Tag Archives: KanyaKumari

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

20 November 2017

Traveller of the Week: Prakriti Varshney

Prakriti Varshney is a 22-year-old adventurer whose physical state resides in the Delhi plains but her soul lingers throughout the Himalayas. According to her father’s retellings, she has always been the one with the fiery adventure streak. Brought up against the typical feminine norms, her father acknowledged the latent strength in her in the early years itself. He moulded her into a self-sufficient human, and she owes a lot to him for this.

 

Prakriti Varshney

 

A graduate in Fashion and Apparel Designing, Prakriti realized during her very first work experience with a start-up that this is not her cup of tea! Living a life with a mundane, robotic routine is not what she desires. There was sufficient money but always a restless mind. Overworked, she was in a perpetual dilemma “What am I grinding myself for?” and she couldn’t find a suitable answer. That’s the day she quit a life with a routine to start a journey without a specific road-map.

 

Adventure and Exploration are the two terms that drive her to do things-let it be about trying a new cuisine or learn about a new form of art.  Her first solo trip was to Spiti Valley on a shoestring budget. The trip covered a span of 8 days on a budget of mere 4000 rupees. She carried along certain essentials like a tent and a sleeping bag, commuted in roadways, hitchhiked from one village to the other and interacted with new people around. It was a phenomenal experience for her.

Her next planned trip is to North East for a month starting next week, followed by two months, January and February in Leh and Ladakh. She prefers travelling solo because then you’re all about your own self and at your own ease.  She loves solo trips because she can have her own plan of action and there is no room for friction due to disagreements. It is certainly risky to travel alone, but the liberating experience is worth the risk.

 

Prakriti is a full-time traveller. On being asked about her first and foremost confrontation with her family regarding her profession, she did reveal that apart from her survival in harsh climatic conditions, her parents were worried about her safety when she planned her very first expedition, to which she agrees to some extent. Being a girl, one has to face some sort of unnerving experiences every day, and hers was a decision to travel thousands of kilometres away from home.  Her priority is not to tick off the places on her bucket list but to travel to learn, grow and absorb whatever is out there. She is open to change and doesn’t necessarily follow a schedule during her travels. She mentions, “If I like a place more than the others, I might decide to stay for a longer period to satisfy my soul than to keep following the itinerary.”

She lists down some of her favourite destinations from India: Spiti Valley – Closest to heart, this land has everything to offer, from larger than life landscapes to exquisite art to never dying culture to the sweetest and kindest people.  Even after 6 rounds in the same year, it always feels like something more to explore. Auroville – A place where in the middle of chaos, you will find calm. If you seek serenity and fun together, this place is a must. Ride a bicycle, do meditation sessions, chase butterflies in the botanical garden, try different cuisines, grab some eateries & head to the beach to witness the spellbinding sunset.

Uttrakhand – The state is a wholesome package for travellers. It is famously termed “Devbhoomi” (the abode of Gods), for Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath maintain that chaste aura. Whitewater rafting and Yoga in Rishikesh, legendary Ramjhula and Lakshmanjhula, serene blue lakes in Nainital, presence of wild animals in Jim Corbett National Park, around 500 species of flowers in Valley of Flowers, and land of some of the highest mountain peaks in the world – Nanda Devi, Kamet, Hardeol, Chaukhamba, Trishul- in short, a pit stop for most of the adventures you seek.

Kanyakumari – The southernmost point of India surrounded by sea on three sides, the place offers one of the most scenic sunset and sunrise views.

Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh – It is a spot known as the highest paragliding site one would never regret having a bird’s eye view.   Her travel essentials include her LifeStraw (not when travelling in the Himalayas), a diary and a pen to journal her excursions, sunscreen lotion, a waterproof bag, and of course her camera and earphones. Prakriti enjoys the most her moments of solace. She could sit in a corner of the road for hours and observe everything that is around her. She is also fond of meeting strangers in unknown places, with a myriad of stories and experiences.  She hasn’t travelled around a single state in an exhaustive manner as of now but has covered certain towns, cities and even villages in around 17 states so far. She has planned to cover two more in the next two months. She feels it is essential to roam about every niche of a state to be thorough with it, and not just pay a visit to certain famous tourist spots. Although she has been to Dubai and Oman in her teenage years, she has decided to take up international travelling only after she has explored sufficient amount of her own country.

 

Travelling has transformed Prakriti’s core as a whole. According to her, it is an essential method or resource for learning which teaches you what you cannot grab through books. Bonding with strangers, having faith in your instincts to trust, give in to the universe, and never give up even when you fall apart. A lesson she abides to is “We can go way beyond our limits.” She recounts an anecdote of her visit to Shrikhand Mahadev, one of the toughest pilgrimages in India. During the initial phase, she made her mind to give up due to incessant exertion and injury in her knee, but she was determined to complete her journey. The sight of the 72 feet tall Shivling after the commencement of a tedious journey was definitely something to vouch for!

 

Chandertaal Lake

Bir Billing, Himachal

Chandrashila Top, Uttrakhand

Kanyakumari

Langza, Spiti Valley

Last light, Kanyakumari

Mane, Spiti Valley

Mt. Dronagiri, Uttrakhand

Spiti Valley

Trekking in Himachal

 

Varshney shares an interesting tale from one of her travel adventures.  “While I was in Spiti Valley for two months, August-September, I decided to hike to Key Monastery which was about 14 km from Kaza. After walking for about 6 km, I witnessed a splendid view at the turn of a road. I remained frozen to that spot for almost two and a half hours. I was unaware of the curiosity I created among passers-by, until a couple passing by on a motorbike decided to halt. They too were on the way to Key Monastery. At first, they thought that I might be taking a break due to exhaustion, but they saw me sitting at the same spot while returning hence they stopped by and asked.  I burst out laughing and had no answer to their query! They even offered a ride back to Kaza but I was completely embarrassed by now.”

Words by Laveena Behl
Images by ©Prakriti Varshney

 

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By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Inspiration | Travel

13 May 2017

Pedals Of Dream : Jaipur to KanyaKumari Cycle Ride.

Meet Sudhanshu Verma, the man who cycled his journey all the way through Jaipur to KanyaKumari. His words speak of his unshaken determination and strength.

“It is difficult to set yourself apart from “attachments” when you’re born in this society which wants their child to settle at every step in life to march into a secure future which is nothing but in simple words an “illusion”. For me, settling is not an option and attachments are barriers no more. If not my body, my soul is always travelling, I feel. I’d say I lack words to explain this. Flying back to day 2 of my journey, I remember my dad came to stop me but I told him not to be a distraction. May be they understood and did their part helping me complete my tour.

I didn’t go against anything or anyone, I wasn’t alone, even though I was away, my parents and loved ones were with me all the way.

 

 

Accomplishments never lead to satisfaction, they only make you want to hog more. This was a drop in my ocean of life. I feel enlightened at each step, I would always want to educate my inner self and everyone around me. What I picked wasn’t just a trip out of a busy life or an occasional affair, it is a never ending journey for me.

I was carrying my tent and bedding – sleeping bag and mattress. And I had some eatables like oats to cook at dhabas, well food never stopped coming my way. Thanks to everyone for being so considerate. And how can I not mention my bicycle with which come a few bike essentials. I did have extra tubes, a rain cover, my most favourite clothes (of course they were limited).The most important is always carrying a heart full of love to share and a smile to go miles.

 

 

Travelling for me is a never ending journey. “Raahi hu chalte jana hai ” I don’t travel to visit places. I travel to go deeper, meet as many souls I can. To feel more, learn, share and enlighten them with my aura. I love the uncertainty each day carries for me. No one knows what the other minute holds, it makes your decision making dynamic. I’d say my thoughts go wider. I did get hit by a movie few years back when I did my first solo trip. I was adapting ever since then. I used to start early morning around 5 till 10. I’d stop by under a tree or a little shed, rest and interact with locals till around 4. The hours in between use to be too harsh to ride as the sun would be at my head. There’s no point not looking after your health after all. I’d ride 4 to 6:30 PM again.

Earlier, I planned to Hitch-hike from Jaipur to Kanyakumari, but my childhood dreams had me buying a bicycle on my own to travel the world. I spent all my savings to make this dream come true. I got huge support from my friends and a cycling group in Jaipur ( Jaipur cycling comrades ). I borrowed some essentials from friends and off I was on this spiritual journey. Without their support & motivation, I wouldn’t have made it to Kanyakumari. I didn’t look for places as such, I went with the flow nothing was fixed. I met with an accident in Nadiad, Gujarat. It was late evening; I wasn’t on my bicycle though. Ups and downs are a part of life. All these experiences help you in growing and becoming stronger. I was seriously wounded and taken care by a family in Vadodara. I feel blessed to have such people around me. Even after being advised by a doctor to rest for a month, I couldn’t resist after the 10th day. Few days after crossing Gujarat, I got bitten by some funny bug while my afternoon nap and rod with a numb arm. I hadn’t set a budget but, I took a challenge to complete my first month in 2000 only. Believe me, I ended up having more than it. People helped me a lot on the way. They got thrilled and inspired by my travel stories. The next month I spent and ate a lot. I shared what I ate with people too. Happiness is only real when shared so why settle in less when all you have is the entire universe. There is something I would want to pass on to travellers across the nation that is to tell you never to settle and give air to the adventures of life. Travel not just to visit places but to scan souls, absorb experiences, to win hearts, live moments and build memories.

 

Photos by ©Sudhanshu Verma

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