Army team completes 500 km Chindits Trail Expedition


Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal The Indian Army on Friday concluded its special expedition to commemorate the spirit and ethos of Indian troops employed on Burma front in the Second World War. The Chindits Trail Expedition traversed nearly 500 kilometers across the Vindhya Ranges between Betwa and Ken Rivers with its culmination on the banks of Narmada River today. T he expedition was flagged off by Lieutenant General DR Soni, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Indian Army’s Southern Command in the presence of Lieutenant General IS Ghuman, General Officer Commanding Sudarshan Chakra Corps on February 16 at Babina. It was conducted in four phases, each undertaken by a team of two officers, two junior commissioned officers and twenty other ranks, who covered approximately 125 kilometers in five days during each phase. The Chindits Trail commemorated 75 years of training carried out by the Chindits in Central India in preparation for their operations in Burma during Second World War. On 17 February, the expedition kicked off from Deogarh, close to the historic Chanderi Fort and moved through the dense jungle of Malthone crossing the Dhasan River, a tributary of Betwa River. Thereafter, it moved further East towards the Ken River, along the Northern fringes of the Vindhyas. As the temperatures rose during the day, part of the distance was done by night, affording cover and simulating the infiltration operations carried out by the Chindits. Moving along Southern fringes of Vindhyas towards Narmada River, the team reached the famous Singorgarh Fort, near Singrampur. Drawing inspiration, the final phase of the execution moved through the Rani Durgawati and Nauradehi Wild Life Sanctuaries and climbed the highest point in the Vindhyas, Mount Sadbhavna (Goodwill) at 752 meters, culminating on the banks of Narmada. During the course of 21 days, the expedition went across the Lalitpur District of Uttar Pradesh and Tikamgarh, Chattarpur, Panna, Damoh and Jabalpur districts of Madhya Pradesh. Carrying individual battle loads of 25-30 Kgs, the expedition was entirely self-contained and learnt to survive off-the-land using local resources.Being out of the range of cellular networks for most parts, the expedition was completely on its own and was fully prepared to tackle any contingency and navigation was done using maps and compass only. In a bid to spread the message of national integration, the expedition conducted eight medical camps in remote and isolated hamlets and provided free medicine and advice to 1020 locals including 470 women. The expedition was conducted to relive the experience of the Chindits during their training in these parts and imbibe their indomitable spirit, which remains equally relevant today.