Sapphire International School believes in giving its students a holistic approach towards life. Believing in the spirit of Adventure, Challenge & Entertainment, students of classes VI-XII were taken on an adventure trip to the pristine mountains of Himachal Pradesh under the able supervision of three teachers and two tour coordinators from ‘Torna Holidays’ of Delhi. Twenty children from the school packed their bags to face the best experience of their life from 10th to 18thMay, 2017.
On 10th May, 2017 the tour party, with full enthusiasmboarded the ‘Rajdhani Express’ from Ranchi to initiate the expedition. On arriving at New Delhi Railway Station, on the very next day morning, the group was received by the officials of ‘Torna Holidays’. Immediately they boarded the bus and were taken to ‘Just Chill’ a water park situated at the outskirts of Delhi. As the name suggests, the children really chilled out in the water park after a long train journey and to beat the heat of Delhi. After a sumptuous lunch the group of twenty five (twenty students, three teachers & two coordinators) headed towards the union territory of Chandigarh. At around 10:00 P.M they reached Chandigarh and checked into ‘Hotel Paras’. After dinner the children hit the bed only to get up early and explore the planned city laid by Le Corbusier.
On 12th May, 2017, after breakfast the children were taken to ‘Sukhna Lake’, adjoining the Rock Garden near the foothills of Shivalik Hills. After spending some time at Sukhna Lake the children explored the ‘The Rock Garden’ also known as Nek Chand Rock Garden after its founder. ‘Rock Garden’ has numerous sculptures made by using a variety of different discarded waste materials like frames, mudguards, forks, handle bars, metal wires, play marbles, porcelain, auto parts, broken bangles etc. The group bid adieu to Chandigarh and embarked towards McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamshala in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, for the main part of the expedition. En route, McLeodGanj, the children had an elaborate lunch at ‘Heritage Haveli’ on Chandigarh Ropar Road. After checking into ‘Hotel Dev Cottage’, McLeod Ganj at around 9:30 P.M. the children were served dinner and were advised to take good rest as a big challenge lay in front of them the next morning – the trek to ‘Tirund Hill’.
The next morning (13th May) the children woke up early to the breath-taking view ofMcLeod Ganjvalley surrounded by majestic Deodars. After breakfast the trekkers were briefed about the rules of trekking and camping by Mr. Ashish Thapa a local mountaineer. Soon after the orientation the children energetically collected their backpacks with necessary items and started the expedition led by Mr. Thapa himself. For the trek, the children were divided into three groups with leaders of their own. The 9 Km. rocky trek was indeed exhausting and challenging which took around five hours. But after reaching Tirund top, situated at about 28000 meters above sea level, the awe-inspiring view of the mighty Dhauladhar ranges, covered with snow, relaxed the exhausted mind and body. The children were delighted to see their tents all lined up in a large land of green grass. The trainersenergized the children with refreshments, tea and a session of laughter yoga. Dinner was served early as it was getting dark and the children were advised to go inside their tents and into their sleeping bags as it was getting colder. The next morning after breakfast the party began the down-hill journey.
The trek to Tirund Hill instilled in our students the need to respect our resources, to become physically active and mentally alert and they realised that every adventure starts with “I CANNOT” but ends with an “I DID”. The children found themselves to be very close to nature which brought them face to face with their inner selves.
On reaching McLeod Ganj, the children freshened up and then boarded the bus for the next destination –Khajjiar. Khajjiar falls in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh and is known as‘Mini Switzerland’.It is about 2,000 m. above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas. The hill station is surrounded by meadows and forests. The nearest major town is Dalhousie, named after Lord Dalhousie,the British Governor-General.
On the night of 14th May, the children reached ‘Hotel Royal Residency’, Khajjiar. The children were too tired for anything so they quickly had their dinner and went off to sleep. They woke up late in the morning after a good rest, took a heavy breakfast and walked down towards Kajjiar Lake. After spending some leisure time in the meadow, they were taken to Dalhousie for some adventure sport. At Dalhousie the children enjoyed zipline, had lunch and did some shopping. After returning to the hotel at Khajjiar, the children had dinner and then retired to their respective rooms.
On the 16th of May, everyone woke up early to begin the long journey from Khajjiar to The Aravali Orchards via Dalhousie, Pathankot and Delhi. Packed breakfast was taken from the hotel, which they had in the bus and lunch was taken at a roadside restaurant near Ludhiana. For dinner the children were taken to a MacDonald’s restaurant on the highway near Panipat. The children enjoyed their burgers, French fries and soft drinks before boarding the bus and heading towards Aravali Orchards near Sohna in Haryana.
It was almost 2:00 A.M. of 17th May, when the children reached Aravali Orchards. Although they were fast asleep in the bus, they woke up and went into the allotted rooms and slept again. In the morning the trainers motivated the children to indulge in some military style adventure sport like, the Burma Bridge, Tyre Wall, Scaffold Ladders,Plank Balance, Commando Net, Stilt Walk, Zig-Zag, etc. The children also enjoyed a ride on a horse cart and some of the senior students ventured into cooking ‘bread omelette’. The activities, not only increased their physical strength and confidence, but also tested their skill and courage.
At around 12:30 P.M the children reluctantly packed their bags to reach New Delhi Railway Station on time to catch the Rajdhani Express for Ranchi. Packed lunch and dinner were supplied by the tour operators for the journey back home. The children safely reached Ranchi Railway Station on the morning of 18th May, 2017 and were happily received by their parents.