A Travellerspoint blog

January 2019

Overland through India in 42 Days.

From the Himalaya's to Cape Comolin by train, on foot, by car, autorickshaw, bamboo raft and a Royal Enfield motorbike - What an Adventure, What an Odyssey !

sunny 38 °C

Its the end of my Great Adventure in India. I have travelled from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin. by train, on foot, by car, in a auto rickshaw, on a bamboo raft, in a boat and on a Royal Enfield motorbike - What an Adventure !

After seeing the sunset and and sunrise at Cape Comolin, I dipped my feet in the three oceans, the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. This was a symbolic act, marking a very significant moment, end point to my trip. I then returned to Thiruvilla and spent two nights in the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in the Backwaters of Kerala, to relax and reflect on my incredible adventure, overland through India from the Himalaya's in the north to Cape Comolin, the southern most tip of India.

Highlights, there have been many. The trekking in the high Western Himalayas. My journey from Manali into Lahaul on a Royal Enfield motorbike, on one of the world's great motorbike journeys, over the Rohtang and up to Zingzingbar. My five days exploring Periyar Tiger Reserve. Finally reaching Cape Comolin, the very southern most point of India. Meeting with the King of Kerala, the Maharajah of Tranvancore. Seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise and sunset. My journey exploring the Golden Triangle , Agra, Jaipur and Amritsar. I have met so many interesting people on this trip, often in the most unexpected places. Few countries in the world have carved such a deep, profound and lasting impression on me.
My experiences in India will be life long.

The people I met throughout my journey were genuinely kind and hospitable. The places I visited and journeyed through were amazing. From the remote Himalayan mountains and valleys, the lush green plains of the Punjab, Periyar Tiger Reserve, the desert of Rajasthan. The iconic sights of the Golden Temple, the Taj Mahal, the Dalai Lama residence and the Namgyal Monastery at McLeodgnu in Northern Himachel, Wagha Border Crossing in the Northern Punjab.

The food alone was a reason to visit India. Travelling through India from the Himalaya's, south, each region had its own distinctive flavours and dishes. Mixed spices were in all dishes, giving a range of flavours. Rice was always the basis of meals in the south and east, whilst wheat, nuts, fruit and lentils, were typical of northern dishes. Southern India used fish, North India used meat. Vegetables were used throughout India, and often as the main meal. I have to say that I was almost vegetarian throughout my journey...I was never ill from food !

Food was very much part of the journey and experiences throughout India, it was a time to meet other people, to relax, to eat in unexpected places and be part of the rich Indian culture. For example being invited into the Guru Ram Das Sarcu Dining hall in the Golden Temple of Amritsa and sit down with hundreds of Sikhs and eat a simple meal, in a welcoming and friendly way, or eating a simple omelette in a small village, high in the Himalaya or a fine fish curry Kanniyakumari in the south.

Religion and spirituality was integral with every day life in India, practised with public ritual in a temple, to private devotion at a small shrine high in the Himalaya, all with peace and quiet or noise and colour, the length and breadth of India. Throughout my journey I observed the rituals and practice of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Christian faiths...I felt very privileged.

I left my base at Thiruvilla yesterday for Cochin, were I would spend my last night in India before flying home via Dubai, the hub of the planet. I am a bit behind with my Blog and photos, but that will be completed when I get home. I have used up all my brownie points now, so Jane will have a list for me. I now have a serious condition , its called the "Travel Bug". I have proved that I am safe to be let loose on the planet, with no great mishaps or misadventures, only that bad day on the Rohtang Pass. My travel kit will be reduced by over 50% next time. I have made many new friends on this trip from India, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain and Cornwall.


I am looking forward to seeing everyone back home with my traveller tales, blog , photos and video clips. There is much to do when I get back home, to complete this travel blog, contact all my travel companions.

My thanks to Peter and Travellerspoint.com for their support and use of what has been an excellent Travel Blog website, to record my travel diary into a travel book. My thanks to all the emails during my trip from my family and friends, they were a real tonic and well received. My thanks to Gordon May for sowing the great adventure seed, and the idea of riding a Royal Enfield in India, along one of the great motorbike routes on the plant. To Naresh and Subrah for all the planning, help and support in India, and making it a great trip. I am very grateful to you both, and thank you for your friendship

My thanks to all the really nice people I met on my great adventure in India from the Western Himalayas through India to Cape Comerin. I enjoyed your company and friendship on my journey in so many unexpected places. People are genuinely friendly and helpful, and want you to be there, they want to know where you are from, and what you think of this amazing continent. I found throughout this journey that people want to help you. Other people, particularly those who have little, but share their richness in so many ways, “How much do I owe you for fixing my Motorbike”...”Nothing, you are my brother and a guest in my country “ (Ajay, motor mechanic, Keylong, Lahaul, Himachel Pradesh, on the Manali-Leh road NH21, 3082m)

Everyday day gave me new experiences, encounters, views, people, places and landscapes, often having a spectacular place or view to myself, if only for a while, especially those places that were so remote and beautiful...I found nirvana, that place of perfect peace and happiness many times in India, that state of enlightenment which you find when you have no suffering or worries, a total feeling of peace and contentment.

Finally my grateful thanks to my wife for giving me the freedom to follow this adventure, and to my sons for their sound advice to their Dad.

An adventure has got to be something that takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you. Then you come home and tell people what you did...where next ?

Posted by Mike Casey 05:00 Archived in India Tagged india overland journey an through Comments (0)

Day 1: Overland through India

North Yorkshire to Dubai, A Tale of Excess Baggage

sunny 32 °C
View Overland through India on Mike Casey's travel map.

After months of planning, emails, paperwork, visa, booking hotels and flights, the thorough planning support , knowledge and experience of Merrygo Travel Company, in Delhi... the "Grand Depart" on my big adventure to India had arrived.

After a major kit review by Tom, "Don't need that or that, or that..............." as I cried and pleaded for mercy? Then Nick arrived, the terminator, no mercy shown with his ruthless seasoned traveller advice to me. Then finally, Jane "We will not pay any ransome demands for your father!". Thank you my beloved wife and dear sons. By 9am the zips of my bags were closed and secured with every Pacsafe device known to man, and loaded up into Tom's car, we drove north to Newcastle Airport.

Soon I was checking in with my baggage at the Emirates desk and was immediately served by a lovely Emirates lady. I smugley looked down at the 100's of Ryanair passengers waiting to check in, I felt sorry for them ! I then glanced over at the empty and very civilised Emirates bag check in. All was going well with another lovely Emirates lady until she said "I'm sorry Mr Casey but you are 3kgs over weight" I thought cheeky person, but she was referring to my baggage, 3 kg over and £50 extra ? Jane, Tom and Nick shook their heads, thinking will he make Delhi?

Any way it was now time for goodbyes, hugs and kisses as I took on the next challenge, Security ! No problem, straight through, no body search or off with your shoes, I felt a very savvy and experienced traveller as I looked back at my Family. I would soon be cruising at 39000' heading for India.
Soon I was feasting on oriental shrimp and noodles salad, chicken in coconut sauce, lemon and cream torte, and a lovely chardonnay. So onwards and upwards to Dubai, landing at 12 midnight and 32oC !!!!

I hope these travelblog diaries of my trip will be strong on spontaneity of my experiences rather than sober reflections I hope that they tell my story of discovery, adventure, people and places that I meet and see as I journey "Overland through India" over the next six weeks.

Posted by Mike Casey 06:10 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

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