I am traveling entire India without Single money! yes, you read it right. I am on a hitchhiking trip to India and its been over month. Let me share my story from the beginning.
For some people, traveling is a dream that’s left untouched and for a select few, it’s a way of life! I have been long planning for something as adventurous as hitchhiking through India and finally, I had managed to pack my bags and embark upon a journey that will change my life forever. Like every middle class Indian traveler with great aspirations, I too have always been encouraged to make my own mark. The only problem, which I also believe to be common to most of us, is the paucity of funds! Well, when your goals become your passion, there’s nothing that will stop you. This would be a trip that wouldn’t cost me a single rupee. I will be hitchhiking, go without food, sleep on highways and depend on the land and its people to take me forward. The encouragement I received from fellow solo travelers will certainly go a long way in being victorious in the challenge I have for myself.
Traveling across 10 Indian states without a single rupee hasn’t been an idea that was born out of the blue. As long as I can remember, I had been taking up small traveling trips to as many places as I could. Apart from the joy of being in a new place, what’s has been more inspiring is the people that I have come across. Recently in Amritsar, I met this Punjabi uncle who came forward to help me just for the sake of helping a fellow human being. Experiences like these had made me surer about the trip I was going to embark upon. I was going to get help and I am destined to do what I love – I just have to keep on going!
My bags were packed with the bare essentials. Since, I will need to do a lot of walking, it was always better to keep things light. The only essentials were my dresses, my phone that connects me with fellow travelers and helps me find hosts and my camera (a recently brought Canon EOS 1300D) that helps me capture those beautiful memories I make on the way.
The journey started on the 3rd of February at Allahabad Railway Station. We were two people (Vipul Shukla and me, Ansh Mishra - bros!) who would be helping each other make the journey. We would be breaking our journey at Kanpur and Aligarh before finally reaching our first destination – Delhi! As usual, we didn’t go for a ticket but would try to manage get lift on the train to Kanpur (hope the TT doesn’t fine us)! And if you thought that wasn’t possible, think again. We befriended a railway post guard staff (Mr. Srivastava) who invited is into his coach and we spent one of the best nights of our trip. He fed us with self-made tea, biscuits, and even the parathas he got from his home. India is full of people like him and this trip is about exploring the same culture that unites us.
For the 2 days of our journey to Delhi, we were taken care of by Mr. Srivastava. In exchange, we had some hearty talks, shared our common interests and talked about our dreams. The last leg of Day 2 took us to our destination, the capital of this great nation. From the Delhi Railway Station, we made our way to the Yamuna Expressway where we hoped to hitch a ride to Mathura. The 180 kilometers of journey between Delhi and Mathura was made through 5 lifts and several kilometers on foot. We hitched on good trucks (Mr. Rajendra), tractors (Mr. Raju), another Goods truck (Mr. Shyam who was surprisingly from Pratapgarh, UP), and an ambulance and another mini truck (Mr. Dinesh). Each one of our saviors was men of soul and helped us without any expectations. The last man, Mr. Dinesh, who dropped us till destination even offered us enough food that should last us another day! The last 10 kilometers to Mathura was made on foot and as you guessed it, we were too tired to continue more for the day. Luckily for us, we found a Gurudwara near the Holi Gate of Mathura and there was food and shelter for as long as we wanted.
In Mathura, we visited the Iskon Temple at Vrindavan, the Prem Mandir Temple, the famous Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and many more. We had started our day with a serving of Prasad and tea from the Gurudwara. Now, entering the Lord Krishna temple requires you to put your luggage in a locker and pray free handed. We didn’t have any money for lockers but this time, we were helped by a generous police officer who brought us the ticket to a locker and we were able to say our prayers. In our trip in Mathura Vrindavan, we hitched around 7 rides, most of which were approached by free spirited locals. This also included a 12 year old kid who was driving an e-rickshaw that day since his father had met an accident and wasn’t able to come to work. We prayed for his success and the speedy recovery of his father. In spite of all the troubles, these are people who come forward to help you – this is what we call as India!
Our next stop was Agra and became a part of many more families who helped us reach our destination. It was sad time for me personally as Vipul got sick and returned back to home but i decided to continue till last destination with same zeal & confidence even being as single traveler. We spent around 2 more days in Agra before heading for our next stop – Rajasthan. We would be covering several places including Bharatpur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Mount Abu and Banswara. Or our first stop at Jaipur, we again got a lift from the Runakta Highway and it was a glorious journey. The truck driver even fed us one of the most delicious foods we have had in a while. At Jaipur, we were awaited by my friend and brother, Mr. Manohar Meena. It was 14th of February, Valentine’s Day, but we were already feeling the most loved people in this country. A stranger named Jagadish from Dausa City was now Jaggu for us and he was another example of such a person who showered kindness without any expectations. During our 4 days of stay n Jaipur, we visited the Jal Mahal, Jaipur Fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Chandpol and Water Trade Park.
The next stop for us will be Ajmer!
(to be continue....)
After covering 3 states, I reached Ahmadabad in Gujarat on 4th March 2017. Its almost one month wherein I am enjoying my life with several message / motive for all Indian or fellow solo travelers who love to explore anywhere but bond with lack of time or money.
Yeah, I have faced so many challenges, difficulties during these last one month. I did not get any food for almost 40 hrs, slept on highways in truck, walked a lot at late night around 1:00 AM to find a safe place to sleep are few of them. On the other side, I am happy to face those moments to get reality of traveling life, to understand people, to indemnify a community, to get inspire for your own life and to motivate all others travelers.
Hitch Hiking - Basically known as taking lift from one place to another place and moved on to other city from any stranger. There are several tips to get easy lift from national highway or local crowd. I will keep updating this travelogue with tips and the latest updates from my hitch hiking trip in India.
My current location is: Rajkot (Gujarat)
Finally Reached Rajkot, Gujarat today 6th March 2017 and will be staying here few days as they don't want to let me go. Crazy loving caring people. Here is one incident I want to share with you.
You never know when you can change from your inner heart.
I were trying to find lift to Rajkot at National Highway. Waited almost 1 hrs to get a lift for at least few KM so that I can cover my destination. It was too hot as Its March month now. Finally I found a truck driver who was bit busy to have some Sigar.
I asked him - hey dear will you be heading to Rajkot. He said Why?
I asked him simply no - nothing just need a lift till Rajkot if you are conformable. He asked - Dont you have money?
I smiled & replied Yes - I Don't have as I'm traveling Entire India without single money. He was looking around me to understand - is it so?
He asked again - Are you serious? You don't look like that -You don't have money. I smiled again and asked politely - is it fine to get a lift till Rajkot.
Finally He Said - Yes, Lets Go.
Now let me tell you twist: He has been engaged with several bad activity, some crime, smoking, few other activity in his past life. Now he has been changed, He is working hard, He is earning good money with his inner heart & hard working. He is a good guy, taking care of his entire family with his positive approach. He left all those activity since long time. Now he would like to smile, he would love to engage himself with positive environment.
Best moment for me: He asked more than 10 times; would you like to have some food/tea/Snacks. Asked for fruits. Offered water during our traveling. Finally he was trying to give me 100 Rs, for taxi fare for next destination. I smiled and refused with lots of love.
I know he love to be like smiling & to see people like same way. So why not, We are.
#Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara- Now i can say & repeat this statement more & more.
What a warm welcome from this entire family leading by respected beloved Sanjay Kapadia Sir & His cute Son Kahan Kapadia & whole family.
Started my day from Ahmadabad to Rajkot, Gujarat at the morning. Initially it was not easy to get lift as people were busy to reach at their office due to Monday time. However I tried & managed myself to cover some distance of few KMs by walking without any lift. Thanks to few bike rider who lifted me for few KM to come out from central place of the Ahmedabad and now I was on the highway towards Rajkot. Again it was very hard to get lift on Highway and due to heat, it was even worst. I controlled my emotion, my pain, my sadness, my tiredness during travel & asked myself- Ansh - Are you really Ok? I smiled and started again.
Walked almost 8 KM without any lift, luckily lifted by a Dumper driver who was going till Limbadi which is around 100KM from Ahmedabad enroute to Rajkot. Video has been already shared with him on my facebook account. I reached Limbadi within one and half hour and again lifted by one goods career vehicle which drooped me till Rajkot entry point which is known as greenland chokadi.
Now - It was first day in Rajkot, Gujarat - received by Sanjay Kapadia sir, we linked to each other through CS before 2-3 days only wherein he was interested to hear out my traveling story & my entire journey. Now first step what I did from my inner heart that, I get blessed by his mother blessings with sweet smile. WOW what a family, they were eagerly waiting for me with variety of dishes just for me. Seems like I'm in wedding party. HEHEHEHE
Kahan Kapadia Oh how cute, started serving all dishes with his sweetness. made by Sanjay Kapadia sir's cute wife with lots of effort, emotion, & love while welcoming in her home. Now see smile of each face after having my most FAVORITE dish of Kathiyavadi food includes Rotlo & Sabji with buttermilk, Yummy.
They don't want to sleep just because of to hear my story.
UFFFFFFFF - Fall in Love Rajkot, Gujarat -
Getting many calls to meetup with local Rajkot, Gujarat people. See you all in morning. I will share more amazing stories from Rajkot as soon as I get some time to compile the same.
Going to Dwarka - the Holy city of India (10th March 2017)
Missing you all Rajkot heart. Enjoyed best moment of life in Rajkot during 5 day's.Emotional moment for me now while leaving all my beloved here but as per my trip, I will have to move on. Dwarka is around 240KM from here and luckily got direct lift till Jamnagar who not only gave me lift but also provided delicious food. Here is my recent trip from Dwarka temple with Pujari.
Story Time: 12th -13th March
would you mind or love to stay all around with your age gap generation? It was not easy to roam around in Dwarka until I met two soft heart persons named of 1: Mr. Jaydeep who was the first person who helped me in Dwarka and 2: Mr. Shantilal - Owner, MD, Cruise line in Dwarka.
Let me share about him and my journey. First of all let me thanks to Mr. Author who helped me to get introduced with Shantilal sir.
Mr. Shantilal - First thing which i like most in him that you will never miss chance to see him as smiling person of this cosmos even in any situation which helped me a lot to boost myself during this adventure. Luckily I have been hosted by this person for 2 night with his beloved wife. He has traveled almost 20-30 country till now with unlimited travel story.
First question which he asked : Ansh- Have you taken any food till now? HEHEHEH seems like my own parents.
It was not expected for them to share their own room for such a stranger however still they managed and offered me his personal bedroom and asked me to take full rest without any hesitation. I have been served delicious Gujrati flavor dish during dinner time which is home cooked by his wife. The most exciting part that we did chit chat till late night 2 AM as he loved to share his entire travel journey and all mix of emotions. Finally I woke up and started my day with his ship, team, staff and went out for first sea adventure. photos, videos has been already shared.
It was like I'm the king of his boat and taking order, giving order. We enjoyed a lot till afternoon and came back to home. Finally he dropped me till National Highway to Porbandar on 13th March which was as a Holi day in India.
Are you still worried for tomorrow? Are you still thinking for tomorrow? Enjoying Holi from Shree Krishna Nagri and playing Garba with the local is definitely a great experience to have. Here is the glimpse from my celebration from Dwarka.
Story Time : 13th March - Way to Porbandar :
It was hard time to keep traveling without any food. I decided not to stop after drop out by Tuk Tuk. Hence started walking with my heavy backpack. It was too hot. Tried to stop few car but did not get any lift from any of them. May be its in my destiny now that I have to walk for few KM first then get a lift. Same happened again and lifted by 4 friends with 2 bikes as they were roaming around due to Holi celebration and decided to hangout and lunch on Local dhaba.
Prakash and Bharat who are friends who lifted me and asked - What happened? are you Indian or foreigners ? HEHEHHE most of people think while looking at my backpack and dressing style. I smiled as usually I do and replied with politeness and made them satisfied with answer of each question. They amazed & took initiative to know more about my travel story that how can I travel without single money in India.
HAHAHAHAHA - They were in full mood due to festive day still asked me hey bro- lets have lunch with us so that we can sped more time with you. I appreciated and accepted their humble nature with delicious food on this memorable table. Finally they dropped me till Porbandar outer highway as they were going to enjoy their evening at specific location near Porbandar beach.
We hugged each other, got emotional due to their colorful faces and left with promise keep in touch for entire life.
Story Time: 13th March - In Porbandar City.
What a coincident I should call or lucky day, or First bad decision of my this journey. Luckily I reached in Porbandar city - at Kirti Mandir, the Birth Place of Mahatma Gandhi. at 2:45 PM spent around 45 minutes there. (Photos, videos has been already shared for same). I was not sure to get a proper host there hence I decided to leave Porbandar at moment and try to move on to Madhavpur - Mocha or Junagadh.
Again it was bit challenge for me to move any of those places as there were no hosting. No one known for me. I took a strong decision and decided to move on to Junagadh which was almost 120 KM from Porbandar without having any confirmed hosting.
It was the day when i felt helpless again and started roaming without any thought. No lift till 8 KM due to Holi festive. I got noticed by few street Dog (8-9 in count due to my backpack). Tried to keep safe myself and moved on through my zeal, confidence, motive of travel and smiling face. Lifted by one bike till National highway (Only 1 KM) as he came out of home to purchase something. Started walking till 2 KM and noticed by again one TUK TUK and dropped by him till Toll plaza.
Hot, pain, scare, alone, loneliness, no host, no food, no tea, no money, no known person, no fix destination- this is all what i were keeping in my mind during that day. Lifted by one tractor for 2 KM again. Now it was the moment when everything got changed. A person with brand new car (Seems just purchase from showroom HEHEHE) stopped his car and smiled while saying lets come even without asking that what happened? why are you standing like this?
Asked to keep my backpack on backside of car and have a seat with proper breath, rest. I just asked myself is he really stranger for me? or known as given lift without asking anything? taking care for me without knowing each other? Finally we started out conversation and i shared all about me and my travel. I thought i got lift for at least 40-50 KM so that i can cover my destination on asap. But it was again bad news for me to hear out that he was just going to his farmhouse which is only 4-5 KM from that place. :(
Turning Point: He dropped me and asked are you sure that you will be able to reach Junagadh as no transportation due to Holi day. I was confused and not in position to say anything still said I'll try. He left me while taking my number. I waited for almost 15 minutes and did not find any lift. (Already shared video of that moment in previous post). Sudden noticed one horn sound from back side - AHHHHHHHHH
Wow again He turned up and asked to take a safe stay at his farm house tonight and leave tomorrow to Junagadh as its too late. I smiled with long breath and went to his farm House.
2nd Turning Point: He is having his farm house in outer side of Porbandar city which is 25 Km away from his home. After a long funny, personal conversation he decided to lift me in his home with his entire family. It was best moment for me when they opened their door and sudden matched my face with today Gujrat Smachar news paper tag line about me and my travel life.
They got shocked, smiled, hug me and offered guest room, tea, special hangout on Porbandar chowpati (Beach at late night ) and fine dinner of my Most fav Dish so called Dosa. Not only this- He called one of his Friend and requested to drop me till Junagadh by Car at early morning on 14th March. AAHHHH I'm emotional now while writing & recalling all this moment.
Now I'll let you know who is he: Popular personality of Porbandar city. Mr. Manu bhai an Electrical Engineer - Government Mayer of Porbandar city. Everybody know him.
Love you sir & your entire family. Missing you all.
Stay tuned for more updates from Junagadh
Do you really love adventure? Do you really ready to take challenge? Do you really want to hit Girnar one time in your life? AHHH but what would be if I say that I made a record in India to reach out Junagadh Girnar 20000 (10000+10000 UP & Down) step in 6 hrs even without single money during my hitch hiking trip as traveling entire India without single money since 3rd Feb. Here is one of my click from the Gorakhnath sikhar just before you start going towards Datatrya pick, the last but very difficult point when you climb Girnar parvat in Junagadh.
Yeah you read it right, Finally I made it with lots of courage, effort, belief & all of your support & blessings. Even I cant believe that I did it. Well don't know about tomorrow, health, pain, fiver whatever i would have but at last can take a breath of success for this achievement in my 28 years life. Too much tired, too much paining, too much laziness now. Even faced so many challenges for accommodation after covering this which will write & share later as too tired now.
17th March Junagadh to Viraval-Somnath –Una- Story Time:
Started my day at early morning 6:30 AM. Walked around 1 KM then got lift from one bike name of Mr. Chetan Junagadh who took me in his home and offered breakfast tea, 2 roti and one papad along with meetup with his entire family. Finally he dropped me till bypass – Viraval-Junagadh and went for his office.
As I have been informed to wait for direct lift till Viraval by Naresh sir from Rajkot as his office Inova was supposed to come at 8:30 AM but I reached there before 1:30 Hrs hence I decided to move on by own lift. I started roaming almost few moments luckily got 1 lift from a guy name of Dhirubhai (We laughed a lot due to his name knows as Dhirubhayi ambani heheh). He dropped and eager to take my photo as selfie while knowing about me- (Aah I felt like im celebrity hehehe ).
Finally walked again for few moment and lifted by one Uncle for 4-5 KM and dropped by him with sweet smile and my thanks to him. (Unable to take his photo as he was getting late.). Seems it was best day for me as got direct lift till Keshod almost 40 KM from one police man name of Satish who is rom Junagadh but his posting at Keshod. So we walked about local people, my travel story, got chance to see long mango garden, had lots of funny talk and offered Tea & even asked for breakfast which I denied.
Finally he dropped me till Bpas of Keshod & Viraval. It was again lucky moment as got direct lift till Viraval somnath gate from a truck driver name of Data who was going till Bhavnagar. He was very devotional person and shared about his family. Best part of him that he taken my phone and talked with my mom almost 10 minutes to make her comfort that Im in safe hand, safe state and with safe people. Hehehe very emotional and caring person for me. We had tea and started again our journey and reached at 10:00 AM at Somnath.
We exchange our number before leaving. He was trying to give me 20 rs as taxi fare for 2 km but I denied to take same as I don’t. Finally I have been informed that I’ll get one room at Somnath in Goswami Bhawan Dharmshala which is sponsor by Hitesh giri sir from Rajkot. Hence Gajendrabhayi (Taking care of that Bhawan came to pick me at highway Sakh Gate).
Finally I got fresh room and took shower and got ready for Somnath Darshan. As it was best moment 11:30 Am to have Darshan with aarti time. Spent almost 2 hrs there and clicked few moments there. Decided to leave to Diu as there was no mean to stay for whole night in somnah. It was not sure to where to head. Luckily got call from Naresh sir from Rajkot that if I can reach till Una which is 15 KM before from Diu then I can get one hosting there in farm house of his Friend name of Mr. Jignesh who is staying in Ahemdabad but his native place and village is in Amodra (5KM from Una city).
Hence I decided to leave somnath at moment. It was again shocking for me to know that I have been invited for Lunch from mr. Hiteshbhayi who is local from Viraval somnath – at Sukh Restaurant –Friend of Mr. Naresh sir(Rajkot). I had full lunch Paneer butter mashala, nan roti, plane rice papad lassi salad.
Taken 30 minutes rest & started to travel again. Walked almost 500 M and got one bike lift till 500 M only. Had word about my travel with bye words. Finally tried to stop several truck, car to get lift but failed as they were asking for money & left without lift. Tried again and one truck lifted me till Kodinar Highway almost close to una around 60 KM with one tea, talk, discussion about truck driver life. Started walking for 500 M and tried to stop several vehicles but failed again lifted by one career goods till Una bus station.
Finally picked by Rakesh who is brother of Jignesh sir till his farm house wherein got chance to saw forest, lion foot print, had 2 nariyal pani, exploded his farm house, and finally came back to his home in village. Had faithful, lovely talk with his Mother, father, and wife all family with full pet dinner hhehehe.
Story time : Una- Diu-Diary : moment of the Day.
Do you really love to make Friends? You would wonder if I say that yeah I do too but not only in same age group. What I got from them? - Lets read out:
I met with these two heart since yesterday- From Right, Mr. AAJA who is an uncle of Mr. Jignesh & Mr. Rakesh sir who helped me to host and roam around Una. I will write about them in next story. Let me tell you about Aajabhai. What a lovely heart. He don't know hindi. I don't know Gujrati.
But you can't believe that we both can understand to each other even every single talk what we did since yesterday. He is enjoying more than me my company and ready to stay whole night with his funny talk, smiling mood, care for my upcoming journey. Spent whole day with me. We went out to meet local people of his village, his family, his farm house. Now he tried alsmost everyone to cross check that if they are available in thier location to help me out.
Aaahahh he made me cry at late evening once he called us and asked - Can I come for chit chat with Ansh after dinner time as he don't want let me go tomorrow morning. Love you My heart Friend's. Aaja , Rakesh.
Let me start first with special thanks to Mr. Jignesh sir and Mr. Rakesh sir for giving me chance to spent such quality time with such caring, soft, happy family. It was not possible without gentle and warm welcome by Rakesh Bhai who is Brother of Jignesh Sir. I was planning to Head till Diu directly from Viraval Somnath without any confirmed hosting there. Luckily got chance to meet this family at Una which is 15 KM from Diu.
I spent 3 night 4 days here with lots of memory, meetup, bunch of smile, unlimited Care from sweet Dadi--- Ufffff I wish I could hug her again and again.Rakesh Bro and his wife treated me like I'm their kid. Had motivational talk with his father too. We roamed around his entire village, met with his entire Big family, My sweet heart uncle Mr. Aaja. Had horse riding, Bailgadi riding, delicious home made Food, natural air conditions at his farm house, Special Nariyal pani so called Tropa in Gujrat.
26th March Surat
It was tough call, memorable day to reach surat on 26th March.
Passed through all possible trouble, no lift for almost 8:00 hrs, No Food since 24 hrs (As got something to eat at 11:00 AM today 27th March by Harsh from Surat), walked around more than 15 KM to reach Surat Railway station at late night. No shelter since 26 hrs. Got more than 40 calls, messages, Whatsp for hosting since early morning but finally lifted by 3 soft heart- 1:Harsh offered Food, 2: Mihir - Allowed for shower-Fresh up & Juice. 3: harshad Sir offered roof at 3PM in his Home for overnight stay with softness.
What i learn from all of this - that we should not give-up at any stage. Do not let down your moral part. Believe on yourself. Never aspect anything at-least if you don't have to give. (Reality of life). Keep respect to those as well who was not able to support may be just because of some circumstances, and show your gesture to those who came upfront to welcome you as you are.
Just had an exclusive Media Interview with Divy Bhaskar Gujrat in Surat. (In Picture).
PS: Leaving Surat by tomorrow & will be heading to Nashik or Mumbai and will enter in Maharashtra.
If you know someone there pls do let me know or share this post for hosting me there.