Officers’ Hill, Kohima
If you’re curious about the area, location or height of this great peak it is simply a Google away from your finger, but if you seem to be curious about what it is like to be really experiencing the journey to this peak, here is a little sneak into the adventurous expedition of the peak. The journey begins not from the bottom of the peak but the challenge starts from the place where you start your journey. For some people who wishes to travel the untraveled parts of Nagaland and haven’t got the chance to do so, this will be a good opportunity as we get to cross many villages which we hardly hear of. It’ll be a shame to explore the whole world while not admiring the beauty located in our own garden. As we travel, surprisingly we will find that most part of the road appears to be better than those laid in our capital, except for few glitches in some part where we got to ply through vehicles that can sustain rough terrain, and that was when I fell in love with Maruti Gypsy. For those of us who had experienced the bosti life during childhood and migrated to these present sophisticated cities for better life, and paradoxically living a pathetic life, some might get a tinge of nostalgic feeling as we pass through those villages. It pulls us back to those moments; reminding us of how we all started from dust even howsoever we pretend to have landed from the moon.
The great Saramati peak is not only the big deal but the course of journey there will allow us to catch a glimpse of many unpolluted scenery which we wish would remain the same without human touch. But I warn that all these scenes can be captured only if we would not snore away to glory during the traverse. Before setting off for the peak we get to see Thanamir Village, the only place in Nagaland, popular for apple produce. Complementing the beautiful village, we’ll find that people there are generous and kind. They will also make us feel that the peak is just a few easy jumps away, but do not fall for that part. For some lucky persons, we get to hear a golden advice from people that if we become apprehensive during the climb, ‘be a man and fall back, it’s not a shame to give up if we can’t.’ The best place to hold up before the set off will be at the Thanamir Guest House, located just at the foot of the Peak. As we start off, we’ll get to have lots of mixed emotions: Initial steps are very exciting; the following climbs for half an hour are tolerable. It’s when an hour or so passes that we start to remember the golden advice-“Be a man and fall back if you can’t”. Ironically, albeit we know that it’s a peak and we’re supposed to climb uphill yet we sure will keep hoping that there is somewhere, behind the visible turns, a plain trajection, and that hope never dies. Besides adventure if we’re hoping for some physical transformation than I can assure that it is a shortcut to fitness. Contradictorily, in the mean time if you’re wishing to loosen up some layers over your belly, I can promise that I witnessed those kinds of persons going back with the same layers of thick folded skin; you’ll only add muscles to your thighs and calves. So we got to continue with our routine workout even after returning from the climb if we wish to see good result of that climb.
From the foot of the peak it normally will take five to Six hours walk till the base camp and then another three to four hours to reach the peak from the base camp, and that is only if we are fit enough. As we breathlessly climb the uphill, don’t forget to pause and look back at the beauty of the scenery, you’ll surely feel the magic touch of the nature’s beauty and such beauty one cannot express through words; we’ll just admire in awe with our drop jaws. For lovers of plants and flowers, this is the right place to go; as we witness the varieties of flora arrayed in different colours, we simply stay amazed at its beautiful arrangements by nature. As for the trees, we’ll find them arranged in such a way as though someone has purposely fixed them with accurate measurement. The air up there seems more refreshing and the tone of our skin will seem to appear fairer; even the sense of smell seems clearer and this I can assume by the fact that the faulty air mistakenly released from my base seems to linger on unusually strong for quite a long time. In some part of the climb, between rocks, look around for colourful blooms of flowers emerging just from the face of the rocks, appearing beyond the stretch of our hands, which will remind you of that beautiful girl from your school who best friends you and you remain so close yet still she remains out of your reach. At certain patches, we land into fairytale-like zones: the fungus in varied colours carpets the area and the roots of the trees seem to position itself for our passage on cliffs, and different batches of thick plants lay fenced to hold us from falling to the other side. Besides these beautiful pictures, to get to the great peak, we have to pass through few other challenging mounts and cliffs from the edge and at certain parts, from the top of those mounts; and here the passage is so narrow that a slight wrong move can land you to the next country (Myanmar); and as you steadily cross these portion, you start to imagine which generation curse has befallen you. Anyway, the better side of this challenge is the opportunity to overcome the fear, and with every step we take we are able to conquer the battle inside us.
From the base till five hours of walk, we will realise the value of even a gulp of water into our throat. Until that, we need not worry about our thirst. We shall be occasionally welcomed with soothing streams, flowing directly from the heart of the peak, as fresh as the nature can offer. From up there the moon appears closer as though you can softly poke it with just little inclination. As we gradually approach the top of the peak, our lost strength will seem to reappear; and as we behold the beauty at the top, we get bewitched by the charm of the scene. We tend to forget all those tedious climb, the thirst, the fear and the pains. The captivating picture from the top is just so enthralling and words alone cannot justify the beauty of this Great Saramati Peak. The elation of not giving up: the sustenance of that determination; the ability of overcoming fear; the persistence of continuing even when the feet seem to not co-operate; all these feelings together give you a sense of satisfaction and a pride. This journey bears not only a physical challenge but in major part it plays games with our mind. Anyone wishing to venture out into this adventure, make sure that you exercise your mind along with the body. The going down from the top is no lesser difficult than climbing to the top. If at any instance we feel like we have missed out something on our way up, this will be another precious chance to capture the missed scenes. By mentioning about getting down don’t be lost in imagining that it’s all slant slide down; to exaggerate, we can’t make out if we’re getting down or climbing up. At the end, we all know that whatever goes up must come down, and if we come back in one piece, which of course we will, we all will have different sides of beautiful stories to tell. If this is not achievement than what is?