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In Suraksan - Trekking of my Life, South Korea

What was initially anticipated as, just a walk in the woods, turned out to be one of the most spectacular "Time of my Life". Life is full of surprises...!!!
Initially I got reluctant on seeing the snow on the way to start with. But they say "Attitude is Contagious", so initial hesitation didn't stayed for more than few minutes. With the blessings of the Buddha (there is a beautiful temple over there), I was soon marching on the snow.
Suraksan cladded in snow was acting like a magnet and I was getting pulled into the picturesque landscapes. Snow laden trees were greeting with their snow filled blessings. At the outset I decided to go only a little distance and returning back. However an adventure filled journey of 1000 steps began with my first step. There was no stopping till I reached the peak. Scenes were unfolding more quickly than I was climbing up, only difference they were getting beautiful with every foot forward.
In the way I was meeting the guys in their complete trekking kits. They kept on saying to me, the way is risky, slippery and too difficult with your shoes - Go Back/ Be Careful...but but but I kept moving. As I came without trekking gears and that too alone, "I was very brave" in their words. They didn't notice that my protective gears were my passion and enthusiasm. It’s only these traits that guys dare to challenge Everests, Pacifics and Poles.

Climb was getting steeper and uncertain, and occasionally there was no way too. At certain places following the footsteps was the only option; I too pursued the same option. However railings and ropes at some places provided their bit of support. Which way to go from here..?? Where there is a will, there is a way. I took my way without any hesitation, the one with the longest sign board.

Who can resist such a view? I can climb a 100 mountains for a single minute or the pleasure of such a prospect. Looks like coming straight out of a romantic movie "Dying a thousand deaths for a moment of lifetime with her". I too fall in love, with the Mother Nature. Nature gave us all, it had in reserves. We humans should preserve it so that our kids too get a glance of all the wonders, the way we got from our Ancestors.

There were instances when there was no way in front of me and I had to make my way. At this point there came a steep rock in front of me; however there was a rope to pull me out from indecisiveness. The rope got the blessings of my feet and arms were to do some exercise. Don't be surprised - I took this picture while climbing up the rope. It was simple I clicked with camera in other hand. Simple indeed...

By the time I started to return - Soft snow had started to harden. This was the time, I realised why it is said that coming down is riskier than climbing up the mountains. Walking was giving way to slipping, sliding and lots of fun. Even the best batsmen sometimes get out on Zero, I too finally slipped at one point. However the soft snow provided the best cushion, I could have ever thought of. However the adventure filled day ended on an unexpected note, when I realised that my passport had got damaged due to ultra secure storage inside the layers of warm clothing.

As usual I made some friends too. I met him during my climb and later when I was returning. Apart from meeting a new person, the fact more satisfying was we both worked for same company. Washing the feet after a long is a heavenly experience and takes away all the tiredness. However I did not got the privilege of indulging in  such a thing as I did not had spare socks...sometimes coming with complete kits is advantageous too.

By the time I came back, I realised the risks I took, but felt proud of my achievement. So a pat on my back. I can feel the difference in my fitness levels from the last trekking I did in India. I am getting better...

I am searching for another mountain in and around Seoul for expedition next weekend. By the time this article is published, I would have surely climbed another.

Piece of Advise: Do indulge in trekking activities whenever you get time. Keep yourself fit, believe me it will do a lot to your confidence levels too. Take due care while trekking. Keep adequate protection gear with you.


Jogey Temple, Seoul

Just at the walking distance, there is a Beautiful Buddhist Temple, Jogey Temple. From the day one, I was watching the beautiful temple and was making plans to visit it as soon as possible. The chilling temperatures, however kept it postponing to next day, next day and so on...

One fine afternoon, we decided to offer prayers at the temple. Within 5 minutes we were in the temple. The magnificent Buddha statue is excellent par anything. The beautifully decorated rooftops and prayer singers present a marvelous panorama.

The atmosphere was vibrating with the ongoing rhymes and verses, which quickly turned in the devotional spirits within our hearts. We were unable to recite along with everyone, but very soon I was soon recalling the teachings of Buddhism and the "Nirvana".

I did not noticed when I started praying:

बुद्धम् शरणम् गच्छामि
संघम् शरणम् गच्छामि

धम्मम् शरणम् गच्छामि

Rightly said, Praying to GOD does not require words – Prayer is conveyed by sentiments.

Once the prayer got over, the head priest arrived and everyone rushed to take his blessings. Me too was not in a mood to let go this opportunity, so I too rushed to seek his blessings.
Above all it was pleasing to see the religion which originated in my country being followed so religiously in other parts of the world.

Time was short and we had to rush back to our office so we started back, albeit a few rounds of pictures outside the temple too.
Will be coming back a few times more before I go back to my country. However I was a bit surprised as there were no youngsters in the Temple. Have to find the reason.



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