Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jhansi,Uttar Pradesh

This is a part of my Adventure Trip to Uttarakhand in May 2014
We reached Delhi in the morning by 5am.India's fastest train,the New Delhi Bhopal Shatabdi was set to depart at 6am.We made our way to the platform 1 and waited for the train to arrive.It did at around 5 30am and we quickly boarded it.

We reached Jhansi at 10 45am.Bhanu's train to nagpur was at 1 30pm.There was only one thing on bhanu's mind the whole time and it was buying a pair of ear phones and nothing else interested him.When we finally reached Jhansi the first thing we did was take a share auto to the city and find a good electronics shop to buy them.We asked around and were directed to go to an area called sadar bazar.It seems every other city in north india has a locality named sadar bazar.Anyway we went there and in our very first try at a shop,got a decent prized ear phones.From here we proceeded to Elliot chowk to have a quick lunch at rolla ,a fast food joint serving rolls,shwarmas and burgers.Then the time came for us to part.Bhanu was to go to the railway station to catch his train to nagpur while i would continue my exploration of jhansi by visiting it two museums and a fort.Both bhanu and myself are not emotional guys and I was thinking of getting over this parting business quickly but bhanu surprised me with a 'when will we meet again razzu?'I was a little taken aback by this but replied that we will meet soon.Hopefully like this sudden plan we will come up with something.After the pain of separating after the wonderful trip we had together I proceeded to the museum known as Rani Mahal.I met an extremely helpful guy who directed me the place.He even came over and told the share-auto driver to drop me off at the rani mahal.

After criss crossing the by lanes of Jhansi I reached the Rani Mahal.I fond out that Archaeological Soceity of India houses its Museum here.Sadly I found the condition of the museum to be very bad.inside there were hundreds of sculptures in various rooms.The exhibits are kept in poor conditions and in someplaces theres no light. The only good thing to see in the museum is the building itself.As soon as one enters the building theres a square courtyard in the middle.To the left there is a staircase that goes to the top floor.Here on the first floor one finds the best thing to see in the entire Museum.The area which I deduce to be the central area of the whole museum where the queen must have interacted with her subjects.Behind this room there is another smaller room with excellent artwork on the walls.this room is a must see.After deciding there was nothing much to see i left the building making a mental note to write to the ASI urging them to improve the condition of the museum.
 Next on the list was the other museum.I was carrying my heavy rucksack and the sun was out in full force.I went to a juice stall to quench my thirst and at the same time inject some much needed salts in my body.In the course of my drinking I asked the juice wallah about the location of the other museum.He gave me the directions and i found out that on the way to the museum lies the fort.It was 2 30pm in the afternoon and there was too much heat.The temperature in nearby Gwalior was 47'C .So I decided not to tempt my migraine and proceeded to the museum first.I decided to visit the fort at around 4 30pm or 5 pm when things cooled down a bit.This other museum was maintained by the State Dept amid was much better than the ASI one.It had many interactive panels and many models.The only exhibit which was remarkable was a british soldier's helmet.

           After visiting this museum I went to the fort and hired a guide there.With Rs100 he showed me around the fort.The fort is compact and interesting.It was here that the valiant queen Rani of Jhansi fought with the British and later died.There is a spot there from where it is said that she jumped off  into the battle with the british.After the short tour with the guide I took an auto and went directly to the railway station where I had boarded my train back to Raigarh thus ending the adventure trip.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bungee Jumping and Zip Lining in Rishikesh,India

This is a part of my Adventure Trip to Uttarakhand in May 2014

After the thrilling river rafting in the morning,it was time for one of the most extreme adventure activities,Bungee Jumping.Immediately after our rafting trip was done we headed to Jumpin Heights office and booked our slot for the afternoon activities. We boarded their bus which starts from their office and reached the site in around 40 minutes.There were three activities to be done and there were some combo packs too.We decided to take the combo pack of bungee jumping and zip lining with bungee as priority.

As we made our way to the bungee platform there was a slight uneasiness in my stomach as I looked at the platform to my left and I wondered if I would be able to jump at all.When we reached their Bhanu was told to move ahead and I was asked to wait.This is because of weight difference.The 60 plus people were being told to jump first.I sat there chatting with another girl who had come from Chandigarh.She had quite an amusing story to tell.She came to Rishikesh with her brother and his girlfriend.This girl was the get-your-sister-into-the-trip-as-more-than-one-girl-is-there-and-parents-of-girlfriend-allow-her-to-go card that her brother used well.Now in Rishikesh she was all alone and trying all the adventure activities she could.

A call from the jump master made us break our conversation.He motioned me come and I went to the end of the platform where a jumper jumps off.Here I saw Bhanu all set with the bungee cord and the safety cord tied firmly to him.He was standing at the edge and looking down.I wondered if he could jump.Then the jump master started the countdown.And the suddenly just like that Bhanu took off.Swoosh! and gone down! I was jumping around like a seal on the platform not able to contain my excitement.Here I was.On the bungee platform having seen these kind of jumps on television and movies so often and then wishing that someday that I will also do the same.Now in front of me Bhanu just did it.And it was my turn next! I was mighty excited and pumped up.The crew having finished with Bhanu's jump came to me next and started with the formalities.There were few instructions.The most repeated one was to jump properly,in such a way that I should not strike back the platform when the bungee springs back.I was advised to jump like they do when diving in water.After the cord was tied up I was take to the edge.I was standing near the edge and Martina,one of the crew told me move my feet nearer to the edge.I moved a little.She told me move it more.I did slowly.She continued to do this until I had my feet half way over the edge.When I looked down for the first time,the wind knocked out of me.The drop was scary and I was scared.It shows on the video.For a fleeting second I thought I cannot do this.I simply cant! But then I steeled myself saying to myself that I cannot turn back now.Bungee Jumping was on my bucket list for a long time and I was not going turn back now.The jump master helped me by tilting my head upwards away from the scary drop below.But I couldn't jump blindly and I told him so.I wanted to look down into the drop and jump.This was the hardest part of the whole jump,gathering the courage to look into the scary drop,conquering that fear and taking the leap.
 The jump master asked me if I was ready I replied in the affirmative and he started 






I jumped.Nothingness for a few seconds!
Some kind of mixing in my stomach as I fell freely under the influence of gravity!
When I look back at the first few seconds of the jump all I remember is that I was in some kind of a trance.The bungee springing back broke me from the trance.Then I spread my arms wide and started screaming on top of my lungs! I did it!
I finally did it!
Slowly the the bungee straightened out and I was received at the bottom.As soon as I landed they gave me a 'I got guts' badge which I proudly wore for the rest of the day!
We also did Zip Lining which was exciting but after the bungee jump didn't seem much.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

River Rafting in River Ganga.Rishikesh,India.

This is a part of my Adventure Trip to Uttarakhand in May 2014

Having taken a refreshing night's rest in Rishikesh we were,in the sunny morning,much excited about the River rafting trip that lay ahead of us.Since my engineering days I had a intense desire to do rafting.My original plan was to do rafting in Dandeli in Karnataka but that didn't materialise and fate bought me to River Ganga for the adrenaline pumping activity.
            We had already booked our slot with Red Chilly Adventures and off we went to their Assembly point.After brief formalities and being introduced to the other members of our group we were taken,some 30kms from the city,to our starting point on the river.Here we met our instructor and after detailed instructions about safety and what to do and what not to do,were given our life jackets and helmets.I was jumping with excitement and could barely contain my enthusiasm.With much restlessness I listened to everything but I did pay attention as ignoring the instructions would be very risk.With the formalities over we sat inside the raft.I wanted to take the front part but the seats were allotted by the instructor and we had to comply.Soon we were into the calm and placid water of the Ganga and were gliding over it.On guide then gave a shout to start rowing.He just shouted 'start' and we started rowing.Then a shout of 'stop' made us stop.This we practised for a sometime correcting whatever mistakes there were in our holding the paddles,our sitting posture,our rowing motion etc. After a few tries our guide got a bit disappointed and declared that he found a lack of enthusiasm from the group.He then ordered everyone to jump out of the raft.We looked at each other with surprise,some with alarm.But I was already turning over and looked at him for confirmation and with his yes I jumped. The water was very cold and it sucked the wind out of my lungs.
Slowly everyone jumped out and we all were floating around the raft holding it.It was fun.right ahead lay some gentle rapids and our guide told us to go through it still floating.I was a bit nervous now but as we passed them all my nervousness vanished.The rapids were gentle and we enjoyed it.After floating or body surfing as it is called we climbed back into the raft and prepared for higher grade rapids.
          We passed though many rapids each better than the last and more thrilling.The raft collided with the waves,wildly swinging us in our places.We held on somehow. The water splashed on our faces and bodies.We were swayed,rattled,shocked,alarmed and at times downright scared but we held on and completed the whole ride of around 20kms.It was the most thrilling fun I ever had until the afternoon when I went for a even more thrilling activity!