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From Rishikesh to Gujarat

Date: June 27, 2024 | By: Ashish Sanghrajka | Category: Travel Blog

The Sense of Place Reignited

A few years ago in India, my colleague Colin, a former guide in India, and I were talking about the remote parts of India that we both fell in love with over the years. We were astonished at how 90% of the visitors to India all flocked to only a few states. We were honestly puzzled at the magic that is being missed in the simple haste of getting from one known city to another known city. How much was being missed by simply not stopping, or being too afraid to explore?


So I started asking many of you about India and the desire to get off the beaten track. The most common answer I heard was that India was too complicated to venture off into the remote. While that may have been true many years ago, a lot has changed. The infrastructure that now allows us to enjoy the smaller venues is a reality, one that we have been pushing for the better part of the last two decades now when it was more difficult to get around. I recorded a brief video from a favorite local resort, just outside Gir National Park in India, famous for Asian lions. The ability to get here is easier than in the past, driving past the peanut farmers and local villages. Life here is truly as it was centuries ago, which makes me proud. With my family roots coming from Gujarat and coming here since I was a teenager, it feels great to see progress without a loss of place.


Gujarat is just one of the examples of getting remote. With India quickly ascending from the world’s charity case, to one of the main economic powers, it is easy to see why seeing the real India is so important. Sure, some of the farmland is now turning into tech campuses, and factories, however, here in the interior, the greetings are as they were, the food as it was, and the smiles as they always have been. It’s not just Gujarat by the way, even in areas like Rishikesh, where India’s adrenaline trail begins, the evolution is done while protecting the sense of place. How do I know? Well, a quick dip in the Ganges, which most wouldn’t dream of doing, was still encouraged and rejuvenating up here. It may have been scorching hot on land, but the river remained ice cold because, like the cultural heritage, the sense of place, the grounding, is never lost.


So come see the space between. The real India. Getting here has never been easier.


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