WhileWhile surfing through old photos of 2016 I found a few photos worth posting. Being not able to go on excursions due to lockdown, exploring old memories is the best resort.
As the car is gone now, I was thinking and exploring options to continue my travel. Family trips are definitely going to be difficult but solo will still be possible.
Family trips will be limited and I may need to rent a car for a few days for that.
For solo, buses and local transport will be the best option. I was unable to get a clearity if buses from Delhi to Spiti or Leh are still in operation. They were stopped due to the surge in Covid cases, not sure if they have started again, will explore again post monsoon as it’s not recommended to travel to these locations in rains. Regulations due to Covid are changing very frequently and each state has its own regulations, this is causing a lot of confusion. Tried calling bus stations a few times but the calls were unsuccessful.
I prefer state government operated buses over private operators. Privately operated buses are congested, while state government buses are spacious, though they are not well maintained sometimes, but I can live with that.
Traveling in buses will add additional experience to my travel. One thing which I need to plan is what exactly I want to carry. Travel light will be a good idea but those camera lenses, camera body and laptop are something which can not be ignored. Travelling to cold places will need extra clothing as well, while travelling in a car since the last few years made me forget what are the essentials I need to carry. It was just stuffing everything in the car and starting driving.
Travelling in public transport will require a lot of background work and study, timing of buses, local transport or rented vehicle availability on destination should also be considered. Seems i need to think though and visualize everything end to end before i start anything, will do so. Will keep posting the progress as well.
Posting few pics which I have captured back in 2015.
After 8 years of service, finally said good bye to the car a couple to weeks back, drove that more than 170000 KMs mostly across north, west and central India and it has served me well. So many beautiful memories associated with it.
It was the day of Holi when we have got the news that my elder brother-in-law passed away due to cardiac arrest, we have rushed to my hometown, Prayagraj. He was sick for some time but we were not expecting that it will turn so bad. The train was not an option I have decided to drive. This was about the time when the covid second wave started picking up. After reaching Allahabad came to know that 3 of my relatives from my parent’s side have already passed away in the gap of few days.
Few days after reaching to hometown, my father, elder brother, and I all fell sick, it was Typhoid as per pathology lab, but it had all the symptoms of Covid, we called a lab to send someone for sample collection but no one turned up, my entire neighborhood stared coughing in few days, luckily all recovered except 3 unlucky ones. All 3 people who died were living not more than 10 feet away from my house.
I was constantly in touch with my friends in Ghaziabad, the situation here was even worst. My building alone had at least 15 deaths in April and May. We were only getting news of the deaths of many close and far relatives, friends, and known people in these 2 months. At one point I have lost hope for my life.
With the grace of God, the covid is slowing down and life is again coming back to normal, but fear of Covid returning is there.
As we have rushed to my hometown unplanned, so could not carry much, just a few sets of clothing, a work laptop, and a mobile, and spend more than 2 months there, the longest since I have left my hometown back in 2002. All these photos were taken from my below-average phone Redmi 6 Pro.
Earning honest money is important than not doing anything for living, all these people in the photos below have my utmost respect –
For me, it’s important to live a happy life with happy people rather than acquiring all the wealth in this world, I must not regret at the end that I did not live the life.
While driving an uninhibited stretch of MP we found a tea seller to our surprise. The place was so uninhibited that even a single mobile network was not there in that area. The milk used in the tea was so pure that we were able to get a flavor of herbs grazed by cattle.
While enjoying our tea, met a group of 4 men, coming all the way from Sagar, and were going to Allahabad (now Prayagraj) on foot for a holy dip in Ganga. They were using a bicycle to carry their belongings. A 400+ KM distance which they were planning to cover in 20 days by foot.
Despite so much advancement in technology, religious belief in humans is still strong. Many religious philosophies are not relevant in today’s world or there is a great disconnect between how those were created and what they have become over time, but people are still so attached to them. After observing human life for so many years, I think we all are living identical life. A farmer is a farmer whether he is in an Indian village or Cambodia or England, and the same applies to the middle class doing 9 to 6 jobs. Though we say that we follow a particular religion but most of the time we don’t follow what is written in our religious books. This may be because those teachings do not fit in today’s world or too difficult to follow, but we still claim to belongs to a certain religion.
Thinking, do we need to update the religious texts as per today’s society or scientific advancements? if it is updated will it still be the same religion? Will we still follow the religion religiously after the update? Will the word religiously be still relevant?
It’s like hormonal change starts to happen at the beginning of every winter, which triggers a natural urge to go on a road trip. This road trip is only limited to Madhya Pradesh so far. This year, due to the board exams of our kids, it was near impossible to maintain that tradition which we were following for the last 11 years. Thanks to the delays caused by lockdown exams were postponed and our trip plan switched on.
We have decided to touch an ancient but important city Mandu in MP and visit the nearby holy city of Ujjain. As it was a long trip from Allahabad, we took a halt at Vidisha while going and Sagar while returning back.
Our route was
Prayag (Allahabad) -> Vidisha -> Mandu -> Indore -> Ujjain -> Sagar -> Prayag (Allahabad) (Dates 24-29 Jan 2021)
Due to fog on plains, we have decided to remain in Vindyachal while going and returning back, else we could have taken the national highway.
This was the second trip of 2 consecutive trips, the earlier one was to Sariska.
The first was planned earlier and was planned with the family but at the last moment, the family pulls off, did a calculation, and found that a refund will be a great loss. So rather than canceling it decided to go with someone else, asked few friends and one of them agreed. Made few new friends there, they are of the same age group and same taste as me. It was a really amazing time staying within the jungle and spending time with like-minded people who love travel, food, and photography.
Few family friends had planned to go to Rishikesh, but the family was hesitant to ask as they have already canceled one trip. I took initiative and asked the kids if they want to go on this trip, they happily agreed. We did some quick checks and found the same hotel has few rooms, so we booked one for us. This is how our second trip happened. Posting a few photos of the trip.