Promoting wellness among women aged 50 and beyond
Photo credit (Instagram/@bachendri_pal)

Guwahati: An expedition involving the ascent of high mountains in Arunachal Pradesh has concluded with a dose of wildlife tourism.

The team, known as ‘Fit@50+ Summits and Steering Wheels,’ comprised 14 women aged 50 and above, led by Bachendri Pal. They visited the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kaziranga National Park today to conclude their expedition with a wildlife tourism experience in the state after completing the arduous 18-day Gori Chen trek.

“The mountains do not distinguish between men and women; therefore, one must fulfill their duty towards nature without any gender biases,” said veteran mountaineer Bachendri Pal, a Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee, during her interaction with the newly recruited female forest guards at Kaziranga National Park today.

The team took a morning jeep safari at Bagori and later interacted with the forest frontline staff at Dunga Watchtower and APC.

The expedition was organised by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) in partnership with the Indian Army and the Ministry of Tourism.

This 18-day Himalayan adventure stands as a testament to the bravery and determination of women aged 50 and above. Led by veteran mountaineer Bachendri Pal, the expedition was flagged off on October 12 from Dirang.

The event aligns with the vision of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to transform India’s hinterlands into vibrant villages, promote local culture, and develop eco-tourism with an adventurous twist, in line with Modiji’s border tourism initiative.

Inspired by the Fit India Movement, spearheaded and launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019, Bachendri Pal conceived the idea of promoting wellness among women aged 50 and beyond.

The expedition in Arunachal Pradesh resonates with all the aforementioned ideas being championed by the iconic ambassadors of the Fit@50 team.

In a triumphant culmination of their expedition, the team achieved its inaugural major ascent, reaching an impressive altitude of 10,300 feet. Along their journey, they had the privilege of visiting Dirang Monastery, where they received blessings from the esteemed Head Lama Rinpoche. They also visited the Jaswant Garh Memorial and Sela Pass en route to Tawang, where they were greeted by the season’s inaugural snowfall.

In Tawang, the team explored the historic Bumla Pass and interacted with the locals.

Their expedition continued to Zemithang, where they ventured to the captivating Sangetsar Tso, renowned as Madhuri Lake, and were captivated by the serene beauty of the lake, immersing themselves in the idyllic atmosphere. This lake, which emerged following an earthquake in 1973, offers a challenging trek with 52 perilous hairpin bends. They also trekked the enchanting Shoktsen Village and visited Gorsam Chorten. This uncharted village in the heart of Arunachal Pradesh is a veritable paradise characterised by its pristine beauty, nestled amidst dense forests of bamboo and pine trees, enchanting waterfalls, and a vibrant local culture.

The presence of Gompas, monasteries, and prayer flags scattered throughout the region imbued the entire experience with a profound sense of spiritual elevation.

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The Fit@50 team explored the mountains of Zemithang on foot before embarking on their journey to the Gori Chen glacier.

The team visited Lumpo, the historic site of the Battle of Namka Chu. Continuing their remarkable journey, the team moved forward to the historical Bailey’s Trail, tracing their path through the Eastern Himalayas. They traversed Monpa villages, savoring the stunning landscapes of Gori Chen and Kangdo peaks from the zenith of their trek.

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