Thursday 1 August 2019

The Trail of an Insightful Journey

The Silver Award participants of Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata, together with their Award Leaders, visited Jayalgarh for their Adventurous Journey. By falling and getting up again, they gained not just experiences but the true essence of life.
On 1st October, 2018, 15 Silver Award participants accompanied by two Award Leaders ventured into the wilderness of Devbhumi, Uttarakhand, as part of their Adventurous Journey section.
We commenced the journey by departing from Kolkata and reaching Delhi, from where we boarded the Nandadevi Express to reach Jayalgarh, our campsite. When we reached Haridwar at the crack of dawn, we boarded the bus to Jayalgarh, located at a distance of about 110 kms from Haridwar. On reaching Jayalgarh, we were allocated our tents. With heightened anticipation, we undertook our first adventure activity called ‘valley crossing’ in which we had to slide on a zipline with proper safety equipment. What followed next was ‘stream walking’ that required us to walk against the stream in our floater sandals. We then went to Malitha village on foot for ‘rappelling’. Rappelling is a descending technique widely used in mountaineering, which involves the use of ropes, helmets, harnesses, figure of eight descender and other equipment. After acing this, we came back to our campsite and had a fun-filled self cooking session, which was followed by a plethora of team games. We had some time to ourselves for reflecting on the activities done on that day, where we recorded the details of the activities done.
On the next day, the fog had encompassed the camp and the peaks of the snow clad mountains looked like some ethereal world untouched by man. Our day started with morning exercise, which was followed by ‘free floating’ and ‘body surfing’. We were then taught ‘kayaking’ by the authorised mountaineers and dive masters who have been in this profession for a decade and more. Post lunch we went to a local primary school for service. We spent around two hours interacting, teaching, playing and singing with the young students there. We also interacted with the villagers and learnt about their challenges. This was followed by a jumaring session which is another widely used technique for ascending a mountain. It mainly involves the use of a jumar and other equipment such as ropes, harnesses and helmets.
We then trekked up the hill to a sunset point through the wild outgrowths where we did some bird watching and observed the diversity of flora there. We walked back to our campsite and engaged ourselves in team games like volleyball and a diary writing session. After dinner, we had the much awaited part of our tour, the bonfire night, coupled with ghost stories. The following day saw us engaging in a meditation session. Then, we proceeded to the Malitha Bridge for bridge slithering, which was yet another spine-chilling activity and the last one of our journey. The day concluded with a prize distribution ceremony, followed by a vote of thanks for the organisers. The next day, with sad hearts and a plethora of memories to cherish, we boarded our bus, which took us to Dehradun from where our retreat to Kolkata began.

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