We decided the previous day that we were going to scale the peak which was visible from the cantonment. We were ready by 6.30 and an army truck took us to the base of that hill. We had thought that the hill is close by, but it was quite far away and we had to travel quite some distance. Then we started climbing, initially it was fun, we kept racing against each other and some of us even started running as it was not so steep there.
But after some time, we got really tired and our legs started aching. Actually, we had met some army officers the previous night and they told us that its not that difficult and that even they could easily scale the peak. But we never thought about their fitness, the army training that they have undergone, etc. We were not even half way uphill and it was seeming to be an impossible task. There was a small stream of cold running water. We drank some water and filled our bottles for the rest of our journey. We took some breaks and somehow managed to reach the peak! There was a small temple and telephone tower at the top. Paarth was the first to reach, I was second and Patil was third. Alok was not to be seen for a long time. After some 10-15 mins, he arrived quietly.
We could get a beautiful view of the Brahmaputra from there. We clicked some photos and started our journey back downhill. It was such an easy thing to do as compared to climbing the hill, the only thing required was a good grip in our shoes, due to the lack of which Jaideep had a great fall while he was trying to overtake a few of us. But the pain in our thighs was overwhelming, so we all descended slowly. We sat in the Army truck and went back to the cantt. We were very hungry, very sleepy and really very tired already.
On reaching the cantt, we got ready and went to have breakfast. People gulped up 5-6 batoras easily and fell asleep, only to wake up 2 hours later for lunch! We ate some lunch and as planned, left for Kamakhya temple! The journey this time was even more torturous and with the heat at that time of the day, it seemed like an eternity as we reached Kamakhya.
We had to walk for some distance before reaching the temple and as we had passes, we were led to a different entrance. Even there, we had to wait for 20-30 mins. As we were waiting, we saw a group of commandos in the temple premises who were getting ready to escort an Army big-shot. I think he was the head of the North-eastern region, he arrived and left in just a few minutes. The main temple is at a lower height than the temple and we have to go downstairs for reaching the Garbha Gudi. We get only a few seconds there and the temple priests start pushing you to leave. Once we came out of the main temple, we could finally breathe. There were a lot of animals there ready to be sacrificed. This is a tradition in Kamakhya, which is banned in many temples in India.
There was an ATM outside, we withdrew some money for the journey and left the place. Our train was at 10.30 pm (Kanchanjunga Express). We reached Cantt, had dinner and immeditely left for station in a local taxi. We were so lucky that the status of our ticket was RAC, from wait-list! We had atleast a berth each for two people. Four of us were in one coach, the rest were in different coaches. Luckily, Jaideep and I got confirmed seats and the others in RAC did not turn up. The train journey was boring and tiring. As we reached New Jalpaiguri, people without reservation started entering the reserved coaches and that made our journey even more troublesome.
As we reached Burdwan, we barely got out of the train and the train started moving as the doors were really crowded and a lot of people got down there. We went outside and walked all the way to the bus stand with our luggage. We saw a private bus leaving for Durgapur which was really crowded. Then we asked the conductor if we could sit on the top, to which he agreed! It was a nice experience to sit on the bus top (my first time). On the NH-2, with the bus at its top speed, it felt really cool. But we had to be careful not to get knocked off by tree branches when we entered some towns on the way to Durgapur.
We reached Durgapur by 8pm and ordered food from Hotel Tandoor. Food arrived as we took bath and got fresh. Then we started copying the pics to the computer and discussing our successful trip and narrating the incidents to the others in the hostel.