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The Kalash People Picture Source By Google Image

For centuries, the Kalash People lived in a remote mountainous region which now spreads contiguously across Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, Kalash people who lived in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan carried on the legacy. The natural beauty of this region, almost isolated from the earth.

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The people, known as Kalash. They are said to have descended from soldiers of the army of Alexander the Great who traveled this way in 324 BCE. The animist Kalash is outwardly different from the darker-skinned Pakistani Muslims who live in the lowlands below them. Today, they form the smallest of Pakistan’s minority ethnic groups (numbering between 3,000 to 4,000 people) and can be found in three valleys: Bumburet, Rumbur, and Birir. The Kalash language is said to be part of the Dardic group of Indo-Aryan languages.

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Who Is This Kalash people

They say their ancestors came from Greece. There is a lot of evidence of it in history. According to historians, Alexander the Great conquered the mountains of northern Pakistan 2,000 years ago, where the Kalash now live. The people of Kalash have also been living here for almost two thousand years. There is no resemblance between Arabic or Urdu, the language spoken by the people of the Kalash tribe, which belongs to the Indo-Iranian language. According to Kalash people said that Alexander came to India even before Islam. When he returned to Greece after winning the war, some of his comrades remained. They like the natural beauty of Hindu Kush. Married local women. The infidel Kalash of Hindu Kush are their descendants.

The New York Times found that the Kalash people’s DNA seems to indicate that they had an infusion of European blood during a “mixing event” at roughly the time of Alexander’s conquests. These isolated people are thus most likely the direct descendants of the ancient Greek-Macedonian armies who set up outposts in this region 2,300 years ago.

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They Follow Ancient Culture

The Kalash people kept their pagan rituals and worshipped their ancient gods in outdoor temples, despite the fact that most Pakistanis converted to Islam throughout the decades. Most importantly, they produced wine much like the Greeks of antiquity did. This is a Muslim country that forbade alcohol.

They cultivate on the slopes of the hills for their livelihood. They have a life full of dance, song, entertainment. Earlier, the people followed a simple life, mostly dependent on agriculture and cattle rearing. Buckwheat and other crops were grown in the river valleys. The food prepared in wood-fired ovens. They followed a nature-oriented faith. which later some researchers equated with the animistic form of worship while others found similarities with ancient Hindu concepts.

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Customs

The customs of the Kalashas are very strange. One of them that has been much discussed is the custom of sending menstruating as well as pregnant women to the ‘Bashaleni’, a dorm-style building far from the main village. It is frequently referred to as a type of oppression by modern cultural interpreters. But according to Kalash people, it is the women who handle the bulk of everyday work; the time out.

The Kalash follow various social customs and rituals. When a boy goes from adolescence to youth, the boy, sent to the high mountains with sheep for the whole summer. When he survives and comes back to the village, Badulak festival is happing. In this festival, he will stay for one day, with any married, unmarried, and virgin girl in the village. For this, if anyone is pregnant, everyone in the village will consider it a blessing.

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Festival

Barbara West, a professor of anthropology at the University of Rochester. He says in the Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania that “Kalash religion is a form of Hinduism that recognizes many gods and spirits” and that “given their Indo-Aryan language … the religion of The Kalasha is much more closely aligned the Hinduism of their Indian neighbors.

There are three main religious festivals of Kalash. In May, ‘Chilam Joshi’ is ‘Uchau’ in autumn and in mid-winter, the best festival is ‘Kaumus’. In this festival, they create human chains around the whole village. The priest of the temple spread the leaves of the juniper tree on the devotees like leather. At the end of the day, everyone dances and eats in a place called ‘Charso’ in the middle of the village.

The Kalas believe that at this time their most revered deity is ‘Baloman’ or they go around the valley and listen to everyone’s prayers. So big fires and torches are lit in the mountains to pay homage to the deity. Then they play the flute around the fire, play drums made of pinewood, clap their hands, and dance in circles.

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Modern Lifestyle

Numerous Kalash men and women in Nuristan, Afghanistan, have been forced to convert by the Taliban. But the Pakistani Kalash people are still fighting to preserve the tradition they have held for thousands of years. They are trying to hold on to their ancient culture. The traditions continue even today but have been much influenced by the incursions of modern lifestyle as motorable roads (rough and dusty) have made the remote villages accessible. Shops have opened in the valleys which provide meat and other food items, consumer products, etc. Electrification has made televisions, mobile phones and computers accessible. 

Even though the Kalash people and their culture, changing slowly over time. The elderly keepers are worried that the advent of modern lifestyle and the younger generation’s proximity to the Islamic lifestyle. A leader of the Kalash, Saifullah Jan, has stated, “If any Kalash converts to Islam, they cannot live among us anymore. We keep our identity strong.” About three thousand have converted to Islam or are descendants of converts, yet still, live nearby in the Kalash villages and maintain their language and many aspects of their ancient culture. 

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Tourism Kalash Valley

Tourism has also made inroads into the Kalash villages. Unless hindered by political situations, tourists arrive in spring and summer to see the rugged breathtaking beauty of the region and the unique lifestyle of the Kalash people. The villagers too look upon tourism as a way of earning and have set up homestays and hotels, and shops selling local handicrafts. One of the best occasions to visit the Kalash villages is during their colorful festivals.

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Cover Picture Source By Google Image

An Indian village with no front doors, shops that are always unlocked, and residents who are never feeling unsafe. Anyone can walk into your home or shop in this village there are no doors and no locks. But no one will steal. If someone does, they will suffer from ‘sade-sati’, a period of seven years of bad luck.

This is the story of Shani Shingnapur, a village in India’s Maharashtra state. Where villagers avoid their security because of their undying faith in Lord Shani, the god of Saturn, who is considered the guardian of the village.

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Village house with no door concept
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Story Behind The Doorless Indian Village 

According to legend, a heavy black slab of rock washed up on the shores of the Panasnala River. Which once flowed through the village, about 300 years ago after a bout of rain and flooding. When a local shepherd touched the 1.5m boulder with a stick, blood started oozing out of it. Lord Shani appeared in the shepherd’s dreams later that night, telling him that the stone was his idol. The shepherd asked the Lord for permission to build a temple for him, but he refused. He wanted to be placed in the heart of the village without shelter, so he could look over around freely. He promised the shepherd that he will protect the village from any dangers and mishaps.

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Loard Sani temple  In Shinganapur
Loard Sani temple In Shinganapur (Google Image)

Faith In The God

Since this day, the village has placed all its faith in god. The villagers installed the huge slab on a roofless platform in the heart of town, they decided to discard all doors and locks. They didn’t need them anymore, not with the Lord to watch over them. This remote Indian village, Shani Shingnapur attracts devotees from across India. At least 40,000 visitors pour in each day to see the once-humble shrine that has grown into a large temple with extensive property and donations.

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Now It Is A 300 Year Old Tradition

This tradition has continued for generations. Locals sometimes lean wooden panels against their front door frames to keep stray dogs out, but they don’t have permanent doors. Villagers leave their jewellery and money unsecured, firmly believing that their holy guardian will protect them from any mishap. Local lore says that a man who built a door outside his home had an accident the next day. Even the public toilets in the village square just have a thin curtain at the entrance for privacy.

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lockless Goverment Office In Shani Shingnapur

Even post offices and police stations do not have doors here. The United Commercial Bank opened its first “lockless” branch in Shani Shingnapur in 2011. It has a glass entrance and a remote-controlled electromagnetic lock that is barely visible to respect the sentiments of the villagers.

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Belief VS Superstition

Although Shani Shingnapur has officially remained free from thefts for centuries. However, many villagers now strongly feel that it is time to get rid of the superstition. Until 2010, Shingnapur had not reported any cases of theft. However the next year, gold ornaments worth Rs70,000 went missing from the home of a temple trustee. The no-door policy has become such an important belief for the village and its economy, that many cases even go unreported. Many peoples argue that the low crime rate in the area is due to the village’s remote location rather than the miraculous powers of the lord.

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People dreaming of travel post-COVID 19 now have some scientific data to support their wanderlust. A recent study has found that frequent travelers are happier in their lives than people who don’t travel at all. But during this pandemic, first of all, we have to keep safety in mind. If necessary, we have to wait when the right time to travel. In any case, we must first make sure that our travels are not unhappy.

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The New Travel Study

Chun-Chu is an assistant professor at Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management. He conducted a study to learn why some people travel more often than others and whether travel experiences have a long-term impact on satisfaction and wellbeing. Individuals who pay more attention to tourism-related details and regularly discuss their traveling plans with friends are more likely to take daily vacations than those who are not planning their next holiday, according to the findings of his study. Participants in the survey who said they travel at least 75 miles away from home daily were also about 7% happier than those who said they traveling very rarely or not at all.

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Experience New Things

“While things like work, family life, and friends play a bigger role in overall reports of well-being. The accumulation of travel experiences does appear to have a small yet noticeable effect on self-reported life satisfaction,” Chen said. “It really illustrates the importance of being able to get out of your routine and experience new things. Previous research has looked at the stress reduction, fitness and well-being benefits of tourism activities. But much of it has focused on the impact of a single trip or holiday. Chen’s study goes a step further than prior research by examining the long-term benefits of travel over the course of a year.

The Survey

The study asked participants about the importance of travel in their lives, how much time they spent researching and preparing future vacations, and how many trips they took in a year. They were also polled on how satisfied they were with their lives. A little more than half of the 500 survey respondents said they take more than four pleasure trips per year. Only 7 per cent of respondents did not take any vacations.

Start Planning Your Next Vacation.

As travel restrictions due to Covid-19 begin to relax in the future. The research could have important implications for both tourists and the tourism industry. Based on the results of the study. Chen said travel companies, resorts, and even airlines could launch social media campaigns, such as creating hashtags about the scientific benefits of vacation. To spark people’s interest in discussing their opinions about travel.

This research shows the more people talk about and plan vacations the more likely they are to take them,” he said. “If you are like me and chomping at the bit to get out of dodge and see someplace new, this research will hopefully be some additional good motivation to start planning your next vacation.

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In the world Bicycle one of the most useful vehicle. The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted demand for bicycles, with people using them to commute, for exercise instead of going to gyms and to get some fresh air. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released technical guidance on moving around during the Covid-19 outbreak, advocating cycling and walking overcrowded public transports to limit physical contact during the pandemic.

Bicycle -The Way To Home

In the world Bicycle one of the most useful vehicle. Covid-19, the pandemic has given us a scope to consider cycling as an important mode of commute as its environmentally friendly and economical. During the National lockdown in India, we hear about lots of real and courageous incidents to travel thousands of kilometers by cycle to reach their hometowns.

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Bihar Girl Who Cycled 1,200KM Carrying Injured Father

A 15-year-old girl Joyti Kumari, won praise for carrying her injured father hundreds of kilometers across India by cycle. During India’s strictest nationwide lockdown Joyti and her father stuck in Gurugram (outskirts Delhi). A tenacious Jyoti asked her father to sit on the rear side carrier of her cycle and took him to his native place (Bihar), covering 1200 km in seven days.

Mumbai To Odisha

Migrant laborer Mahesh Jena pedaled 1,700 km across India over seven days to reach home. His biggest challenge was keeping the wheels moving. Jena followed his usual pre-dawn routine, but with an unusual plan in mind. Usually every day, he would head for his factory, a little over 10 km away in the industrial zone of Sangli in Maharashtra. But this time, he was headed home — to a small village called Bhangra in Odisha, nearly 1700 km away.

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Migrants On The Road

There is lakh of migrants people are travel by walk or cycling to reach their home during the lockdown, the cycle has also come to the rescue of people in an emergency. On social media, a short video of a batch of migrant workers from Bengal starting for their home on a bicycle from Chennai, embarking on a nearly 1,700 km journey. New Delhi to West Bengal, two Bengal youth are traveling 1600 km. 45 years old man traveled 1486 km on his cycle to reach his home. There are so many real travel incidents that happen across India, during the lockdown.

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India Is Turning To Cycles Again

As workplaces start reopening, some are choosing cycles to avoid the risk of contamination on packed public transport, while others improve fitness levels. Many people in India have decided to ride a bicycle. People repaired their old cycle or buy a new one. Some Intelligent people of India prefer to waiting a long line of cycle shops instead of a liquor shop. Across all over India people are preferring this mode of transport to move about, whether it’s to go to work, do chores, or exercise.
Cycling is one of the greatest medications of anti-depression. Many people say during these quarantine days they are stuck and depressed but when lockdown over they start cycling regularly and this work out are removed all kind of depression.

Why Should You Cycling

Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels, and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, perspire and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level. And at the end of the list, you are Happy.

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The Health Benefits Of Regular Cycling Include:

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • improved joint mobility
  • decreased stress levels
  • improved posture and coordination
  • strengthened bones
  • decreased body fat levels
  • prevention or management of disease
  • reduced anxiety and depression.

Coorg is a small district tucked away in, southwest corner of Karnataka state. It is famous for its beautiful coffee estates. The Western Ghat mountain range carve up the region into series of hills. The capital of Madikeri has nestled in a valley at an elevation of over 4000 feet. Kaveri river is the most important river in southern India. And it originates in the mountain of Coorg and worshipped by the local people.

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The Kodavas Of Coorg

The Kodavas, as the Coorgs call themselves, are fascinating people. They are different from other South Indians in their way of dress and tradition. Yet no one can say for sure from where they came actually. Their origin remains a mystery to this day. Their ancestors were worshippers and maintained an ancestral home. They also had warrior traditions going back to the days. They allied themselves with the British against, mighty ruler Tippu Sultan who, determined to conquer all of South India. Even today Kodavas, known for their exemplary role in the armed forces.

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Kodavas people
Kodavas people (Google Image)

Kodavas Connection With Alexander The Great

History says Kodavas are descendants of soldiers of Alexander the Great, who invaded India in 327 B.C. When his soldiers refused to continue fighting, many of them settled down in India. Some of them instead of returning to Greece married into the local population. Gradually these groups migrated to South India. They settled along with the west coast, going as far as Coorg. There they maintained a separate identity from the others. Later they merged with the local people very quickly.

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Traditional Kodava House
Traditional Kodava House (Google image)

Kodava Culture

Kodavas have a distinct culture. They never followed any particular religion but adopted some Hindu traditions. But more significantly, the Kodavas ancestors were worshippers, with family members maintaining an ancestral home called an Ainmane house. An Ainmane house is where Kodava people live their lives which stands apart in architecture. This house is a place of unique bonding. Ainmane has always stood as a mirror reflecting the Kodava culture, life, family practices, worship, and festivals according to seasons.

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Weapons are Worshiped
Weapons are Worshiped (Google image)

Martial Tradition

The Kodavas are the only community in the country that is being exempted from obtaining arm licenses. Which is strictly prohibited in another part of India. So why do the Kodavas have special rights? Actually not just the Kodavas even original residents of Coorg who have Jamma land (land granted by the king), Coorg Gowdas have an exemption from certain sections of the arms act. So it was a simple system – take land for free and don’t pay property tax on it, but when the king needs you, come with your army to assist the king.

Those people who had grant land had to provide service to the king when they were summoned. For this, you were allowed to keep weapons and practice during peacetime. If you decided you don’t want to fight a war, you had to pay taxes on the land you owned. So weapons are worshiped and kept sacred even today.

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We wish everyone happiness at the start of everything. Be it a new year or festival, it should be happy always. But do we know what is happiness in actuality? And what can decide our happiness? I think when our senses feel something pleasant, unexpectedly good, and excitement then we feel the emotion named Happiness. And when we name all these together it combines to one simple thing – Travelling. Seeing something new, knowing something new, the thrill of being in a new place brings a surge of joy in our minds. I Know, in this pandemic situation, it has become difficult like earlier. But today I would list a few things for us which can make things look a little easy.

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Tame Your Mind To Be Happy

The first and foremost thing is to make a decision. In this pandemic, roaming around may cause trouble. But locking yourself to a safe zone forever also is not possible either. We all understand that this pandemic is not going anywhere soon. It will stay, and we need to make a few lifestyle changes to fight this. We all need to practice and adopt frequent hand wash, wearing masks, sanitization. Please be cautious and take the necessary precautions before and after touching everything. Be aware of the symptoms and act responsibly. Things can be heard and repeated in the past few months thousands of times. But adopting these things will help our movement a little less restricted. Most importantly, learn to tame your mind that these things are not difficult rather easy to follow. A happy mind can do anything.

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Add Quality Then Quantity

Earlier in the year, I used to travel 4/5 times. But now I plan for 2 destinations. Due to the pandemic, the travel cost has increased. We need to choose a hotel, travel mode places carefully. Also, we need to add good travel insurance. These are not luxury but a necessity. Also ignoring a few things may cause a big problem. So better be sure than sorry.

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Travel Means Happiness

A travel memory stays with us forever. We can cherish those specials moments any time. It brings instant smile on our face. So don’t put a pause, rather gear up with new rules, and adopt the new normal. May this bring good travel in all our life.

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Cover Picture Source by –Exotic Miles

Hatu peak in Himachal Pradesh, one of the places connected with also epic literature Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Hatu Peak is perhaps one of India’s most scenic destinations. With dense forests dotting the slopes for miles. And tall conifers and oaks standing proud, it presents a breath-taking view to visitant. Situated at an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level. As the highest point in the entire district of Shimla. You can catch the sights of the thick green cedar and fir shield. For nature lovers, this place will be a fascinating experience. Among trekkers, Hatu Peak is also popular as the lush green alpines sweep across the trail, the views are truly bewitching.

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The Epic Connetion

Hatu Peak is located in Narkanda in Shimla district. Another famous religious spot to visit in Hatu Peak at a height of 3400 metres is an ancient Hatu Mata Temple. The distinctive wooden architecture and Chinese-style carvings make it one of its kind. As per popular belief, Hatu Mata is Mandodari, Ravana’s wife herself. Ravan was the great villain of the epic Ramayana.

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Also, Its believed to be a place where Mahabharata great heroes, Pandavas cooked their food while they spent their days in exile. Bhim Chullah is believed to be two hearthstones near the temple made by Bhim. You will come across curious mythical stories based on Ramayana and Mahabharata. The location is common among bikers seeking short but exciting hideaways.

Bheem Chullah  at hatu Peak
Bheem Chullah (Google Image)

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Hatu Peak

Hatu Peak Himachal Pradesh
Hatu Peak

If you plan one day for the trek in Hatu peak, then you will get everything in this Himalayan trek. Dark pine forests, mountain range views, enchanting meadows and silence. There are some places where you don’t want to do anything, you just want to sit down and see the views. Such a place where one can get close to nature. About 8 km from Narkanda, and 63 km from Shimla a beautiful road surrounded by pine forest. It is Completely off-road is a pleaser for people, who drive in the mountain. On the Way to the peak from Narkanda, Place has a tea shop where minimal items are available.

Hatu Peak

The Peak View

When you go towards the view-point you will be amazed by the fascinating view of almost 360-degree snow-clad mountain of  Pir Panjal, Dhaula Dhar & Trans Himalayan ranges. This peak is more beautiful during spring and winters. A spiritual place with mesmerizing views all around you, make you feel like staying here for a day spending a night under the stars.

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Cover Picture Source By Google Images

The only big question for travel enthusiasts around the world right now is if they can travel, what travel precautions can be taken during this Covid-19. Travel is eye-opening, fun, exciting, and can completely change your perspective on life. Like most good things, exploring the world doesn’t come without its risks. We need to take more precautions when traveling during Covid-19.

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Travel Precautions

It’s a strange time to be travel enthusiastic. These past few months of being at home, even walking down the street not a possibility. Now various travel destinations are being opened for tourists in different parts of the country and abroad. When you travel, you’re more likely to have greater exposure to shared spaces, such as restaurants, hotels and public restrooms, which increases your chances of being exposed to the illness. If we want to travel somewhere during this pandemic, we need to be careful enough. I have listed some safety tips about travel precautions. Which can help you with your next travel.

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Maintain Your Lifestyle

Whether we go on a trip or not, first of all, we need more caution in our lifestyle. Many of our old habits need to be changed at this difficult time.

  • First of all, we have to be careful not to touch anything unnecessarily, not any surfaces, railings, posts, doors, windows, handles etc.
  • We have to take care to keep ourselves as clean as possible.
  • Always have individual use drinking water or any kind of beverages.
  • A little difficult but we have to be careful not to touch the eyes, face and nose as much as possible.
  • Cigarette smoking is bad for your health, but if someone still smokes, it’s important to keep in mind.
    Smoking as far away from others as possible and taking care not to pass the same cigarette to others.

Maintaining Social Distance

The most important travel precautions is maintain at least a 3-metre distance from any others. This includes avoiding hugging, kissing, or shaking hands. Stay away from crowded places or large congregations as much as possible. If you can’t guarantee the distance, wear a mask. Be sure to check local and national guidelines on the use of masks.  

Where You’re Traveling

Many places in India are open for tourists at the moment, notably Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Darjeeling and many more. But each place has its own set of rules and regulations for travellers. First of all, you have to know the rules and regulations of those places. As a standard protocol, tourists will have to present a negative COVID-19 report, not older than 72 hours, from an ICME-recognised lab, upon arrival. International tourists will be required to undergo seven days of institutional quarantine and seven days of home quarantine.

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Transportation

Not all types of travel are equally risky. Traveling by air, for example, is riskier than crossing the city by your own car. 

Airports are a high-risk area because you have a lot of people from different areas moving through a central location.

It is best to travel by your own car or hired car without using local transportation as much as possible. It is better to rent a bicycle or scooter and go around all day without using local transportation for sightseeing in different places. And make sure your bicycle or scooter is disinfected. If one is using local transport, it is important to use a sanitizer at the designated seating area and of course, wearing a mask is very important.

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Accommodation

We need to be careful enough to choose our hotels, guest houses, homestays. Any kind of accommodation at the moment has to follow the rules of the government in this pandemic time. If a guest develops symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, dry cough or tiredness, they should notify the facility manager and seek medical advice by contacting local health authorities. Please ensure high touch areas such as door handles disinfected regularly throughout the day for your stay. Hotels and other accommodations should have procedures for cleaning, disinfecting and ventilating the room properly between every guest’s stay. These processes allow the accommodations to be used immediately afterwards. Make sure it is done.

Activities

There are plenty of things you can do while travelling that allow you to maintain a safe distance from other people. Hiking, camping, even dining in a restaurant that has implemented appropriate safety protocols can afford you sufficient physical distance to stay safe. 

Last Important Thing

Travel, by definition, increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Before you get out of town, make sure to check state and local travel restrictions and do some research to learn whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area or where you’re travelling. Some states require out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine. If you decide to travel, it’s important to remember that the coronavirus is a respiratory virus, so the way to stop spreading it is your awareness.

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Childhood is one of the good time in our life. Whatever you do as child that come direct from your heart. What does travel mean, I did not know that time. For official reasons, my father used to travel a lot. I used to listen his travel stories. My general questions were, what did you see, what were the items you eat. He used to laugh and say it was official not an outing. Hearing him made me believe that travel meant only serious works, no fun at all. Contradictory, when I used to hear others travel stories, it seemed like full of fun, adventure, excitement. Then I got to know those people were on vacation unlike my father. So I was clear in my head that vacation is fun and trip means office work.
One day one of my friend and his family were going for a vacation in Goa. And when my friend came back to school he told his fun travel stories. Where he been, where and what he ate, fun rides, sunrise to sunset, music and many more. He gifted me little bag tag written Goa. And immediately he became my best friend. That time I realised fun means travel. And my fun travel would start with Goa.

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My First Travel Planning

1997 at the age of 13 I planned to go Goa for my first fun travel. I was not courageous to tell my parents about my travel plan to Goa. So I broke my piggy bank and found some 550 rupees. But I needed 450 rupees more. At that age, thousand rupees was a big amount to me. It was enough to cover my vacation, in my head obviously. So I made my mission impossible plan. In coming few days I asked my father to give me some money for my new piggy bank and I did the same with my mother and elder sister as well without letting them know. I collected some 350 rupees more. And I needed 100 rupees more.
So now, the question was how to go to Goa from Kolkata. My friend told me that they travelled to Goa by train. He said from Howrah rail station to Goa by train it would take 50 hours. And my house to Howrah station I planned to go by a local minibus. So my goa vacation plan was ready. After 53-54 hours, I would reach Goa. I was feeling excited like never before. I was so excited.

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My Travel Packing

I had a grey colour school bag. I removed all my books and took out the pencil box and packed my Binocular, walkman, red sunglass. And my most favourite colourful t-shirts and shorts, pair of jeans, some chocolates and most importantly my school identity card. Because I heard that without an identity card, hotels do not accept booking. So my goa plan was so on.

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The Day

I did not fix a date to go. I was ready to go but needed a perfect time. One fine morning my parents were out for work. My elder sister was in school. I did not go as I faked my illness. I thought this is my day. So I wrote a letter to my family, I am going to Goa for my first vacation. Don’t worry about me I will come back in a week.

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My Way To Goa

I didn’t had any knowledge of the road. But I knew somehow the bus route to Howrah station. I took a local bus and reached Howrah rail station. My plan was very simple. I thought I would go and buy a Goa ticket from ticket counter and board my train. After 50 hour I will be at Goa beach. I was excited as I asked for a ticket in the counter. When my turn came, I asked for a Goa ticket.The man looked at me shockingly and told me that I was at wrong counter. I was ready to move and looked for the right counter. But the man called me and asked me to fill a form first. I learned a new information that I need a form. But from where that was still not clear. Somehow I managed a form and again joined a long queue. But I was hungry by the time. When finally my turn came I handed over the form to the man. He asked me my age. I told him 13. He smiled and told me to come again when I am 18. People started noticing me curiously. Someone asked me, where is your father? I did not reply and moved away. I felt bad for not executing my Goa trip.

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When Digha Plan Is On

I had decided, firstly finished my lunch and after that, I will think about what can I do. I found a clean restaurant beside the rail station. And Suddenly I heard the sound, a bus conductor’s call for new passenger Digha, within 30 minutes the bus will start. Immediately I changed my plan. Digha is one of the famous beaches in West Bengal. So instead Goa, Digha will be the same fun. And I surely believe Digha exactly feels like Goa. So at least my Digha plan was on.

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The Digha Day I Never Forgot

When my bus started, I was very happy. I almost forgot I didn’t inform my parents. What would happen when they would found my letter,? I was enjoying my journey, beside a window seat. And enjoying Ricky martin song, “Maria” in my walkman. What a day! After 2 hours our bus stopped for 15 minutes that time I bought a coca-cola and enjoyed every sip.
When I reached Digha, I was excited to see the seashore. But first I needed a hotel. Some people at the bus stop were grabbing my bag and asked me to come to their hotel. I thought Wow what an entry, so much importance. Now I chose a man and went to his hotel. Hotel named New Sagarika. At the reception, the man asked me “where are you coming from? What is your age?”. I gave my school identity card and told him that I needed a room for 5 days. Hotel receptionist asked me to wait and called the hotel manager. The hotel manager asked me a lot of questions. Why are you here alone? Where are your parents? What is your plan in Digha? I told him that I am here for a vacation. I wanted to go Goa but my age did not allow me to go, that’s why I came here. Hotel Manager called the local police. And then I was a little nervous and hungry again.

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One Good Man

Within 10-minutes the police came and asked me the same questions as the hotel manager did. But this time one officer asked me a unique question “did you come to Digha to commit suicide? “. I told him, why would I spend money and come to come to Digha for suicide! I could have done this in Kolkata. Police searched my bag very rudely. I was disturbed. Outside of the hotel, many people gathered and were watching me. At that moment, one young gentleman came forward within the crowd and asked me very politely “Are you hungry”.
After a few minutes, one hotel boy came with egg roll and coca-cola. The man started talking separately with the police and the manager and kept an eye on me. Later that man introduced himself to me. He was Sanjay Sen, and he had a hotel too. He asked me if I want to stay in his hotel instead. I nodded yes. Then Mr Sen suggested me to call my Parent first to inform them about my safety. I was in dilemma. If I made that call my travel would have ended there. Mr Sen made me understand the intensity of the situation. If I did not call them, then Police would do whatever they feel right. I was scared of the police as they were treating me like a criminal.

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The Call Ruined My Travel Plan

So I had to call home and informed my father that I am in Digha. They were already searching for me and filed a missing complaint at the local police station. Mr Sanjay Sen spoke to my father and told him not to worry about me. Next day, he will personally drop me home safely. Again My brain worked. I requested Mr Sen to call again my parents to inform them that tomorrow he won’t be able to come but the day after tomorrow he will. He was surprised until I gave him the logic. I came for a vacation which I did not want to destroy. It already got spoiled because of the fiasco. at least I could have 2 days to explore the place. He laughed and took me to his hotel.

End Of The Day

I realized tomorrow afternoon I would be at my home. So I had very little time to enjoy my vacation. I asked Mr. Sen, would you like to come for an evening stroll or I shall continue. He agreed as he had no other option because I was his responsibility. That was my first and last visit to Digha. But that night I enjoyed it a lot. We walked through the beach. Sat somewhere near the beach. I saw every people were happy and roaming around enjoying the beach. Mr Sen offered me a horse ride. I told him that I don’t like to ride animals. Then he bought me some fresh fish fry and coconut water. I bought a black hat and a new sunglasses for myself. After that, he took me to a nice restaurant for dinner. I was going to stay with him in his hotel for that night, the next day he would take me back to Kolkata. So I requested him again to sit beside the beach for some more time post-dinner. That time he laughed again but agreed.

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In this pandemic situation all over the world, travelling is one of the difficult tasks now. It’s a strange time to be a traveller or travel enthusiastic. Our world predicated on the belief that everywhere, anywhere, is just a drive, ride or flight away. These past few months of being strictly at home, even sometimes walking down the street not even possible. If there’s no travel, there’s no travel blogging. During this time I realise maybe travelling is not physically possible for a certain time but there are many ways to explore your travelling passion.

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When Travelling In Your Hand

Virtual travel experiences that let you explore the world from your suitable place. This tours can take you pretty much anywhere, without your passport. Travelling is a learning process. Either you are in physically travel or either you travel virtual, you learning lots of unknowing things. In this pandemic situation, we don’t live our nomadic life that’s right but we watch travel documentaries, travel show and many more things. In the digital platform, there are a ton of travel vlogger publish their travel experiences. You want to know lots of new things, tips and idea about your travel destination, then there it is.

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Reading An Alternative To Travel

I always prefer to read some book, about my travel destination. Because its help me making a sudden decision during my trip. Reading is mind travel. Reading a book is clear your thought and it gives you imagination power. Last few months we all are stuck at our houses for the pandemic situation. No travel at all. Maybe coming few months are also a little difficult for the travel lover. So do that mind travel choose your next travel destination and pick the book about your destination. And I am sure your mind reached your destination. In India, there is a famous Bengali author named Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay he never been African jungle, but he wrote a famous novel called Chander Pahar (The Mountain of the moon). This Novel is published in 1937 and believe me that era not even know the power of Google or the internet. The mind is the most powerful thing we have.

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Photograph Is Another Journey

Travel without photographs means an ocean without water. A photograph is the first thing to encourage your travel. When you are home during this pandemic situation watch travel photographs. Watching travel photograph is eye-soothing and cheerful. In my childhood, I saw some African safari photos these photos till then encourage me to go to Africa. I am sure you have some travel photograph in your mind when you want to go someday.

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People Have A Lot Travel Stories

In my childhood, I used to listen to my father’s travel stories. I used to cherish those. Every detail, every incident used to take me to that place. Not only that, but I also got to know about so many places that hardly mentioned in any travel destination list. Now when I am an adult, I still use the same old trick. In my neighbourhood, there are people who travelled to many places. From them, I get to know about Visa procedure, places to visit, their best travel experience. These tips always help me to plan my travel and bookings.

Travelling is in your mind. Nothing in this world can stop that travel. It’s only you who can set a limit. Decide your own limit and travel as far as you can.

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