Travelling and exploring new places turns out to be the best way to mitigate your stress.

As an engineering student, you should often travel to some adventurous places and flush out your frustration. I want to share the experience of my trip to Himachal Pradesh.

It was the time of my 4-semester exams and to escape from the post exam fever we have planned the 5 days trip to Himachal Pradesh. We were a group of 14 friends hailing from different cities but no one has ever visited Himachal.

Day 1

Our first encounter was with Mcleodganj, the beautiful place amidst the Gigantic Himalayan Ranges. As it is located in the mountains there was no direct train to reach the town. So, we booked the train from Jaipur to Pathankot and then via a local bus, we reached Mcleodganj. The ambiance was pretty much different from other cities. The place is very much apt for the tourists and explorers. Our Stay was arranged at The Tibet World, the place was having its own mini library and they also teach students across the world about spirituality. The rooms were at very affordable rate, something around 400Rs/day and the staff was very helpful and friendly in nature.

We have spent the whole day touring around the places in Mcleod Ganj. The major attraction was Bhagsu Nath water fall, it was full of composure and we felt like relaxing. At the dinner time we thought of trying some Tibetan food but speaking frankly we didn't like the food at all. Instead, we switched to the momos and that was one of the most loved food that we have eaten every day.

Day 2

Next place to visit was Dharamshala. So, we decided to take the road trip. For this, we contacted the local bike rental shop and hired 7 bikes to travel to Dharamshala which is approximately 45 mins ride from Mcleod Ganj. Some fascinating places are situated in Dharamshala and not forget the magnificent DHPCA Stadium. The scenic beauty around the stadium is just like the icing on the cake while on the sporting action. Following we visited a place named Chinmaya Tapovan. By the time we reached there the place was closed. But by the grace of an Uncle we met there we were able to enter the place and experienced the serenity of the tapovan. After talking and discussing our plans with "Uncle", he invited us to his place in Amritsar. Really it was very sweet gesture and regards that we received from any stranger. It was the time of Dusk and we decided to head back towards our hotel.

Day 3

The day cannot be forgotten ever as it was the most memorable day of my life. We headed for the Triund Trek with our sleeping bags and two guides amidst us. The trek was around 7-8 km but it was very steep in the end. It took us around 4-5 hours to reach the top. The Trek was long and a bit difficult but it was worth it and once you reach the top all your pain will be gone. The snow was covering the mountains like a mother wraps her arm around the child. Standing there watching the mountains, we can do this all day. Besides this, Guides quickly assembled our tents. And we all just took a short nap for rejuvenation. After waking up, we went to one the shops and ordered Maggi to quench our hunger. The prices of the items were very high but considering the fact that they have set up the shop at such a great height, it was worth each penny. "The Night was dark and full of people". There were around more than hundred people staying. After taking the dinner we gathered around and started sing some songs and playing games. By the midnight some of the boys fell asleep and remaining were talking in their tents. It's beautiful when you cut away from the inhabitant and stay away in a forest or on the top of a cliff where there is no light, no internet, no outside connection and just you with the bunch of your friends enjoying the life in the fullest way possible. While appreciating the beauty of the moon I fall asleep. In morning, we woke up early as we didn't want to miss the sunrise. The weather was cold and there were so many mountain goats around the cliff. While waiting for the sunrise, when the first light hit our body, it was turning out to be the blessings that we were receiving directly from the god. The guides arranged the breakfast for us and descended from the cliff pretty much after that. It took us only 3 hours to descend. And our beautiful trek journey was over.

Day 4

Next, we headed to Dalhousie and Khajjiar. We took a private bus from Dharamshala to Dalhousie but the bus took around 6 hours to cover the 200km distance and this was pretty much the bad experience for us. Again after reaching Dalhousie we booked a hotel and it was around the time of the evening. So, we decided to visit the mall road as there are no such interesting places to visit in Dalhousie. We had all the fun on the mall road. Some were purchasing gifts for their loved ones, some were eating. But one thing that was too delicious was the juice. I don't know whether we were so tired or is that we liked the juice so much that we were drinking like a hell. We almost exhausted the milk storage of the shop. Next morning, we traveled to Khajjiar in our Traveller. But before reaching the Khajjiar we visited the Bhakrota Hills, it was the topmost place of Dalhousie.

Khajjiar is considered to be the mini Switzerland. Khajjiar is a beautiful place where you will find the lush green field with a small pond in between. The place is also special as you will rarely find such a huge plain field among the mountains. But one thing to remember that never purchase anything from Khajjiar, specially Keasr. As there was not much to explore in Khajjiar we returned to Dalhousie by afternoon. Then, we took a bus to our final destination Amritsar.

Day 5

Our last destination of the trip was Amritsar, the city of the golden temple. It was almost 10 pm when we reached Amritsar. After checking in we quickly headed towards the Golden Temple. We were awestruck when we reached the vicinity of the temple. It was not all looking like we were in India and we were happy to see the progress made by our country. The cleanliness and the serenity around the place bounded us to remain there forever. Putting our feet into the temple water and keep gazing at the temple, this was the ultimate stress relieving moment for us. Finally, after beating up the long queue we entered the temple. It was more beautiful from inside rather than outside. And every man was in the service of the God. It doesn't matter whether you are rich or poor, everybody there is same and fulfills their duty towards the God. Unfortunately, we didn't have so much time that we could offer some service. After visiting the temple we ate the Langar, the food was very nutritious and delicious. And one surprising fact to know that it is India's one of the largest Kitchen which serves the devotees 24*7 without taking a day halt. Spending some more time there we departed from the place and slept in our hotel rooms. Next morning, our cab driver took us for the breakfast to some local shop and the "Chole Kulche" was so tasty that we were even licking our fingers. Jalianawala Bagh was our next destination, the horrible incident still gives you chill in your spine when you remember about it. You can see the brutality of General Dyer all over the wall which is pierced with bullet marks. There was also the museum where all the souvenirs are preserved.

The end destination of our journey was the Wagah Border. Upon, reaching there the atmosphere was all filled up with patriotism. At every step, there were checkpoints to ensure the safety measures. We reached 2 hours earlier than the time scheduled for the meet. The stadium was almost jam packed by 4 pm and the crowd were singing patriotic songs and cheering for the soldiers. The flags in the hand of children were fluttering by the cool breeze. On contrary, there was no enthusiasm from the enemy's side. And hardly any spectators were present to witness the meet. The sight of the meet was so glorious and magnificent that it fills your heart with patriotism and warmth of love from our soldiers, so stands in every situation to protect our nation.

With abundant memories to cherish we left for our hometown in the night. As travelling towards our home, the glimpses of memory kept on flashing in my mind, which reminds me of the most memorable days spent with friends that one will cherish in their life forever. And I wish that these type of trips keep on happening in my life which will transform one's perspective towards the life and fills you with confidence.

Travel to explore!!!

Akshat Airan