They say that the first college trip is always the best ‘First’ experience of your new college life,and even after visiting many better places in the coming years,the first remains the most memorable one.
Well here’s my story of my
First College Trip
Feb 2013- Due to short attendance I was detained from the sessionals, so I returned home and after few days I called my friends ,asking them to plan a trip go somewhere before holi.Upon discussing no one was able to decide which place would be the best to go.
A day later my friend called and informed,that his brother watched news showing heavy snowfall in Manali and solang valley, and we decided Manali it would be.We all were very excited because it was our first college trip.
We boarded a bus from kashmiri gate at 6.30 pm commencing a journey of 552 km.
People often say ,”It’s not the destination,but the journey that matters.”Well with Manali it was both,that mattered.My mind was only imagining pictures of snow,whole time in the bus.We were discussing about different adventure sports;a debate also started on paragliding and it ended with the conclusion, that whatever happens everyone has to do paragliding,no one will back off. Other than this we were making fun of each other.At night ,driver stopped the bus at a dhaba in haryana. A small incident happened here. As we all were eating food, the waiter provided a plate of salad to each one cept one.He ended up eating three plates of salad,all the time thinking that it was complementary with the food. We ended up paying 750 for salad only,as the bus started,and we were too confused to figure out what happened. Later in the bus we realised and we started making fun of the guy who said ”Bhaiya Do plate salad lagwa dena”.one of the best of our first college trip. After some time,bus lights turned off,and we slept with butterflies in our stomach.
This is day I will never forget .
The bus stopped at 3 am,rubbing my eyes,I focused outside of our glass window but there was zero visibility. Bus was fully air conditioned,so the effect of cold were not felt, and so we were unaware what was waiting for us outside.As soon we got off ,we started shivering(literally tremors were felt)started ,body was out of sense I asked the conductor about the location and got to know,that we were in Mandi,himachal pradesh,and temperature was around -5 degree.We ordered tea.A friend of mine had his hands shivering so bad that half of his tea poured out on his hands,a moment he remembers till date.Winds were so cold that it was becoming uncomfortable to breath.We got back to the bus,and after some time the bus started.We started wondering if Mandi was so cold,what would happen of us in Manali cause Manali was having snowfall.
Finally the bus reached manali crossing kullu district.We got out.The temperature was bearable no.Soon we found a hotel and booked a room.Later on the day we decided,to only travel in manali this day,and next day we will be going to solang valley.We inquired from the hotel manager,what is the best means to explore Manali,so he booked a Cab for us,and told us that the driver knows all the famous destinations,making us contended .Getting back to our rooms ,we got ready and had breakfast.Driver was ready with the cab,everyone was excited.Good music in the cab,and both side of road surrounded with devdars – a true movie scene.
Our first destination was the famous Hidimba temple also known as Hadimba.According to mythlogy during the pandava’s exile,when they visited manali,Bhima,one of five pandavas,killed hidimb.Thereafter hidimba married Bhima and gave birth to their son Ghatokatcha.Temple was surrounded with beautiful deodar and due to late night snowfall the temple was surrounded with snow.Seeing and feeling snow for the first time really takes its toll on you.We all went mad,and started making snow balls,throwing at each other,for the next half an hour,we were out of this world.We left the places with beautiful memories,to continue on to our next destination – Dhungri van vihar.It was very cool destination to visit.
Here we saw the mountain yak.Wandering inside van vihar we found a nice place,a small pond surrounded with a big stone from one side and so we enjoyed there for an hour. Next we visited some famous temples and monasteries which is a must if you want peace.Finally we reached our final destination, the beas river, a beautiful scenery and very cold water.Various games and adventure activities were going on.We decided to do river crossing first , a fun activity where a person has to move from one side of river to another with the help of a rope.
A small incident took place,at river side,a group of boys had arranged a game in which one has to hit the glass with a ball in three chances and you have to make all the glass fall ,price for playing that game was 50rs,and rs 500 was the winning prize and 300 if only 1 glass remained.All of us tried with no success.One guy tried a second time got the hit and won Rs 300 back,the exact amount that we invested.We continued on to deodars park,which is a must if you want to see the natures glory and beauty.We got ourseleves clicked with rabbits and finally left for the hotel.
At night we discussed our main plan paragliding,and slept with excitement of adventures waiting for us the coming day.
We got up early in the morning for Solang valley.Cab was already booked earlier in the night.We got a cab to stop at a shop in a tent,that dealt in adventure activities. Inquiring about various adventure activities we ended up planing to do each one of them.But no one was talking about paragliding(sabki phatt rahi thi).
Finally we bargained on a package of 4500 for 5 guys which included skiing for all of us,paragliding for three of us and ATV ride for the remaining two.I opted out of paragliding as of now.The instructor gave us skii suits and boots so that we can walk easily on snow.Wearing them made me feel like Astronaut,working for NASA.We got ready and the instructor joined us in the cab.Later on the way,he was showing us the place where the movie Krissh and the cottage where Krishna cottage were filmed.Slowly and steady we were going on for destination,the only colour which is visible -White.
Seeing snow laden mountains up close for the first time,is a serene experience one can not put in words.
Finally we reached our destination.Taking out skiing board from the cab and carrying them to the location was ultimate feeling.When we reached the place where skiing was going on,all surrounding was covered with snow,making us very excited in our first college trip.
Moving forward we saw sky was full of kites – Paragliders.At one moment I thought how the person felt from that height,and thanked myself for the decision of excluding paragliding from our package.My friend reminded me that it was my condition only that no one would back off,and upon seeing para gliders there and the adventure that view offered,me and the other guy who took up ATV,ending up booking paragliding for us too for 1500.First we drove the ATV which was an awesome experience.We asked instructor about the paragliding destination,and came to know from here it was one kilometers up in the mountains.Now we all had to walk for one k.m in the snow desert,the temperature was getting in minus,and the high altitude presented low oxygen levels,Snow everywhere made us feel like, we were in Antartica.At some moments half of our body was under snow.We relaxed several times during this journey.
Finally we reached paragliding point, and the view from that point was heaven for me.In my thoughts I was thinking,today is last day of my life.Paragliding instructor came and asked for token,after handing token to him,he asked to wait for our turns.Seeing the first para-glider leap off that height, the first word which I came out of my mouth was M.C(and other abusive emoticons, related readers will understand).I told my friends only 20 minutes of life is left,do whatever you want to do.Finally instructor came saying your turn ,who wants to go first,to which one of my friend said ,I will,I replied to him.I though to myself that he must have had alcohol as dinner last night;go to heaven now.Slowly and slowly all of my friends are gone,me and one more friend left,and its was now my turn.
I wore the paragliding setup,heart was pumping like anything.The instructor asked me to run as fast as Ican,I replied .Instructor replied run ,I started running hoping whatever happens ,but I will not die,I was running very fast,and jumped from that mountain.Wind was very strong,I was now on top of the clouds ,all fear had gone,only peace and peace was everywhere,whole body energized,mind calm.Everywhere was only snow,and the wind was whistling in my ears.I landed safely,my friends were waiting for me,and when they saw me they all started shouting like wolf,that moment was awesome,we actually did what we thought.Body regain all energy.Finally our last friend arrived and we cheered again.He replied now we can do anything,paragliding experience was very motivating.We continued on to ski which was more of posing with ski gears rather than actually doing it.Even After following the instructions multiple times we only ended up moving rather than sliding on the snow,but still it was a memorable moment of our first college trip.
After adventure sports we continued to trek,and have fun in the snow.One of my friend had his dress too short and hence with every four to five steps had to stop and remove snow from his boots.The afternoon brought a unique movement,where we were sweating in the top half of the body due to sun,and freezing in the lower body die to snow.
At evening we left ,and came back to the hotel, discussing all the stuff happened earlier on the day of our first college trip.We also decided to leave delhi at night,asking hotel manager if any bus is available then book ticket for us,to which he replied there are no buses till tomorrow,if you want to go with government bus,last bus that leaves for delhi is at 8.30,and it was already seven .We packed our bags,and went to the bus stop early,so that we can reserve a seat.
Waiting for more than hour was boring so we bought a pack of card and started playing. Finally bus arrived ,we all took our seats.Later we observed that there were only ten people in the bus,and the driver was driving like ,he had been beaten by his wife,and to take revenge he will make all of us die.
Imagine speed of 70 kmph on the turns of Himanchal at night.
We were wondering that,it wouldn’t even make it to the news if the bus fell,as only 10 people were there.
At last ,we reached Delhi safely and there ends our journey of a lifetime – the first college trip.