Thursday, October 7, 2010

What does adventure mean, to you?

My sleep eludes time (it's 2 in the morning!), winamp is playing some of my favorite numbers and had a flash thought of sticking a post! huh? (What's with this guy?)

Adventure, is the word that defines the craziness cited above (as you might put it!). Certainly, the place is not adventurous. I do not find business hotel in the city side to be an adventurous offering but the moment definitely is. The bigger question, and the precise idea for this post, is "What is adventure to you?". Is adventure all about tying a rope around your legs and jump from more than 800 feet or is it a cycle ride along the country side and your romance with silence and scenic views! Is the thrill provided by the raft, adventurous, or the lone walk on the hills gives you that thrill!

The definitions vary, from an individualistic perspective, and that's where the brilliance is. I do not buy the thought that a jump against a cycle ride, deserves a place higher than latter activity. Why? My Take.

I, personally, love the walk along the beach line, in my hometown. The gigantic view of the ocean and the sky, the horizon, the running crabs, the shells, the breeze, the music plugged into my ears and the wonderful walk, kicking the water as I walk. The silence is one to be embraced. I take time out to do this one thing, whenever i am in my hometown (besides eating my favorite ice cream at my favorite ice cream joint). I find this activity to be adventurous and very soothing (that's important). It's got everything, as far as i see it. The natural view, neutral experience, silence, the twilight hours, thrilling evening, the beautiful night sky that few lookup to appreciate! Aha! There are no thorns or twists and turns or slippery slopes. It's a plain flat walk! That's adventure? duh, to me!

Every one has a preference for an adventure activity over another and the preference, obviously, is set by what defines them or how they want an activity to define them or maybe, simply for the heck of it! Eventually, amidst the heavy and energy draining working days, one will find that soothing experience in adventure, that is true!

If you haven't found it yet, don't worry, you'll, for sure, find it someday :-)

P.S: The comments section is open for your thought on adventure. Why do you think the thing you like to do, qualifies as an adventure for you? Remember there is no right or wrong answer. It's only your take!

-- Shishir NC

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GHAC Outdoor Organiser Workshop

Outdoor Leadership Summary

Outdoor Leadership Workshop

Here is a quick summary for those that could not attend the GHAC Organiser workshop on Sunday 29th August 2010  and a refresher for rest of us who attended.

Outdoor Leadership is the Capacity to influence others towards achieving common goals with a focus and competency the team would not achive on their own.

LeaderShip Styles - are ways you in which you express your influence on the group

COLT - Condtional Outdoor Leadership Theory (Priest & Gass, 1997) - The Conditional Outdoor Leadership Theory is a new approach to leadership based on applying the appropriate leadership style according to importance of task, group relationship, and level of conditional favorability. COLT Theory divides leadership styles into

Autocratic- complete decision making -high on tasks, low on group relationships, unfavourable conditions
Democratic - shared decision making - concern for task and group  relationship are balanced with somewhat favourable conditions
Abdicratic -  leave the decision to the group - low on tasks, high on group relationship and fully favourable conditions

A good leader knows when to change his style of leadership based on the task  and condition at hand.  The best action of the leader depends on a range of situational factors.

What is expected of a good outdoor leader
  • creditability - he has the required experience. Has been there and done that or has the competence to undertake a task
  • is physically strong with good endurance
  • has technical competence with outdoor skills
  • is intuitive
  • is compassionate and respects team members
  • leads by example
  • Is punctual and maintains timeliness 
  • has common sense
  • has courage
  • is passionate
  • Is safety conscious and responsible
  • Knows First Aid, Rescue and emergency handling procedures
  • is realistic and respects limits
  • communicates effectively and does regular briefings and keeps team informed
  • Is a good listener
  • delegates authority and involves group in planning, decision making and utilizes people skills
  • Keeps a challenge or a goal for every activity
  • Keeps a level of unpredictability and uncertainty in the activity
  • Facilitates group interaction
  • Likes and respects critics and handles critical feedback in a constructive way
  • Manages and addresses conflicts before they get out of hand
  • Has guts to say No
  • Keeps learning and Mentors others
  • un-leaders and becomes part of the group when not on the activity and knows when to use authority.

Qualities and Behavior  an outdoor leader should avoid
  • Being Manipulative and coercive
  • Misinforming team members
  • Being Unrealistic and going over limits
  • Less concern for safety
  • No concern for environment
  • Showing Arrogance
  • Being Abusive
  • Showing Anger
  • Getting into fights verbally or physically
  • Being Egoistic
  • Having special relationships with some members of the group or bonding only with select few.
  • Having access to more privileges then the group members.
  • Asking Team members to do his personal chores.
1) My own experiences and learning's when on the outdoors with Great Hyderabad Adventure Club
2) My observation of other leaders when in the outdoors.
3) Collins Camping and Hiking Manual by Rick  Curtis
4) Outdoor Leadership theory and practice by Bruce martin
5) Effective leadership in adventure programming  By Simon Priest, Michael A. Gass

- Diyanat Ali, Chief Organiser, GHAC

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rapelling on a sunday morning.

An early morning wake up after a long time, do you know how awful that feels? especially for a lazy guy like me. But it was time and i had to leave for the rapelling event at moula ali. Moreover, i was supposed to assist the organizers!

Moula ali hasn't changed for months (and i hope it continues to be the same). A cloudy morning added to the view of a typical morning in hyderabad from a hill top. A quite breeze (which later turned to an incredibly gusty wind) with softness in air, just made a perfect start for a day. I felt like standing there and looking at the surroundings. Well! i can only speak for myself!

The team had already assembled and the ropes were in place and the first man was to take a 'rapelling plunge'. A good rapelling round for the first person and next it was me! but before i could take the plunge, i had to receive the much required 'gyaan' from the organizer. I learnt new terms associated with rapelling - harness, descender or figure of 8, b-lay (i do not know the spelling, think i should google it!). Very informative and the process employed for good descend was also mentioned.

My descend began. The path, from the start, had a gradual drop in angle to a certain point, after which the inclination was almost 90 degrees. The best part was here where i could start what i call a 'rapelling jump' and experience the rope controlled descend, jump-by-jump. The view down was excellent. Although for a first timer, the view would appear to be quite scary but one should never think of it. You overcome it and have a thought of experiencing the gradual descend. I'm sure you'll love it and would crave for doing it again!

Well, my completion of rapelling round was followed by me assisting in sending all the gears back to the top, after each participant completed his/her descend.

All in all, a great first-rapelling in hyderabad and the spot chosen by the organizers is apt. Cheers for good organizing!

More pictures at the rappelling photo meetup

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

GHAC Carnival 2010 - A huge success

GHAC Carnival held on 15th August 2010 was a big success with close to 450 people attending it despite the rains.  It was a lovely evening with the Adventure Fashion show being the Highlight of the evening. It was a pleasure watching the talented GHACians sing and dance together.

I must mention my deep sense of appreciation for the Keynote speaker Mr Rajeev Trivedi Additional Director A.P.P.A for gracing the occasion and for his excellent presentation on the adventure activities  he has done.

My sincere appreciation  to Shree Jayesh Ranjan  Secretary to Govt A.P, Tourism for his cooperation and for his encouragement for conducting the GHAC Carnival 2010 and extending the hand and support of APTDC to GHAC for future Club's Endeavours

I extend my thanks to Mr Sandeep Kumar Sultania Managing Director and Chairman APTDC and Mr Shekhar Babu manager APTDC and all the APTDC Staff for their  out-most cooperation and support during the entire event.

I thank the people and businesses that have chosen to sponsor and support the event. Without them this event was not possible. A big thank you to all the following sponsors

Reckon Technologies who were the main sponsor for the events. Our Co sponsors were APTDC, Wilcraft, Nava Bharat Ventures and Olive Hospital. Our Associate sponsors were BellIndia Pvt Ltd,  Hungama Deals, TripNaksha and KCHS School. Our Medua partners were Red FM 93.5 and Meraevents .com

I thank Arun Kumar from Traditions who were the event managers for the Carnival for the planning and smooth execution of everything that went so well. I thank Sharon who was the Emcee for the evening.  I thank Studio9 for the wonderful dance sequences. I thank all the Gorgeous and Handsome Hyderabadi Models who walked the ramp. I thank the "Stangers Band" for the wonderful performance.

An event  of this proportion cannot happen overnight. The wheels start rolling months ago. It required meticulous planning and a birds eye for details. GHAC  have been fortunate enough to be backed by a team of very motivated and dedicated organisers and volunteers  who know their job and are result oriented.

I would like to take this opportunity to place on record my hearty thanks to Ali Razvi for his vision and efforts for being the driving force behind the event. Without his vision and ideas this event would not have been possible. The very concept of hosting the First ever Adventure Fashion show goes to him.

I  express my sincere thanks to Mr Ranjan Sood for giving an excellent and informative speech  on GHAC and helping with organising the event.  I also thank Mr Kalpesh for all the good ideas and for supporting the event.

I extend my hearty thanks to Arun Raj for the  excellent design of the GHAC Carnival Theme. I also am thankful to Kranthi and the team of volunteers for  their enormous hard work done to publicize the event. I thank Farida and the team of Volunteers for coordinating with the press.

I thank the Sales Team consisting of Dr Vibha, Sachin and Prashant for publicizing the event and reaching out to people. I thank Bharat Reddy and the newsletter team for bringing out a superb annual GHAC newsletter edition. 

I cannot thank everyone enough for their involvement and their willingness to take on the completion of tasks beyond their comfort zones!. The Following Volunteers has helped with various tasks with organising the event.

Deepam Morporia
Dr. Peddi Reddy
Anurag Khare
Shankar Reddy
Sharan K
Praveen Kumar K
Narendra V
Deepam Morparia
Anshu Gemini
Shraddha Bajaj

I would like to thank each and everyone who have helped with the event and whose names I could not remember. Lastly I would like to thank all the members and their families and guests for  attending the event and making it a success.


Diyanat Ali
Chief Organiser

GHAC Top Adventurer Award goes to:

The Top GHAC Adventurer Award for this year 2010 went to

Padmaja Phullbatla ( Top Female Adventurer Award)  for organizing and participating in so many treks that I cant list them all here. She has also been to the Everest Base Camp last May 2010

Sreenath M ( Top Male Adventurer Award) for organizing and participating in numerous treks and bringing in innovation all the time.  The dudhsagar railway track trekking was initiated in GHAC by Sreenath.

Shree Jayesh Ranjan, IAS,  Secretary to Government, Tourism presented the award at the GHAC carnival 2010 celebrations at Taramati Baradari.

I Congratulate them both and wish them even more adventures to come.


Chief Organiser

First Ever Adventure Fashion Show at GHAC Carnival 2010

First Ever Adventure Fashion Show at GHAC Carnival 2010

Downpour did not dampen the spirits of city adventure buffs as they gathered at the Taramati Baradari on the evening of 15th August 2010 to celebrate two years of adventure activities, travel and trekking. It was "GHAC Carnival 2010" to mark the second anniversary of Great Hyderabad Adventure Club, a city-based non-profit organization focusing on adventure activities, a healthy lifestyle, nature and environmental awareness.

The event began with a dance performance  by Studio9 to mark the Independence day followed by a first of its kind adventure fashion show featuring lines for trekking, hiking, rappelling, rafting were showcased by the club. A blend of quick dry fabrics and cotton tees apart from the hiking gear, life jackets, water bottles and rest of adventure paraphernalia was showcased across various sequences.

The event was managed by Traditions while the fashion lines were sponsored by Wildcraft. Hungama Deals gave away Giordano watches and movie tickets while Meraevents gave away Tshirts and Caps to the adventure club's lucky members.

The Key Note Speaker Shri Rajiv Trivedi, IPS, Addl. Director, Andhra Pradesh Police Academy shared his paragliding, long distance swimming and other personal feats with the adventurers and asked them to be mentally fit and agile to take on challenges.

The Chief Guest at the event  Shri Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Secretary to Government  of A.P. Tourism lauded the efforts of the club and extended cooperation from the AP Tourism Development Corporation in the club's future endeavors.  After a sumptuous dinner GHAC members sang and also hit the dance floor and jived to the tunes of the Hyderabadi rock band 'The Strangers'.

The main sponsors for the event was Reckon Security Systems. The Co Sponsors were APTDC,  Wildcraft, Nava Bharat Ventures andOlive Hospital. The associate sponsors were Bell India Pvt Ltd, Trip Naksha, and KCHS School. The media partners were Red FM 93.5 and

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

GHAC Carnival 2010

We are holding an event "GHAC Carnival 2010" on Sunday  15th August 2010 from 7 PM onwards for our second annual meet to create more awareness on the importance of incorporating adventure and environmental concern in our lives and also celebrate the achievements of our members in overcoming challenges and faring well in the various adventure activities.

Whats in Store
  • An Adventure fashion show for the first time in India by professional Hyderabadi Models
  • Listen and see the adventures undertaken so far
  • Live Rock Music performance by Bandwidth to rock you till rest of the evening till 11 pm
  • Dance troop performance on hit bollywood numbers
  • 19 course Hyderabadi delicious menu both veg and non veg
  • The venue is just 6 KM from mehdipatnam and  has a great ambiance with the taramati structure in the back drop.
  • Meet and Network with everyone from the adventure family
Donor Passes are available for Rs 500.

For more details please visit

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Well Done 'EBC Trek' Brave Hearts

An Extreme Love for Adventure and a passion to face challenges is what
made 11 adventurers from The Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC) to
undertake the Seductive and Unforgiving Trek to the Everest Base Camp
and to summit the Kalapathar Peak from 09 to 21 May 2010.

The Adventurers who undertook the challenge are

Ali Razvi ( Organiser)
Padmaja Pullabhatla (Asst Organiser)
Swetha Balla
Sachin Ratan
Abhishek Banerjee
Satish K Cheekala
Aditya Marella
Javed Razack
Sudhir Rao

The team went deep into the mountains trekking through the Solukumbu
valley and homelands of the Sherpa people, among their villages and
monasteries, Learning about the cultural and religious traditions of
the Himalayan range with magnificent views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse
and Ama Dablam peaks. The route to Everest Base Camp is very scenic
with varied fauna and flora. The trek route is via the small Nepali
townships of Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar, the ancient monastery at
Tengboche, Pangboche, the Dingboche glacier, Lobuche and Gorakshep and
finally to the Everest Base Camp at 17500 feet above sea level.

Everest Base Camp Trek which is one of the top 10 things to be done in
ones life, is also a tough and grueling trek, with numerous challenges
along the way, including the mountainous trail, the altitude, the
bitter cold, and altitude sickness due to reduced oxygen, but the team
remained determined to complete their goal. I would like to say a huge
well done to all GHAC trekkers "YOU MADE US PROUD" for supporting each
other and completing this incredible challenge together as a Team.

I hope this journey has brought out the best in every GHACian that
undertook this Incredible and unforgettable Journey. I am sure after
undertaking this journey each of them is more determined, confident of
their abilities and courageous enough to face any difficulties in
life. I salute these Brave hearts for taking up this unforgettable
Challenge to the Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar Peak.

Many dream of making such risky and challenging journey but it is only
few who make the attempt in reality. The Next Trip is scheduled in
October 2010 and May 2011. Are you going to be Next Brave Heart?

A session with the EBC team will be shortly announced once they are
out of the Jet Lag and come back to insanity of urban city life, after
living 2 weeks in the serene Himalayas.


Diyanat Ali
Chief Organiser

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Summer Night Camping

This write-up, on Summer Night Camping , is written by Bharat Reddy. Thank you for the write up on the experience, Bharat! Very well written.

This write-up is originally posted here:

I just came back from what was my first ever night camping trip. I’m perhaps completely exhausted right now with the amount of physical activity I’ve been through on an April Summer day. But I want to write about it before the excitement sinks in and I fall trap to the regularities of a frustrating IT life.

I joined the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (aka GHAC) a few weeks ago and went on the Moulali Trek (see my blog post here). That experience was so very exciting that I feel like going on every one of the adventures/trips/treks GHAC organizes.

I signed up on this Night Camping and Adventure trip (RSVPd as folks at meetup call it!) and along came Vijay, Karteek, Pranshu and Puja. Shradda who co-organized the trip called us to meet at the pick-up point, Yatri Nivas near Paradise, Secunderabad. We were to meet a few more GHACians there and were to car-pool and head to the adventure destination.

All that was in store!

That’s where we met LakshmiPathi. We five hopped on to his Bolero to meet a few more GHACians in Nanal nagar which was the other pick-up point. Soon as we introduced ourselves to LakshmiPathi, he asked us to call him Pathy instead. So did we! And more interestingly we came to know, Pathi is a Scientist working with Dow Chemicals. Me being a techie, rarely do I get a chance to meet people with careers completely different from mine. Luckily for me, I meet these amazing people from both GHAC and Toastmasters.

As we reached Morine Bakers just by the Nanal Nagar junction, we saw so many more GHACians all decked up for the trip. While I expected some hi-hellos there, Sharadda was rather busy ticking out the attendees and noting which car would each of us travel in.

Bonfire, cave, wild flowers, beer bottle chimes, tents and more

So where were we headed? We were to reach a place called ‘Trails’ by the Anantagiri hills near Vikarabad, some 55Km from Nanal Nagar. Did we know the route? Nay, none in our car did! But fortunately for us, Shradda gave us the GHAC stickers to be stuck to the rears of our seven odd cars. So, we could follow any of those other cars. This was fun, trying to follow. We only had people following us lost-souls, but not one car for us to follow!

We were to stop by at this Tawakkal Family Dhaba for dinner. Less did we know that many had other plans and stopped by at a different place. While we figured out what to do, Srini joined us and more GHACians came soon. Tawakkal Dhaba had this lush lawn (of course sans the grass!) where they clubbed tables for eleven. While we ordered food and waited, we had quite some time for intros, well actually three rounds of them!

First round was sort of an ice-breaker where every one would intro their names and what they did for a living. We thought the food would come by then. It didn’t. So we thought we’d know more. To somehow match the context, each of us shared about places we’d traveled to. That was done. The food did not come yet. So there was another round of talk, and here, each of us would share some thing of their personal lives. Most talked about their life partners, would-be s. One interesting part of that chat was Puja, who assumed the head-of-the-family position at the table and the only girl in the current gang. Obviously, she was asked to talk first, each time!

Finally the food came. Let me tell you, the food was good. Even the cats at Tawakkal Dhaba knew it, for, Puja shared almost half of her rotis with cats and kittens that came greeting us visitors.

By the time we finished dinner, we came to know one IT consultant, a chemical Scientist, four TCSers of which I was one, three IBMers of which one was a Bengali another was a mallu born and bought up in north India and who thinks IT guys don’t really have a personal life, one entrepreneur who owns a Castro Bike Zone franchise, one Oracleian who hopped eight companies in his twelve year IT career, been to the Everest base-camp twice and traveled the length and breadth of India, one Satyam Ventures automobile designer, and what not.

After what I call one-hell-of-a-dinner, we were headed towards Trails. On the way there, we checked out a three meter long viper, dead, apparently killed by a few people. While we thought we’d be one of the first that would reach the venue, as irony would have it, we were the last but one!

We were shown the place where we’d erect our tents and camp for the night. It was a matter of minutes and the tents were there. A small one, an Igloo style tent, a looking-like-a-cave tent etc.

Shradda arranged for an intro for us thirty two member camping enthusiasts. And as would it obviously be, at least 25 were IT guys. Not again!

When we were trying to figure out what to do, a bonfire was lit and we joined for some talking. Okay, I cant miss telling you that we had one Mr. Neeraj, the Guitarist. Neeraj started by saying he is not much of a guitarist and not a good singer. And as a matter of fact, for some reason, not many of us knew most the songs he sang. So every time he said he was missing a line or not playing the guitar well, we all repeated in chorus ‘we wouldn’t know, so keep playing’. But to end this ordeal, Neeraj played John Denver – Leaving on a Jet Plane, and proved that he is not at all a bad singer, and that he could actually play the guitar!

An antyakshari of sorts ensued soon later as the bonfire cooled down. It was bed time. It was more than bedtime but we went on a small little trek on which Puja told us ghost stories (ha, she does that, you know!). The story inspired us to click this.

We reached the tents at around midnight and contrary to the usual expectation, most of us slept outside the tents, thanks to the summer heat! Puja thought it was unfair to tell the Ghost story to the select few on the trek. So she repeated it again to all that were already struggling to catch some sleep. Good night was that?

After a few hours of sleep-of-sorts, Jitendra who was co-organizing the trip, woke us up at a ghostly 0530hrs and said “lets get going guys”. We stood in queues at the one and only toilet and freshened up soon as we could, went out to a morning trek into the wild. I had been through such walks before as a kid but this one felt different. Well, it seemed to me as though a bunch of us got lost, and I thought it was fun to be lost in a jungle. But as fate would have it, we eventually were back at the camp. It seems the other groups (who were apparently not lost) spotted rabbit, deer, peacock and wild boar. We could only spot the most peculiar species on planet earth, the humans, us! :-) My camera spotted a little more.

beautiful sunrise, (clock wise) ant hills, wild plants, burnt grass and don't-know-who's shit!

We came back and talked and talked as waited for breakfast. Waiting for food has never been so much fun! There was a host of other activities lined up for the rest of the day. So, we were split into two groups headed by Shradda and Jitendra each. I thought that it would be easy on me if I put the camera and phone in Vijay’s bag and be care free. But what I miss now is the snaps for what I’d talk here on!

Okay, so people, it was rock-climbing time! This was much like the simulated rock climbing we see in Prasads cineplex. What I realized however was that it takes quite some energy and stamina. Thanks to a sleep-deprived night, a jungle walk and puri for breakfast, my batteries were at the lowest to start with. I could manage rock climbing, of course clinging on to a harness, a helmet and someone holding you tight up with the ropes. But I could not manage Zoomering, which is climbing up ropes using a device called zoomer. It requires quite a bit of your arm-strength.

After that, we did Earthquake. Well not actually quaking the earth, but crossing a host of wooden swings, while still wearing a harness! These activities were more than just exciting oneself with the adventure, physical and psychological challenge. It was loads and heaps of fun with the group who tease, appreciate, make fun of and encourage each other. I came to know more of each of them in my little group, we almost became friends! I’m sure if we meet again somewhere in the real world, it’d bring us back these wonderful memories. :-)

Shortly after that, we valley crossed clinging again to a harness on ropes and pulleys. While that was not too exciting, it was sure fun to watch everyones’ expressions!

The feeling was exhaustion and what would come tomorrow would be body pains. Shradda said these would be ’sweet pains ‘.

After so much activity, which we would usually not do in our lazy lives, we were mighty hungry. We washed fast (and some even asked ‘haath dhona zaroori hai kya?’) and jumped to eat some yummy lunch. The food was good, especially the jalebi.

It was time for a group photo and then a game in the shade. My photo doesn’t capture all of them, but believe me, there were thirty two of us! Soon after, we reluctantly joined for a group game. The game was something like this – I choose a partner, and my partner responds to questions I’m asked, and that too quick. If he/she could not, he becomes the questioner. That kept us all completely alert!

Then Shradda and Jitendra did some accounting, and we tried our hand at Archery.

L to R - Me, Pranshu, Puja, Karteek, Pathi, Vijay

It was parting time and we did the bye byes quick!

The resort ‘Trails’ was a litter free and well maintained place, not too many arrangements and not any less. The staff were friendly and ready to help. Good food and great ambiance.

All in all this was one hell of a camping trip, thanks to the diligent organizing by Shradda, Jitendra and all those who assisted them. And thanks to all the thirty two who attended, and made it memorable.

I would look forward to more such trips. The spirit that you see amongst GHACians is unparalleled.

Guess I wrote too long a post. I’d so much to say, what do? The trip was worth it!

Please share your views in the comments section. I would like to know how you’d appraise my writing skill as well.

PS: On any of these trips GHACians follow one basic rule – No booze, No litter!

Wonderful fellows eh!

Dandeli Adventure Weekend.

This write-up, on Dandeli Adventure Weeked , is given by Prasad Kothe. Thank you for the write up on the dandeli experience, Prasad!

This write up was originally posted here:

"Big jump with water around going thru a cave.”

We reached hubli sometime in the morning @ 7.30 AM and travelled to Dandeli via a bus and reached the outskirts of the
sanctuary from where the jeeps of the resort took us into the wildlife. It reminded me of Jurassic park and I am very happy that the dinosaurs are extinct. We had some poha(good start when u r hungry) and left for pitching the tents and had lunch after our introduction and this helped as I now know at least 4 of 30 people by name. It was now afternoon and we had the excitement of water rafting blown away as there was rain the earlier day due to which the dams gates cannot be opened as it could drown the village. You see government thinks about the people, . Since village was more important than our rafting, we moved to plan B of doing the Big Jump while Rappelling for the remaining part of the day and hoped we could do rafting the next day. Suddenly, for some strange reason the gates were opened by the authorities and everyone jumped out of joy except those who still could not have their rappelling fun for now. “The water cannot wait but the rocks can” so we moved to the shore of river kali and had fun like kids where we welcomed everyone into water with splashes of water. I did not know swimming and so I made sure I had someone who knew it beside me and that was good. Finally the boats(air filled water floating material called rafting boats) came and we had now divided into 4 teams( 8 , 8, 8, 5) and had started getting into river by round 6pm which was the time when the rafting would normally end as it gets dark. since GHAC is the greatest we were given a chance and we enjoyed the fun. This was a good team of people who did not see each other until 20 hrs back but still able to go in the dark on the river. The water trek was an 8 km of drive with water around and the possibility of being alive if we fall into water was feeble as there are no lights and the sun did not care to wait for us. But after 2.5 hrs of rafting in the wonderful weather and peaceful wildlife sanctuary under the moon(nelavanka) we reached some place where the jeep had its lights on indicating we still are on earth. I believe this is an example of team work where everyone collaborated perfectly even
with a stranger. Finally we called it a day of outing and had dinner at the resort and in the campfire some had exhibited /demonstrated skills of singing (good for singers like me, others cannot escape and I can have my full course vocal meal ).The music by Kranti on his guitar was very nice while others sang nice songs in melody that people fell asleep(also could be due to getting exhausted). Next day we got up at 5.00 and left for the cavala caves by 5.30 and reached a spot from where we had walked for about 4 kms to reach a curvy stairs of 500 steps which ended at the entrance of the cavala caves. The guide had taken everyone in a set of 10 people thru the cave where we had seen the lord Shiva formed by water drops from the cave. Nature can design wonderfully even in dark caves, and we just still can’t agree that nature is better than us. We did enjoy the dark caves and as per the guide there is a route from the cave to haridwar(I don’t know if I can try it). We started back but this time the jeeps were there at the end of the 500 steps and boy that was good as I had some issues with my knee and this was a relief (at least for me) which took us back to the resort. Enroute we stopped at a kirana store and had some soft drinks and played volleyball before getting on the jeep and going back to the resort. On the way back we feared poha so much for breakfast that we branded Poha(poha , poha juice, poha pickle, poha shirts, poha media company and others).But thank god, it was upma , ha ha ha. Now, I wanted to sleep for a while as others were going for either rapelling(due from y’day) and for swimming(I did not know swimming). We finally started back to the Hubli Bus stand by taxi/jeep and took bus to Hyderabad and reached home in time to leave to office for monitor check(after all we keep seeing monitors so much that everyone of us can become an expert in monitor quality check).
Thanks to Sishir, Prashant Pai and everyone for the pains in organizing this, and being a sport. I had fun time.
I am waiting for my next fun time, are you?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kids and juniors summer outdoor adventure

This write-up, on Kids adventure , is given by Vibha Naik. Thank you for the article, Vibha. So, GHAC adventurer and organizer Vibha, on the first ever GHAC kids adventure...........

Most kids got up and reached the pickup points on time - they were surely very excited about this trek. Processed with rituals like disclaimers and some queries that some parents had, we were off on the bus. Keku took care of the kids in the bus, got them mingled up, played games and put them in the picnic mode.
On reaching there, everyone was very excited to see all the adventure activities that was awaiting. Some jumped onto the swings, some perched on the natural log benches, some watched the quacking birds.

They served us a welcome drink - neembu pudinah and that cleared our throats for a round of introduction. All from different schools and different grades (some in the school of life) were excited to know about each other. Some kids discovered that they belonged to the same school, same class but did not know each other (as they were in different divisions) and some discovered that they stayed in the same apartment complex, same floor but unaware that they all were coming. Pleasant surprises! Then came the breakfast - idli chutney sambhar and we stuffed in some calories before the exhaustive day began.

 A brief warming exercise conducted by Keku and Ranjanji helped stretch the body and muscles, preparing for the upcoming feat. The groups divided into 2 groups - one for valley crossing and the other for vertical surface climbing. After dressing up with the safety gear and guided by commandos, the activities commenced. The bold kids were the first to jump and others slowly made up their minds as they saw others perform. The kids were having a fab time - some wanted to repeat them as well.

Then came up enthusiastic parents giving a try and to their surprise, they did much better than what they expected themselves to perform. Water with glucose, vitamins and electrolytes (read Tang) was made available in ample quantities to avoid dehydration.

Then we took a short break for snacks and then started with rope walking and the burma bridge. Burma bridge was really hard and it was surprising to see many young kids perform the feat of course with all the safety gadgets. Some parents followed too.

And we were hungry to the core again. The lunch tasted so good - was it the preparation or just the fact that we were terribly hungry? And some parents were tired and sleepy, so caught up on the commando nets to swing and feel the cool breeze for a short nap. But kids, they wanted more.....And we began activities in the shade. First 'Housie' was conducted by Jaee and gathered so much excitement in kids and all. Then Ranjanji has an interesting game for kids convincing the importance of concentration in all the activities that we do. Venky then impromptuously conducted a concentration game which everybody so enjoyed. Then Keku began an innovative game for kids which helped them develop speaking skills and promptness. And yet the game was so much fun.

Then we were ready for some outdoor activities again - Adults tried their hand on archery while the kids were sent for river crossing. And then came the hot samosa and tea. As the sun started setting, we were ready for the guided jungle trek. Kids found this really interesting as we walked through the thorny bushes, posed for pics, spotted some wild boars at a distance and made some eerie sounds. We were back after the sunset on the ramp that gave us a beautiful view of the forest that we trekked.
Yes., All were tired and after a brief vote of thanks, we climbed up the bus on our journey back. Most kids as well as adults slept on the way back, but some super active kids were still enjoying the fun. Back in Hyderabad, all dispersed as they shared their contact numbers and hoping to keep in touch as they shared a memorable day out together.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dandeli Adventure Trek.

How many times do you get to have fun with a group of people you have just met? Answer: Not always. But dandeli, sure, was one such expedition that had a fun loving group and the ‘dolly gang’ was the result of the friendship and fun.

The travel began from M.G.B.S and after a good 12 hr ride we were in Dharwad. From dharwad, it was a 2 hr journey to dandeli. The game of ‘dumb charades’ dominated this segment of journey i.e from dharwad to dandeli. Everyone was involved and I’m sure everyone was happy being part of it.  Stanley farm was our place to stay. We pitched in our tents for our stay. The first day involved river crossing and river rafting.

The river rafting was the highlight of the entire travel. The clear waters of kali river was simply watchable! Personally, swimming in that water was the best part. I was LOST, if you know what I mean. The river gave 1 good rapid and the rest were of the moderate nature. The rafting instructors were good and friendly. The campfire was prepared for the evening and people gathered around for an introduction and it was dinner time.

The second day was scheduled for rappelling. We left early morning to the rappelling point, which was an hour’s drive from the farm. Since, the weather was sunny, it was decided to finish off the activity as soon as possible. The rappelling was good. Few were good at it and few tried their best and completed it. I’m sure they loved it more than the guy who did it perfectly!

The afternoon plan involved exploring syntheri rocks. The place was beautiful and with the water around it added to the pleasantness. Few people chose to stay while the rest decided to go ahead and explore and ti was worth it! I wish we had more time so that more time could be spent there. :-(

The third and final day involved Kavala caves. We had to climb down 500 odd steps to get to the caves and view the place offered was a mind pleasing one.

A fantastic 3 day travel which, personally, climbs the chart of best treks I’ve had so far. Wait, did I tell you we played holi on the last day and then jumped into the river for a good cooling time!
Photo Album:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Introducing Rappelling in Hyderabad

About 35 People showed up at the Maulali Rock Climbing Trek. We climbed the usual 450 steps and after a good warmup went down and up the steep hills few times till the legs burned with the pain which was followed by stretching to remove the lactic acid build.  Then we went around the dome rock trying to find some good surface to do bouldering and Deepam  was busy setting up the rope for rappelling across a 30 feet vertical drop.

Deepam was the first to do rappelling and few other brave hearts tried their luck and inspired the remaining to try rappelling. About 20 members did rappelling and come out confident.

Rappelling or abseiling brings a powerful sense of accomplishment and is a vital resource in bringing about the realization that not every perceived risk is insurmountable. It was my turn to do rappelling and being the organiser people look up to you and you have to lead by example. There is no excuse or escape

 I had done rappelling few times before at the Dandeli  Trek with the full equipment and a safety rope in the instructor's hand.  but Rappelling at  Maulali  looked rather daunting to stand on the edge of a cliff and looking down and knowing that we will soon be going down with only a rope for safety.  But the technique was rather easy to learn and the real difficulty was only in convincing the mind. It felt natural after the first couple of steps and then the feeling of suspension over the expanse below was thrilling.

I stopped at the edge locking the rope with the right hand grip and leaning back against the wall and posed for some photos and yes I felt powerful to stand against the gravity and walk on a vertical wall. 

 Immediately after the descent followed a tremendous sense of achievement and a boosted confidence. It brought the realization that not every seemingly difficult objective is actually so. This was the first ever time that we did rappelling at Maulali with just a Rope and Hand gloves using the classic rappelling technique as taught by Deepam who has done such feats earlier in the shayadri range.

Classic Rapelling Technique

Most of the first timers tried rappelling and came out more confident then before - read the comments at


GHAC now plans to purchase full  Rock Climbing and Rapelling Equipment along with Safety Gear to enable more members to try this exciting sport within the Hyderabad city.

GHAC thanks all the following members who donated cash towards purchase of Equipment at Maulali Trek on 07 March 2010. All the money GHAC receives from members will be accounted for and utilized for purchase of Equipment for the benefit of members only.

If you want to donate towards purchase of equipment or sponsor some equipment please get in touch with the  organizers.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Night Camp - Vikarabad

Twenty One people, headed to ananthgiri hills for a night camp. What followed was a good time and a good time which was dominated by singers!

Ananthgiri hills is around 80 kms from hyderabad and offers a good place for camping. We found one such place for setting up our camp. From here, a good view of vikarabad could be had. The twilight brought out some good views of the place but we were late, as usual and we had to get to work!

6 cars with 21 people reached the place around 6 in the evening. People got out of the car and got down to work, realizing that the fading sun would offer light only for sometime. So, the girls took care of the cooking department while the guys took care of setting up the tents and collecting firewoods. Few knew how to set a tent and i was not one of them, sad. but the better part? i learnt something about it! There was no light, how could we continue our work? The cars came to the rescue.

What's cooking?
The girls were quick in getting everything ready, that was required for their cooking. Few got down to cut/peel the vegetables while others were sorting ingredients out. Few guys volunteered to hold the torch and throw light! With all the hard work, finally there was rice, dal and a curry, waiting to be served.
One person was busy piercing chicken into the sticks. The chicken-pierced-sticks were handed out to guys and were asked to roast it over the fire, which was created.

After the meal was prepared, a quick round of introduction was done around the campfire. Then, it was time to eat. There was light shower, accompanied by a gushing wind, when we commenced our food. Few of us had to rush to save the tents, which were not grounded. The water drops were for a little time. Post dinner, it was singing all the way. 3 teams were formed and a good number of songs played. Well into the night, the singing carried on and at some point it was decided that the group will go out for a night walk. A good walk and the singing began....again! We found a place downhill which offered a beautiful view of the lit city far away with the starry sky. The moon with its beautiful crescent was a watch. We sat down and people sang few good numbers. One of them suggested complete silence and enjoy the view. I liked this part. A sense, which is hard to describe, set in. Imagine in a surrounding - A cool breeze hitting your face, on a place which had a picturesque view, under the star-filled-sky. So, that was it! It was time and we decided to return. The singing went on! and when we reached back it was time to play cards. A good time with cards. I learnt something, for i knew nothing about playing cards.

What's with the toothpaste?
The maha-idea of one/two of the members, to apply toothpaste on the face of sleeping humans. I'm sure they had a lot of fun doing so and in the process being 'called' by a person on whose face they tried to apply. The best part was the explanation of what 'actually' people thought that paste was [LOL as i think of it!]

The next day, we had a short walk to catch the first rays of sunlight but unfortunately we couldn't see as the clouds has blocked the view. So, had to return, slightly disappointed. We reached our base, packed stuff and left the place with a pretty long ride back home, with of course, fun memories placed in the brain!

Thank you Ranjitha, for all the cooking and Anitha, Shraddha for supporting the cooking department. Thank you monty, srikanth, prasanna and nataraj for holding the torchlight for sooo long and assisting the chefs!
Thank you, shwetha, for the wonderful chicken [i think the left over marination paste was applied on someone's face! oh no. he thought so!!!]
Thank you everyone for the humor and fun.