All posts by Yog Chinmoy Dutt

Yog Chinmoy is an expert on adventure activities in India and has been a pioneer in bringing sports like Rappelling, Rock Climbing and the like to the central part of the country. His enterprise's name is Junoon Adventure, through which he imparts Corporate training and conducts team building and managements workshops with the help of adventure games. He also organizes various Himalaya trekking expeditions and adventure events in various parts of the country - trips that are famous for their thrill, fun and Junoon(passion) component. You can know more about him from his website http://junoonadventure.in/

7 things about Triund and Indrahaar Pass trail to make your heart sing!

They call it the Himalayan KEEDA..

An insatiable lust that will burn in your heart for the rest of your life – to go back to the wild, powerful and enchanting land of the mountains again and again and again..

And if you are lucky enough to start this Himalayan love affair with a trek to Triund and Indrahaar pass trail, yours will have been a story written in heaven..LITERALLY

One of the most popular trekking routes in the country, this place has borne witness to many trekkers and nature lovers coming out of their shells. There is something so mesmerizing about this place that you just cannot resist being inspired.

And if you need more reasons to try this Himalayan trek yourself, here are some of the things that you will be carrying with you back home as amazing memories..

#1  The Magic View Cafe

Junoon Adventure - Magic View Cafe - Triund Hill

(Oldest Chai Shop – Since 1984..now that is definitely an achievement worth boasting about..)

*for more pictures, click here

#2  The Dogs of Triund

Junoon Adventure - Dogs of Triund Indrahaar Pass

(Moti.. Sheru and their friends will keep you company all the way to the top)

*for more pictures, click here

#3  The Culture Cocktail

Junoon Adventure - a mix of cultures at Triund, Mcleodganj

(the entire world congregates on the top of that hill and becomes BFFs.. All we need for world peace and human solidarity is a Trek to Triund)

*for more pictures, click here

#4  A Backpacker’s Fine Dining

Junoon Adventure - Maggi at Triund Indrahaar Pass

(Maggi, Marley and a Mug full of Chai… Food as God intended it to be)

*for more pictures, click here

#5  Constantly Changing Views

Junoon Adventure - Photography at Triund Indrahaar Pass

(the photographer inside you will scream like an ecstatic teenager at a pop concert.. time to whip out those DSLR Lenses guys!)

*for more pictures, click here

#6  The Clouds

Junoon Adventure - Triund Clouds

(you will actually be in heaven..)

*for more pictures, click here

#7  The Trek Itself

Junoon Adventure - Trek to Triund Indrahaar Pass

(the best way to get a taste of undiluted Himalayan awesomeness)

*for more pictures, click here

Want to be there and see for yourself? Just block the dates between 2nd to 6th October 2015 in your Calendar for the

JT2 – Trek to Indrahaar Pass Trail..

Click here to know more!

Trekking to Himalayas? Learn to Pack your Backpack Right!

Planning a trekking expedition to the Himalayas?

We can bet our 15 years of existence in the industry that you MUST be day dreaming about the trip already, with images floating around your work-numbed brain while it works on this dull Monday. And we are very sure that the images look somewhat like THIS..

Backpacking Daydreams
Ok.. Not exactly Kangana and Ranbeer but you get the picture..

But while actually trekking, the experience becomes something like THIS..

Backpacking comes crashing down to reality
Aaahhhh… meri kamar!!

And if you hire a porter, the poor guy will be feeling like THIS..

download (2)

WHY?? BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T PACK YOUR RUCKSACK RIGHT!!

Follow this Infographic and learn how to get your backpack ready for a long and happy trek..

How to pack for a Himalayan Trek

What to pack for a Himalaya trekking expedition

HAVE A GREAT TRIP! 🙂

Himalaya Trekking – Altitude Sickness Can Be A Real Spoil – Sport

altitude_sicknessLack of proper acclimatization can spoil your entire experience when you trek the Himalayas. This is one ailment that every trekker will have to deal with, no matter how experienced they are or how many treks they have undertaken in the past. And just to burst your bubble, no matter what your fitness level and strength might be, the symptoms of altitude sickness WILL start to show themselves in some or the other magnitude as soon as you move past the height of 1500 mts. And Beware, if not managed properly, these symptoms can even bring your Himalaya trekking experience to a full stop!

Understand what you are up against here.. This will give you a fair warning about your condition, help you get better acclimatized and take preventive action before you are out of help’s reach!

Normal symptoms
When you cross the 1500mts mark, it is time to be alert. On an average, most people start to show certain milder symptoms of altitude sickness around this height. These signs may include lack of sleep, occasional breathlessness, slight nausea, loss of appetite, runny nose and an increased urge to urinate. Some Himalayan hikers also report vivid, wild dreams at around 2500-3800m in altitude. Keep a watch on the occurrence of any of these in your body or in the bodies of your fellow trekkers. This discomfort is the most common form of altitude sickness and will manifest itself in every individual.

Mild symptoms
If you start to notice any of these symptoms then become alert as things are beginning to get serious. Headaches are some of the mostgeolino01 common signs on this category. And you will often find that these aches will begin around evening time and will almost always get worse as the night progresses. People also report feeling nauseated and dizzy. Lack of appetite or generally feeling bad and a painful raspy cough also starts to develop as you continue to gain height. If these signs start to show themselves, it is always better to take an extra acclimatization day before moving forward. Never go higher with these symptoms and these should not be taken lightly.

Serious symptoms
Persistence of a severe headache, vomiting and cough, loss of consciousness, marked blueness of face and lips, extreme difficulty in breathing, severe lethargy and drowsiness are the more severe category of effects of altitude sickness. In such cases the milder symptoms start to get worse at a really fast rate. One of the best markers of severe altitude sickness is Ataxia or loss of co-ordination, inability to walk in a straight line or else walking like a drunk person. If any of this happens, abort the Himalaya trek there and then and descend immediately. Continuing to trek can even put your life at risk!
Hope this helps you be safe while on your trek this summer!

Yeh Jawani He Deewani… And what not to do while trekking in the mountains

Yeah yeah.. the movie has been out for months now but with the Himalayan trekking season upon us, we just thought of setting the record straight..

Well this here was a movie that sort of put mountain trekking on the map.images It got people up and down the country (especially the younger kind.. 😉 ) googling for trips to the glorious mountains that we have up north. It got people to consider taking a different kind of vacation –  one that is closer to nature and with a touch of adventure. It gave Deepika Padukone and Ranbeer Kapoor’s career a big time boost too! But it also did set a few false standards and I thought I should just clear the air of them before you plan your trekking adventure for the coming summers..

So here goes..

Ladies and gentlemen.. with the blockbuster “Yeh Jawani He Deewani” in the backdrop, here is what you should not be doing while you trek in the mountains.

Clothing like this movie? NO!
The slightest touch with it can give you serious boils on your skin and the pesky  plant grows all over the place here!
The slightest touch with it can give you serious boils on your skin and the pesky plant grows all over the place here!

Don’t get me wrong now.. I have nothing against fashionable wear but whether you are a guy or a girl.. in the land of the ‘Bichoo Booti’, you DO NOT go about dressed like that. Reason why? You could seriously hurt yourself! Then there are insects and bugs and small little critters and other poisonous animals and plants that can harm your body in more ways than one!

 

Then whether you are an experienced trekker or an amateur, Evelyn-Sharma-with-Ranbir-Kapoor-in-Yeh-Jawaani-Hai-Deewani.-Pic-2the chances of getting cuts and scrapes in the wild is pretty high. Imagine trying to navigate your way through thorny bushes wearing something like THAT! You get the picture I guess.. Being out in the wild needs some precautions to be followed quite strictly on your part and ensuring comfortable and protective clothing is an important one (but hey… if you have Ranbeer or Deepika trekking in your group, I guess you  are allowed to make at least one exception. 😉 )

Taking off on your own like Ranbeer and Deepika did? Absolutely NO!

yeh-jawaani8See my point is, I accept you are a strong and experienced trekker who of course can manage a solo trek. And you might be sensible enough to find your way in the woods too. And then, you HAVE managed to complete several solo treks in the the plainer regions of the country…

But no matter how much it catches your fancy, solo trekking is a strict NO-NO in the mountains! You see, here the conditions are different – the trails are a lot more treacherous, the air is thin which means less oxygen and even more stress for your body, the flora and fauna is new and unknown for most people and finally the nearest speck of civilization and help is miles away. So if, God forbid, you injure yourself or get incapacitated for any reason, it would be days before anybody finds your location. And who knows what would happen by then…

No.. when in the mountains you do not go off on your own solo adventure, away from the group, like Ranbeer and Deepika did.

Boozing? HELL NO!!!

I hate to be a spoil sport people, but no matter what, you do NOT consume alcohol while trekking in the mountains. Now I know what you will say – it would be cold and a bit of rum will be good for warmth… But if you have boozed before, you must be aware that it can seriously dehydrate your body. And a dehydrated body at THOSE altitudes with the thin air, scarce oxygen and altitude sickness –  not a good combination at all. And you can think that the nearest help is going to miles away from you.

So the mantra to follow is –

DON’T DRIVE under the influence of alcohol and DON’T TREK under the influence of  alcohol. Period!

And if it is warmth you are seeking, why don’t you put on some woollens 🙂

The chance to discover a new side of life – H.E.A.T.

H.E.A.T. has been that one getaway that allows me to be myself completely, to do what I love most and get a chance to know some amazing people along the way. Every year, I embark upon this expedition with the mind to experience some amazing moments and H.E.A.T. has never failed me in this regard. Ever since my first one way back in 2002, this trip thrown surprise upon surprise my way. And the best part is, this trip means a chance to explore the mighty Himalayas in a way that is totally untried!

Just imagine..

trekking on a trail that will take you into the heart of the mountains, away from civilization and human impact, into the midst of nature. Every step you take in this gorgeous setting unveils a new surprise, a new gift from Mother Nature waiting to amaze you. Every sight you see, every sound you hear and every breath you take is a delight to the senses, making you feel alive like never before!

Then the people on the journey always make the experience even more exciting. Its a new mix of people every time, all hailing from different walks of life and all adding a new color to the whole expedition. In fact, I have trekked with a 3 year old kid and even a 60 year old couple.. together discovering the hidden treasures of these amazing mountains.

I have witnessed the Himalayas taking their toll on these trekkers, challenging them in unexpected ways and getting them to push their limits.I have seen people failing, giving up half way. And I have witnessed people emerging triumphant, that look of satisfaction and pride dawning on their faces as they set foot in the trek’s destination for the first time.

Where once I used to be a sole trekker, I am now a Trek Group Leader.. and I am proud to say that on each of my expeditions, no hiker has failed to reach to the top! Whether they are confident to complete the challenge or are apprehensive about their abilities, I make sure that they complete the journey, no matter what it takes!

Why do I do it?

Well it is the look in their eyes that amazes me, the expression that their faces exhibit   when they finally get to see that great Himalayan treasure for the first time. That satisfaction, the amazement and the awe that they feel when they set their eyes on those amazing views is humbling as well as gratifying for me, all at the same time. If I could play my small part in getting these people to discover their adventurous side, getting them to test themselves beyond their limits and giving them a chance to witness some of the most breathtaking sights on Planet Earth, I consider my life’s purpose fulfilled.

And as I am making my way back home, the anticipation for the next H.E.A.T. is already rushing through my veins. I cant help but imagine what the next expedition will be like and what the surprises will the Himalayas have in store for me this time. So I am asking you, will you join me for this ultimate adventure next time?!!

Discovered Govindnagar.. Rediscovered our Roots

When was the last time you spent the night on a traditional ‘khatiya’.. gazing at the stars.. listening to the leaves rustle in the cool and unpolluted night breeze?

When was the last time you drove a tractor down bumpy farms, helping the locals cut up and gather their produce?

When have you ever tasted the foamy, frothy and absolutely yummy milk that has been milked from a cow seconds ago?

Life in the city tends to take us away from these simple pleasures doesn’t it.. away from the Indian-ness of our being. But Team Junoon got a chance to reconnect with that side of our heart – the down to earth, all enjoying, rustic and completely fantastic Indian village life.

Govindnagar.. most of you might not even know of its existence. But one simple visit to this quintessential village had more for us to experience than all the urban pleasures combined! Trust us.. when we arrived at the scene of the event, we weren’t prepared for the treat it was going to be.

You can see why we were losing sleep.. img: www.rhythmofnature.org
You can see why we were losing sleep..
img: www.rhythmofnature.org

Our night began with slightly rainy weather and a warning to watch out for the Indian Monitor Lizard. Imagining a thick, hefty, 10 inch long (minimum!!!) lizard lurking around the corner was enough to chase our sleepiness away. But that beautiful night breeze making it ever so necessary to sleep outdoors – it sure was hard to resist. Leaves rustling, crickets chirping, and a mind full of giant lizards – quite a concoction for sound sleep don’t you think? But surprisingly, it was the best sleep we had had in years!

Bird watching in Madhya Pradesh
One of our morning buddies..

Rise and shine at 5.30 in the morning! And we began preparing for the Adventure Event at hand.. But the sounds of peacocks and dregs moving about their daily business got the better of us yet again. The short bird watching trek that followed was unbelievably satisfying with flocks of peacocks, robins, doves, Cuckoos and Bee eaters spotted. Watching an Indian Roller take flight into the rising sun with all its magnificent blue plumage was a sight to behold.

And the day went on to bring similar surprises..

Riding a bullock cart on a bumpy village trail.. cooling down with the refreshing water of the handpump.. savoring the sweet sour flavors of ‘Kosam’ (a forest fruit that a city kid would be totally oblivious about!).. learning how to milk a cow.. getting a foamy moustache on your lips after gulping down a huge glass of fresh milk (Did you know fresh milk is sweet on its own? You don’t need sugar for flavor at all!).. and the GRAND FINALE –  walking through a beautiful pomegranate orchard.

 Pomegranate Orchards in Govindnagar   Pomegranate Orchards in Govindnagar   Pomegranate Orchards in Govindnagar

Who would have thought such a small, uncharted, untouched-by-urbanization village like Govindnagar had so much to offer for the off-beat traveler.

And guess what.. THE FUN DOESN’T STOP HERE!

The locals here take you right back to your roots.. helping you learn pottery, brass work, weaving and many other local crafts. They even teach you the many intricacies of farming, whether it be rice, wheat or those exquisite pomegranates. We met one farmer who even taught us how to control a bullock cart! The local knowledge about nature, herbs, animals and birds is mind boggling. Makes you want to unlearn everything they have taught us in school.

Learn Pottery! Milk a cow!! DSC08961                                 DSC08812 DSC09027

Learn pottery.. milk a cow.. ride a bullock cart.. or grow a frothy milky moustache – do whatever fits your village travel fantasy!!

We were there for just one day but it was enough to make us realize what we were missing back in the city – the Indian-ness of India. There is something about the ‘Desi’ lifestyle that appeals to our heart like nothing else. You can live on the top floor of a high rise apartment building with all the luxuries in the world, but your roots would still belong back down in the soil.. in the earthiness, the rustiness, the unabashedly Indian India!

DSC08965 village stay at Govindnagar DSC08679    DSC08686    DSC08806  DSC08980

For the love of Trekking..

Last year’s friendship day arrived with a special honor.. a chance to celebrate the occasion with some amazing people, adventure style!

People from all walks of life.. some techies, some law experts, some students.. many seasoned businessmen.. but they all had one thing in common.. They were all there to enjoy Friendship Day in a format with a difference.. Night Camping and Trekking with Junoon Adventure..

So much to learn and so many fun experiences to share from the event.. but I guess you all have heard me all but too often! I’m thinking let’s do something different this time..

Allow me to introduce Ankita Menghwani, one of the fellow thrill seekers who had joined us for the Night Camping event. Big time lover of reading and literature, she is a student as well as a budding writer.. but inside she is an adventurist just like all of us!

So here is the Friendship Day Night Camping and Trekking Event.. in Ankita’s words..

”FOR THE LOVE OF TREKKING”
            (NIGHT CAMPING and TREKKING in BHOPAL , August 3rd to 4th , 2013)

How does it feel when you get to experience something that you’ve wanted to do all your life ? Let me tell you , the feeling is beyond
Amazing. I got this great feeling when I went for my first trekking Expedition in the lush green forests of Daulatpur , Bhopal.

This adventure trip gave me a pleasant break from my boring , mediocre life. This trip was organised to celebrate Friendship’s Day in a unique way. There were different kinds of people from different walks of life. All of them were craving for some adventure.

After some quick introductions we were served pakodas , bhuttas & adrak wali chai.

Awesome , right !

This was an absolutely beautiful start to our amazing trip. We enjoyed high tea in that
scenic beauty. Not many people are lucky enough to do that. The theme of our trip was ‘Tribal’. All the tents were named after all the tribes in India.

Then came the time for some friendly games. The whole group was divided into two teams. There was a lot of cheering & applauding.

It was great fun. And our team won. Yippee!

That taste of success was really sweet.

After all the fun and entertainment , food was served for the famished souls. The food was delicious. It was finger-licking good.

Then at around 12 o’ clock our night trekkingstarted. We started our hike with torches in our hands. All the members of the Junoon Team were there to guide us through the forest. It was mind-blowing.

After coming back from the night trek we all retired to our respective tents. But then it was such a beautiful night . How could we waste it by sleeping inside our tents ? So we spent the night camping under the starry sky.

I guess, the best thing about our group was that all of them were extremely hilarious and fun-loving people. We had so many laughs.

We were strangers by day and we became friends by night.

In the morning , after breakfast , we started with our trek. Everybody was bursting with excitement.

There was greenery all around. It was quite a poetic scene. Everybody got to experience the nature’s magical touch. It was a rejuvenating experience. And there was a waterfall too. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Then wet , tired and thirsty we started our return journey. Everybody was exhausted but the spirits were still high. Finally, our trek came to an end. The feeling of completing my first ever trek is indescribable.

Now let’s talk about the people who made this possible. JUNOON TEAM is amazing ! They are immensely professional and dedicated and will go out of their way to cater for your every need. They ensured that every aspect of the trip ran smoothly and made sure that we were all safe and sound.

A gargantuan thanks to each and every one of them for making this trip memorable.

This one takes a special place in my heart because it was my first ADVENTURE TRIP. I cannot rave enough about how much I enjoyed this action-packed  trip. This experience gave me a great opportunity to explore my adventurous streak. It was an unforgettable experience for me.

What can I say.. It was an honor Ankita.. to have you and every single person of that group be a part of our “Junooni” Friendship Day celebration. It truly was an experience worth remembering..

Five reasons you should try rafting in Rishikesh

1. Get refreshed

Imagine yourself taking an invigorating dip into the Ganges, with all your stress and tension getting washed away in the amazing river water. That is what rafting in Rishikesh can do for you! In the fast moving, tension prone world of today, this is one experience that will fill you up with exhilarating energy to take on the world!

2. Switch on the adventure mode

Ever tried something new and exciting? Something that most people wouldn’t have the guts to do? Junoon believes that every single person has an adventurer inside of them, waiting to come out and surprise the world. Come; let us help you discover that side of you that wants to try the unexpected, the untried and the all exciting!

3. Come close to your family and loved ones

Imagine the scenario – you and every person you hold dear to your heart, riding the waves together, working as a team and conquering the roaring river! Whether you go for rafting in Rishikesh with your family or your friends, this experience will bring you closer like never before!

4. Bring your childhood back!

Remember those days when you never thought twice about jumping into the water and doing the unexpected? How about we let you live those childhood days again, leave all the worries of being an adult behind and enjoy to your heart’s content! Ask yourself, when was the last time you lived in the moment, enjoyed each moment to its fullest and did something daring that would later make you proud! Let Junoon take you on that very childhood fun journey with our Rishikesh rafting packages!

5. Conquer the waters

Have a fear of water? Think you don’t have what it takes to jump into those roaring rapids and come out victorious! Trust Junoon to help you overcome your water phobia! Prove it to yourself that yes you can do it, take on your fears head on and become a master of your fears. Do it with Junoon and Do it in style!

A blog.. at last!

Long awaited? Following the trend? I don’t know..DSC04065Starting this blog is just something that I had been planning on doing since a very VERY long time.. something that I have finally found the time for!

Being a part of the adventure industry since years, I felt compelled to share the knowledge that I have collected all these years and the experiences that have  become the fuel that keeps me going! Even today, after more than a decade has passed since the first Adventure Bhopal event that Junoon hosted, I am still thrilled and excited as if it were the very first time! Excited.. to see the new faces who are about to be taken on a journey of  a lifetime… people who are on the brink of discovering a new way of life – a life full of adventure, excitement and taking unprecedented risks! That feeling of getting people to push themselves to new limits and discover the adventurer inside them is a thrill like no other for me.. And that is what I plan to share here 🙂

I plan on sharing knowledge and techniques.. tips on survival.. on exploration and on the technical aspects of being an adventurer..

I plan on sharing some amazing destinations in the country…ones that few know to exist but ones that will truly take your breath away once you set foot in them..

I plan on sharing every journey that I have made in my lifetime (trust me, there have been many 😛 !).. giving you a chance to explore our beautiful world with new eyes. my eyes.. the eyes of a wanderer.. a nature lover!

And most of all, I plan on dedicating this blog to all fellow Junoonis.. people who believe that a life lived with passion is a life well spent!