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Motivation: Life of An IFS Probationer & Travels we made!

I am writing this very brief post to Cover the Majority of Places and Appreciate the Uniqueness that this Diverse Nation has in Store at every place we set our foot on.“, says the author.
Let me get back to something which I love doing…Expressing Myself and about my IFS Training @ IGNFA!
IFS training encompasses a very exhaustive and elaborate 16.5 month-long of Travel and Touring. When u visit more than 20+ states, 50+ Cities, Innumerable Places of Heritage, Forests, Forts, National Parks, Temples, Monasteries, Architectural Sites, Natural Wonders etc etc., all in a span of just One-Year Odd, it demands a book or two be written to narrate the Stories of Touring, Travel and Fun.
I am writing this very brief post to Cover the Majority of Places and Appreciate the Uniqueness that this Diverse Nation has in Store at every place we set our foot on.
This is more of a Tour Guide for Must Visit Places in India for a traveller within You.
Unlike the training of some other Civil Services which happen in a Sandwich pattern, IFS training happens for a 16.5 month period at a stretch, after the 3.5-month Foundation Course in LBSNAA.
However, it is unfortunate that there is very less information available online regarding the Tours and Training we receive as IFS Probationers at the National Forest Academy.
Training at Academy is a fascinating journey, and when I say Journey, I literally Mean it too… :D…This post would give you insights into almost all the Tours I did until now as a Probationer.
I am leaving out the Visits to Zoos, National Parks, Botanical Gardens, Nursery etc in general which are part and parcel of our tours and would like to Confine Myself to the “Uniqueness” of places as We travel across this Nation extensively.

So here we Gooooooo… on the Bharat Darshan…..

Introductory Tour (1 Week)

Place: Sal Forest, Timli, Dehradun Outskirts

West India Tour (22 Days)
States: UP, Rajasthan and Gujarat
Places: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Little Rann of Kutch, Ahmedabad, Dwarka, Somnath, Jamnagar, Gir, Diu

Must-Visit/Do :

  • The Taj
  • Forts of Fatehpur Sikri/ Buland Darwaja
  • Tiger Safari @ Ranthambore (Probably the Best in the Country),
  • Forts of Jaipur/Jodhpur/Udaipur
  • Exploring the Deserts of Jaisalmer
  • Ajmer Dargah
  • Temples of Dwarka and Somnath
  • Lion Safari @ Gir
  • Marine National Park @ Jamnagar (Can Witness live Corals by walking barefoot during Low Tide)
  • Laser and Water Show @ Akshardham, Gandhinagar (Must say Spectacular and Breathtaking)

Ministerial Attachment (1 Week)

Place: MoEF&CC, New Delhi

Parliamentary Attachment (1 Week)

Place: BPST, Indian Parliament, Delhi

n Yes… That Photo with the President… 😀


Hill Tour (22 Days)
States: Himachal, J&K, Punjab
Places: Leh(ChangLa, KhardungLa, Pangong Tso), Kargil, Zozzila, Sonmargh, Patnitop, Bir-Billing, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Jammu, Manali (Rohtang Pass), Simla, Chandigarh

Must-Visit/Do :

  • Visit Highest Motorable Road in the World @KhardunLa
  • Visit Pangong Tso Lake of 3Idiots Crossing ChangLa
  • Travelling in NH1-A, Crossing Jojila arguably one of the World’s Most Dangerous Roads
  • Paragliding @Bir-Billing..Asia’s no.1 Site for Paragliding (Paragliding World Cup 2015 is held here)
  • Trek to Vaishno Devi @Katra
  • 1999 War Memorial @Kargil (The Briefing here about the Kargil War simply stirs your Emotions and Feelings of Patriotism)
  • White Water Rafting in Beas @Kullu (Distinct and More challenging than in Rishikesh)

Forest Mensuration Exercise (1 Week)

Places: Kanaser, Chakrata

Must-Visit/Do :
Limestone Caves near Kanaser

Trekking Expedition (1 Week)

Places: Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Saheb, Badrinath, Mana Village

Must-Visit/Do :

  • Arduous Trek to Hemkund Saheb and taking a Dip in that Exceptional Lake
  • Wonderful Trek to Valley of Flowers National Park
  • Coffee at India’s Last Village @ Mana
  • Geyser Bath @ Badrinath

NPA Attachment (1 Week)

Place: National Police Academy, Hyderabad

Saaaaaavdhaaann!!!

Wildlife Technique Tour (1 Week)

Places: Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh,
Tourism: Khajuraho

Must-Visit/Do :

  • Group of Temples of Khajuraho (Parsvanath, Vishvanath, Mahadeo)
  • Tiger Safari @ Panna

Working Plan Exercise (20 Days)
Places: Sal Forests of Timli

All India Forest Sports Meet (1 Week)
Places: Hyderabad (Keeps Changing Every year…IGNFA Contingent participates every year)

Management Attachment (1 Week)
Places: IIM Lucknow (IIMs can change based on Feedbacks from Probationers)

Must-Visit/Do :

  • Ambedkar Park
  • Imambada  or Bhoolbullaya
  • Kabab’s of Lucknow

NGO Attachment (1 Week)
Place: Amity University, Delhi ( Other groups are doing at various places like Ajmer, Delhi etc)

South India Tour (22 Days)
States: Telangana, Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka
Places: Bangalore, Mysore, Bandipur, Mudumalai, Periyar, Ooty, Coonoor, Coimbatore, Madurai, Rameshwaram, Madras, Hyderabad, Bhopal

Must-Visit/Do :

  • Tiger Safari @ Bandipur
  • Elephant Camp @ Mudumalai
  • Mysore Palace, Zoo and Chamundi Temple
  • Boating in Mullaperiyar Dam Backwaters in Periyar
  • TANTEA tea gardens in Coonoor
  • Toy Train  ride in Nilgiri Railways
  • Madurai Meenakshi Temple
  • Rameshwaram Pamban Barrage
  • Visit Sanchi Stupa @Bhopal
  • and Off course All Spicy Hyderabadi Biryani…mmmm…

East India Tour (22 Days)

States: Andamans, Arunachal, Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Odisha
Places: Andamans ( Baratang Islands, Jolly Buoy Islands, Havelock Islands, Jarawa Tribal Reserve), Kolkata, Sundarbans, Guwahati, Tawang(BomdiLa, BumLa, Sangester Lake), Kaziranga, Shillong, Chirapunjee, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Konark.

Must-Visit/Do :

  • Scuba Diving @Havelock
  • 2hrs Cruise Travel in Sea from Port Blair to Havelock
  • Snorkelling and Transparent Boat Ride to observe Marine Life @ Jollybuoy Island
  • Radhanagar Beach on Havelock (One of the best beaches of the World)
  • Cellular Jail of British India @ Port Blair
  • BumLa Indo-China Border @ Tawang ( U can actually put Couple of Steps into Chinese Territory)
  • Buddist Monastery @Tawang
  • 1962 Indo-China War Memorials @Tawang and Enroute
  • Elephant Safari to see Rhinos @ Kaziranga
  • Temples of Odisha… Puri, Konark, Bhubaneswar (Yes, those Nagara Architecture ones)
In Addition to this, We did Week-Long Trainings in Horse-Riding, Arms and Ammunition, Swimming in Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. Bungee Jumping, Rafting, Treks, Visits of Local Places etc are also done. Sports Meets, Cultural Evenings, Festival Celebrations are inherent to the Traditions of this Academy. Various Clubs conduct events like Quizzes, Treasure Hunts, Talks, Culturals etc.,

uppphhh…As I come to the End of this exhaustive list, I wonder myself that “Did I Really Go to Each of these places physically?”  Love for Travelling goes to the Next Level as we are all set to Travel out of this Country for a 2 Week Long Foreign Tour.

In the last leg, we also went to Russia, Finland and Estonia and the other Group to Spain and Italy. This was the Perfect End for this Awe-Inspiring Travelogue of Training @ IGNFA, Dehradun before we all get back to our Cadre States “on Duty”. Looking forward to….. 😀 😀 😀


This Article is contributed by a ForumIAS User Naga Sathish Gidijala (IFS, 2015 batch). 

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