Mussoorie-Dhanaulti Excursion with Dr. Pankaj-March, 2018 : 5 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (1)

This is a general post, contrary to what we usually post on eFI. Even then, I could not stop myself in expressing my feelings about our recent excursion-cum-meeting programme, concluded from March 03 to 05, 2018. 
As a group, we have been interacting for last many years, without personally seeing each other. Through personal efforts of  Balkar Ji and myself, we have been able to meet many of our esteemed members, and have been lucky to go to field surveys together. Every tour has been a wonderful occasion, be it a visit to Chakrata, Gori valley, Valley of Flowers and many other places. All these tour were pre-planned and were given a prior thinking.
But, this year, knowing about Pankaj Ji’s India visit, and his plan to visit Dehradun, we decided to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to meet one of the most committed field botanists, known to us. The tour was decided, and executed too, without pre-planning. I personally took this as more of a meeting than flora hunting, due to being off season for flowering. We visited surrounds of Mussoorie-Dhanaulti together, in a group of six (me, Balkar Ji, Pankaj Ji, Amit Kotia Ji, Amritpal Singh and Mahender Rawat). 
It was really a great learning, to explore the forests, with a renowned Orchidologist of world, having endless passion and love for these lovely plants. His field experience is something to follow and learn from, and I am now a better admirer of Pankaj Ji’s skills and capabilities. Besides being a wonderful taxonomist, he is a humble person, always ready to help and extend his full support to any one who approaches him with a need.
I am thankful to Pankaj Ji for this memorable time, we spent together, to Balkar Ji for all the logistic support, in addition to his keen observation in the field. I hope we can arrange such tours in future also, which will encourage young botanists like Amritpal Singh.
Attaching a picture of Pankaj Ji with a smile of finding a beautiful and fragrant orchid, Calanthe plantaginea…     

Thanks very much Nidhan ji for sharing your thoughts and picture of the great personality, dear Pankaj.

It was really nice to read about your excursion with Pankaj Ji and Balkar Ji.

Thanks, Nidhan ji, for your valuable thoughts. 

Yes, Pankaj ji, certainly a great person. I remember his foresight, when within days of his joining efi group, he took it upon him to identify all unidentified orchids in our database. He knew from the very beginning that that efi has great potential and always worked in that direction. 

Thanks a lot for your kind words.
It was indeed great learning from Nidhan sir and Balkar sir and Dr. Amit Kotia, who themselves are great botanists. Hope to have such meeting more often in future although, I understand that the limitation is more from my side as I reside outside India.
Thanks a lot for those wonderful memories and smiles and of course knowledge. I learn every day.

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