Thursday, 17 December 2015

Chasing India on Wheels

5300 km. 10 states.18 days. 2 people. 1 unforgettable journey.

When I met my husband for the first time he asked me if I liked travelling, to which I promptly replied 'Yes'. Of course, back then I didn't know it would mean travelling all over India in car! Original target being attending a friend's wedding in Noida, the 2 day plan somehow metamorphosed into an 18-day road trip touching few of the most ravishing places in India.

The first day is always a bit over enthusiastic coupled with a tangy anxiety. Mostly because we are flooded with all kind of information which the so called "media" provides, most of which are hardly assuring to an outsider. Like I had my own preconceived notion about how people lived in villages or small towns. And I was taken aback by how little I knew about some of these places.

You can read an entire book and still be clueless about the reality until you see it for yourself. And travelling does that to you. Even if you are not the kind who enjoys it, I would highly recommend at least a small trip once in a year. There is something very soothing about travelling. I could just zone out and be at complete peace, it's almost therapeutic.

Our journey took us to following places - Karnataka, Maharashtra, Daman, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh. It would be a crime if I clubbed all these wonderful places into one article. So for now, I would just like to mention few things which overwhelmed me throughout this trip.

To begin with, it's the unconditional love we got from friends, friends of friends, relatives of friends and some total strangers! I never expected people (especially as current India is portrayed) to be so giving and welcoming. Many a times, we found better service in road side dhabas than in star hotels. And contrary to popular misconception, Indian Highways are in excellent conditions (at least in the states we visited- give or take few bad patches). Of course, some of the places are more travel friendly than others, but in general the hospitality you receive from locals are praiseworthy. And last but not the least, you just can't miss out the sheer beauty our country has to offer. As I said earlier, I can write a sonnet about all the mesmerizing things we saw and felt but it would still be an understatement.

From luscious farms to barren lands, abundant dense forests to charming valleys, lingering rivers to harsh deserts and everything which lives on it with harmony and balance including us Indians, is what makes this nation extraordinary.

I have always enjoyed travelling but now I realize that I enjoy travelling within India even more than I would have thought a few weeks back.

P.S - I would be writing a detailed description about few of the places in consecutive blog posts.

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