea estate, the facts about the old toy train running from Kurseong to Darjeeling and some more spine chilling facts about this notorious town by our accompanying teacher. We also had a short acclimatisation trek of about 3 kilometers. That evening we had a session on rope knot and track signals on mountains.
Next day we underwent the rigorous but fun trek to Tumling after a short warm up session. This is the only trek which provides a view of the tallest peaks like Mt Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Lhodhse all together in a panoramic view. The weather was predicted to be rainy. It was a daunting 12 km trek. We had three stops in between - Chitrey, Lamidura, and Meghma for about 7 hours straight. We saw shrines with Nepali engravings for the good fortune of the trekkers. We were at the India-Nepal border, standing with one foot in India and the other one in Nepal!
On 19th March at sunrise we went to the viewpoint to behold the scenic beauty of the Sleeping Buddha. It is so called because it resembles a sleeping person. The head is the Kumbhakarna, the torso is Kanchenjunga and the foot is Pandim. This view is famous since the mountaineers are not allowed to put their foot on the summit of Kanchenjunga as it is considered holy by Buddhist monks. On the left side of this we can see the view of Mt Everest, Makalu and Lhodhse. When the sunlight falls on the snow capped peaks, they appear to have taken the hue of alluring gold. Tumling, at a staggering height of 10,000 feet, also boasts of diverse flora and fauna. Rhododendrons both white and red, Magnolia, birds like Verditer Flycatcher and pheasants, animals like the Red Panda (native to Singalila) and Himalayan Black Bear abound. During our stay we had the chance to taste some authentic local Tibetan food. We made and served hot chocolate and paani puris to the residents and the students during the self cooking session.
On the evening of that day we had a fun campfire session. The participants conducted three events - Quiz, Antakshari and Charades.
While we were sad to go back from the cool weather of Tumling to the sultry scorching heat of Kolkata, we were back at home with lots of memories to cherish in the days to come.Click for Pictures