Here's What I Discovered While Travelling for 114 Days Across India

7th Jul 2018

After leaving my dream job of serving in the Indian Army as a doctor, I was left with a lot of time on my hands. Then after a struggle of around three and a half years, I gathered my courage and took my car, to start 114 days of continuous travel across India.

When I started, I had no idea of what I would see and for how long I would be able to travel continuously. However, my passion to see my motherland kept me pumped up and rolling.

Initially, I had resolved to spend a day or two at a place and so cover all the states in India. However, as I started on this journey, each city showed me a ton of historical information or natural beauty in it which would be almost criminal to miss out on. I am sharing ten most amazing experiences that I encountered in 114 days of travel.

Day 1

4. Lothal is a coastal and archaeological site in Gujarat. Dating back to approximately 4000 years, this site is arguably the first port of India. According to the ASI, Lothal had the world's earliest known dock, which connected the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river on the trade route between Harappan cities in Sindh and the peninsula of Saurashtra when the surrounding Kutch desert of today was a part of the Arabian Sea. Located on the banks of Sabarmati river, this place was a very well-made, planned city with evidence of wells, a port, brick walls and houses. I felt so proud after visiting this place. And yes, this was the very place where I completed my 10,000 km of road journey.

The dig out site of Lothal

Photo of Lothal Port by Chal Le Oye

5. Apart from the salt lake of The Great Rann of Kutch, there are numerous other places where salt is being cultivated. The view of these farms of salt are mesmerizing. You can drive your vehicle right to the centre of these small salt lakes. Sometimes you won't believe that wherever your eyes go, you can see white salty lakes and nothing else. Here are a few aerial views of my road trip through these salt farms.

Salt fields

Photo of Gujarat by Chal Le Oye

Road crossing the salt fields

Photo of Gujarat by Chal Le Oye

6. Do you know we have a museum where a vintage plane is kept, that too, indoors? This plane was gifted to King Ganga Singh by the British government for services rendered by the Bikaner state forces in WW1.

A vintage plane inside the museum

Photo of Bikaner Fort by Chal Le Oye

7. Did you know the biggest fort of India (of its time owing to its massive 6 km long span) is in the shape of a fish as seen in this drone picture of this magnificent fort.

A rare pic of the fort

Photo of Chittorgarh fort by Chal Le Oye

8. Did you know that Velavadar (Veraval) has got Asia's biggest blackbuck national park and you can visit this to see large clusters of blackbucks.

A herd of black male black bucks

Photo of Blackbuck National Park by Chal Le Oye

9. A flood in Bikaner? Yes, I witnessed this rare occasion when Bikaner was flooded by the heavy waters of monsoon pouring down for two days and nights. Can you imagine a desert being sunk in floods?

Me standing in the flood waters waist deep

Photo of Bikaner by Chal Le Oye

10. Gir is famous over the world for its lions all but do you know what kind of natural beauty it has to offer? I visited this amazing waterfall deep inside the forest which was formed out of various small streams of water cutting through stones on their way to the fall. I have never seen such a beautiful waterfall. And can I amaze you with one more fact? You can stand on these small water streams and can take a dip in it before it tumbles down as a waterfall but beware of crocodiles!

Drone shot of the waterfall

Photo of Gir Forest Wildlife Sanctuary by Chal Le Oye

1. Naida caves in Diu are a network of caves which are dramatic and very picturesque. They were used by Indian Army soldiers during Op Vijay to hide in, in 1961, to make Diu free of Portuguese captivity. Nowadays, it's a preferred site for pre-wedding shoots.

Naida Caves

Photo of Naida Caves, Diu, Daman and Diu, India by Chal Le Oye

2. This hidden gem is located in the northern part of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is famous for its royal heritage but what I saw there blew my mind away. It is a small town but instead of huts, this village is full of royal havelis and most of them are beautiful and decorated ethnically, so much so that this town has become one of the popular places to shoot Bollywood films. You can judge its beauty by simply looking at the haveli I stayed in.

My royal stay in Mandawa

Photo of Mandawa, Rajasthan, India by Chal Le Oye

3. Did you know where Lord Krishna left his earthly body behind and moved back to heaven? The spot is known as Bhallaka Teerth Sthal in Veraval near Somnath.

Lord Krishna had played his leela (divine play of God) in which a hunter named Jara entered a forest and mistook the moving foot of Krishna as a lurking deer. He shot a lethal arrow that pierced Krishna’s foot. As soon as the hunter reached Krishna, he realized his mistake and pleaded with the Lord for forgiveness. Lord Krishna consoled him and told him that his death was inevitable.

The picture depicts the antim pag (last footprints) of Lord Krishna which are located just next to the Triveni Sangam in Somnath.

Antim pag

Photo of Veraval, Gujarat, India by Chal Le Oye