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Waoww!!!! The Dalhousie trip.......... this is a trip which each and every student of semester one waits for; right from the commencement of the college. The planning and discussions about the trip started in the month of December. The trip was to be taken in the month of February (mid). The funniest part was, the discussions for the trip started 75 days earlier..... Planning for a trip of 7 days was done 75 days before..... it just showed the heights of the excitement which we all contended. The coordinating team was decided, and then confirmation from all the students and faculties was taken regarding their consent for the trip.

The trip planning was done in a way that it served both the purposes of enjoying up to the fullest with the lowest per head expense possible. So, the train tickets were booked with concession – a student right of having an advantage of availing concession on the trip in a group booking of students. It all made us learn the actual procedure of how to avail the concession as it was not just a cake-walk. Then we were almost through our bookings and traveling plans about the trip. The only thing left was some shopping and then just dreaming about the trip full of excitement.

On the Valentine’s day, 46 students along with Dr. Kerav Pandya sir and Gaurang Badheka sir, departed for our tour at 1.45 pm from Vadodara via train named Sarvoday Express. Though it was a long journey straight away to Pathankot (Chakkibank Cantonment) which was of 22 long hours, it seemed to have cut in no time. We all enjoyed all the eating stuff on every station by having the respective specialities of that place. Songs, Cards, Eateries, Tea, Soft drinks, jokes and the scenery just snatched out 22 hours of our journey time. All of us were awake throughout the whole night.

On 15th of February, we reached the desired station pathankot from where we had to reach our destination via bus as it was situated in the hill-top areas of Himachal Pradesh. We had planned a lunch on our bus route to Dalhousie. We took a halt for lunch and then again set off to travel to the final destination by passing through the hilly areas of Himachal and passing through the beauty of the place. The highlight of traveling was the bus ride from Pathankot to Dalhousie – which was nothing less than a roller coaster on the road, really. We finally reached the Youth Hostel where we were given a warm welcome by Mr. Rana (Ex-Army Officer) and his team. The weather conditions were really awesome to adjust ourselves into. We had some tea and soup, then settled ourselves and our luggage in our respective rooms and refreshed ourselves for the dinner. After dinner we went for a small walk and the fun in the rooms continued till late night.

16th February (Day 2):-

The next day, as per the schedule and the weather conditions, we had to visit Panchpula District. We had to present ourselves in the morning at 9 am to Mr. Rana for the instructions and the activities about the trek. We enjoyed the Valley crossing and also did some Adventure Sports like Rappelling, River Crossing & Burma Bridge crossing there.We were able to watch the source point of the waterfall and we also went to the peak of that waterfall where we had some really cherishable photographs. At the end we had to walk back to our hostel and we were tired at the end of the exciting 1st day and reached there in the evening. Panchpulla is also a popular picnic spot. A monument has been built here in memory of a great freedom fighter Ajit Singh. A samadhi of Sardar Ajit Singh (uncle of Bhagat Singh) adds to its importance.

 17th February (Day 3) :-

The second day was the day which we all were waiting for.....the place called Mini-Switzerland (Khajjiar) was to be visited by us. Because of the snowfall, we had to go there from the other longer route for which we had to travel 32 kms from our hostel. Khajjiar is the place full of Natural beauty. Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests. It is about 6,500 feet (2,000 m) above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar range. Khajjiar Lake is a small lake, surrounded by saucer-shaped lush green meadow and a floating island. The dense growth of weed has made its earth spongy. We all got wet by playing with the snow and had to have lunch in our wet clothes. We, while returning back visited the Lord Shiva temple as it was the day of “Mahashivratri”. The visit to khajjiar was really an unforgettable experience.

Then we were taken to one of the most famous attractions of Dalhousie, called Chamba Village. There was a big market to visit for the tourists mainly consisting of winter wears and accessories. The main place in that market is the Laxmi-Narayan Temple. The temple has a historic value behind its existence. The Lakshmi Narayan temples complex, devoted to the Vaishnavite sect, includes the main Lakshmi Narayan temple, built in the 10th century by Raja Sahil Verman.

We, ended the day by reaching to the hostel and had yummy dinner arranged by Mr. Rana and his team. The late night Pranks in the rooms by boys continued as a session on the regular basis and we enjoyed that too as our rooms were arranged in such a way that we all boys were together all the time on the double-decker beds.

18th February (Day 4):-

Kalatop trek was something which we eagerly waited for, from the day 1. This was the spot, 12 kms away from our hostel. The attitudinally highest most spot that we were going to visit was this along with the heaviest snow quantity. We just had a mind blowing experience of walking between snows on both the sides. The best thing was all the people who visited the place, faced some or the other funny incidents like creeping inside the snow, and getting wet in such weather etc. When we left for the Kalatop trek, the weather was a bit sunny, but as soon as we started climbing up, the weather got changed all of a sudden and we just saw something which we waited for the snowfall with a thunderstorm. Everything which was more than 5 metres far from us seemed to be invisible. All of them caught the hands to each other and climbed down the mountain but the the weather turned into its wildest form and so, we had to take the cabs and climb down to the hostel. Again snow fights were awesome and the tiredness was at its peak for all of us. We reached, had some food and again started the room talks and fights and mimicry and all the sort of enjoyment which made us feel delighted. On the fourth day, all of us were a bit sad because our trip was about to end.

19th February (Day 5):-

This day we just had a visit to a temple and boating activity in the lake nearby. Unfortunately Boating activity was not available because of the bad weather but the visit to the temple was really pious. We returned back early in the afternoon as the visit was made by the bus. We were asked to get-together in the evening at 6 pm for some special purpose. When we came down, it was a kind of a see-off function planned by Mr. Rana and his team. In this get-together we were all presented a trophy along with the certificate of appreciation for completing the adventure tour successfully. Mr. Rana who was the Ex-Army officer shared his own lifetime experience about his life as an army man. We really salute these great Navjavans and we are proud of them, who do not fear being there on the border 24*7 as a sign of their devotion to the country because of whom we can really breathe countlessly.

Lastly, we had our dinner and had a DJ party as the celebration for the last night. We really were unhappy for the last night to come. But then, it was the time to again go to the respective rooms. We did a bit less “masti” as compared to all the 4 days in our rooms as it was a sad feeling inside everyone for leaving such a beautiful place with the whole college group which we would be able to visit again or not.

20th February (Day 6):-

We got up early in the morning, got ourselves ready, had the breakfast and left the hostel with a last look on it until it was visible to us. We had to reach the Pathankot (Chakki bank) station on which we had our train scheduled at 12.45 pm. We all took our seat and were off for Vadodara. We again had a great time in the train but the only missing factor in all of us while returning was the “Excitement” which we did not carry because the hard truth was that – the trip was over.......

We reached Vadodara on 21st of February and reached our respective houses and narrated the whole experience to our parents and relatives.

It was just an unforgettable experience which we had. We were extremely pleased by Mr. Rana and his team’s hospitality. In-spite of such unpredictable weather conditions, they had made all the arrangements to make our trip a successful. We would like to thank Mr. Rana and his staff for such a good hospitality and would like to appreciate his management.

Student Coordinators:

Sunil Dadlani

Hardik Somani

Nirav Mistry

Nikita Gandhi

Neel Parikh

Akash Gohel

Report written by: Neel Parikh, Batch VI