Month: February 2016

Srinagar, Kashmir: A Gathering Around The Perplexity

The many houseboats around Dal Lake seemed to be blissfully relaxing, allowing tourists to amicably enjoy the utopian state of Sriangar – a place which once stood with dignity and pride, and was only known for its beauty, or for being a ‘paradise on earth’, as locals still call it. But today, Srinagar can hardly breathe on its own. It seems – as you walk around its confusing and mystifying streets – that its very sustenance, now depends upon those wearing Green Camouflage Jackets and Army Track Pants. After more than two decades of cold war and raw politics, and with Indian army taking affairs in its hands, does the future of tourism in Kashmir and its capital Srinagar look bright? To me, at least, it doesn’t! In the summer of 2015, this ill-famous tourist hotspot of India – appeared to me as a biblical wasteland, where army check-posts and AK47s still rule the day. Even if the town, at large, is declared safe, there’s always this fear and trepidation in your heart that suppresses …

How To Mentally Deal With Money And Travel

What’s that one thing that curbs people from travelling? The near-universal answer… Money! I mean, why would anyone want to spend their life sitting in a cubicle or attending boring corporate meetings when they can rather travel and explore the beauty of this world. It is because of money. People think they cannot travel if they don’t have regular money inflow. Though it’s a different story that most people don’t accept it and end up saying, or perhaps believing, that it is the family responsibilities that is stopping them. And what responsibilities? “Of earning money”; or “of taking care of their family, by earning money”. So believe it or not, it all comes down to money. Because most of us are not aware of the fact that it does not take an overwhelming amount of money to travel. Though of course, travelling is not something that can be done for free, and every aspect of travelling — from booking a hotel to eating the morning breakfast — requires money. But those having some experience in travelling must …

How Solo Travelling Is Better

People have been solo travelling the world for decades – chasing the unknown, all under the company of their own solitude. There is some excitement in it. Some addiction. Feeling a bout of the jitters while planning where to head next, without having anyone to hold you back or someone to count on, is a kind of adventure in itself! I remember the first time I travelled on my own, I had no intention of doing it. I was desperately looking for a partner – calling, texting everyone I knew, hoping someone would tag along. But I found no one. It seemed everyone was busy sorting out their lives, or perhaps saving their holiday to celebrate the new year at the crowded beaches of Goa. To hell with, I had to leave alone. And I think it was the best thing that happened to me. No, I am not saying it out of ego. I am saying it because that’s how I got into solo travelling – out of helplessness. And as I completed one solo journey, …

McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala: A Land That Speaks The Language Of Friendliness And Peace

I feel that a trip has been successful when I come back sounding strange, even to myself. When I know that in some sense I’ve lost a part of me and I remain unsettled, upon my return, with what I’ve seen or experienced. We travel the most when we learn something new. And we learn when we come to a place full of stories and inspiration. What we find in such places is that it is the sadness that makes the sun-shine brighter, and it is the spirit of people that makes this world more beautiful. This applies to McLeod Ganj – a nondescript sleepy hamlet in the foothills of the Himalayas – in an absolute and unconditional sense. The smell of butter tea in the peewee lanes of McLeod Ganj in the chilly mornings, the sound of Buddhist prayers in Namgyal Monastery and the many friendly faces that I frequently stumbled upon, often filled me with a sudden unanswerable sense – that I’ve been to this place before. I decided to visit McLeod Ganj to experience …

Kamakhya Temple: All A Little Less Sombre Than A Stock Market

It was six in the morning, too early for the rest of the city to wake up and resume their daily chores. But those who came to visit the temple seemed all dedicated and staunched. Rising early and reserving a good place in its long, never-ending queues was the only solution to pay the ‘goddess of Desire’ a visit. The many souvenir and prasad shops, spread as far as 400 meters outside its premises, were already up and running – bidding hard for yet another business day. Inside, many devotees indulged in their challenging gamut with pujaris, trying to negotiate a price for a personalised puja. Once they’re done with it, what awaits is yet another task of buying an express entry ticket which guarantees a quick tour inside Kamakhya Temple – one of India’s most sacred sites.   This is how I found Kamakhya Temple – dedicatedly staring into a financial abyss, experimenting with the country’s admirable religious tolerance every minute. And yet it lures the devotees from as far afield as southern India or the …

Hi! I am Dev, a New Delhi, India, based travel writer/photographer. I’ve been travelling full-time since early 2015, and have created this website to share my experiences and help others to travel for cheaper, longer and better. Growing up in a confused and muddled neighbourhood of New Delhi, I was never a big traveller. In fact, I was so incurious about travelling, that despite living in Europe for a couple of years, I never found myself fascinated with the idea of exploring that beautiful continent. It was in 2014, I went on my first ever solo backpacking trip in the Himalayas, where I met a group of travellers. They were on indefinite leave to travel the world, and a few weeks of aimless wandering with them opened me to a world of new possibilities. I explored my own country, and its different cultures — in a way I did never before. From that moment on, I was hooked in travel. I came back home, continued my job for the next few months, saved most of the money, only to eventually quit, and hit …