Madhe to Upande -Durga Naniwadekar

When I boarded the bus for the first trek of Avhaan Advanced, I started seeing familiar faces. Many of my friends from the May High Altitude Manali camp boarded my bus too. I felt so happy and excited to meet them again, for I had missed them more than I missed my parents for any trek. Ira came and sat next to me and we started chit-chatting about how excited we were for this trek. Soon, the two of us went to sleep (both of us had woken up at 5 am and were very sleepy). I woke up an hour later, and we were already outside Pune. Our road was surrounded by the lush green mountains of the Western Ghats. It was drizzling slightly and there was the lovely scent of damp soil all around. I felt so wonderful and fresh after my sleep. This continued for a few hours. Soon, we started seeing villages and farms. After we reached the trek starting point, we were divided into groups.

As we began the trek, I was surprised to find that we were going downhill! Dada said that we will be going uphill later. As we descended, our path joined a stream. I had to really concentrate – one wrong step, and my entire foot would be drenched in water. I really enjoyed the ‘stream walking’. As we reached the bottom of the valley, the trees cleared up and we could see the cliffside. We saw the Keleshwar dhabdhaba, (waterfall named after lord Shiva) and the dry route of Lakshmi dhabdhaba. The nearby village was called Kele.

We soon reached the village at the bottom of the valley. We were so relieved!I removed my muddy shoes and we all sat for lunch in the courtyard of the family who accommodated us. After lunch, everyone ran out to feel the cool breeze, but I stayed inside and wore my poncho, because I predicted that it was going to rain. A few minutes later, it actually started raining heavily and we resumed the trek only after the rain stopped.  I removed my poncho, but after half an hour, it started to become cold and breezy and dark grey clouds covered the sky. But I was so proud of my earlier prediction that I forgot to predict this time, and very soon I was drenched from head to toe! But I didn’t try to wear my poncho this time, because, what’s the use of a monsoon trek if you don’t get drenched? I happily climbed up the cliff in the rain until the soles of my feet started becoming warm. They were tired and a tiny blister came up on my little toe.

But again, the rain came to my rescue and because of the heavy downpour, our trail turned into a ministream; and every time I took a step, cool water gushed in and soothed my souls (of my feet too). When we reached the top, we could see the Konkan side with all its farms and villages! It was so beautiful seeing it from above the clouds! After the watching the dazzling view, we observed that two little streams joined into a bigger one, and everyone jumped straight in! ‘Why not have a little more fun since we were already wet,’ I thought.

When at last we completed the trek, there were dry clothes and warm tea waiting for us. There was also a kind aaji in the village who allowed us to play with the fluffy chicks from her farm.  We all boarded the bus and had a sleepy and content journey back. I thoroughly enjoyed this trek and hope there will be many more like this.

A DAY AT FORT TIKONA – vaidehi Deshpande

 

Sunday, June 25 was pretty much the wettest day I’m sure anyone went through- at least while climbing a mountain! We all attended our first Avhaan trek to fort Tikona which literally means a‘triangle’ and is like-a two hour journey from Pune.

It was raining continuously while we were ascending and descending the hillside. Only after we finished trekking and reached the foot of the hill was when the rains stopped. Water was continuously flowing down the hillside and onto us. All of us were muddy and dripping but everyone was ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ at the view of our surroundings  near the base of the hill. A few of us were very eager to get to the top and raced up. But because of the altitude and rain , the atmosphere was full of mist which surrounded the fort like a fuzzy blanket. The fort was in a pretty good condition considering the harsh weather it has to bear most of the time. After a short rest we began our descent. Climbing down was a lot harder than climbing up because of the increased chances of falling. Children slipped quite a number of times on narrow paths and loose rocks. Luckily no one was hurt. It felt good to be sitting again after nearly two hours of

constant trudging in puddles. We had our lunch in the buses and as everybody was tired, we slept for a while. On the way we stopped for some yummy vadapav. We got a cap, a rope and a book for keeping track of our ‘adventures’. After a satisfying snack, we reached home. It was a really enjoyable day and I’m looking forward to more days like these in the year.

THANK   YOU   GIRIPREMI!

Vaidehi Deshpande

Madhe to Upande trek – Advait Jog

DESCEND:  MADHE GHAT

ASCEND:  UPANDHE GHAT

Pune District’s last village à Upande Village – Taluka Velhe

Why the name Madhe Ghat à Tanaji Malusare; Shivaji Maharaj’s “Mavala” won the fort “Kondhana (Sinhagad)” for him. But while fighting, Tanaji passed away. In Marathi, a dead body is called a “Madha”. Since this “Madha” was carried back to his village through this ghat, hence the name “Madhe Ghat” as given. Given below: Trek Madhe Ghat

We started slightly late at about 6:50 – 7:00 am. We met Umesh Zirpe Sir and the other instructors. After reaching at our 1st destination – village Kelad à we were divided in three ropes, 2 of 7 children and 1 of 6. The rope names were given as “Tikona”, “Singhagad” and “Harishchandragad”. I am in rope Harishchandragad and the rope’s instructor is Samiran Dada. We started with a ghoshana. The walking was on plain land for about half a kilometer. Then we started climbing down. For some time we walked near a waterfall “Keleshwar Waterfall”. For some time we walked under a tunnel made of trees. The walk felt as if we were walking on a bed. The sponge like humus gave this feel. When we reached the plain near village Upandhe, Umesh Sir showed us the “Keleshwar Waterfall” and the “Lakshmi Waterfall”. Then we had our lunch in a house in village Upandhe. Three girls sang songs.

Trek à Upandhe Ghat

At about 1:00 pm we started our return journey but the rain stopped us for about half an hour. Then we started back again through the muddy water accumulated due to rain. This was eeky but FUN!

Then we started climbing, this was Upandhe ghat. Looking at the lush green grass, we never realized when we reached on top of the plateau. Here Umesh Sir took us to a place for Singhagrjana*.

After the Singhagarjana we headed back to village Kelad. Everyone was soaked so we changed our clothes; boys in the bus and girls in a bungalow where we had tea. The after a group photo, we ate in the bus and started our return journey. We reached the Rajaram Pul stop at 7:00 pm. It was a wonderful Experience!!

* Singhagarjana à

In a Singhagarjana you shout as loudly as you can, opening your mouth in a wide AAAAAAAAAA…………….

This relaxes your cheek muscles. This info was given by Umesh Sir.

Advait Jog

Avhaan Advance

GGIM Pune

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High Spirits – Annanya Dass

Astonished, mesmerized, and fulfilled with the elegance of  beauty and traits of mystique enhancement we saw. Manali was a wonder come true for not only me but almost everyone. Here comes a short poem which describes the basic idea of how we felt and feel now about the trip. :

Moments full of fun, honour and pride,
This was our most unexpected wonderful ride,
A ride of a journey just of some days,
Which changed us in so many different ways.

A memory filled with friends,
And our very new different trends,
Learning new things was made fun,
And we were eager for more inturn.

Training like an army platoon,
Duration like a short monsoon,
Experiences made a glance,
This was our best chance.

This turned into an adventure book,
And that could be seen on each and every look,
Everything was so awesome,
Our inspiration always blossom.

Another hope of a new adventure stays awake,
For all of us this idea bakes,
These challenging things make us more strong,
And for them forever we’ll long.

As seen, this was a fantabulous thing that got true. The training felt so good even after being so challenging . It became an experience beyond words. The moments were too special, and the time unforgettable. I will always long for more adventures like this. Thank-You to all teachers n friends for making this trip a never-forgetting moment for me forever!

With regards,
Anannya Rene Dass

My (first) Visit to Manali – Vishwajeet Shingare

I always had a question in my mind. A question for which I got a number of answers, but none of them could satisfy me. I was very curious to discover it’s answer but as I grew up my curiosity started to fade away. But last month I realised that I had found my answer.

The answer for which I had been waiting since a long time. The question may seem a little childish. Was there a thing called as heaven? If it was then can we find it on earth? And was it possible for us to reach into it? It took a long time for me to discover the answer but finally I got it. Last month I had been on a trip to Manali between 9th May to 22nd May, probably the best trip I have ever been to. Me and my sister Ojaswini joined a mountaineering group called as ‘GGIM (Guardian Giripremi Institute of Mountaineering)’. At first, I was very nervous as I didn’t have any friends in the institute. We had to go through a train journey to reach Delhi and then we hired a bus to the institute. When we reached Manali I had a pleasant sense of smell which kept on changing. This smell mesmerized me and I got up to look through the window. There came a smile on my face and my eyes closed. Looking at the beautiful cherry plants and apple trees and the lustrous and soft leaves of Gulmohar I was lost in my past thoughts. I had finally discovered the heaven on earth. We got down the bus and walked to our famous institute, The Atal Bihari Bajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports.  It was just like a palace in the woods. The gentle winds blowing slowly, tickled me. We got our rooms to stay which were pretty luxurious. We had to stay five in a room where I made many new friends. After a while it was lecture time where we learnt about the great mountains of the Himalayas. After a tiring travel, we all were very hungry. The food arranged for us was no so delicious but was certainly very nutritious. After the lunch, we got a free time and we decided to click pictures. We all ran to get our cameras to capture the beautiful terrains of nature during which we didn’t realise that it was dinner time. We had our dinner and were fast asleep after a tiring day. The best thing I liked about the day was that we all had to maintain utmost discipline which made me feel like an army leader. On the first day, I was made the group leader which was more than a proud moment for me. The next day we had to get up early by 4 ‘o’ clock when we were served hot tea. We had our breakfast at 6 ‘o’ clock and at sharp 6:30 we left for the trek. The trek was a little tiring on the first day but as we moved on every day for the acclimatisation treks we became used to it. As a leader, I had to coordinate all the activities like providing refreshments and look into any other problems of all the members. After a few treks, it was finally time for the trek for which we all were waiting. The trek to ‘Beaskund’ which was known so because it was considered as the origin of the river Beas. It was going to be the most tiring trek since it was a very high-altitude mountain. While others were very nervous about today’s trek I was very excited. We began for the trek early morning. After a long distance, we all were very tired but our organizers were successful in encouraging us. When we all reached the foothills of the mountain we could see the snow after which all of us ran towards it. We all made snowballs and were hitting each other with them. We also made a huge snowman and the best thing was that the whole group participated in it. This was a sign of team spirit. After an hour of enjoyment, it was time for us to leave. I was able to see many different emotions in many people. Some of them were happy while some felt home sick. But finally, we started again for the rest house with a new energy. When I entered my room the first thing I did was that I jumped on my bed and woke up only after an hour. Finally, it was time for us to leave. We all packed our bags and got into our bus. We reached the Railway Station in an hour and left for pine. When we reached the Pune station on 22nd May’2017, we all met our friends as we were going to meet them only after a long time. Finally, it was time to go. We bid farewell to each other and left for our home.

It was a very adventurous experience for me in which I learnt and developed many qualities in which the most important was the leadership quality. I would love to go on such a wonderful trip to heaven once again.

 

Written by: Vishwajeet Omprakash Shingare (GGIM, Pune)