Getting approved leaves is such a tough task in a working environment.
So to avoid all the Q&A rounds with our managers, I found a way to travel without applying for leaves.
Recently, I have learnt to utilize the two days work off that I get towards pursuing what I truly, deeply and madly enjoy - Traveling & Exploring.
Select a destination near to you. As I am from Mumbai, traveling to Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh is easy and affordable. Or select a destination within Maharashtra. This way I travel every month and I have completed major destinations in and around Maharashtra.
I am going to share a similar short trip experience with you fellow travelers in this piece.
It is simple. Even simpler when you do it on a bike (with appropriate safety gears).
Keeping your trip short is the key. The whole focus is always on maximum exploration and multiple touch points.
I chalk out my itinerary in a manner that I explore one spot till I am content. Or two to three spots nearby each other which can be done quickly.
This trip is some what like the second one.
So for some time, I wanted to visit various VAVs in our country. In fact, the first VAV I came across, was in Delhi - Agrasen ki Baoli. The second being "Chand Baori" in Jaipur. I was surprised and thrilled by the artwork presented in these VAVs. These two trips sparked the fascination for VAVs in me.
VAVs are step wells that were designed to preserve water in the region. It also become a sign of celebration for people of those times. Hence, you see them designed artistically and elegantly. With each and every & even the minuscule artwork shouting out the one of its kind talent of our ancestors.
So one day I logged in to my PC, searching for step wells in India. I came across lots, most of them were found to be in the Indian state of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
On Google Maps, I went in the North direction from Mumbai. I saw several VAVs in and near to Ahmedabad.
At first I thought to cover some of them in Ahmedabad. But, randomly I clicked on Patan - Rani ni Vav. It took me to the picture gallery section. I kept on surfing for some time and I came across a note. I guess, it was Rs.100 or Rs.200 note.
It had a picture of "Rani ni Vav" and it was put on the note due to its recognition and induction in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There I made up my mind that I need to explore this place in the coming week end. Along with it I also searched for similar spots and I learnt about Modhera - Surya Mandir (Sun Temple). Both of them looked fine. Plus, they were in proximity - The advantage for me.
I quickly open the IRCTC app to check for available trains to Ahmedabad or Mehsana / Unjha.
I know Gujarat, roads and transportation is something I can vouch for.
However, it was disappointing that I could not find a seat available in the Sleeper section in any of the trains passing through these areas.
But, it did not let my enthusiasm slide down. I thought of booking the ticket under "TATKAL" one day before the journey. Or else I was ready to travel in the "General" section.
Generally, my work offs fall on the week end. I packed my bags and took it to the office on Friday. Left towards the railway station on Friday evening directly after completing my 9 hour shift. I think, I caught the "Aravalli Express" from Bandra Terminus and found a tiny spot to stand near the washroom.
To my Luck, the Loo was clean and Tidy.
On Saturday morning, I reached "Unjha" station. While getting out of the railway station, I spoke to an uncle. He helped me with the direction for the share auto rickshaw stand.
For mere Rs.20, the rick dropped me at the market in Patan.
At the sides, there were stalls preparing snacks and tea. Couldn't resist and I was hungry. So bought the Gol Bhajiya and Tea, it was refreshing.