Kashmir To Kanyakumari: The Diary of a Young Indian Solo Traveller

By Rutuja Bhagwat - May 14, 2018


Instagram is a wonderful place to meet like-minded souls. I have exchanged stories with so many travellers on this platform that it is overwhelming. I have met a few who do not have a house by the definition of it and keep on exploring newer locations, and a few who have left their homes forever to reside in the mountains. There are some women who travel the world solo and then some young boys, like Jony Jindal, who have covered India's one of the northern-most points (Sonamarg in Jammu and Kashmir) and the southern-most point (Kanyakumari) at the age of 19 on a long 48-day expedition. 

Jony and my conversation started with a question I had asked on my Instagram story. Since I am visiting Uttarakhand and Haryana in the month of December, I was looking for pictures of Nainital, Mussoorie, Dehradun, and Lansdowne. That's when he replied that he had visited Nainital. I went through his profile and was mesmerised by his feed. While we were still exchanging our stories, I learnt about his K2K journey and was impressed, needless to say. He further asked me if I could publish his experience on my blog and I instantly agreed.

I was in awe of this young lad from Delhi who managed his own expenses, earned money through freelance projects, and finally set himself to do something he loves the most: travelling. Taking a story from his diary, here is an account of his inspiring journey:


-----

Kashmir to Kanyakumari is not just a trip; it is an expedition where you cover more than 6,000 kilometres. It is the story of my recent journey that was 48 days long from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. I covered more than 30 destinations, travelled across more than 10,000 kilometres, made hundreds of new friends, and learned countless of important things: I learned how to face my own problems, how to manage a situation where nobody knows your language, how to change yourself according to weather, according to culture, and according to people. 

Captured on my way to Gulmarg village from Phase 1 of the Gandola ride

Before starting this long trip of 48 days, I came across many problems. Since I am 19 years old, I needed to convince my parents, which was a little bit difficult but definitely not impossible. After a short debate, finally, they agreed. Once the permission was taken, the next on my list was packing. I didn't know what to pack for this long trip. I had never been on this kind of long travel before, neither with my friends nor my family. So this was one problem I faced initially. But nevertheless, I packed my bags with some essential clothes, accessories, gadgets, and some medicines for emergencies. 

It was totally an unplanned trip. I had only booked travel tickets from New Delhi to Srinagar in advance. After reaching Srinagar, I had no clue where I was heading to next. However, on my way, I met new people, made new friends and joined them to many places. It was an unforgettable trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and I would love to go on something like this again. Here's a gist of my 48-day travel:

Places covered from Sonamarg (Kashmir) to Kanyakumari

PLACES COVERED

On my solo trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, I started with Srinagar from Delhi and then ventured out to J&K towns like Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Jammu, Katra, and then covered Punjab's Pathankot. After that, I entered Himachal Pradesh and covered Hamirpur, Palampur, Rewalsar, Prashar lake, and Mandi. Then I entered Delhi and travelled to Uttar Pradesh by touching Mathura and Vrindavan. Later I went westwards and entered Rajasthan to explore its top cities like Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Then I entered Ahmedabad in Gujarat and straightaway travelled to the Financial Capital, Mumbai. I ventured out to another Maharashtrian city Pune and then explored the hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani in the same state. Later I travelled to Goa and then jumped to Kerala directly by covering Kannur, Kochi, and Varkala. Then I entered Tamil Nadu and visited the hill station of Ooty, and then covered Coimbatore and lastly, touched the land of Kanyakumari.


ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

I am an adventurous guy so I sought every opportunity to get my adrenaline spinning. Here are some top adventure activities I was a part of:

  • Snow skiing in Sonamarg and Gulmarg
  • Snow trekking in Gulmarg
  • Trek to Prashar lake, Mandi
  • Camping and a short trek in Pushkar
  • Desert safari in Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer
  • Camel ride in the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer
  • Desert parasailing in Jaisalmer
  • Horse riding in Mahabaleshwar
  • Scuba diving in Goa

My first-time underwater: Scuba diving in Goa

NEW THINGS TRIED

I tried an array of new things on my trip:

Hitchhiking: I had hitchhiked before in Uttarakhand, Nepal, and Haryana but on this trip, I hitchhiked newly in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharastra, and Kerala. 

Couchsurfing: I had never tried couch-surfing before. I stayed for free through Couchsurfing in Pune with a local Maharashtrian family for two days and then again in Kannur for a day, with a local Malayalee family. 

Local cuisine: I am a foodie and tried the best of Indian cuisine. From lugdi (delicious authentic rice beer) in Himachal Pradesh to soulful South Indian dishes like dosa, idli, sambhar in southern India, I  made sure to catch Gujarat's jalebi, fafda, and thepla, and the savoury dish of dal baati churma in Rajasthan.

Traditional dresses: I thought of trying out traditional attires according to the region and preferred them over my usual t-shirt and denim. So I draped myself in local dresses wherever I went. I tried the beautifully embroidered phiran in Kashmir and the classic kurta-lungi attire in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

On a sunny day in Tamil Nadu; posing in front of the Ooty Lake

ABOUT ME

I am Nomadic Jony aka Jony Jindal, a 19-year-old Travel Blogger, Vlogger, and Photographer who has travelled more than 50,000 km solo. I love to explore new places every day.

Read full story here

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

0 comments