Saturday, November 5, 2011

High Altitude Trekking - Essential List - What to carry

ESSENTIALS TO CARRY for high altitude treks like the Everest Base camp and others Himalayan treks above 3000 metres. This list is made over the past few years of experiencing high altitude trekking is not a exhaustive list. Please check with your doctor and advisers for what suits you best

Packing list
• 1 Day Pack (Ruck sack)
• 1 light weight wind sheeter / Jacket
• 1 Pullover (Sweater)
• 2 T-Shirts - full sleeve
• 2 Track pants
• 1 Slippers or Sandals
• 1 Cap (Sun hat)
• 1 Trekking (Hiking) boots with anklets
• 1 Raincoat or Poncho
• 1 small Towel
• 1 Handkerchief Large to cover face or Monkey Cap
• 1 Water Bottle
• 1 Sun cream
• 1 Cold Cream
• 1 Lip cream
• 1 Torch (Flash) light
• 1 Ankle supporter / Structured Anklet for people with anklet less shoes
• 2 regular Socks
• 2 ladies nylon socks ( to wear over normal socks to avoid friction and blisters)
• 2 wollen Socks
• 4 Batteries
• 1 Thermal inner wear ( track + tshirt) (for high altitudes and cold)
• few Undergarments ( boxer or straight cut preferred. the regular types create irritation)
• Toilet items

You may have to rent other items like a walking pole, High altitude jacket and Sleeping bag.

Food Items
( this is just my preferred list considering that we will get regular food locally in villages. If you do not get food on the trek route then you have to plan to carry and cook as well. take whatever tastes the best and will be something you will want to eat regularly)
1) Dry fruits (almonds, pista, fig, cashew, raisons, hazel nuts, dates)
2) Energy Bars with Whey Protien
3) Chywanprash ( you get it in india only) to keep immune system strong against cold
4) cereals
5) dark chocolates
6) Your favorite snack or food (which stays for longer time)
7) Water - 4 -6 litres per day

First Aid ( My personal List)
1) Amoxcillin 500 mg. - Antiseptic for injuries and bacteria related fevers. ( take with sporelac)
2) Norflox TZ - for diahrea / Watery stools.
3) Lomotil for stopping loose motions.
4) Allegra 120- Anti Allergy Medicine.
5) Domstal - Medicine for Nausea/ giddiness.
6) Soframycin / Neospirin antiseptic cream and powder
7) Diamox - for Altitude sickness - dose 125/250 mg twice daily. start 48 hours before reaching 2500 metres
8) Dexamethasone - severe Altitude sickness- 4mg twice daily and move participant 1000 meters down immediately
9) Dispirin for headache and blood thinner.
10) Pain balm/ spray / Crepe Bandages
11) Lip- balm.
12) Sunscreen 40 spf.
13) Water purification tablets / chlorine drops.
14) Sporelac poweder for stomach upset.
15) decongestant and cough - coldarin or afrin
16) gelusil for heartburn antacid
17) Ibrufen or tylenol / paracetomal for pain and fever
18) ORS / electral / glucose
19) bandaid / blister pads in various shapes
20) Saulin ( herbal) for general cold and cough
21) Ashwagandha ( herbal anti stress for calm nerves and to relieve fatigue - check with Doc first)
22) Glycerine base suppositories as its common to get constipated at high altitude.
23) Candid powder or antiseptic wipes to clean armpits and groin area

1) Passport or Voter Id card or any Govt Issued card original and copies
2) Photos - 2
3) travel insurance
4) flight tickets

- Diyanat

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Clean up at Ananthagiri

What would like world of your children to be? This is a question every parent should ask themselves. We have often heard people say that we should provide a cleaner, less polluted world for the future generation. Many of us from GHAC regularly go for trekking and other outdoor activities to various locations within the twin cities and other parts of the state. What we often notice and do not act on is the amount of litter that dot these spots which spoils the look and feel of these locations.
A few months we at GHAC decided to act and one of our first demonstrative works was at Durgam Cheruvu, on the occasion of World Environment Day.  The GHAC team did a good job by cleaning up a part of the lake and that was in a way our contribution to preserving and conserving mother-nature. It was then we decided to go for our next clean up location – Ananthagiri. A second home to many of us, Ananthagiri hills and its environs has been a favourite meet up place for many of us. So after a few missed dates, we finally gathered up for a meetup on 20th August to do our due for Ananthagiri.
A late meet up announcement meant that we had a tepid response, but we did not want to give up our mission. The basic equipment for a clean-up including gloves, garbage bags and other essentials were ready. And so we were ready for the D day. We hired a bus and 16 of us were on our way to Ananthagiri. Stopping along the way for breakfast, we imbibed the lovely weather as we made to our destination.
We decided to complete the work in about three hours as clouds were gathering in the horizon. Clear areas were demarcated to GHAC volunteers and the students. A surprise package was two lovely kids Kavi and Nisha along with their mother Jen Mankoff, a Professor from Carnegie Mellon. Instead of covering a large area and diluting the effort, we decided to stick to a smaller area and do a better job of the clean-up. Face masks and gloves were provided to the volunteers and they began the painstaking efforts to clean up their areas. Soon, the first of the litter began to emerge and they were stacked in small mounds along the walking track.
The strategy was to collate the litter into garbage bags and then carry them to a collection point near the Ananthagiri temple bus stop, from where the garbage collection vehicle of Vikarabad Municipality would cart it to the dumping grounds. An overcast sky was suggesting a hint of rain and we had to work fast in ensuring that we wrapped up the effort in time. In a couple of hours, we had over 15 bags of litter filled up. The litter included plastic bottles, plates, glasses and snack packs among others. We avoided picking up glass bottles as the chances of getting injured were pretty high. The threat of rain forced us to speed up the work and by the time we called it a day, we had spent close to three hours at work. We met Mrs Aruna Bahaguna, DG of Police inside the forest and she appreciated the work being done.
52 students from Mannan Engineering College helped in this effort and their dedication deserves to be complimented. We had an oath-taking ceremony in which participants promised to protect the environment and conserve nature. They later helped us in hauling up the litter bags to the main road for the municipal truck to pick it up. Later all the participants moved to an area near the view point where again they found garbage and litter which was collected and transported to the nearby dump.
That done, we all trooped into the Haritha Resort of Andhra Pradesh Tourism at Ananthagiri. After freshening up we had lunch and walked around the resort admiring the sights and sounds there.  Soon, it was time to leave the beautiful environs of what is called ‘poor man’s Ooty’. Till we have another clean up, thank you – the wonderful GHAC team that made this possible.

Suresh Kochattil

Monday, August 15, 2011

GHAC Newsletter -The Adventurers - August 2011 issue

I take pride in releasing the GHAC Newsletter "The Adventurers" on this Independence day. The newsletter is special for 2 reasons. Firstly because its being revived after a gap of 1 year and secondly because it just got better. This was not possible without the inputs and dedication of our PR Incharge Mr. Suresh Kochattil.  He is the man who is responsible for bringing back the newsletter.

I also take this opportunity to introduce Farida Sultana who is the new editor and has done a great job with the first newsletter itself. I am thankful to all the editorial team who gave suggestions and also made sure the newsletter goes out in its perfect form.  I am thankful to all the contributors who have submitted articles and  pictures without which the newsletter was not possible.

We will strive to bring the newsletter to you every month full of adventure, travelogue, news and tips. Please send your feedback to and also contribute your articles for the next months release.

The Newsletter can also be read online at


Diyanat Ali
Chief Organiser | GHAC

Message on this Independence Day.

Dear Friends

Our nation is celebrating its 65th independence day and while I congratulate you on this Day, a thought lingers in my mind as to whether we as citizens of free India are really living a life as shown by the father of our Great Nation.

There are lots of lessons to learn from the struggle for Independence and the life of Mahatma Gandhi. I would particularly want to highlight that Mahatma Gandhi was a very simple person. Though born into wealthy family, he ultimately gave all materialistic possessions away. He owned only a few essentials for himself. His only possessions in this world were very few like a spectacle, a plate, a bowl, slippers and some khadi clothes. He used to give away or auction any gift that was ever given to him.

Mahatma  said " It is open to the world to laugh at my dispossessing myself of all property. For me the dispossession has been a positive gain. I would like people to complete with me in my contentment. It is the richest treasure I own. Hence it is perhaps right to say that, though I preach poverty, I am a rich man!"

We all tend to spend a lot of time and  energy acquiring or looking after our material possessions. By having fewer things to possess and look after, our life naturally becomes simpler. By living a simple life, Mahatma Gandhi was able to devote his life to his chosen higher purpose. He was totally focused on his commitment to his people and the nation.

It may not be possible these days for us to get down to few possessions like Mahatma Gandhi did, but we can start cutting down to bare basics. Recycle, give things away, or auction our unwanted possessions. our life will be much simpler and happier by following this life lessons from the father of our nation.

Lets start living a simpler life from today and you will release a lot of time and energy. This will give you the space to create the life you really want to live, a life that is inspired and purposeful.

Mahatma said "You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them"

Wish you a very Happy Independence Day


Diyanat Ali

Chief Organiser

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Friendship Day

GHAC has integrated into the very fabric of twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Its creating strong friendship bonds among people from diverse fields and ages. Today we are a large adventure family and one of the element that keeps us together is friendship and a common interest and goal to take part in Adventure Activities and Get More Out of Life.

Wishing you a Happy Friendship day and lots of Adventure ahead in life.


Diyanat Ali
Chief Organiser

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trek to Mullayanagiri

Trek to Karnataka's highest peak, Mullayanagiri, (1930mts), July 2-3 '2011
KGR Vamsi

It was Friday everything and I went through a final run of the checklist sent by organisers of the trek. Yet, I felt that I was missing something. Eureka, it was some natural food like apple and orange. With that my packing was all done for the trek to Mullayangiri , the highest peak in Kanrataka. We all assembled at the Kacheguda Station for the journey to Bangalore. Once the train left at 7pm, we realized that Sarvani, one of our trekkers, missed the train. She immediately got into a bus and was on her way to Bangalore.

Next morning, we had our breakfast and began our journey to Hebbe waterfalls about 350 kms via. We reached Chikmagalur, had our lunch and started to Hebe waterfalls, 35-40kms. On the way we spotted many coffee plantations as well some arecanut trees. We reached the base spot of the Hebe waterfalls and we did a 7 km trek to the top of the waterfalls. We have explored some of the unfamiliar shortcut routes to the falls with the help of a GPS tracker. We reached the top point by 5.30 pm and stayed there for around 20-30 mins appreciating the natural beauty and the cool breeze emanating from the waterfall. And it was then we realized that we had to leave soon. The reason - Leeches.

They were are all around that place and ready to attack our feet. Most of the team members got leeches bites and i got three of those creatures on my feet and i got to know that after i walked half a distance from Hebbe falls to the base point. The team got divided into three to four teams depending on the slow and fast trekkers and i stayed with the last team to help the people who were a bit slow. We switched on our torch lights as it was getting dark and to top it all it was raining and we could hear different sounds from the forest. It was a very different experience for me and seeing the surroundings, i was confident to an extent and the rest was left it to God.

We walked for around for another four kms and the rest of the team was waiting for us and then we started our walk towards the base point. From the base point to Hebbe water falls we could not trace the shortcuts which our GPS was indicating. Our GPS was showing us the right path but we did not want to take any risk and we stuck to the road path. We kept on walking and at last we reached the base point from where we kept moving to Chikmagalur, which we reached by midnight.

We started by 6 am from Chikmagalur to the base point of Mullayangiri, a distance of 30 kms. We had some warm-up exercises and then started trekking up the hill. The rocks were slippery and dangerous and the low clouds along with heavy winds made things tough for us. It took us three hours to reach the peak we learn a lot about the place. We had a briefing of the trek so far and also got to know about the history of the Lord Shiva Temple at Mullayangiri.

Then, we started down from another way and soon we discovered that trekking down the hill was tougher than climbing. It was a dangerous path, specially when you walk on the edge of the hill. We all made it safely despite heavy winds and rain. We had our lunch at Chikmagalur and reached Bangalore by 5 pm. There we had a small walk around to Isckon Temple. By the time the train to Hyderabad started moving, our aching body was lulled into a sound sleep.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A mad trek in the monsoon

Harischandragad via Nalichi Vaat

A journey into beauteous Nalichi Vaat and discovering the pictorial splendorous nature. 

by Srikanth Rao

We started our journey from Hyderabad to Harischandragad with the team of 12 members. We all met up at Begumpet railway station and took a train to Pune and from there to Belpada. Unfortunately, the tyre of the bus we were traveling on way to Belpada literally blew up. We were a bit unhappy but took this chance to get down and refresh ourselves. 

The journey in mini bus was amazing. Eyeing beautiful mountains, we enjoyed every moment of it and it was hard for us to keep our eyes from the unfolding scene. Weather was distinctly cold (so cold that one can even feel the water droplets spraying one's face). The water flowing from the top of the mountain was really a beautiful sight to behold. On the way, we found a waterfall and people were having a gala time. Ranga and Arun Raj were estimating the height of the mountains, but their efforts were futile. They couldn’t succeed in gauging it perfectly, as the mountains was completely covered with fog.

Trekking from Savarna Village:
We started trekking from the mountainous area to reach Belpada. The long road journey had sapped our energy, and now we were carrying our heavy traveling bags. Water was flowing from the mountains and passing through the village area was so very crystal clear and we were unable to restrict ourselves from swimming. We had an audience in the form of villagers who were surprised at out gleeful joy in seeing water. The villagers were kind enough to rent us a room there we spent our night speculating our journey in the morning.

The first patch - 30ft
We tried to catch some sleep into sleep but were unable to. We were all in one room with two strong buffaloes keeping an eye on us (That seemed to be the case).  It was difficult to close eyes and sleep with the mountains in the background and considerably long water body beside our room. Continuous grunting and croaking of frogs made us think of the possibilities of snakes ambling around. Despite lack of electricity, some of us had a sound sleep.  It was one of the best of the beautiful scary nights I ever spent.

We woke up early in the morning by 5 am with an aim to explore Nalichi Vaat.  It was beautiful but dangerous trekking we ever set for. Nalichi Vaat is a route between two mountains and is connected with rock patches. It was very difficult trek with a stiff wind and a steady drizzle accompanied by bouts of thundering sounds. We managed to cross five big patches. Among them, four patches presented us a big challenge to overcome but we climbed up higher and higher and of course with minor injuries. I must say that the rock climbing at Nalichi Vaat is for professional rock climbers and not for the beginners. Climbing here in the rain can be dangerous for novices.

Second Patch - 40 ft high
The first rock patch was perpendicular and C shaped and it was around 30 ft high. Sailesh, Krishna, Ranga and me climbed up. The surface of the rock was quiet slippery with no proper grabs and to add to the difficulty of climbing, water was flowing down in our direction but we successfully managed to climb up and pulled other guys up with the help of rope. 

The second rock patch was at a height of 40 ft. We could find grabs but were not reliable. Rock grabs were loose and came off at certain places and terrified the watchers who were viewing from below. I managed to climb up and gave belay to others to help them come up. From second rock patch to third rock patch we had take a U turn at the edge of the cliff. A minor mistake would have led us to a 1500 ft slide.

Fifth Patch - 90 kmph windspeed
The third patch was the most difficult one, as we were already at a height enough to scare even the most bravest of the souls. The most difficult part of the climbing was to firmly attach ourselves longitudinally to the slippery surface of the rock which seemed to pulling us off every minute, threatening us to throw us down. Holding on firmly and courageously moving on, we reached the fourth patch which didn't seem to be difficult to reach on as we were all sanguine of success, crossing three big hurdles on our way to the top. Some members struggled a lot to come up and even got some minor injurious.

Way to fifth rock patch was uneven. Besides this, the weather was not supportive. The wind was fiercely hitting us and creating hurdles our way to the top. We were already at a height of 1800 ft. It was all foggy and we were all wet and tired but we didn't give up. We headed forward with zeal and newer enthusiasm. Krishna and I climbed up with our luggage. 

Reaching there on the top of the fifth patch, we were unable to firmly keep our feet together as the wind was blowing with all speed (approximately 90 kmph) and the fog surrounding us blindfolded us. It was difficult to see or hear anything. I was thinking of how to pull up other guys and luckily when I found a bolt, must have been fixed by some professional climbers. I tied myself round belly and was trying to pull up all others who were struggling to come up then all of a sudden wind accompanying rain lashed on us. It was so difficult to look down as the wind and rain were striking every move of ours. Some big rock chips fell on Jyothi and Ranga and that scared us more, but we didn't stop there. We accomplished our task.  

Climbing Blind
We trekked a few kilometers to reach Harishchandragad. We were actually coming closer and closer to nature. The beauty of nature revealed itself to us and kept many of us engrossed. We admired every beautiful flower we saw there. The wind blowing in gusts magnetized us much more with fog enveloping our way. It took 13 hours to completely cross Nalichi Vaat and reach Harischandragad, where we explored historical hill fort and caves. We spent night in a cave though we had a hotel located there on the top of the hill near the fort and temple.  

Early morning next day we started trekking around the cave-area. Walking for a few minutes, we again came across a rock patch. It was small narrow path on which railing were fixed that took us to Khireshwar.  Analyzing the height we were above from the ground, we took great care while moving on. It was difficult as the whole area was covered with fog.

A note of thanks:

Venkee organized this trip well. It would not have been possible to trek considering the danger involved in it. It took him 2-3 months to plan things out and properly come to a conclusion and find appropriate routes. Selection of trek members was done well, for it required climbers with zeal. It was a huge challenge to overcome the difficulties and Nalichi Vaat.

A million thanks to GHAC for making it possible to root out the fear factor.

Trek Members must have expertise in rock climbing and bouldering. To trek at Nalichi Vaat proper rock climbing equipments are indispensable.  Trekking Nalichi vaat in winter and rainy season is an act of do or die. Beginners or those scared of heights are strictly recommended to keep off.

Trekking stars -GHAC Members- Wild Star Venkee ,Jungle Star Jyothi , AllTime Star Arun Raj RockStar RangaBurning Star BharathKeka Star Krishna, Single Star Srikanth , Happy Star Hrishikesh , Sliding Star SaileshRebel Star Raghu , Anti Star AyushGround star Goutham)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Journey to Everest Base Camp - The dream trek of my life

It was in my school days, when attending an All India Rock climbing camp at Manali in the Himalayas that a dream of climbing the majestic Himalayas was sown.  Way back in 70s, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) was mostly the only way youngsters could experience adventure, camping, trekking and other outdoor activities. Things have changed today you have organisations like Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC) to help you fulfill your dreams for any kind of adventure.

Sports took centre stage for me when I was young and much later in life when my children grew up, that the passion towards trekking started to rekindle during holiday trips and religious temple treks. As family, we tried to find an organization who could take us on well planned treks, but we could never find one and the desire to enjoy treks was sadly not fulfilled.

In 2009, something wonderful happened when a friend suggested that to look up Hyderabad Adventure club now known as Great Hyderabad Adventure Club was planning a day trek to Bhongir and Yadigirigutta. I joined them and it came out to be an amazing trek and a chance to meet lots of young friends.

It was a great beginning and that dream run has been on since. Then came the first ever outstation trek of GHAC to Masinagudi with Rajan Patel as the organizer. This needs mention because in the lighter moods he commented on knowing my age to be above 50 that "We don’t carry baggages". After 3 years of regular trekking, 30 plus in number some leisure and some difficult I graduated by not being a baggage but becoming Sirji or a Fast not so old Man. I have enjoyed every experience and the growing with GHAC.

Why not? The crowning glory was the successful completion of Everest Base Camp Trek in May 2011, a dream as old as 38 years coming true. I thank GHAC ,for all the wonderful Treks and some very nice friends whom I consider brothers and sisters of the wild. I would love to name many but the list is as big as 5000 or more.

My journey with GHAC from a single day trek to a heroic 14 days trek to EBC has been an amazing experience. It was Growing Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.  After the completion of every trek, it has been the fuel which fired the desire and courage of attempting EBC. Though trained last year also, I was not sure of my confidence in the physical preparedness. I backed off from attempting then.

This year, despite business compulsions and other personal engagements, my family supported me in taking up the challenge. That gave me the will to train seriously and prepare myself, physically and mentally to a good shape. I needed to prepare much more than the other younger members, mostly to overcome the worry of getting altitude sickness which can stop your progress and can only mean a walk back to lower altitudes. The hard work while training paid off. I was one of the very few members who did not suffer altitude sickness or any other problems of exertion or physical pain. Instead I mostly was the first to finish every leg of our daily climbs and remained the pacesetter.  This kept me motivated and charged for all the 14 days and truly enjoyed the luxury of being fit even though age was never in my favour as compared to the other team members. 

The Everest Base Camp (EBC) as per Google is one of the best and the toughest treks. That involves walking and climbing 120 km through the majestic Himalayas to reach a height of 15,600 feet. It is at the foot of the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world on the North face (Nepal). Reaching EBC was an out of the world experience which cannot be compared to any other happiness in life. The flora and fauna is so mesmerizing and beautiful that at the end of the 10 hour walk and gaining altitudes of 500 meters daily, you still cherish those moments of watching picture perfect nature. The sound of bells on the yaks, the chirping of beautiful birds and the whistling of the chilled hard breeze hitting your face is the only companion you have during those long walks. Though with a group, you are walking or climbing alone because every step of yours has to be measured and placed carefully to avoid any major fall which can be fatal if careless. For me, this journey was one of best space of my life where I could look within with continues chanting of Gayatri mantra and rejuvenate the spiritual bonding of self with the nature.      It was the true experience of Gamana vipasna, a Buddhist meditation meaning gamana (walking) and vipasna (meditation). A meditation I would conduct for others to practice attentive allowing one to be at ease with any external experience in the domain of physical, mental and emotional. 

The night halts were well cherished with the gift of Nepali hospitality in the lodges spaced on the hills as small hamlets with only solar power to support modern day technology. We never missed our phones, television, internet and all the other modern gadgets. Jokes and recalling the day’s experiences would make us laugh our way through the tiredness and pain, if any. Some of the members suffered acute altitude sickness including our group leader a very good friend Ali Razvi, my room partner who vomited more than 9 times and visited the corner for more than 4 times during a single night, but he still had the courage and will to start the climb the next day. Priyanka Singh, a young girl of our team continued to vomit and experienced hallucination, suffered bad appetite but continued the journey and finally succeeded. Few others had the same difficulty, but still went ahead to complete the expedition.   

The icing on the cake was our visit to the camp of Indian Airforce Expedition team attempting Mt. Everest at Khumbu Glacier few km up the EBC. The team consisted of women officers some of whom a few days later climbed the Everest. Ali Razvi, Priyanka, Tanvir and I were the lucky ones who had the honour of presenting the National flag to the leader as a token of respect and good luck and share a sumptuous lunch with them.

The GHAC Team at EBC
Our EBC expedition 2011 was also dedicated towards the fight against corruption as an extension to the walks we had with lots of placards and huge strength during our training at KBR. You can see me displaying the fight against corruption placard at EBC. I thank Diya and the wonderful members for the nice send off and the Heroic reception given on our successful return from the expedition.

I can go on and on, but let me have and treasure some of those wonderful moments as very personal memories to be told to my grandchildren and to friends who may have the patience.

Thank you GHAC for providing me this opportunity which I will cherish all my Life.  

Ranjan Sood.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Happy World Environment Day

World Environment Day 5th June is a United Nations designated day to increase worldwide awareness of environmental issues and to help motivate both individual and political action.  This year the theme is "Forests: Nature At Your Service".  On this occasion GHAC is conducting a clean-up drive at Durgam Cheruvu to ensure we remove all the litter from the lake surroundings and a bicycle ride to reduce the carbon emission and spread its awareness among our friends and family.

Further we all as adventure and nature lovers need to think about what more can be done on our each individual level to protect our environment and the planet.  The future of coming generations is in our hands.  We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors but it is only on loan from our children. We should strive to leave the planet better than we found it. There are several actions we can take to protect our planet and pass it to our future generations. For now let's avoid the big talk and think more as individuals as in You and Me and what we can do to protect our planet.

How about using public transport or using a bicycle or a shared car pool to drive to work from tomorrow.
How about asking for bills on email instead of the bank statement or telephone bill on paper.
How about reading your favorite newspaper online.
How about using cloth bags instead of plastics.
How about turning off lights when not in use.
How about taking the stairs instead of using the elevator
How about planting a tree in your neighborhood.
How about spreading the message on taking care of our environment among friends and family.

We will have to sacrifice a bit of our personal comfort for the preservation of nature and our surroundings.   Let our actions speak louder than our words.  I leave you with a thought and would love to hear from you on what more can we do  that will help save our environment.

Happy World Environment Day.

Diyanat Ali
Founder & Chief Organiser
Great Hyderabad Adventure Club

Friday, May 27, 2011

3rd Founding Day Anniversary

The 3rd Founding day Anniversary of Great Hyderabad Adventure Club GHAC is today on 27th May.  I feel more adventurous and overwhelmed at the way the GHAC movement has spread across the city, enhancing the quality of life of thousands of fellow adventurers, giving everyone opportunity to participate in adventure activities and stay healthy and fit. We celebrated the occasion yesterday night with a cake cutting at Lamakaan and many of you had said kind words about me but I am grateful to the club members, especially the organisers for driving the club to what it is today.

The Idea of GHAC was put online on on 27th May 2008 primarily to provide an outdoor activity club for Hyderabad city where anyone and everyone, irrespective of gender, caste, creed, religion or economic status can volunteer or participate in outdoor activities. The first maiden trek of the group was to the Annapurna Base Camp Nepal on 07th June 2008 followed by other 527 adventure activities till date.  We have also done 5 trekking trips to the Everest base camp Nepal.

The club has over 4250 registered members, 60 upcoming adventure events already scheduled and over hundred more in the making. The major activities of the club include trekking, hiking, camping, jungle explorations, wilderness trips, nature conservation, environment protection, bird watching and adventure sports like bouldering, rock climbing, rappelling, paragliding and white water rafting.

GHAC as a club has immensely helped and has contributed largely towards raising the quality of life in Hyderabad city. GHAC is also contributing a lot towards development of the society by making people active and bringing them closer to nature. GHAC gives everyone opportunity to try out various adventure activities and at the same time lead a healthy and active life style. 

On this occasion we have launched the GHAC-Wild website which will contribute to nature awareness and conservation and primarily have information on the flora and fauna like birds, plants, trees, animals, reptiles and insects found in Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh.

I wish you all an adventurous journey ahead and once more thank all the Organisers, Volunteers, Members, friends and family for their support all along the years. Without you this club would not stand where it is standing today.

GET MORE OUT OF LIFE … be a part of the movement.


Diyanat Ali
Founder and Chief Organiser
Great Hyderabad Adventure Club
09885039230 - Adventure Meetup - Adventure Blog - Wilderness Info - Facebook Page

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Birds and Bird Watching

Birds are beautiful and very lively. The reason they interest many people is because of the dynamism they bring to the natural life. Yes, they are the easiest observable moving, and feeling creatures in the natural world. You need not dive into water or venture into the wild to see a bird fly. Although they are very shy, probably because they don't wear a thing, they meed to be very active to survive. For most birds, camouflage is the biggest defense while perseverance is their biggest weapon. Their features of adaptation are much older than us and their behavior primitive - making them a beautiful piece of living history.

To appreciate birds, we must be able to take interest in them. After a few days of looking at them as an illiterate, I wanted to know the name of the bird along with which I read some of its behavior. This started with a very common bird, the Cattle Egret, as it started gaining breeding plumage. I am sure that if you stopped looking around and actually start observing things, at one point you'll start observing birds and enter a new world from where you are now. You will be surprised at how many birds you can see around a small pond or a lake - i didn't know that I was looking at 40+ around a small lake near my house till I brought my first book.

As visual identification increases, it becomes a kind of KBC questionnaire where every question rises a lot of doubts. You never know whether you can freeze in on that or not, specially with the Warblers and Ducks. A female Purple Sunbird looks identical to the Purple-rumped Sunbird except for a black patch from its beak to the eye which is barely noticeable - you will dislike the entire female brand of birds (they are usually boring and frustrating, although you don't need to shop with them!). Now, you'll enjoy birding groups a lot as we guess, name and argue a lot. I had great joy at every capture in the camera and for the first time I could see the world around me in a great lot of detail - to the point of the size of a Warbler's eye. up to the wing span of a Purple Heron.

As we enter the forests and the woods more, visual identification gives way to vocal identification. The voices are mixed - there are alarms, mating calls, breeding calls, communication calls and some more, but the spectrum isn't large. The eyes that have widened to see the larger world now shut to let the ears grasp a distant call better. I can hear a bird's sound haunt me because I couldn't identify it - what more, we have very little apparatus/books to accurately decipher bird sounds. That means that although we are able to hear a lot of the language from a bird brain, we are still dumb at it.

Along with visual identification and vocal identification, behavioral interests grow. Some birds like the Red-vented Bulbul are so common that we tend to neglect them but we know very little of their behavior though. For example, I haven't yet seen it hunt a garden lizard although it is surely possible - wouldn't that be a sight!! I want to count the eggs in a Red-wattled Lapwing's nest to determine the duration of the monsoon this year and see how a Black Kite reacts to a Black Drongo chasing it ( We've seen it being chased away by Parrots, Treepies, and Crows).

The curiosity continues, so does our wandering. New avenues are open, but fascination remains the same - it may need a little sunbath to activate again but then I can't stop looking around and smiling a lot after I started birding. With some birding, I started enjoying morning walks, treks and free time more. I don't know if my birding is going to save the world, solve global warming etc but it surely makes me enjoy the nature that is left around me in a better way, without disturbing it of course. 

- Article by Arun Vasireddy

Welcome to the wonderful word of birds

Birds are really amazing creatures. Completely fascinating in the fact that they are so colorful and THEY FLY!!! Something man has been trying to do since time immemorial. Also, one needn't go far to see them, they're all around us, roosting and nesting on our buildings and feeding in our gardens:)

Birds are probably the most loved group of wildlife on earth. Their constant presence, beautiful colors, intelligent actions and cheeky manners endear them to us all. From the ever Common Myna with its host of squeaks, squawks and chirps to the tiny Pale Billed Flower Pecker flitting about the bushes letting out a constant stream of chip-chip-chip and the beautiful Purple Sun bird, beautiful in its own right with an iridescent purple sheen that could rival the freshest paint and who can ignore the Coppersmith Barbette, always on the move with a red bandanna around its neck and head and last but by no means least, the crazy red wattled lapwing, never minding its own business with its constant cries of "did u do it, did u do it”. 
 Common Myna

 Copper Smith Barbette

 Red Wattled Lapwing

Birds are easy to love and easy to know. All you need to do is spare a second and give them a second glance. Look out for our weekly birding meet-ups by our very own birding team and see if you can join the fun:)

Note: Article written by Mel Irwin. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

When First aid can save a Life

Sunday is not a day when many will drag themselves out of their bed in the morning to attend a First Aid training class. But then, members of Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC) are different. Against the set quota of 20 trainees, a total of 31 adventurers from GHAC trooped into Apollo Learning Centre in Apollo Health City to learn how to save a life in an emergency.

 - Contributed By Suresh. K

This First Aid Training Course is an internationally valid certificate course conducted by St. John Ambulance Association, Hyderabad and needs participation of 8 hour activity. This course will benefit participants not just during outdoor adventure activities but anywhere and anytime in life. This course is compulsory for all GHAC trek leaders, aspiring trek leaders and those involved in longer and difficult treks. According to Chief Organizer of GHAC, Diyanat Ali, this first aid training will eventually become a prerequisite for all active members who hope to keep trekking with GHAC.

Dr Ravi Talks on CPR
Dr Vishnu Demonstrating Life saving Techniques
Dr Vishnu and Dr Ravi, from St John’s Ambulance started off with a bit of theory and then got into various kinds of emergencies and how to deal with them. First aid is a way to save a life by minimizing a dangerous situation, before the arrival of a trained paramedic or doctor or reaching the patient to a medical center.

Many deaths in our country happen due to lack basic knowledge. An unconscious person could die because of his tongue blocking the airway or getting choked by one own vomit. A simple technique of tilting the head to one side can prevent that from happening. Or a person who has suffered an electrical shock can be saved by following a few simple steps.

Also demonstrated were the ways to check if a person is conscious, is breathing or has a heartbeat and CPR. The CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation involves opening and maintaining person’s airway, rescue breathing, providing artificial circulation by external cardiac compression. In many cases, a person without a heartbeat can be revived with this simple technique.
The 4th GHAC First Aid batch
Among the points covered in the day long training programme, were ways to deal with Animal bites, Minor Cuts and Burns, Choking, Stroke, Heart attack and Cardiac arrest, Convulsion, Electric shock, Eye Injuries, Fainting, Fractures Insect bites and Stings, Nosebleed, Poisoning, Shock, Sprains and Strains, and dealing with Unconsciousness. The faculty from St John’s ambulance also trained GHAC members in using various types of bandages. Trainees were made to practice different ways to rescue people from dangerous situations including fire and smoke. Classifying of emergency situations was another lesson for the GHAC trainees.

Provisional Certificates were awarded to the participants at the end of the workshop.

Comments from participants:

“Excellent Training with a touch of humour. This is a must training for all individuals and trekkers where it can be lifesaving. I am happy and confident to perform first aid when it’s needed.” Yogi

“I learned many essential life skills from Dr Vishnu and Dr Ravi and all for implanting the first aid ideas in to our minds.” Vijay

“It was an excellent course. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.” Padmaja

According to Praful Sahgal who underwent the training, the faculty was able to connect well with the group which made the learning’s great fun.

I was an excellent session on the Do’s and Don'ts in commonly occurring accidents. Srinivas Poluru

GHAC Assistant Organizer, Prashant Morparia, found the training useful, important and necessary

“Superb! This should be made mandatory for all citizens. What use is our education if we can’t provide simple first aid?” Vamsi Kiran

Monday, April 4, 2011

An evening with Ranvijay Singh

by Amar Deep

It was meet-up with a difference. When Diyanat Ali the Foudner of GHAC (Great Hyderabad Adventure Club) posted a meet-up with Rannvijay Singh of MTV Roadies fame, many within GHAC and many others outside were wondering what it had to do with adventure.

Those doubts were soon dispelled and in no time GHAC members and fans of MTV Roadies, RSVPed for the meetup on Monday, March 28th. So the event, ‘An evening with Ranvijay Singh of MTV Roadies’ had 150 GHAC folks attending with their guests at the venue, Lamakaan.

That dream came true with Ranvijay Singh right in front of them ‘Live’ for more than 2 hours of the prime time Monday evening with them. The best seats or let me put them this way, the closest ones to him were occupied by girls, while the young men kept a distance till he started to talk. Belying everyone's expectations, Ranvijay arrived with a clean shave look, leaving behind his stub in Ooty, taking a break from a movie shoot, and looked fresh and relaxed.
The evening started with an intro about Rannvijay by Diyanat Ali, GHAC host cum meet-up moderator. Many in the audience already knew Rannvijay well since the days when he had won the 1st MTV Roadies series. Sitting against the white projection wall of Lamkaan, Ranvijay bowled the pretty maidens in the audience with his looks and also spoke in a friendly non-scripted spontaneous style.

He was quizzed mostly by the girls present, and many a times, he had to request for the mike to be passed on to the guys too. With the answers came his enchanting smile and the one-liners, breaking all who followed him into multiple laughs. Apart from the questions on his looks, experience in the Roadies and other MTV reality shows he is hosting, the evening host posed him a question as to what he thinks is the in thing in adventure sports.

Rannvijay was quick to share that bouldering is the happening sport that has caught on with the adventure seekers all over the country. He spotted the boulders forming part of the stage backdrop at Lamakaan, and conveyed to the audience that climbing them and the bigger ones is indeed a thrilling experience to have. He highlighted the fact that Hyderabad has the geographical advantage of having rocks all around, and one does not need to spend hours looking for them, like other cities. Diyanat added on the news that GHAC has the best of equipment has more than 200 members who do bouldering along with NIM trained trainers.

Watch the Video at

Rannvijay had a ready answer for a question from Diyanat on what he would do on finding an elephant. Rannvijay replied what a nature lover would, “Leave the elephant it the wild, where it belongs to.” Rannvijay shared that he met many youngsters who wanted to be on a reality show to prove themselves and hanging out in coffee shops and hookah bars to be cool. “Smoking hookah and spending hours in coffee shops leads one to nothing and I am concerned about youngsters wasting their youthful time.” he added. 

The adventurers attending gave him a huge round of applause when Rannvijay shared his close family connection with Hyderabad, and found the city to be happening and young. This visit to Hyderabad has  happened to him, courtesy Nagesh Kukunoor, who is shooting a new movie, with him in it. 

After the talk and answering quizzing questions from the girls about his single relationship status, his craze for bikes and biking, and his acting plans, Ranvijay readily posed for pictures, gave autographs with his charismatic smile. Nagesh Kukunoor and   Elahe were present through the talk and also obliged the attendees with pictures and autographs. 

Most of the GHAC adventurers attending were in awe with Rannvijay down to earth attitude and sportiveness to share without airs. His best line was that one needs to get more out of life, by connecting with nature and do what one likes to enjoy.

This was one of those evenings, which will be remembered and cherished by the GHAC members, where they connected moments with Ranvijay, the Roadie, the Reality Shows host, Adventurer biker, Passionate Traveler and now a silver screen Actor.

Diyanat Ali along with the GHAC members present at the meet-up, wished Ranvijay ‘all the best’ for the movie he is acting in and the reality shows he is hosting. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

GHAC Boating Trip to Laknavaram

GHAC Boating Trip conducted on 5th, 6th March 2011 at Laknavaram lake  was covered by Inews Channel. Video submitted by Srikanth Rao

Monday, February 28, 2011

400th meetup of GHAC


It all began way back in May 2008, when Diyanat Ali decided that adventure was what Hyderabadis needed the most. 33 months later, the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club has grown into one of India's most active adventure clubs with a steadily growing membership (as of today, 3717 to be precise).

Now, history will be made on 3rd March 2011 as Ali Razvi gets set to lead a GHAC team to the Aqua Ocean Goa - Marine Wealth Awareness Programme. That, ladies and gentlemen, will be the 400th meet up of GHAC, a landmark that we all should be really proud of. It will not be long before we hit the 4000 member mark and with it moving into the next trajectory of growth.

To keep up with this rapid growth in membership, the GHAC Organizing Team is being expanded and that will mean more treks and shorter waiting lists. We are also ramping up training for the new organizers and introducing a new mentoring program. All these moves will drive in a culture of total professionalism among the GHAC Leadership, which should then percolate down to all our members.

At the end of the day, it’s the effort and dedication of each one of you at GHAC that makes us what we are today. We thank you for reposing your confidence in us and will strive to keep up with the increasing expectations.

Do send in your feedback and suggestions to:


GHAC Organizing Team

Sunday, February 20, 2011

GHAC Leadership Summit

What does it take to build a new generation of leaders? Lot of enthusiasm, a dash of optimism, tons of knowledge, sprinkling of confidence, dressed up with devil may care attitude. Actually it takes more than that. This was obvious, when over 50 organizers and wannabe organizers gathered at Dhruva College of Management at Medchal on the outskirts of Hyderabad.  The occasion: the two day Annual Summit of Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC).

The chock-o-block agenda began with the wonderful, haunting Silent National Anthem. Our host and Chairman of Dhruva College of Management, Dr Pratap Reddy made the introductory remarks. This was followed by a formal inauguration by Vishweshwar Konda, an adventurer in his own right. Sangita Reddy, Executive Director Operations, Apollo Hospitals followed with a peppy speech. Post the inauguration, Diyanat Ali, Chief Organizer and founder of GHAC outlined his vision for the next financial year and a road map for GHAC. A session on Conflict Management by Chandra and Suresh brought out the issues that GHAC organizers faced during many of the treks.

Diya then took up the subject of the basic s of organising treks, Organiser Qualities, Ethics and etiquette. Suresh Kochattil and Chandra had a session on Introducing and using Mentoring and Feedback as a growth and success tool. This interactive session saw a number of suggestions flowing back and forth.  Padmaja made her talk on Effective Team Bonding on Treks and Diya followed with on Using Social Media to spread the word. Suresh moved in with a session on Effective Public and Media relations. A small digression from the topic saw an animated debate by delegates on the road ahead for GHAC. That more or less closed out the day sessions of the first day.

Post dinner, it was time for the Night Navigation Workshop by Mel Irwin and Keku. The participants were trained in finding their way out of a forest or mountain top by navigating with aid of stars. The one hour session was obviously not enough and we need another meet up to complete this training. A cake was cut by Diya to mark the first Leadership Summit of GHAC. The campfire that followed went on into the wee hours of the morning and saw an enthralling display of the multifaceted talents of the participants.

An early morning walk in the reserve forest adjacent to the college saw Diya introducing map reading sessions for the uninitiated. This too requires more training and we are sure to see a meetup on this subject, soon. A quick breakfast was followed a talk on Bouldering & Rock Climbing as a sport by Sujay, and it was awesome. For the first time, many of us realized the sheer range of bouldering equipment that GHAC has in its arsenal.  Chief trainer of GHAC, Lt Col. Rajeev Sharma spoke on planning and conduct of Treks. The subject of following and implementing Club Rules, Reporting violations and Disciplinary Action was taken up GHAC General Counsel, Javed Razack. Following that, Ali Razvi, our master negotiator spoke on Vendor Persuasion and Negotiation Skills.

Post lunch, Col Rajeev took us on Wilderness Survival Skills Workshop in the reserve forest. It was enlightening session that complimented the theory class that was held in the morning. We learnt how to make tea without any vessel, make different kinds of fires, make a basic but effective water filter in the wild, and make shelters in the wilderness.  Col Rajeev also taught us how to make different types of Knots and their usage including a Rope Lashing Workshop Session.

Back to the classroom, it was time for First Aid and Emergency Procedures by Dr Vibha. CPR and other emergency procedures were followed by a demo on evacuation by Prashant Pai and team. A session on Pain Relief and Relaxation with Physiotherapy by Praveen was followed by presentation of accounts by Ranga.

All in all, it was two wonderful days of theory and practical classes that enhanced the learning skills of the participants. The benchmark gets higher for the subsequent Summits. The post-summit deliberations will continue in the weeks to come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Backpacking- How not to pack for Treks.

By- Ankitha Sista
My first 3 day trek with GHAC was particularly memorable for me and possibly my co-adventurers. The reason primarily being my abnormally huge backpack, which probably had in it all one needed to start pulling off a Walden at Kondaveedu Fort (That's where we went. It was a 2-day trek, though). I didn't think twice about the stuff I packed in it, and thought it'd be perfectly normal to carry such a huge back-pack (We see them in them movies, right?). I made lots of lists and was pleased with myself when every item on the list given in the meet write-up was crossed off. That huge stupid grin of mine was wiped off my face when I reached the Secunderabad Railway Station. "Are you carrying that for this trek" was on everybody's minds and a few faces. "Just how much does your Backpack weigh?" was a question frequently asked. Just after the "What's your name?"

I loved it, because I made friends faster than anyone else did. ;) Now how that happened was because the question that followed the ones mentioned above was "What are you carrying in it?". Smugly, I'd reply "Food", which was, the truth. I carried food sufficient for the gang for about 3 days, and other camping luxuries that weren't on the list, but in my back-pack because I set my eyes upon something and thought "Oh, that would be essential if something happens". I considered all possible case scenarios of what could possibly go wrong on the trek and Ta Da! There lay my elephantine backpack.

Coming to the approximately precise 'configuration' of my backpack, 50% of it was food. I packed food, retaining all my Indian-ness. Khakras, Theplas, Dhoklas and all the usual Gujju snacks and bread, jam, biscuits, butter, glucose, wafers, chocolates and the likes. So basically, I walked in to the Supermarket, went stashing everything I found on the rack in my trolley. Much later, in Phiraangipuram, I came to know what a squander that was when I saw the number of parcels our dear organisers had packed for lunch. Damn! I should have known. Nevertheless, the food stuff I brought did come handy because a
couple of them were foodies like me. :D

Another slip up was the carrying extra clothes. Remember, you won't need them on the GHAC treks. The schedules are really well planned and perfectly executed, so, the question of a What-if… happens doesn't arise. And the extra clothes I carried were Jeans- a total no-no on treks. Ideally, you could come
wearing clothes you'd want to trek in and another pair of clothes. But I didn't. And that made a lot of difference.

The other misjudgments included carrying my usual supply of toiletries I do, when I'm on an out-station trip. This was, clearly, not one. Diyanat later told me a few tips for carrying as minimal as possible. The smallest/ minimum quantity package the product has on offer should go in. Simple, isn't it?

It was when I began reading some climbing literature that I got to know how crucial even a milligram of weight is. People cutting off unnecessary buttons, toothbrush handles are the starters. I'm improvising on my packing with every trip I take.  As for the packing bible, what packing bible? Just stick to the list given!


A picture dedicated to my back pack should give you an idea of why it became a standing joke on the trek.

This is for a comparison to scale since the other picture doesn't provide any.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Outdoor exercise healthier than gym workouts: Study

 More reasons to get out and join GHAC in the outdoors. Read on...

A new study has found that going for a run outdoors is better than exercising in the gym because it has a positive impact on mental, as well as physical health. The study found that exercise in natural environments was linked to greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, reports the Telegraph.  Also levels of tension, confusion, anger and depression were lowered by exercising outside.

A team at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry looked at data from sources including 11 trials involving 833 adults. All compared the relative merits of outdoor exercise compared to indoors. Apart from improved mental health benefits, the study also reported greater enjoyment from exercising outside, and a higher likelihood of continuing with the exercise regime.

The study has been published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. (ANI)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gemini TV News Coverage Clips

For those who could not watch the Gemini TV Coverage of GHAC Bouldering and Rappelling Event. We have uploaded the video to youtube at the folllwing url.

Part 1

Part 2

GHAC Mascot Competition

Whats your idea of a GHAC mascot?. How should GHAC Mascot look like.  What it should be called?. Come take part in the mascot competition and share your best images and win prizes.

Please upload all entries to the "GHAC Mascot Competition" Album at . You need to sign in to to upload photos.

Deadline 11:59pm IST -  28th Feb 2011


1st prize: Backpack 50 Litre
2nd prize: Sleeping Bag
3rd prize: GHAC Tshirt and Cap


   * Only one entry per member is allowed.
   * All submissions must be uploaded to the "GHAC Mascot Competition" Album at
   * All mascots should have a name as the caption for the image uploaded.
   * Original Idea should be yours.  you can have someone design it for you.
   * GHAC  Committee will select the winners and declare the official mascot.
   * GHAC Club becomes owner of selected official mascot with all due credits given to the maker.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Great Hyderabad Adventure Club signs an MOU with Child Reach India

 Great Hyderabad Adventure Club signs an MOU with Child Reach India

Evening of 1st February 2011 was a red letter day for Great Hyderabad Adventure Club, as an MOU was signed between GHAC and Child Reach India to raise funds for welfare of lesser privileged children in India. CRI is a subsidiary of Child Reach International, a UK based charity organization that works for the welfare of children in India and across of the world. The MOU was signed by Diyanat Ali, Chief Organizer GHAC and Naresh Chaudhary, Country Director, Child Reach India.

GHAC will do what its best at, by conducting adventure activities and CRI will do the fund raising by offering the activities to the corporates and other groups. This agreement is possibly the first of its kind in India, where adventure comes to the aid of charity.

GHAC will raise funds  by conducting adventure activities in state of Andhra Pradesh for Child Rights India under the programme called Challenge Events. GHAC will also observe a charity weekend every month during which it would be carrying out itineraries only for the charity. Charity weekend is a weekend in which both GHAC and Child Rights India will be conducting events for charity.

Great Hyderabad Adventure club GHAC is a not for profit  club located in Hyderabad City and caters to weekend getaways, weekend travel,  trekking, hiking, camping, outdoors and adventure sports like rock climbing, rappelling, paragliding, skiing, white water rafting, scuba diving. The club provides everyone opportunities to get outdoors, try new adventure activities, and generally have a fantastic outdoor time. The Club also raises funds for equipment and various social causes by conducting Adventure Events and Team Building Activities for Corporates.

In the pic: Diyanat Ali  signs the MOU on behalf of GHAC while Naresh Chaudhary, Country Director signed the MOU for Child Reach India. Organisers Ali Razvi, Suresch Kochattil and Peddi Reddy were present and participated in the discussions.