Backpacking Into the Abundance!

A wanderlust into the abundance resulted in an evolution of mind and heart, a sense of liberation from all the mental obstacles & emotional dependencies. A greater responsibility of taking care of myself and being in love with the way my heart traverses through with Love, passion and compassion. This backpack trip was an amazingly profound experience and here I’m sharing that happiness.

A normal day at office, a realization that we may have a long weekend and immediately grabbed at the opportunity to wander around. Started as an unplanned trip, like the idea of this trip came just a week before the day I actually started. But ended up being well planned, thanks to the people around, was able to come up with an itinerary. All was in booked in advance like Travel, stay & rental bike.

The Day arrived, well packed, caught the train on time, in a sultry & sunny evening from Chennai to Mangalore. When I started planning the trip, the destination was Gokarna and then evolved into an itinerary covering Mangalore for a couple of days and Gokarna for a couple of days. Soon after crossing the outskirts of Chennai, the clouds around converged to shower rains. The sweaty heat in Chennai, Window seat travel in Train, and now the rainfall. So far So good.

The next day, the day 1 of my wandering, I woke up when the train reached Kannur, Kerala. The journey for the next three hours was pleasant, with greenness, water bodies all across the horizon. And I got a sneak peak of the Sea from the train as the railway lines were passing to the sea. Reaching Mangalore, I checked into the homestay which I had booked. It was a secluded place situated right next to the Ullal Beach, Mangalore. The homestay person was warm, though I never met him and had our conversations only through Phone. He made sure all the amenities were in place and it was ready to be occupied when I arrived.

The homestay in Ullal, Mangalore

Getting ready, took a walk through the neighborhood, as it was Ramzan, the place was deserted. Reached the highway, caught a bus and went to the city and took the rental bike which I had already booked. Then had my breakfast in a Cafe suggested by a friend, Taj Cafe. Then headed to St. Aloysius Church, which had some ancient Italian paintings throughout the interior walls of Church. I was told by the pastor there, this is only the Second such Church present after the Vatican Church. The paintings each depicting a story from Bible was a treat to watch. The way they’ve maintained the paint not to recede from the growing pollution was scientific and educative. There was a museum near by, which had some precious ancient materials that were used in the British rule.

First Car used in Mangalore, St Aloysius Museum

Then headed to one of many beautiful beaches in this beautiful city of Mangalore. Tannirbhavi Beach is a different kind of beach than the ones I’m used to in the east coast. The shore had pine trees providing a thick shade, and the sunlight peeking through those trees and creating a pattern of shades were a treat to watch. Though the climate was sunny, it felt pleasant to be sitting beneath those trees and having a glimpse of the Arabian Sea. After spending an hour or so, taking pictures, left from there to have my lunch at Gajilee, again suggested by a friend. The food was great there and after having a sumptuous lunch, drove out to Bekal Fort in Kasaragod which is a 50 kms drive from Mangalore.

Being Alone gives us time to Wonder. @ Tannirbhavi Beach

The drive was brilliant all through the abundance and the nature is still so intact in that part of the world. The only niggle being the bike I drove, not an Yamaha which I always have a leaning preference. Reached to the Bekal Fort, and as it was a holiday there, it was quite crowded. One thing which was there in my mind was this is the place where the ever famous ARR song with exotic picturisation, ‘Uyire’ has been shot.
It was splendid surprise for me to witness that huge fort in all its essence in the evening just before the Sunset. There were some sights to behold, one can truly experience those seen through the naked eye. I got down to the Sunset view point and with all the other people was waiting to witness the spectacle. Spent the evening capturing photos of the waves splattering into the rocks, there were requests from folks to click their pictures, which I happily obliged. After a long wait, the Sun was yet to set, but the time crossed 6:45 and we were asked to disburse from the fort as it’s getting late.

Uyire…! @ Bekal Fort

The drive back was one of the most stunning drives I’ve had along the coastal region. The change in color patterns every ten minutes, to every turn and witnessing them along riding a bike was an amazing experience which I would cherish for a long time. Once I reached my homestay, the time was already past 8. Caught up with the India vs South Africa world cup match for an hour, and in process dozed off to sleep.


Woke up to overnight rains, the place where I’m staying had dense plantation and the aroma of petrichor made the day for me. Then set out for a morning walk along the beach with my Camera. Was capturing some interesting moments and frames which gave the whole essence of the abundance that I am in. After a couple of hours walk, got ready and started to yet another long drive, this time to the northern part of Mangalore, Kaup Beach. The drive again was a pleasant one with slight drizzling, the nature making sure that I’m not wet and also it’s not sunny either.

Couple Enjoying the beach, holding hands.. 🙂

Kaup beach is another serene, peaceful place to be in. The light house was the highlight, accompanied with a backwater stream, the vast expanse of the sea shore across both sides of the light house. You just got to be there and sit in silence and witness the abundance that’s there to display. You would forget the idea of time and how it’s passing. Sitting there alone on a rock, on the edge of the sea, above the sea level, with the view shores on both sides behind, a stream sneaking though right next to you. It reminded me of a Rumi’s poetry,

Now let me sit here, on the threshold of two worlds, lost in the eloquence of Silence.

With Life as short as a Half taken Breath, Don’t plant anything but Love!

Lose Yourself, Lose Yourself, Lose Yourself in this Love!

After a trance experience, left the beach, drove back to the City and had lunch and then to the Mangalore’s favorite and much hyped Ice cream parlour, Pabba’s Ice cream. To my delight and living up the hype, the Ice cream varieties were too good and tasty. With half heart and full stomach, left the place to return back the rental bike. Then caught a bus back to Someshwara Beach.
I was told that this is a best beach in Mangalore to witness the Sunset, with less populated, an under explored beach to hangout. And my sources were spot on. Reached the beach around 4, and I was just on my own, lying around a rock, resting, waiting for the Sun to set. The sound of the waves plunging into the rock, the wind blowing across the shore, the trees right next to the shore, me with my camera. I couldn’t ask more.

Alone with the Abundance!

And what a Beautiful Sunset I was witnessing. It’s a human tendency, that they don’t realize the happiness when they’re actually in it, we would realize it only when it’s over or lost. But at that moment, I was truly happy and I was in the realization of that in the moment itself. To be Present, To be here, To be Now, with the Abundance. It’s happiness.

Best Sunset!

The Next day, I need to catch a train at 5:30 AM to Gokarna, and with the help of some broken Kannada and a friend’s Whatsapp recording, I caught hold of an Auto driver and asked him to come and pick me up at that time of the hour. Gratefully he was on time and dropped me at the station 10, 15 minutes earlier. The train reached Gokarna around 11 and I reached my cottage. A small hut like place and a warm host, who was welcoming, had great communication, knew around the locales well. He was inquiring about my visit and plans and suggested to just relax and get in the mood of this place, rather than the compulsiveness of checking out all the places to visit. He was right and it was in sync with what I had also in mind. He was also pleasantly surprised that I’m traveling alone without any inhibitions. The next two days in Gokarna, was me chilling at the beach, drenched in the abundance, the views, great food, lot of walking around, hiking, and all that.

Chill, Relax. Me and my Companion’s mood @ Gokarna

The first day completely I was in Kudle Beach. It was a great place to hangout, restaurants right at the beach, with a view to the sea. And do I need to add anything about the Sunset view across the horizon more. It was just splendid. This time around there were people in the beach, across all types. Couples, Families, group of boys, group of girls, a group playing football, and a few playing Frisbee. These gave a new dimension to my photographs. They each represented a story that I could weave in my photographs. I was just walking to and for across the breadths of the shore and capturing those moments. I had a fellow companion as always, a dog who would walk with me and when I sit, he also relaxes with me. Then once the Sun is well down, reached my hut, a 10 mins walk from the Kudle Beach, refreshed and then again came back down to the beach. Was there in the beach till midnight and then left back to cottage.

Richness is in Life and not in Possessions.
When You move like a Stream, Love without Self Inclusiveness, You’re free from the inhibitions of the Body.

The next day, the plan was to visit Om beach, and then a hike to Half Moon beach. As per plan went to Om beach, had my breakfast, again with the Sea view. Then spending some time there, started my hike to half moon beach. With no one around, in to the dense forest and rocks, was wandering into it and not sure what’s up there. Following the foot prints, an half and hour hike, I reached the half moon beach, another Serene, Scenic beach with just me, a dog and the Sound of waves, right in between the abundance. The whole afternoon, I was just relaxing there, watching the waves hit the rocks, the trees, Wondering this abundance and falling in Love with it moment by moment, again and again.


This is the last evening in this trip and I am here lying in the shore watching the blue skies and just being in that moment. These are some of the surreal moments of peace which I experienced in this wanderlust trip.

I got back, and then with a heavy heart started back to the Gokarna Bus stand to catch my bus back to Bangalore. After reaching Bangalore in the morning, got the train back to Chennai and reached Chennai around 3 PM back to my home. Bliss!

Reminiscing back, this trip was another great experience of Abundance and how this abundance has helped me to find my own self. All these 5 days along, I was just being me, no care about what others think, what about how I’m perceived, no nothing at all. I felt truly liberated from that clutches, all the mental obstacles and emotional dependencies. This trip uniquely identified that personality within me and brought it back to forefront. All through these 5 days, Only I was in control of Myself. Whatever would have happened was solely my responsibility. There were many mistakes, hardships, wonders, ecstasy, peaceful times, etc,. Whatever the emotions or repercussions resulted from this wanderlust, I am the reason. This is Liberation and at the same time a great responsibility. Self Love and following your heart does give you that Liberation and a sense of responsibility.

Be here and Now!

Responsibility of owning up myself completely, responsibility of taking care myself all alone and the liberation of being happy with my own self and the Abundance! A way to an Inimitable Life!


My Companion for the trip!

Wander.. Seek.. Wonder.. Hope.. Love!


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Trek Into The Abundance – A Travelogue

I just decided out of the blue, an idea of spending the birthday with the Mountains. Giving a quick thought, decided it would be the best gift. So I embarked on this Journey into the Abundance. After all the preparations, flying from Chennai to Bagdogra via Bangalore, a long wait in the airport with the excitement, the actual journey started.

A Nervous Start and a Saving grace, the Nature itself

A pleasant drive into the abundance and it became more colder when we drove uphills. When we stopped for the tea in the evening, I knew I had to wear more warmer clothes. But this is just a beginning. When we reached the base camp to the village of Kopidana, it was raining. Slightly drenched, we reached one of the many Homestay through the following days.

There was no power and the nerve wrecking chillness to accompany with, I was in doubt would I be able to survive in this cold. Forget the mercury level, my excitement level was down because of the cold. Then switching on to warmer thermals and a layer of dress over it helped me get over the Chillness a bit. There was an intro session with fellow trekkers and the itinerary, essentials were explained by the trek lead. The caution word given was that this will be the warmest night that we’ll be experiencing the whole trek, which irked me. Then we had our dinner and decided to go out for a walk. With just the Moonlight Shining bright we went for walk into the woods and it warmed up our bodies and heart. The exquisite moonlight, the strong fragrance of the woods and the chilling temperature made some magic into my soul and I was back again excited and looking forward to the next day and further.

The Sunrise!

The day started with myself getting before the Sun and sitting in the view point waiting for the Sunrise! He came out all Shining and wiping out the chillness and shivers. I was clicking the pictures of the mountains and the Sun coming out, all while with a wide smile. And it was a great start to my Birthday with the Abundance!

Head Start

After a relaxed morning, we started for the trek after the functionary introductions, conditions and group photographs. Today we would be trekking for around 11kms and climbing from 6300ft to 9700ft, the most altitude in a single day of this trek. And without any alarm and not knowing what to expect I started walking. And to my dismay it was a steep climb in stairs initially. With my trek bag and the camera bag in my back it was challenging. After initial struggles, my body got tuned and then was able to continue my trek at a comfortable pace. We used to stop for breath and simultaneously look around the beauty, the Nature is showing off. First stop is for tea, where we crossed the Nepal Border and a beautiful valley with a Monastery. A much needed break.

A Monastery in the middle of nowhere

The trek continued after that and gradually we could see the scatters of snow on either side of way. As it’s the first time in my life witnessing snow, my heart started dancing with joy. We had a fellow companion, a dog which was also coming along with us. Guiding us the track, resting with us, looking around the mountains, the dog also seemed excited. Then as true as a travel companion, the dog left us in the place where stopped for lunch.

Fellow Companion

While trekking, the temperature was not a problem, it was manageable and as we are walking a lot, the body temperature coped up with it. Finishing the lunch our trek continued, into many ascends and villages on the way. Around 4PM we reached our campsite for the night, Tumling. We reached our homestay with warm welcome from the local people. All the walking made my body tired and I needed rest. But with the beauty around, I couldn’t rest for a long time. After a quick refreshment, I took my camera out and wandered around the place. In an altitude of 9700ft and Sun Shining around the mountains and standing in the same level where the clouds forming a huge wave like structures, it was a sight to hold on.

Wave of Clouds


With my fellow trekkers, climbed to near uphill to view the Sunset. Clear Blue Skies, Mountains around, snowy white clouds and the Sun is setting. What else can a Photographer within me would ask. I was having a gala time, and the clouds were clearing one by one showing the hidden mountains behind them. As the Sun went down, and we at rest, the temperature became gradually colder. Others started to leave for the homestay, a warmer place. But I was stubborn to be there as I wanted to witness the Sunset in its all essence. It helped as there was network in my phone. I was calling couple of friends back home and sharing the happiness with them. As the minutes tripped on, the orange color now spread onto the sky from the fading Sun. Far across, the clouds started to clear and the Majestic Mount Kanchenjunga was on display. The hardship of wait, the temperature, now faded away and the joy of witnessing this Sunset and its shades in the Ice clad mountains were worth it!

The Orange, Snow Clad Mountains

While getting drenched in the abundance, I felt the fellow trekkers also should experience it. So went back to the homestay and informed them. Like kids they started running towards the view point and witnessed the beauty. As we had this show off from the abundance, we didn’t quite mind the cold as of now. After the Sun completely went down, we returned to the homestay, to hot tea and some snacks made by the people there. We gathered around the fireplace. The unique thing about our batch of trekkers are there are only 5 members, and we are from three different countries. Two Indians, a teenager from Holland, a couple from UK. Apart from the couple, all the other were strangers to each other and we met only at the basecamp. So we were discussing about the diversities across our countries culturally, linguistically and this would be the common them of most of our discussions in the trek. This helped in learning new perspective about how humanity can be faced. All the other were warm, helpful, and gave insights without any judgement.

One Blissful Moment!

The two local guides from Nepal with the people from homestay, threw a surprise birthday celebration with a candle and wished me with their own style of greeting people. Making a garland of white piece of cloth, they tied around my neck and they were a pretty warm hosts for the party. We then continued playing cards while conversing all along, and then to dinner. Once dinner is over we were hanging out around the fireplace for sometime and went to bed.


The next day, after fighting it out with the cold in the night, was a fresh start. We were tad unlucky as the clouds didn’t clear out in the morning for our Sunrise view. So we stayed indoors and got ready for the trek. After waving bye to the homestay people we started our trek around 8:30 to a bright day. The morning session was a relaxed walk, basically we were trekking through the Singalila Natioanl Park and it was a comfortable trek. In the middle we crossed some villages and had a tea break in one of the villages. We were expecting the rare sight of a red panda in vain. Marching along we reached Garibosa for lunch. The climate became colder now. As true to the all the hotels there, the people were so friendly and made us comfortable. We refilled our water bottles and started the trek again, which warned by the guides would be a tough 2 kms. And it was a steep climb in steps through a thick forest. While walking it started to drizzle as we entered into the motor way road.

Met these two in One of the villages

What followed was a long walk of 5 kms with nothing but snow and trees through the ghat road. Though it was a relaxed walk, we had toiled hard in the last 2 kms that made me walk slowly. And all the while there was a light snow fall which couldn’t be seen, but felt. One thing about that walk while reminiscing now is, all along I was in that moment and nothing else. No memories, no expectations about what’s going to happen, I was just in the moment, gazing around and watching how my body copes up with this extreme temperature and this tiring workout. The zig zag roads finally ended in a black lake. We couldn’t see the full view of lake as it was totally covered by snow and mist. The trek was exhaustive and adding to that is the freezing cold temperature. I changed into warmer clothes with multiple layering, we decided to spend the night inside the homestay. We were served hot food and we started our card game along with it. One of my fellow trekker pulled out a card trick which made the people around excited. We were talking and usually the topics circled around the diversity of this world and each of us perspective on that. Then I was introduced to the concept of hot bottle, which was really helpful to make myself warm in the bed. It made my sleep comfortable and all set for the trek next day, the toughest day in the trek!

The Zig Zag Road with nothing but Snow!

Day 4, after our morning rituals, we were set for the trek around 9 AM. The guides informed us it would be the toughest climb, steep and into the snow all through. It’s 6 kms and the plan is to reach the summit for lunch. With curiosity and excitement of reaching the summit, started the trek. The warnings were all true and indeed it was a tough climb which was steep, and snow fall around making it more difficult. The altitude is now getting higher and higher and the lungs needed more oxygen which made me to take long deep breathes. As usual, I would take my breaks and start shooting photographs, videos. I was thinking many creative ways to divert the daunting climb ahead and the abundance around helped. After all the walking, climbing and crawling, finally reached the Summit.

Journey Into the Abundance!

The experience of this particular 6km trek was out of the world and really pushing me my limits. So after it culminated it was a great sense of achievement and relief. The sweet moment of success as a result of all the toil my body went through and you ought to have a new meaning to life. More about that later. To our dismay though it was completely snowing and there was no view and only clouds around us. We placed our bags in the homestay there and changed to warmer clothes and settled in a restaurant nearby. Throughout the trek we had roti and rice, and for a change they served Chowmein, which I felt was delicious and a welcome change to my taste buds.


It was around 3 PM and as it was a tiring trek, and the temperature in negative outside, we thought we would comfort ourselves in bed. After a few minutes in bed, thought that after all this hardships, I shouldn’t be spending the day in bed. So got up and went to the restaurant and sat down there. Made myself comfortable, gazing through the glass windows, with some music on. Spent the evening hoping the clouds would clear away. The local guide informed that according to the weather forecast it would be clear the next day.

Staying Indoors..

At this moment when I had completed one of the pushing things that I’ve done in my entire life, and with nothing much to do other than sit and wait for the clouds to clear, I started reminiscing. The past four days were entirely a new experience in my life. I have never been in a trip without my friends, and never visited the Himalayas before and never believed that my body and mind would possess the strength to achieve this feat. My passion to explore the abundance was always there but this new found courage to get into action and embark into such journey was a delightful pat on my back. It gave me a confidence that anything can be achieved when you’ve the heart, passion and effort to go in with it to make it a success. This may be a moderate trek and not the toughest one out there, it still was the first time experience for me and at that moment I decided I should be doing more and more such journeys into the Unknown. Exploring the life with all the experiences and working hard to make that happen, being in the moment, and the abundance would always be there to guide you through all your endeavors. My fellow trekker compared the evening we were spending in the restaurant to Purgatory. A new word to me and the answer to my question what it means was, a state where we wait to enter into heaven or hell. With the day’s trek and the much expected colder temperature in the night, I replied, definitely it’s going to hell for us in the night.
But You may Never no, don’t You?

That Final Accomplishment!

The morning started with thuds in our door and shouts of wake up soon. I jumped and went to look through the window. It was clear. With all the hurry burry I took my DSLR and ran outside. There it was, the view of the village so crystal clear with snow covered at literally everything. We ran to the view point and there we had the much talked about and the USP of this Sandakphu Trek. A 360 degree panoramic view of the snow clad Himalayas. The Sun started slowly coming up on the horizon ensuring us a great view. The Majestic Kanchenjunga much closer and much more stunning that we can’t take our eyes for few minutes. After a long hard look at them, I turned around to witness other beautiful peaks surrounding us. We were searching and finding out many other peaks. The White snow, Blue Sky and the Sunrise was a true visual delight and now it got me back to our last night’s conversation.

The Purgatory ended up in Heaven!

Majestic Mount Kanchenjunga!

The Final Stroll

After a prolonged photo session, we got ready for our descent. With heavy heart, we left Sandakphu and started our trek into the bamboo forests with the Sun blazing. The total distance of this day’s trek is 16 kms, the longest in the Sandakphu trek. But with the descent, the Sun out there, and the changing nature of the paths, it was turning out to be quite easy. This day we trekked through the snow, muddy paths, into a bamboo forest through most of the morning, then a dense forest, then through some villages, across a river bank and finally a motorway road, it had it all. The view in the morning, where the nature cleared out for us to witness, the trek that followed made this day the best day in the whole trek.

The Final Stroll..

It all culminated so nicely to our last homestay in the evening. As always we were greeted with a warm welcome. And we are finally allowed to take a bath. All cleansed up and fresh from the beautiful day, we all sat around the table for one last time in the trek. We were distributed certificates for successfully completing the trek, hot dinner and chats through the evening. And thus this marvellous experience finally ended on a bright, exciting, bit tiring, very happy note. Cheers!