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57 students along with Dr. Ankit Shah celebrated their valentine day by starting the most memorable trip to Dalhousie. Gathered at Vadodara Junction sharp at 12, the delay in arrival of train couldn’t  cut down the excitement of the students to reach the place about which they have heard numerable experiences by the senior batches.

With the last minute pampering and advices from parents, the journey started off with safeguarding the luggages so that the students can enjoy the journey without any tension of theft.

Exchanging of foods, cracking jokes, playing cards, singing latest Bollywood numbers, touring each station, trying out various delicious local food at station, bidding goodbye to sleep, we enjoyed the journey as if there was no tomorrow.  We reached our first destination by 3 pm on 15th Feb, Pathankot, from where a bus drove us to Youth Hostel, Dalhousie was waiting to host us for the next 5 days.

Touring around our way to Dalhousie, crossing the paths in the lap of nature, the snow covered mountains were a treat for eyes, the chilled air touched the skin leaving goosebumps. The drained students were welcomed with a bowl of hot soup by the staffs of hostel.

Day 1 started off with a delicious breakfast followed by which the students headed to “Panchkula”, which was covered by clicking pictures at every steps. The first group photo in Dalhousie was clicked right opposite to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Chok. The hostel coordinators had arrange the activity of Zip Lining for all the participants. It was overwhelming experience for everyone to cheer  up for the stunts, and being close to nature . Students were provided packed lunch followed by which we divide ourselves in groups and progressed ahead to explore the nature of the city. Few decided to continue with the trekking whereas few went ahead to wander in the local markets. Few went back to hostel to put their leftover energy in saving mode.

Day 2 started early in morning, we had a long trip to Dharamshala is a beautiful & serene hill town that had shot to fame after His Holiness Dalai Lama took shelter there. The students had a great time admiring the mesmerizing scenery, the cool breeze & the verdant greenery sprinkled all around. Gaining back energy by having the yummy lunch packed by the hostel, we headed towards Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium- HPCA which is one of the best cricket stadium in the country. It is set against the beautiful backdrop of snow top mountains. The blessed essence of the place makes it a ideal destination for sports.

Day 3  began with a 35 kms ride to Bhalei Mata Temple, temple of Bhader Kali who is popularly known as Sri Bhalei Mata. the temple is structured beautiful at 3800 feet height.

Followed by the divine encounter, we headed towards a fun filled, most beautiful Chamera Lake. It is actually a reservoir formed by the Chamera Dam, Which is positioned at an altitude of 1700 meters. It is not only the most loved tourist spot but also a major source of water supply for the villagers. The final stop for the day was the Rock Garden. As the name says, it was all rocks. The garden is located on both sides of the road, with a waterfall in one enhancing the beauty of the garden. The 20 minute stop was all about striking different poses and capturing memories.


Day 4  was the day,the batch have been waiting for- to play with snow!! Trek to to kalatop Sanctuary. Located on a average 2500 meters above the sea level, it offers a stunning view of thick pine and other various fauna in the region.   Kalatop is one of the most snowy destination in Dalhousie,is known for the lush green surroundings and snow capped Himalayan peaks.The students couldn't stop themselves from throwing snowballs on each other. We spend hours gazing at the beautiful surroundings of Kalatop that embrace the amazing green landscapes and majestic mountains in its environment

Walking back half heartedly, in no mood to leave the snow, we reached “MIni Switzerland” - Khajjiar. It is a small plateau surrounded by meadows and forests.  The students enjoyed horse riding and clicking pictures wearing the traditional dress of the region.

Day 5  the last day in our dream land; gave a ever lasting memory for all the students. The students got geared up for the last trek in Dalhousie- Dainkund. The engines of the vehicles were started in early morning itself. Dainkund is a stunning tourist place, where we had a lot of fun walking down the circular path of the mountains, playing and clicking  pictures in snow and of course a few harmless slips too. From the peak we relished a 360° view of the entire valley. It shares one of its peak with the Indian Air Force and on other is situated Pholani Devi Temple, which has nothing other than trident inside the premises. Grabbing a quick  refreshments, we headed back to the hostel, where the students got ready to gather for the one last time to thank Captain R S Rana, for tolerating all our masti and spreading a warm smile every morning.  Dr. Ankit Shah handed over him a token a momento for the support he had been showring on CKSVIM since long. Captain R S Rana handed over a certificate and a trophy to all the participants.

 

Any celebration is not complete without music, that too for students from Gujarat; celebration is marked with Garba. The last night was made a most memorable one with 4 hours of non stop DJ, making all students to get themselves on the dance floor! The night dawned away with all packing and recalling all those wonderful memories created in this fantasy world.

 

The next day we headed back to Pathankot singing all the way playing anthrakshari, from where we had to board a train that would drop us back to our routine life. The bright sun rays kissed us a goodbye, no tears were shedded instead bag full of smiles and tons of memories were brought back. Stopping at all stations, finally the train stopped in Vadodara Junction on 22nd Feb at 12:00 am dropping us back to HOME, with golden memories to cherish life long.

Click to view the Photographs

Report written by:

Abirami Pillai

Coordinators of the trip:

Hardika, Kartik Desai and Rutu Nayak 

Picture Courtesy: 

Yash Gandhi, NIrav Mahida and Lokesh Patel