badge

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Joy of Travel


In the good old times the elderly Indians traveled to religious abode of the gods nestled in the mountains or sea shores for atonement and salvation. They would take up arduous treks to Badrinath and Kedarnath in Himalayas, go on a long trip to Benaras or Allahabad to take a holy dip in the River Ganges and bathe in ‘Triveni’( The confluence of River Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati). The hugely successful recent ‘Maha Kumbh ‘ , a once in twelve year congregation of more than ten million Hindus at Allahabad is a testimony of the faith of taking holy dip in the river. Regardless of the hardships involved, people travel for days together by investing their hard earned savings to undergo such trips for once in a lifetime experience.

I remember that in my early years of service, I would frequently pack up my bags to undertake treks to Matheran, Lonavala and Khandala to experience to pristine lush green mountains and see the sparkling lakes en route. Taste of the local food would leave a tingling flavor. I would coax my friends to join me to destinations like Varanasi, Allahabad, Haridwar and Rishikesh to visit the shrines and take boat rides and experience the ‘Aarti’ performed on the ghats(banks) of the river at the sunset. The journey in crowded trains or rickety buses made those trips unforgettable.

After getting married, I had a permanent companion , in my wife and young daughter to accompany me on treks to explore the treasures scattered all over the country! The chimes of holy temples of Badrinath, Mathura, Rameshwaram, Puri and Dwarka  still resonate in the ears. The long trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath, and steep climb on high altitudes of Gangotri and Yamunotri still remind of the hazards of nature , veering through difficult rocks and encountering strange lizards! All the assorted experiences such as getting caught in the unexpected downpours at Bhairon on return from Vaishnodevi, getting lost on uncharted route at Lansdowne were hair raising. The stay at mysterious rest houses at Chamoli , Kedarnath and Gaurikund which had lamps on  till 10 pm at night and pitch dark thereafter due shutdown of the diesel generators were eerie .  Also, there would be times when there was no regular food available and we had to make do with dal and chapatti or just the biscuits and some fruit.

The sights of clear skies, waterfalls, wild flowers and star studded skies at night were worth these pursuits. The assorted experiences were also test of endurance of walking up to sixteen km in a day! I look back, with a feeling of content.

The times are changing ,and youngsters and the yuppie Indians are now undertaking trips not necessarily out of religious faith but to fulfill  inherent drive to push the body to limit by experiencing river rafting, bungee jumping, hot air ballooning and even sky diving for thrill of ‘free falls’ from air!

Most of us do not have enough money when we are young but fitter bodies so that is the time to take on backpacking trips to difficult terrains and see other exotic locations as we grow older and can foot bigger travel bills and give more rest to the aching joints and muscles.

The famous Chinese writer Lin Yutang once wrote’ No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and feels his head on his old familiar pillow’
PS_ Image kind courtesy Google

84 comments:

  1. You have had adventurous trips, without power or food, at times. No doubt trip is a beautiful experience but coming back home is just divine. I remember our family trip to Vaishno Devi, first we lost our mom in crowd, then the family friends who went with us and the climax was my brother hiding from all of us because we didn't buy him an ice-cream. He even told the Policeman not to tell anyone that he is hiding in their check post. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Saru! That reminds me of my indulgence in hide n seek with my daughter and my poor wife looking for us many times:)

      Delete
  2. The quote is so beautiful.. 'old familiar pillow'.
    The message is very clear.. and can't agree more travelling is so much of fun as well as learning.
    Young age should be about being adventurous and experimental and we can keep the easy places of travel for the old age..
    But the mantra should be keep travelling!!
    :)


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manjulika am happy you too agree and traveling is most rewarding!

      Delete
  3. Yes, that quote is so true!

    Travel is just wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lovely quote.I have read almost all your posts about travelling and I always wanted to visit all those places after reading your post(s).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A big thanks Shreya for reading my posts! I wish you too travel to all your dream destinations!

      Delete
  5. You have truly experienced the joy and adventure of travel, its always great to see someone not only travel for pleasure or business but for spiritual reasons too. Its true, so many folks these days are traveling for adrenaline sports, its quite evident here in SA as well. I would love to hear a post about your top travel tips! Wonderful quote. Many thanks for stopping by, your comments mean a lot to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Sam for that very nice comment! I will surely write about travel tips some time soon, based on what I learnt:)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will often come back sometime soon.
    yours information is very effective. the information about Travel Technology IS TOO GOOD.LOOK AT THIS WEBSITE

    http://www.wizie.com/technology.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pramod! You have a nice blog too!

      Delete
  7. Oh wow such a precious treasure of memories you have and the reason being all those wonderful travels you did and are doing... Yes there is a saying in kannada which says traveling to places is as good as reading encyclopedia and that proves right in your case. And for sure traveling and all such experience makes us more humble as we see so many different wonders and meet people of great values.
    YES Traveling is must context may differ from person to person !!!

    Beautiful post Rahul sir!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My work and lust for travel has taken me to so many place...'have still many more miles to go before I sleep':)I am still learning from all the people I meet both in real and virtual world! A big thanks!!

      Delete
  8. Enjoyed reading this post! True visiting the religious places and exploring the culture, art and natural beauty around is a different kind of an experience. I remember witnessing the evening arti on the banks of river Ganga at Haridwar and it was an amazing and a beautiful experience... The quote is so very apt and true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Shilpa and I am sure most of us carry those memories of trips to holy places and the nice feeling that lingers long there after!

      Delete
  9. Oh, I really enjoyed this post. I know exactly what you mean about traveling, as they say, world is a book and those who stay at home read only the cover.;) Yet i agree also with the last quote, it is so good to come home.;) I have too undertaken some travels in my younger days. Today i still love to see new places, but have grown more tired and feel at times the best vacation is the one when I just get to stay in the house, doing nothing.;)
    Have a lovely weekend,
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A huge thanks Zuzana and am happy you could relate to the post in your context too!Have a great week ahead:)

      Delete
  10. I have seen that you enjoy travelling & enjoyed your narratives too.But it is very hard work planning everything & then sightseeing too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Indu! Have enjoyed travel more than anything:)

      Delete
  11. Lucky you, Rahul. You seem to have a treasure trove of memories. And you have also visited all the corners of India. Feeling super envy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha Rachna! This comment is my reward for traveling to all those places!So happy to share this treasure with likes of you!

      Delete
  12. Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sir, I guess the current generation are more obsessed with reality (by that I mean Reality TV and activities involved) that religion and salvation have taken a back seat. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Binu! Unfortunately no armchair Reality shows can substitute the real feel of doing things:)

      Delete
  14. The quote is too good Rahul and makes a lot of sense to me now as I am just bk from vacation in Malaysia :) I do love those trips to the shrines in India....Very rejuvenating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to see you back after your holiday, Jaishree!! Now look forward to your stories and travel tales again:)

      Delete
  15. Nostalgic memories your travels

    Interesting post... Last quote is meaningful

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  16. Replies
    1. Indeed it is! Hope you travel to your dream destinations too:)

      Delete
  17. It was nice to read your travelling experiences, Rahulji! I can relate to visiting religious places. Yes, though we find most of the religious places unclean, we still do not hesitate to visit those places. We ate in a hut-like hotel once in Mathura! Roti-dhal...we saw some ready batter in a tray which was kept beneath a bench and one bird was pecking it! We had already eaten the rotis he had given us. All of us laugh even now, thinking about it. Nothing happened to us!

    Your one-liner account about so many places is very interesting! Enjoyed reading this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The perils of eating at not too safe and hygenic places make our bodies robust to rough out sometimes, Sandhya! Thanks a lot for adding that anecdote to this post!

      Delete
  18. Absolutely.I can't forget experiences of visits to Laxman Jhoola,Ram Jhoola,Vaishno Devi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to revive your memories, Mr Chowla!

      Delete
  19. Yes, travel IS joy for some people :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming from an ardent traveler like you, Kusum could not agree more:)

      Delete
  20. The joys of travel is something that may be hard to be defined, yet you do it in the most absolute manner. Wow! You've traveled so much sir and I wish I can hear all about it from you, someday. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks again for that kind remark, Arti! It would be a previlege to share the stories of travel with you some day. Till then will try to write posts about my recollections:)

      Delete
  21. So true. These days holidays have become a status symbol just to show off what one is capable of spending. The pursuit for religious sake is always fulfilling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the pleasure of enjoying the moment and reliving the past is far more than trying to satisfy urge to show off:) Thanks a lot for visiting my blog!

      Delete
  22. Live, travel, adventure, bless, and enjoy.. :)
    that's how I want to live

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish you a life you so desire, Jyoti:) Thanks a lot!

      Delete
  23. The joy of traveling -- you capture it beautifully on your blog. Haven't been to these religious places but would love to one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A working professional like you will always have a challenge to find time, Rachna but breaking away from routine for these pleasures enrich the life so much! A sincere thanks once again and hope you see the places you desire to see:)

      Delete
  24. In those days people traveled to religious places and satisfied their hunger of traveling. Now as you said, there are more things than a religious pilgrimage. But its good.

    But there are more people who do it for the been-there-done-that than really experiencing the place, the local flavors, life . Your post brought back my long pending wish to visit the varanasi, himalayas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So agree with you. Travel to new places is so much fun!

      Delete
  25. Thanks for sharing your input with me!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh I love to travel. As a kid we traveled alot. Now it is limited as my kids are small but I remember the religious trips we did once a year. They were really fun as we did not carry any electronics with us to keep us company. Now a days kids are all about ipads, iphones and game boys. Even when they travel they need to carry these along.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah things change with times ad these smartphones and ipads have become an essential part of our daily lives!Thanks a lot:)

      Delete
  27. When I was a kid, I travelled all those places Badrinath, Kedarnath,
    Haridwar and Rishikesh. Those places were too cold, but still I enjoyed my time over there :)

    Your post reminded some memories over there :) Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Valli and it feels good to evoke memories of a happy past:)

      Delete
  28. Enjoyed reading your travel post.It is true, how people go out of the way to have darshan of various Gods and Goddesses. In our Iyengar community it is essential among the very religious prone to visit all the Viashanviate temples in India and Nepal. I believe there are 150 of them, and once they have visited them, they become restless again and visit them as many times they can posibily visit is in their lifetime.
    We like to visit places that are not crowded, and also like visiting temples that are very old and have beautiful architecture.
    As you said, when we are young we are capable of taking any amount of discomfort, but as we age and as we can afford better comforts we no longer want to be adventurous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rama for having been relate to the post so well. The pursuits be it for religious purpose or otherwise enables in making us more strong and connecting with our own inner selves. Even I am lured to travel to the religious destinations like Mathura at least once a year:)

      Delete
  29. I enjoy travelling but I remember getting bored when I visited religious destinations as a kid - unfortunately, I found that to be rather tedious...Vaishno Devi - though - I remember being fun and adventurous :) :)

    I like to travel but I don't really believe in pushing the limits when I go to visit a place - I go there to explore the culture, the flora and fauna, the food, the people - if trekking is the only way to experience that, I shall opt for a trek :) Otherwise, I prefer travelling comfortably :) :) I do not really like living in the confines of my house - sometimes, I think we are always travelling just creating an illusion of a destination in the form of a "house"...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes children and youth now a days have so many options to choose from. So it is basically one's own inclination and taste that matters. There can never be one best fit for all, Divya:)

      Delete
  30. Thanks to my parents, I've widely traveled all over India and It's really nice to get to see new places. I really want to visit Badrinath, my parents have been there and they never stop talking about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Ashwini, nothing like seeing the Geography and experincing the History by moving around! Blessed you are to have parents who know what is best for you. Do travel to Badrinath, you will enjoy the place:)

      Delete
  31. Great post!
    I love all kind of travel, but I like it simple.. I always have to have a travel planning, it`s a part of my life:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I know, Tania that you too have seen quite a lot of world:)

      Delete
  32. Quoting Bill Bryson - “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”

    ReplyDelete
  33. So true, Purba and a big thanks for reminding that great quote. It is like an icing on the cake:)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Really wonderful to have stumbled upon your blog Sir. You are one of those blessed souls who know how to appreciate life and nature. More so, because you have a like-minded family. Yes, nowadays, a lot of youngsters prefer high end tours and adventure, however the joy of exploring by foot sans much expense can be really rewarding! Ever since I realized that, I've been a very happy and contented traveller!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to my blog Malini and thanks a lot for the nice comment! Enjoying maximum with restricted expenditure on frills is the best way. You have a lovely blog too:)Look forward to seeing you here more often!

      Delete
  35. Rahul sir, I have always been amazed at the number of places you have visited and the way you pen them up to take us on world tours.. :) I agree with you ...travel when young..when you are old and have plenty of money, your bones and muscles won't co-operate..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Latha and it feels so good that you enjoy the virtual journeys with me:) Am honored indeed to share the tales of travel with likes of you:)Yeah.. and do see alll places you want to visit when you are fighting fit:)

      Delete
  36. may be ,in current times,thrill has replaced the thirst for tranquility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Arooj! Nice to see you back after a while:)

      Delete
  37. Foг example, one cannot avoid, they also have restrictіonѕ
    on the Quick Τrim Diеt Syѕtem has three doshas:
    vаta, pitta, and yeast that form on the light
    or loω-саrb. It's a natural raspberry ketones. You can also get a better life. Surgery is expensive, and it is to start exercising, where I will personally help each one is really good sweat is by exercising and making healthy choices.

    Here is my web page - 3raspberryketonemonster.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Rahul..You have uncovered some issues poignantly. Even at my age, I feel less able physically to go for a trek or something like that...!! But, attitude is Life is for Living, so as long as we are physically fit..and the desire to see new places exist--we shall keep traveling!
    Enjoyed reading your post, Rahul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Panchali!Such a pleasure to have you resonate similar thoughts:)

      Delete
  39. Hi Rahul, hope you're doing well and that spring is surely approaching on your side of the world. Thanks for your kind comment, wishing you a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The spring is here in all its bloom and hope you have all the fragrance of spring around you too:) Have a lovely week ahead!

      Delete
  40. These days everyone travels and so every single place is crowded and filled with cameras and handy cams. Inspite of everything, I like to take off. You look like someone who has been to many places and therefore filled with an abundance of stories. It would be great to have a conversation with you.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  41. Very True Susan! Everone is bitten by the travel bug these days!! I too would be very happy to meet you and hope some day soon:)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Rahul your travelogue is not only informative but also interesting. You are fortunate that your madam and daughter are also fond of travelling.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks a lot Ushaji, for that nice comment! Indeed I am blessed to have a family who has supported me wholeheartedly and enjoyed some of these adventures with me!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Excellеnt itemѕ from you, man. I’ve
    take into account your ѕtuff previous to and
    you’re just toο wonderful. I rеallу like what уοu’ve аcquireԁ rіght herе, certainly likе what you аre sayіng аnd the ωaу
    through whіch yоu aгe ѕayіng it.
    Υоu make іt enjoyable and yοu continue to tаke cаre
    of to kеep it sensible. I cant wait to learn
    much mогe from уou. This is actually a tremendous web ѕite.


    Here is my wеb site ... microsoft points

    ReplyDelete