Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL

Tripoto
1st Sep 2016

I always had this question ringing in my mind, "Was my schooling done in the best possible way?". Well, this journey didn't answer those but definately opened my eyes on certain aspects.

Hi! My name is Sooraj and I will be taking you guyz through my eye view of the journey to a Wonderland. (Note:- Info section is at the bottom)

Day 1

The Snow clad Mountain ranges were a beautiful sight

Photo of Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Sooraj Amin

"Luk... Loook the Mountins and shnow... Wawww!!!", shouted a small girl with her eyes extremely wide as she jumped over the person on her next seat trying to get a better view of the mountains. We were crossing somewhere near Himachal now and I was having similar excitement like that of the small girl. This is the first time in my life I am looking at snow for real and it's simply beautiful. As you can see it seems like a blanket made of the finest cotton and softest wool spreading across the mountain head like the wedding bride. While flying over the mountains I could see many little settlements and wondered how do they survive in so much cold or rather so much beauty. I held my question back to be answered later as I was actually going to meet such people.

The Sun was rising as we were preparing to land at our destination

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

It really felt like freezing the time if I could and fly out in the open sky through the clouds

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

We reached the airport at Leh and I could feel the chilling temperature warmth of my excitement and also some altitude effect. We quickly moved inside the airport and collected our luggage. Arranging transportation is quite a task here, I am saying this because the bus that's supposed to pick us up come from a place where there is no network and hence we had to make prior arrangements and little local help to contact our driver. The Airport authorities are quite sweet but tough at the same time as this area is needed to be kept well secured.

It's suggested to take rest before resuming and kind of heavy exertion activities due to the altitude and the time needed for the body to adjust accordingly. Everyone boarded the bus and started moving. It's very cold here and we had to wear multiple clothing and gloves to keep us warm but it was fun.

It so much seemed like we are at the foot of the heaven

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

The rising sun and the moving clouds made a wonderful sight of dancing shadows on the splendid mountains

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

On our way to the institution we came across many valleys of breathtaking depth. There was one strange thing about the rocks here. They were round as pebbles huge pebbles but fixed into the wall of the mountain above and below the road. Wonder how these mountains were created. There might have been great movements of these rocks before they took the form of pebbles and formed sediments over here in the walls. Which I later found out to be true as some visiting scientists backed my explanation and added that entire place was engulfed by the riverbed many many years ago but the water levels have reduced leaving these rocks in the walls.

Route towards SECMOL where you can see huge smoothened rocks

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

Everyone was very tired and wanted to just jump to their beds. It's probably the altitude. We reached the SECMOL campus in sometime and received a very warm welcome by the students and the caretaker over there. Luggage was unloaded and rooms we allocated to everyone for the entire stay duration.

A beautiful SECMOL campus

Photo of SECMOL Campus, Leh by Sooraj Amin

The institutions architecture was quite different from what I have been used to see. Black painted walls probably to absorb heat, mud walls, glass windows, walls in wall. "Wow, there's so much to see here", my heart said to myself. After going around for sometime I found myself amazed with the entire ecosystem of the place. There was a Waste segregation and management system, Solar water heater and Solar cooker, vegetable garden, Cows and much more. The thing I liked the most over here is the Eco-Toilet they had built.

Waste segregation... So it's no longer a waste

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

Clean energy cooking your food - Solar Cooker

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

Home grown vegetables

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin
Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

Eco-Toilet... Reminds me of the movie The Martian.. Yes the precious manure

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

These wonderful kids studying here take responsibilities turn by turn to take care of different departments and what you can see below is the presentation given by them to the fellow students on the work they have done till date (while they were incharge for that department).

How I wish my school was so interesting

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

Like seriously ??!!!! Wowwww

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

And during the night time it's freezing cold outside but the rooms were quite cozy the way the were constructed. It takes a lot of courage and 5 to 6 layers of thick blankets to sleep outside. And believe me it's worth it. The sky was super clear and the stars we brighter than ever. So peaceful it was looking at the stars trying to figure out the constellations and suddenly I see a shooting star right before my eyes...wowww!!!! and there goes another one. I couldn't believe my eyes, I could see shooting stars at an interval of 40 to 50 secs.

A spectacular view of the Night Sky filled with Diamonds

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin
Day 2

The next day was equally pleasant as it was drizzling as the Sun was rising. I quickly go outside to enjoy the chilled rain drops and what do I see.....

3 Consecutive Rainbows and the Golden Sun (3rd one not visible here )

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

Later in the Day

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

At the end of the 8th Day it was time to say Goodbye to this wonderful place

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

It's good getting up in the morning and going for a walk behind the campus

Photo of Leh - A SoulTrip journey to SECMOL by Sooraj Amin

SECMOL is a beautiful place with beautiful people and students and also some great personalities coming from various places to share their knowledge with the kids here. I was also part of some classes, however I felt that there is much to learn from these kids than to teach them. All of them are filled with so much of potential and what discipline they had I have never seen such discipline in any other school. Perhaps this is place is less of a school and more of a home for them. There are many difficulties faced by many people in different parts of India but there life simply goes on. I got so much to learn from this Institution founded by Sonam Wangchuk and many others. If you are ever to visit this place please make sure that you give utmost importance and respect to their way of living. They follow a disciplined schedule and the visitors are expected to follow the same. Now that's the real fun living among them like part of their family.

Finally on our way back the sky greeted us with yet another beautiful view

Day 8
Photo of Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Sooraj Amin

Thank You for reading through. I hope you enjoyed. And I am sure that you will actually enjoy once you visit the place. Do share your experience with me. Also let me know if you need any more information.

INFO SECTION:-

EXPENSES - 1. Flight - 12,000 (Approx. between Mumbai to Leh, Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport return journey) 2. Local Transport - 1,500/ 200 (Between Leh to SECMOL if you take Taxi or Bus) 3. Accommodation - 500+ per day (Approx. at SECMOL, might vary - Prior intimation has to be given) 4. Miscellaneous - 2500 (Depending on how much you want to spend)

MEDICATION - Diamox Oral (For altitude sickness), Coconut Oil is quite handy can be used to keep you warm and can also be used as Lip balm alternatively you can carry a Lip balm separately,

ALTITUDE (from sea level)- Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport - 11,000 ft; Leh Palace - 11, 600 ft; SECMOL Campus - 10, 500 ft

TEMPERATURE - In the month of September Max avg 21.5 Degrees Min avg 10.5 Degrees

WASTE MANAGEMENT - Do not take plastic materials of any products that you are going to dump there. Alternatively you can carry them back home.

ELECTRICITY - Good to carry Solar chargeable batteries if you wish to use a lot of electronic devices.

WATER ACCESSIBILITY - The water here is very good. It's very cold in the morning. Quite difficult to your morning chores. However, they have Solar Water Heaters that can be used only once the sun rises. No water access in the Toilets, you need to use tissue papers.

NETWORK and CONNECTIVITY - There are better chances that you might get a connectivity if you have a post paid connection. I have only seen Airtel and Aircel towers around those place. It's also said that BSNL network is also available. You might have to travel to Leh city to get better connectivity.

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