There is a predestined time and place for everything and it was to be at 1645 hrs on Sep 7, 2014 at The Lodi Gardens, New Delhi. After years of procrastination by the so called curators and editors of Ghumakkar.com, one gentle soul decided that enough was enough and threw open the party. Vipin Gaur, in the garb of celebrating a fellow Ghumakkar SlientSoul‘s India coming, created an event and before anyone knew it, it was buzzing with Ghumakkars all around.
On a sultry evening, amid the dripping greens of Lodi Gardens, Ghumakkars demonstrated substantial bravery to put up a good show of camaraderie and brotherhood. Amid the friendly banter, a lot of people got to connect names to faces while enjoying the generously brought delicacies. Before I share more on the audience, let’s first talk briefly about the weather. On the muggy September afternoon, one could almost feel like being trapped in a pressure cooker. Some of us put the blame on two stalwarts viz. Nirdesh Singh, which as per the hearsay, makes one believe that he disappeared from the scene along with the Rain God, here in after referred to as Varun, and the second, not a bit less than Nirdesh, is Sushant Singhal who traveled along with thousand other people from Sahranpur and he stalked on Varun for close to a week. He put so much pressure within the social media space that there was no pressure left for the atmosphere and one could almost float in the moisture-laden ether. But then, who has stopped us Ghumakkars who if you read more about their individual travels, you’d know how incorrigible they are.
More than 20 Ghumakkars braved it. Tridev Sir and Silentsoul played the role of Sutradhars and helped us introduce each other. Apart from Sushant who came all the way from Saharanpur, the spirit of whom we salute from the bottom of our hearts, Naresh Sehgal joined us all the way from Ambala. As people started to gather, it was difficult to grasp so much warmth in that little a space. I would let the attendees talk more via ‘Comments’ section of this post. For me, it was an overwhelming experience. We didn’t talk a lot but somehow it feels that the connect and bond has suddenly grown much stronger. The first meet was a beginning and I do hope that it carries on, in smaller or bigger way, in different seasons, in various setups and in various cities and tahsheels and mohallas. It need not be bound by the fact that whether someone is writing on Ghumakkar.com or not, but by the sheer heady spirit of traveling. I would take this opportunity yet again to mention that traveling builds tolerance and tolerance builds peace.
Welcome our new authors
If you think that I have already not gotten carried away then please risk reading on further. Moving forward, please take a pause and welcome our new authors. The first one is Govind, who goes by the name of ‘Ramta Jogi’. His first log was this whirlwind trip of Rajasthan (http://www.ghumakkar.com/sheer-drive-to-rajasthan-jodhpurudaipur-jaisalmer-in-4-days/) where he spent more time on the road and less time at the destination. Govind truly symbolises the saying that “Journey is the destination”.
Our second fresh author is Pamela Mukherjee. She took us to the hills of Himachal (http://www.ghumakkar.com/chiller-chilling-summer-trip-dharamsala-dalhousie-khajjiar/) and in her own words, she is “Visionary, dreamer. Creative Thinker. Writing, reader, I like to try and tell my own stories. I am my own biggest critic. By profession into Media, PR, MARCOM. Love to travel, want to share my experience with my friends, with the reader, those who want to explore the mileage with adopting mind. The smell of the new region, the culture & want to be united with new people & new surroundings.”. Welcome aboard Pamela. We hope to read more from you.
Quick round up of travel stories in September 14
And now is the time to share about the places we all went to, something I alluded before. Before we do that, let me take a quick commercial break. I wanted to share about this new product called CupoNation. All wise travellers are aware about travel deals and coupons are the most preferred way of realising those deals and discounts. So when you travel next via road, try this Redbus coupons from Cuponation and save some money. Last I checked, they seem to have a rich collection of coupons, all waiting to be exercised.
So now the places we all visited early this month. We went to Amritsar, Manali, Lansdowne, Bikaner, Chail, Rishikesh, Rothang, Chandigarh, Matheran and a few more places one more time. And while it was a second or a third time, each log tells us something new. It is like watching a well-made movie which appears fresh and interesting every time you watch it. Just the other day, someone commented on Mukesh’s series on Himachal. To quote the comment(or) said
“मुकेश जी मैं घुमाक्कर.कॉम पर नया हु. अभी तक आपके दो यात्रा वृतांत पढ़े है दोनों ही बेहद शानदार लगे आपकी उत्कृष्ट लेखन शैली से मैं बहुत प्रभावित हुआ हूँ. मैं भी अभी मार्च २०१४ में अधूरी जानकारी और अधूरी तैयारी के साथ मनाली और मणिकर्ण गया था. आपका आपका लेख पढ़कर यादे ताजा हो आई. मैं मनाली और मणिकर्ण तो घूमकर आ गया लेकिन इनके बारे में जितनी जानकारी आपकी पोस्ट से मिली है वहां घूमकर नहीं मिल पायी थी. पुरानी यादे ताजा कराने के लिए आपका धन्यवाद.”
Source – http://www.ghumakkar.com/मणिकर्ण/
Some of these logs gives us a new perspective and that makes me remember Jaishree’s log on Matheran. Our mariner Naman did a fabulous series on Andamans and if you have not read it, then do yourself a sweet favor and go through the whole series. It is lovingly told and factually detailed with a ‘Did you Know’ kind of school-trick thrown in.
Among the international destinations, all of us enjoyed the Kenyan Safari. It seemed as of all the animals have come to meet Mayura, who took us on this special safari. Jaishree’s hike to Montellegro and Rohit’s ride to beaches close to London, were a highlight. But the month belonged to a duo. Both are accomplished travellers and honest writers. Naresh Sehgal and Anupam Chakraborty took us to the grand Amarnath Pilgrimage, step by step, via two different routes, almost back to back. While the former’s log was in Hindi , the latter’s was in English. In the holy month of Saavan, we honestly could not have asked for more. And for the first time, the whole editorial team was unanimous in selecting both the stories as the ‘Ghumakkar Featured Story of September 2014’. Congratulations Anupam, Congratulations Naresh. A big thank you from our side and we hope to continue to travel with you.
Featured Story of Sep 14
Here is an excerpt and a picture from Naresh’s log
अमरनाथ यात्रा के लिए पहला बेस कैंप जम्मू में ही है जहाँ से यात्रियों के लिए बालटाल व पहलगाम के लिए बसें और छोटे वाहन मिलते हैं। यह बेस कैंप भगवती नगर में है। इसे यात्री निवास भी कहते हैं यह काफी बड़ा बना हुआ है और एक साथ दो हजार यात्री यहाँ ठहर सकतें हैं। यात्री निवास के अंदर ही स्टेट रोडवेज़ काउंटर , मेडिकल सेंटर तथा एक कैंटीन भी है। यहाँ वो ही यात्री पहुँचते हैं जो जम्मू तक बस या ट्रेन से आते हैं और उनको बालटाल व पहलगाम के लिए बसें और छोटे वाहन यहॉ से मिल जाते हैं । अपने वाहनो से आने वालों को यहाँ आने की कोई आवश्यकता नही, वो सीधा उधमपुर के लिये निकल सकते हैं । रेलवे स्टेशन से भगवती नगर की दुरी लगभग चार किलोमीटर है और बस स्टैंड से लगभग दो किलोमीटर है. वहां जाने के लिए दोनों जगह से सीधे ऑटो भी मिल जातें हैं।
You can read the whole log here – http://www.ghumakkar.com/अमरनाथ-यात्रा-2014-amarnath-pilgrimage-प्रथम-भ/
And here is an excerpt from Anupam’s log
It would be my second journey to the holy cave. I wanted to undertake the yatra though the traditional Pahalgam route. It is the route Lord Shiva chose to reach the Cave. This route would remind me of the Journey of Swami Vivekananda. The experience of my last journey in 2011 was not fulfilling as the Ice-Lingam melted early and I was not fortunate to have the Darshan. So, for this year, with my finger crossed, I wanted to get yatra permit of an early date. At last breathed easy, I got the yatra permit of 09.07.2014 for me and my two friends. We were then waiting! waiting! And waiting! to start of the Yatra for the year from 28.06.2014.
You can read the whole story here –
Apart from these two jewels, we also published a ‘Ghumakkar Insights’ story this month. Our vigilante Anupam, writes this thoughtful log on being a responsible and active traveller. It all started with a small email exchange between us and Anupam and it grew into a rich, useful Insight article on how we need to act more to ensure a safe travel for everyone.
To quote from the story
Before I write what went wrong during the yatra, let me share with you a little piece of information. In the year 2012, expressing shock over growing number of Amarnath pilgrims’ death, which went over 100, the Supreme Court observed, “We are worried and want to ensure that no more deaths are caused.” Thereafter, a committee was set up and as per its recommendation the age criteria for pilgrimage was fixed as children not below the age of 13 years and persons not above the age of 75 years to undertake the Amarnathji Yatra. However, there were other recommendations too. Amarnath pilgrimage ended on that year with a record death toll. How sad was that!
and here is the link of the complete story –
If you want to read other insights, you can do so by clicking here. But keep some time handy since it is a really a treasure trove of useful information – http://www.ghumakkar.com/category/insights/
And that takes us to the end of our September 2014 Ghumakkar Digest.
With salutations to the new and old authors and readers, I close this digest with the rekindled joy of meeting some of you, hoping to meet hopefully all of you. Wishing everyone a joyous, prosperous and blissful festive season. May the sweet smell of October flowers fill your homes and travel all round the year.