Are you wondering what’s Vikram Samvat and Vir Samvat? They are the traditional Indian calendars. You can read more about them here. I have shifted my year-end posts to this calendar. It is because the traditional year-end that happens after the Diwali celebrations and then wishing all friends and family alongwith some religious activities make for a lot more meaningful new year beginnings (and year ending). I haven’t found any meaningful connection with the gregorian New Year activity on 31st – 1st Jan.
Moreover, I was recently going through ancient timelines… when many ancient events happened and so on… and I realized that this calendar of BC and AD is oriented around Jesus Christ. So this makes it a Christian calendar. And not majorly relevant for me. Compared to that having a calendar which is oriented around Mahavir Swami (Jain tirthankar) or Vikramaditya, an impactful Indian king makes more sense. And resonates more with my culture and ancestral understanding.
So, traveling in the year 2073 (& 2543)…
Total days on the road: 2 months 28 days in Ahmedabad, Himalayas, Tiruvannamalai and Kolkata (not counting travels in 2016)
Last year, I celebrated Diwali and the New Year while in Taiwan. And it felt a bit sad, so that time mom and me discussed that at least during Diwali we should be together at home. But then this time we, the all extended family, decided to celebrate together in Kolkata, so the New Year happened in Kolkata but together with family 🙂
Mostly caught up with family stuff, I did manage a visit to Victoria Memorial (finally :p)
And I was pleasantly surprised to know that Diwali is celebrated there as Kali Pooja. I thought that after Durga Pooja that happens earlier on, there wouldn’t be much celebration for Diwali. But the numerous Kali pandals and associated festivities made up for that. And at least in the area I lived, there were a lot of fire-cracker celebrations. Moreover, since my relatives there are strict Jains, I got to see the Jain side of Diwali celebrations. So all in all a nice and very “happening” Diwali for me 🙂
However, when I started out for Kolkata, it had been tough because it meant that my Tiruvannamalai stay had to be shorter 🙁
Yep, finally after last year’s mad solo cycle ride from Chennai to Tiruvannamalai, I had the chance to visit Tiruvannamalai again. A lovely 3 weeks stay from last week of September until my Kolkata trip. 🙂
And I must say I had a beautiful time there. Very much in line with my lifestyle preference. Saatvic life with access to an ashram and temple that helped provide a conducive environment for meditation and other such activities.
I have been wondering where to write these blogs about places I visit and experience more as a spiritual seeker than a “traveller” because I do have another blog about spirituality too. And yet, traveling is also a deeply spiritual journey in its own way. So I don’t think it is something very different.
So earlier last year I took my work completely online. It happened once I returned from my Australia – Taiwan – South India trip. I had planned to take up a few projects once I am back in Mumbai. But just staying here, commuting and spending listless hours in an office with people who I don’t relate with just wasn’t working.
So I quit. I figured I will find something manageable online 🙂
There were concerns for sure… but it turned out pretty well. 🙂
So that is why, this year has been a roller coaster ride. In the last 6 months I have been on the road for almost 3 months. And these next few months look that way too. 😀
50 Days in the Himalayas
June – July I spent 50 days in the Himalayan mountains. Started off with a week in Spiti with family folks, followed by a month in a small town called Jibhi. Also, a few days in Shimla and nearby Shoghi.
And of course, special mention for first solo cycle trips in the mountain! Yay!
Read my adventures here. (I haven’t blogged much about it, lot’s more to write)
And that’s all…. nice long stays in quaint places… and the year has passed off already!
Have a great New Year 🙂
Lots more to write about Tiruvannamalai, Himalayan experiences, Kolkata and also about digital nomad lifestyle. Is there something you would like to read about? Let me know 🙂