Meet Visal Vishwanath, A Man Who Travelled 28 States in 278 Days With Just Rs.12,000


Covid had hit us all hard, however, some people took it as an opportunity to follow their passion and achieved things many of us can only dream about!

Meet Visal Vishwanath, a native of Kannur who ran an event management company in Bengaluru before Covid. While business stopped during the pandemic, instead of staying at home, he decided to pack his bag and travel across the country on a budget through hitchhiking and public transport.

“Finally, I made it,” he wrote on Instagram. “Life. The best gift I have ever got. Today I completed 278 days of my All India Backpacking covering all 28 states.”

The astounding part however is he completed this entire journey in just Rs 12,000.

(C) Visal

Photo of Meet Visal Vishwanath, A Man Who Travelled 28 States in 278 Days With Just Rs.12,000 by Tanisha Mundra

How did he get the idea of travelling the country?

Unorthodox travel was always his cup of tea and he had previously gone camping across South India. When the pandemic hit his business, he wanted to use the opportunity to explore and experience different cultures and started making plans.

How did he start? What was the roadmap he followed?

Visal's first destination was Guwahati, and then he travelled to Arunachal Pradesh. While the second wave was at its peak he was stopped from entering northeast. He immediately took a detour and started the trip from Kolkata.

He hitchhiked as much as possible and caught public buses. After northeast, he reached Jharkhand's Dhanbad and then Bodh Gaya in Bihar. He walked into Uttar Pradesh in August, tasted life in Varanasi, and then hitchhiked to Lucknow and Agra, finally reaching New Delhi.

He made road trips to Nainital, Rishikesh and Badrinath, then set foot in Shimla, and headed north to Ladakh and Kashmir, enduring harsh weather during his stay there. Visal told media that he took shelter in a bus one night with several other travellers and residents when he was in Kargil in mid-October, at minus 10 degrees Celsius.

He then received news that the northeastern states had eased the COVID-19 restriction so Visal covered many parts of northeast India in March and headed to the south by taking a train from Meghalaya to Andhra Pradesh. Covering parts of Telangana he crossed over to Maharashtra and Goa and then came to Karnataka, after which he headed to his native Kannur in Kerala completing his trip.

Few experiences worth sharing:

“The places I visited, the people I met, the mountains I climbed, the roads I walked through, the food I had, each moment took me to different kinds of emotions and feelings. Physically or mentally when I was low, just a simple smile gave me the energy to take the next step. Now, when am remembering all these it just makes me sad that I won't be able to go back again with the same feeling I felt when I did it the first time,” Visal stated in his Instagram post.

While having only fruits 2 times a day, he kept a record for every penny spent. Interacting with people of various cultures gave him more experiences than he had had in the last 32 years.

While on the road, personal tragedies also struck him - he lost his grandmother and his father went through a critical surgery.

How did it feel after completing the journey?

“Past 9 months I was living another life, which I had never thought or experienced. Pitching my tent or sleeping at any place where ever I got. Having fruits most of the time. Travelling through public transport or hitchhiking. Each day and moment was a new life for me,” Visal said as per reports.

Visal's answer to all those who asked him about his expenses is, “It was less than my normal living. Anyone can travel. But how that should be, that you have to decide. I was always asked, why you are travelling like this and what are you going to get from this? Now I can say I lived a life. I don't need anything more than that. The moments which I experienced are mine forever.”

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