Welcome to the Jungle.
TRRRIIINGGG! A sudden sensation of warmth emanated from my chest and found its way to pull up my cheeks. Running through the corridors, finding my way through the slow moving crowd, bashing into someone at every turn taken with constant unworried apologies, crossing the 100 meter long football field, I finally found my way into my house. Everything was kept just the way I had left it; the backpack, cap, snacks and my wallet. In 10 mins, I switched from my school uniform to some casual, seemingly “hip” clothes. Packing everything into the backpack, I set out and walked down the stairs to give the key to my mom. My mind was rushing with constantly inpouring thoughts of the train station, me sitting in the train enjoying the view, the “Will I get a window-side seat?” but most of all, “Did I forget something?”! Meeting mom at the front gate, I got into the rikshaw and as we rode outside of the campus, a sensation of freedom and boundlessness radiated all around. After reaching the train station, I got the tickets and stood on the platform waiting for the arrival of the train. Somewhere underneath all this ecstasy was a feeling of non-belief which said, “Is this really happening?”. As the train arrived at the platform, I rushed into the boogie to stop at the first empty window-side seat I can find. And gosh, I did! Sitting there inside, I received my first ever travel cautioning talk, “Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Call once you reach. Take care. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. And don’t forget to call!” Voicing a continuous “hum” to my mom, I settled in. In a few minutes, the train started moving and I looked outside with a wide glee on my face as we passed the “Nilambur Junction” signboard. For the next 3 hours I just sat there staring outside the whole while; different stations while the train stopped – some busy some not, the loud monotonous calls for chai and coffee, the peanut man, people getting in and out. The ecstasy was still present in the same magnitude. As the train slowed down along the platform at “Palakkad Junction”, I stood next to the door inhaling a long deep breath. Aah, home!
Such was the experience of my first ‘solo trip’; a 3 hour train ride when I was 13. There was something special about solo traveling that I had never experienced before. A sensation of boundlessness or perhaps an ecstasy that enables one to feel every breath with infinite joy for living. This made an impression on me and I wish the same for you. Take a break, get that backpack, break the routine and lose yourself to find your true self!
“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive” – Jack London
As the summers bid goodbye, the arrival of monsoons is eminent with silver dark clouds lining up over the blue sky in the horizon. The snow clad peaks of the Himalayas that stands tall on the gushing Parvati River like sentinel are now veiled most of the times by the clouds. The green has turned to emerald in the forest all around as the frequent drizzles are pouring more life into the vegetation as if adding soul to the ever beautiful body.
The much better part is the decrease in rush for the public coming into the valley. As the months of May and June have now passed, the huge inflow of tourists now have changed into genuine backpackers who seek to explore the beauty of the Parvati Valley.
So if you are and hopeless romantic, love the rains, love the mountains, love the smell of wet soil, love the dampness of a emerald green forest, blooming of apples and many other exotic fruits and want to live such memories that eludes time then visit the Parvati Valley this monsoon because i know how the heat still irritates the cities, but here in the land of Shiva and Parvati, everything is reborn with the onset of drizzling drops from the heaven.All the stress, demanding tensions, futile worries and any negative thoughts or emotions would be washed away once you drench in the heavenly monsoon of the valley.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your backs and book your tickets because the lustful combination of Monsoons and Himalayas are waiting, and I await your presence to come experience this feeling with me.
Visit Kasol and look for The Hosteller to stay. For online booking go to http://www.thehosteller.com/
Delhi is a fast moving city with an overwhelming dose of culture, traditions, religions, languages and everything one could possibly think of.Also called Mini India, The National Capital is divided into 2 sections known as Purani (Old) Delhi and Nai (New) Delhi. The city was designed by British architect Sir Edward Lutyens.
Exploring Delhi is not everyone’s cup of tea because things always don’t turn out how you want them to be and there will always arise some frustrations from touring around.
But don’t let the backdrops pull you down, Keep a positive attitude!
Where to Stay?
For people who have seen the movie ‘Queen”, the idea of staying in a hostel, sharing experiences, life stories and adding new people to the journey called life will seem more welcoming and exciting . A regular vacation can turn into a life changing experience and all one needs is the right kind of place to stay in.
The Hosteller, Saket is one of the best backpackers hostels in India, travelers visiting North India seem to swear by it and rightly so. The hostel also provides WI-FI, books, games, etc. The hostel is located nearby the Saket Metro station which offers good connectivity of the guests to all the parts of the city.This hostel helps bring tourists closer as they have many fun activities such as movie and karaoke nights,etc
How to Move around in Delhi?
Local DTC Bus System provides both AC and Non-AC transportation within the Delhi and NCR region at minimal fares.
Delhi Metro has its branches spread all over the city providing fast Air Conditioned transport at meagre costs
Local Cabs and Autos – One can easily find a Green\Yellow tuk tuk anywhere in Delhi or people can even book a cab for themselves using the Ola or Uber Mobile App
10 things to explore in Delhi
- India Gate – Designed by Sir Edward Lutyens, India Gate sits at the centre of New Delhi at the arc end of the Raj Path. Built in 1931, the arc type gate has more than a lakh names engraved on it of the British Indian Army soldiers killed during the World War I
- Old Delhi – The walled city was founded as Shahjahanabad by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Old Delhi is known for its vibrant and diverse cuisines and the hustle bustle of the market place.The Old Delhi market is a spreader from Red Fort to the Jama Masjid where one can buy traditional items to Modern Gadgets. Dont miss the Paranthe Walli Galli
- Humayun Tomb – Having the graves of humayun and many other acclaimed Mughal warriors, the tomb was built in the mid 1500’s to house the Mughal Emperor Humayun.You can walk around the surrounding gardens and then proceed to climb a flight of stairs to the main deck. Then you can walk around the inside of the building and see the many marble tombstones.
- Nizamuddin Dargah – Caste no bar. The place makes your heart worthy, love for Almighty Allah, love for brothers n sisterhood makes your soul peace.You jostle with people and more people in the narrow alleyways – the crowds are everywhere, and when you reach the open square of the Dargah- there is a sudden calm- the qawwalis on Thursday evenings are a treat. Listen to centuries old songs sung in praise of this famous Sufi Saint Nizamuddin . The environs belong to the times he lived there be transported to him. Sufism promotes a culture of kindness to all mankind.
- Sacred Heart Cathedral – The Cathedral Of The Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic cathedral belonging to the LAtin Rite and one of the oldest church buildings in New Delhi. The cathedral organises functions on certain days of the year. Prayers are held in the morning and evening every day. The major ceremonies held at the Cathedral are Easter and Christmas. The most important of the festivities during Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Christmas Vigil Service an hour before midnight Christmas Eve
- Bangla Sahib Gurudwara – It is one of the most prominent Sikh gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship in Delhi and known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan, as well as the pool inside its complex, known as the “Sarovar.”The place offers you eternal calm. One can sit in the main hall or next to the pond and can feel immense delight and relief.Seeing people doing selfless services and the free meals are something to relish.
- Qutub Minar – Qutub Minar, at 120 meters, is the tallest brick minaret in the world. Qutub Minar, along with the ancient and medieval monuments surrounding it, form the Qutub Complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The tower is located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi. An amazing historical and archaeological site, it remains a mystery and the main structure (Qutab Minar) remains standing firm and beautiful as if it’s not aging.
- Lotus Temple – Among the numerous recognizable landmarks which are scattered all around Delhi is the remarkable Lotus Temple. Designed in the shape of a sacred lotus flower, there are 27 flower petals which are constructed of marble and make up the structure.Though it’s dedicated to the Bahá’í faith, it’s a religious worshipping grounds for people of all religions (as such is the philosophy of the Bahá’í faith).
- Akshardham – Akshardham’ means the divine abode of God. It is hailed as an eternal place of devotion, purity and peace. Swaminarayan Akshardham at New Delhi is a Mandir – an abode of God, a Hindu house of worship, and a spiritual and cultural campus dedicated to devotion, learning and harmony. Timeless Hindu spiritual messages, vibrant devotional traditions and ancient architecture all are echoed in its art and architecture.The mandir is a humble tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830), the avatars, devas and great sages of Hinduism.
- Hauz Khas Village – Hauz Khas village in Hauz Khas, South Delhi houses a water tank, an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign.Lakes and buildings take you back to the old period of Indian civilisation.Now it is famous for cafes,restaurants,eateries,shops,art and entertainment hub of New Delhi.It is an excellent place for someone looking to hangout with friends and for those who enjoy the nightlife.
Come visit Delhi and look for The Hosteller to stay. For online booking go to http://www.thehosteller.com/
Nestled in the Laps of the Himalayas, The beautiful town of Kasol is the most happening and important part of the Parvati Valley. Cradled amongst the tall pine and cedar trees, surrounded by the forest and lofty snow clad peaks, Kasol holds its own charm and magic to enchant every soul which shall step out here. From beyond the high horizons of the mountains to the banks of the ever flowing Parvati river, calmness and surreality surround the valley. Plus if you have a hippie heart and want to experience some good party, Kasol will never disappoint you.
Where to Stay?
The Hosteller, Kasol is a backpacking hostel located in Old Kasol near the German Bakery. The hostel emits divinity due to the melodious music made by the waters of Parvati River flowing nearby and the chirping of birds and insects in the forests. The hostel gives a good view of trees with Apple, Peach, Pear and Plum fruits blooming at a hand’s distance.
One can book a deluxe room or a dorm bed at the hostel. Adventurous people can go for tents to sleep in the lap of the Himalayas under the protection of the stars.
How to go around in Kasol?
Kasol is well connected by road to all the major cities of North India. In Kasol people can opt for local government owned cheap buses or Cab services to move around in Kasol. But walking,hiking and trekking is more recommended in Kasol to experience the majestic beauty of the Valley.
5 Things to Do in Kasol
- Chill and Relax sitting by the Parvati River – Time is an illusion in Kasol, Hence, it is mandatory that you sit by the gushing waters of the river Parvati and let the time fly and introspect into life or just enjoy laziness.
- Be a Foodie and do Cafe Hopping – From the famous Evergreen cafe to the Jim Morrison Cafe, Kasol has its own taste and rich cafe culture. You must not leave this place without trying the cafes out. From delicate Israelis cuisines to the subtle momos or thupkas, Kasol will satisfy every taste bud of yours
- Attend the Trance Party – Kasol is a party hotspot and a hippie paradise. World renowned DJ’s perform at the psychedelic parties and it is a one of a kind experience.The experience will be incomplete if you don’t jump to the beat drops of the EDM Tracks.
- Hiking, Trekking, Camping – Kasol is the base camp of so many breathtaking Himalayan trekking trails. From beginners trek of Kheerganga to the the all time grand Pin Parvati Trek or Sar Pass Trek, Kasol serves as the throat to all the high altitude adventures.Don’t leave without camping in the woods and having a bonfire party with the forest. Kasol has its soul in it.
- Boom, Shankar – The myth, magic and mystery of Kasol is in its herbs and leaves which grow around. From hippies to backpackers, every soul takes a drag of the famous and world renowned “ Stuff or Maal” of Kasol. Don’t go without experiencing the world’s best gift from Kasol to the world.
Visit Kasol and look for The Hosteller to stay. For online booking go to http://www.thehosteller.com/
– Deep and Rusin
To all backpackers out there,
For every soul of our backpacking species , the term KASOL is equally exciting as a whole adventure itself. So by great fortune I came down upon the chance, to be offered the role of a manager, of this upcoming hostel in Kasol, by this super hospitality start-up called The Hosteller. Considering the fact that It was 3 years since my last job , this had to be something special that I agreed to join. And special it was, and is.
The Parvati valley and its hamlet of Kasol has for ages , held and captivated the minds of the travellers and wanderers from around the globe. From singers looking for inspiration , artists seeking motivation, to simple sages and people just wandering , everybody is a part of the crowd in Kasol. The young , the old and some who never age, are all here, with their diverse background and various interesting stories. The cosy cafes , the delicious German bakeries , the hanging bridges , the towering cedar trees , the blooming Himalayan flowers , the blue sky , the white clouds , the apple orchards , the wooden houses and the green grasses, all add to the myth and legend of Kasol which I am glad to explore and invite you all to do so along with me.
As happens with inevitable flow of time, Kasol has commercialized too, it has grown in its reputation and attraction , that today it is not only visited by travellers , but typical tourists also. Sadly , that declines a little portion of the magic it once held as a backpacker’s paradise. This is why we decided to open up our hostel here for the core wanderers , travellers and backpackers. We are also proud to claim us as the first backpackers hostel in the Parvati valley, and with it we hope to fertile Kasol again back to its true magic.
Fortunately enough our hostel is perched on a higher grounds , a little far from the hustle and bustle of the main commercial centre of Kasol , yet it is just a 5 minutes’ walk from there. Glad shall I be , if you choose our hostel as your home to discover the valley , as we expect true core backpackers and travellers.
Our hostel is made of finest cedar wood and is a Himalayan architecture to gaze upon itself. Add to that , some creative vibrant artwork on the wall, by other backpackers and wandering souls making it lively and amazing. And being perched on a higher level gives a view of the far extended valley , with horizons covered in cedar tree with its emrald leaves. The busy town of old kasol , cradled in the valley by the rushing parvati river adjacent to it, is a beautiful view from our balcony of the private rooms we provide. Perfect for people who enjoys solitude , yet , enjoys mixing and knowing with other people too.
The front yard with open space has a cafeteria to serve your stomach with great tastes from both the western and Indian culture. The backyard is a part of the apple orchard which continues far in step cultivations, is as beautiful a sight to wake up as one can imagine. We have also added tents to give the adventure feel to the people, whose soul yearns for camping and wants to sleep under billions of stars. I hope like me , a lot of you shall fall in love with our land.
We know the value for money , as we once too wandered with a penniless pocket. Our dorm bunk beds help backpackers , students with shoestring budget to fit himself in nice warm blankets and find a cosy bed in the cold chilly nights of the mountains, yet enjoy all the good basic facilities like hot water , laundry and great food , and most of all the charisma of Kasol.
We already have two hostels in Jaipur and Delhi , loved and adored by backpackers around the world , now with one here in the Himalayan valley, we have the icing on the cake , literally during the winter months!!
So are you not already planning your trip here??
From the 70’s , the crowd of Israelis made their home here, in the laps of Himalayas, and even now some of them choose never to return from here. So what is it that enchants their heart and mind? Why is the youth captivated and infused with the magic and mystery of this place , so much so , they never leave? Such question has always been around my mind and finally, I hope , along with you all, we shall discover this myths and secrets. So I hope together , we shall not only travel this valley but live the experience called KASOL.
Come with a smile , return with memories. Thanking You,
Yours sincerely and waiting,
Manager , The Hosteller , KASOL
Let me engage you with an interesting story from the realm of quantum physics! A cat is placed inside a box with a veil of poison and a radioactive source. The radioactive source starts decaying at some unpredictable time which in turn breaks the veil and eventually killing the cat in the process. After any particular time period, one can only know the state of the cat, dead or alive, if they were to open the box and see. So, there’s an uncertainty in the state when the box remains closed and the cat is thought of being in a superposition of both dead and alive. This, when applied to everyday life situations, conveys the fact that you can never know the truth unless you look for it.
But isn’t this paradoxical when related to the previous blogs on opinion and perspective?
The above statement can be considered as just another opinion that confines into a singular perspective. I’ll try to clear this in the next few lines. Ockam’s razor is a concept that lay some ground rules to this paradox. It goes along the lines that ‘the simplest explanation is considered to be the right one; as far as it works’. This simple concept is foolproof and applicable to every single aspect of the universe that humans have defined. If the box is opened and the cat is moving, we can conclude that it’s alive as the simplest defining aspect of a cat is that it moves. This can be considered to be the ‘true’ fact as long as it remains applicable; as long as the cat moves.
Now, truth is subjective. Knowing that ‘this is true for me’ and accepting the moment that comes that way, while extracting some learning out of it is what I’m looking for. I don’t know what people are looking for; but I know for a fact that everyone is looking for something. I think it’s when one tries to recollect consciousness and observe themselves behaving naturally, one tends to know who they are. For me it’s a two step ladder; one being the ‘ability to observe’ and the second being ‘ability to accept’. The ability to observe can be thought of as looking at something/a situation closely form a third person’s perspective and the ability to accept is about drawing some inferences from the observations. What makes you yourself, is the uniqueness of your existence relative to the infinite nature of spacetime. Acknowledge your uniqueness, find your truth and accept it.
– Sachin Sengar and Sid Ramesh
I am telling you the famous story of a half empty glass which is empty if you think it is empty.
Actually this applies to almost everything that you ever encounter at any instance in your life even when you are dreaming. How you look at any moment could possibly define everything that ever happened in your life.
We humans are a product of our thought process. We have enough evidence in history for those who believed that they could move mountains and have always moved one. On the contrary, there are enough evidences of people who were naturally gifted to do great things in life but never got there. Most people build a psychological barrier and perceive things/situations in a certain way; for e.g. as per a government survey in United States, all those people who were unemployed explored very less variety of opportunities compared to those who were employed. The most important thing to note is that the opportunities explored by unemployed tend to overlap as well.
What I infer from this is simple but significant; how one sees a possibility or an event as a psychological consequence of how they saw them in the past. Gradually that person tends to condition his perspective at this moment with the series of past consequences that were a result of the series of his/her previous perspectives.
In a nutshell, how you see things or situations is your way of looking at it but is not the only way. So, whenever you feel caught and think of giving up, remember that there is an answer to your problem. It’s just that you didn’t explore enough ways to solve your problem.
I repeat, I am telling you the famous story of a half empty glass which is empty if you think it is empty.
- – Sachin Sengar
Take some time to just observe every aspect of the picture below.
According to my thinking, I see the above picture as an illustration of my mind. My mind rushing through a plethora of thoughts and never stopping on one. It could be a spectrum of individual entities, never related to each other yet put together to co-exist; or may be it can be a web of complex thoughts running through a million individual minds. Yet, I perceive it as individual boxes representing every distinct memory I’ve had and the starry background depicting a cleavage of the awareness that I’m seeking; navigating my way through thoughts and ultimately being able to live outside of spacetime.
You, on the other hand, may have interpreted the image in perhaps a similar or an entirely different way. Your interpretations are solely based on your perspective of the image; of your past experiences, present emotions and future aspirations. Nobody can affirmatively state that yours or my interpretations are right or wrong; it’s subjective.
This is how one forms an opinion. It’s a subconscious process of forming a viewpoint or judgment about something one has just observed. There need not be any validation for this viewpoint as everybody is entitled to their own opinion and has every right to express it.
This would mean that everything is right and everything is wrong from an individual perspective. This seems paradoxical when we measure this idea relative to the fundamental grounds of human existence and evolution of consciousness. There would be no definitions and there are high chances of the system going into chaos. Order and complexity arises when we evaluate things based on more than the singular perspective; considering more than one opinion. We’ll explore more on this in the next post; “Perspective”.
For now, I’ve just put out my opinion on ‘Opinion’. I leave the rest to you!
– Sid Ramesh
I’d like to start by telling you how I got to this subject; because this helps understand how I got to the conclusions I drew. It all began with a discovery channel documentary called Curiosity – Humankind that I was watching the other day and it left me with quite a few tangents that I wanted to explore about what had led us to who we are today and the only notion that I was able to come up with as a possible answer to this is Human Curiosity.
Curiosity is the desire to learn and explore something just for the sake of learning and exploring it.
We often seek a coherent map of reality. So when we discover an “information gap” in our map, we are driven to learn new information to close that gap. We tend to prefer certainty over uncertainty.
Curiosity can provide us with a certain amount of pleasure and arousal. When we’re always around familiar environments and stimuli, we usually get bored and dull quickly. Curiosity motivates us to seek new experiences and new sensations.
At the end of the day, the more new information we have, the better we can adapt to our environment. So it makes sense that humans would evolve to experience curiosity in a variety of ways, and somehow I have a strong intuition that curiosity drives Natural Selection – the reason why human beings are the most powerful species right now, but my research does not have enough arguments to back that fact yet.
Humans like to understand things and how the world works. Curiosity is ultimately the pull that motivates us to learn and explore new things. And in many ways, every step in human progress – every learning, every knowledge, every discovery and every invention – first began from a spark of curiosity.
Curiosity can be perceived as the opposite of fear. Both are responses to “uncertainty” in the world. But while fear inhibits us from exploring our environment and taking new risks, curiosity motivates us to explore it more and take those new risks.
In this way, curiosity can be a type of disinfectant toward fear. While fear motivates us to move away, curiosity motivates us to move toward. With enough curiosity, you can override any fear.
Many of the most successful people throughout history were also those who were incredibly curious about life. They had hungry minds with a never-ending appetite for learning, experimentation, and growth.
I would like to leave you with a thought by Aristotle -It is mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
– Sachin Sengar