A Journey, Traveler to Climber – Part One
Travel is never a matter of money, is about courage – Paulo Coelho
Hey God, I really don’t know, how I did it. Don’t think that what’s the big deal in it to do that but there is always a big BUT in every square inch of my character. I am most of the time drowned in deep lethargy, completely indiscipline person and most importantly I am very fearful, even I have a huge fear of cockroaches. How come this person can go for a climbing training and at this age (Sorry still feel like 25 hehehehe)? But I did it, I did it just because I love traveling and love for travel leads me to rock climbing. Rock climbing course is the gateway to becoming member of the club and can do trekking in future under the club banner. There were other factors like Photography, deep want of Trekking around Annapurna heehehee (Popularly known ABC – Annapurna Base camp), most importantly to prove myself to myself. I have heard about rock climbing course that offered by MAK (Mountaineering Association of Krishnanagar) a few years back from Shyam Paul. I know Shyam from his childhood days and he is a trained climber, also associated with MAK. Whenever Shyam comes back to Kolkata after every successful trekking expedition, I heard all the stories from him about his experience of his expeditions and that’s fascinated me most. Last year, somehow I felt, I will do rock climbing for the sake of travel and I got enrolled my name for the course with club MAK. I knew some members of MAK before this rock climbing course. Mountaineer Mr. Debashis Biswas and Siddhartha Da both of them were known to me, they are really very inspiring characters.
I will describe the entire episode of Rock climbing story at Susunia Hill but would love to share some information about Susunia that I have gathered before my journey.
“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” ― G.K. Chesterton
Susunia: – Susunia is a very popular spot for a weekend tour and also popular among rock climbers, trekkers, and hikers. Susunia hill is heaven for the enthusiastic adventure sports lovers. It is situated in Bankura District, West Bengal and Chatna is 13KM away from Bankura. Susunia is just 7KM away from Chatna Railway station and bus service is available from Chatna to Susunia. If you are a nature lover than Susunia is one of the best spots to explore its beauty and witness his spoiled nature. Hill is 440 meters high and older than Himalaya, can you imagine it? Susunia hill range is 3.2 Km wide and its stone is Archean Age stone. The Peak of Susunia hill is made of with small and big stones and for that, it’s got a name, Poppins peak. Gandheshwari river is flowing down the hill, Susunia gives out a picture perfect look.
Places to see in Susunia:- The hill is renowned as an archeological site and fossils of tigers, hyena etc found in Susunia Hill. Stone inscriptions of 4th century AD have found on the hill. King of Puskorona was Chandra Varma (Present days Pokhran) of Rajasthan conquered Bengal in 4th century AD and built a fort on Susunia hill. At the end of 4th Century AD, he was killed in a war by Gupta Dynasty’s King Chandra Gupta Mayuriya. Stone inscriptions are written in Sanskrit language (Shilalipi) of Chandra Varma have found in Susunia hill.
The Natural Spring or Dhara can be seen, it’s just within walking distance. In Chatna there is a very old temple of goddess Bishalakhi (Basuli) and very famous man Baru Chandidas was the priest of this temple. Big silence, history, nature, stone inscriptions, natural spring, river and a hill etc, what do you need more at your weekend tour.
How to reach
Susunia is very well connected and from Esplanade, Kolkata there are bus services in the early morning to reach there. It takes around 6-7 hours by bus to reach Susunia from Kolkata. West Bengal State Road Transport Corporation (WBSRTC) and some private travel services connect Susunia Hill from Kolkata.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata is the nearest airport to Susunia Hill.
One can get down at Bishnupur railway station and then go by bus but I suggest, better get down at Chatna railway station, Susunia is just 7KM away from this place.
Again I want to get back to the first part of my experience. The area around the Susunia is so messy and it is a gift of tourists. That’s the reason, after ending of each day climbing session, our club member’s duty was to collect plastics (any kind of plastic wastages) from the hill road during the way back to base camp and then dumped the same in base camp’s litter bin. Just think that after hectic climbing training, we all got exhausted so much and on the way to base camp we had to do that job with honesty, just for the sake of keeping the hill in good condition.
Our journey began on 23rd of January 2015 and ended on 28th January at Howrah Station early morning. The first week of January this year I was so excited for it and planning to do a performance in campfire along with Shyam, Anamika, Sangeeta and Bhuthnath. I mentioned those names, they are all so junior to me and I know them for the last couple of years. Daily I visit a park nearby my residence for fitness is Deshbondhu Park and they also come to the park for fitness, a few years back from there I was acquainted with them and now they are part of my life. So before we hit the camp, we have formed a gang of five from here.
Everything was going smoothly but on 18th of January, all of a sudden my elder sister’s husband fell ill and we admitted him in a nursing home (ICCU). He died on the early morning of 21st January and the situation became so poor for our family. I was dead sure that I would not be able to join the camp. But my family supported me, my father, especially my wife was so supportive, even my elder sister too. On 23rd afternoon, they told me, I should join the camp. My wife was there throughout with my elder sister’s family in my absence. I would like to thanks, each and every member of my family, they are really supportive and otherwise, it was impossible for me to do it.
In a hurry I packed my rucksack and camera bag. My wife made dinner for me and for my gang members. At 7:30 PM sharp I met Shyam and Bhothnath, as planned at Bag Bagbazar Bata. My wife accompanied us till Bagbazar Ferry Ghat. I phoned to Anamika and Sangeeta to came down to ferry ghat. My wife met my gang members and we left soon for Howrah station. We reached Howrah Station so early, and Shyam started searching for other MAK members. Finally, we met with MAK members but other than Shyam we felt very uncomfortable at the beginning.
According to our plan, we searched a secure place in the platform to have our dinner. At first, I was so conscious, to have my dinner in public. But after some time, in one word I became shameless and enjoyed our dinner. Around 10:50 PM we board the train and left Kolkata, headed towards Susunia.
This is not the end, the journey has just begun. I’ll come with the next part very soon. So stay tuned.
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