Monday, October 14, 2013

Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K) - Solo Motorcycle Roadtrip

There ain't no journey what don't change you some - Cloud Atlas.


Let me lay it down nice and straight. I’m an addict for the concoction of motorcycle and open highways. There is no denying it. It’s been so for quite some time now.

What started as fun and adventure did take a rather serious turn. In a matter of few years, the esprit-de-motorcycle evolved from being a passion to an insatiable craving for something bigger - an instrument of freedom, a sense of individuality and a elixir for solitude.

It is said, “If you want to be happy, ride a motorcycle”. I was craving for the sort of bliss that stays with you for 8 hours a day uninterrupted for 14 days in a row.

In September 2013, I did the Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K) solo motorcycle road trip. A long cherished dream and a favorite item from the bucket list.

This ride has all the right motivating factors.
  • Distance: A journey across the length of India is not meager by any yard stick. The endeavor is risky and rewarding to the equal extents  
  • Motorcycle: Blackbird (Well, every biker has a name for his bike) has been the great love of my life.  
  • Solo: Long distance solo rides gradually develop a certain degree of courage and individuality. Helps you make peace with some of those unsettled thoughts, lends valuable perspective on life & quality living. YOU are the one person YOU ought to know well in life.

So, as I kick started the bike, I hoped that the journey would be two-fold; of self exploration and at the same time firsthand experience of the Incredible India. And of course, I had to find the answer to the million dollar question. “What will break first. My back, My bike or My spirit?”.

The awe and bliss of this ride unlike anything else I’ve been through till now. I must tell you that some experiences are so majestic that they can neither be articulated nor imagined. One can only live them through. #K2K #Solo #RoyalEnfield is definitely one of those things.

So, I’ll just elaborate on some of the merits & nuances of K2K solo ride; hoping to inspire some of you.

My Ride Statistics - Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K) & then to Bangalore
  • Total Distance : 5,043 kilometers 
  • No. of days : 14 days  
  • No. of riding days : 12 days
  • No. of states: 9 (JK, PB, DL, HR, RJ, MP, MH, KAR, TN)
  • Bike : Royal Enfield Thunderbird (TBTS)
  • Road & journey: Refer to this post

The ride from Himalayas to the Indian Ocean is challenging, inspiring and scary; all at the same time. It’s an in-person exploration of the rich pluralism of our country and the delicate fabric that binds it together. I can’t tell you what is more charming; experiencing the vibrant & endearing diversity or exploring the delicate similarities every day of the ride. Truth be told, these delicate similarities are what makes up India. Without them, we would be just be 20 odd countries speaking a different tongue and following different traditions. Think it over.

On the K2K ride, you see a lot of things change on a daily basis. In each state/region, you’ll find a different terrain and weather. The local cops wear a different uniform. The women dress differently (men don’t have much of an option anywhere). The name plates and signboards are in a different language. The local rickshaw/tuk-tuk looks different each day. Something as simple and ubiquitous as tea/chai tastes differently all along. It is quite amusing that your mobile phone service provider will welcome you to a new telecom circle every day.

Ride Pictures


If the slideshow isn’t rendering correctly, try this link.

I’ve organized the rest of my experience and learning in these three posts:
Do explore them and let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.”
- Andrew Zimmern


Reactions:

34 comments :

  1. Really inspiring Journey!! My Dream journey!!

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  2. Crazy but really a daring passion !!! Lovely description and pics.. Cheers

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  3. Hi Jayanth,

    Your blog popped up on my Facebook news feed from a common friend's page and I ended up reading the whole adventure :) I am so jealous ! This journey is on my bucket list too...Very well written and the pictures are great..Thanks for sharing :)

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    Replies
    1. HI Pavithra,

      Thanks for your kind words & good luck for your journey :)

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  4. You round it off well with Andrew Zimmern's quote.

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  5. Pure Awesooomeness :) Congratulations.. I am looking forward to doing this very soon..

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  6. Awesome ride mate!! truly inspiring I say!!

    Cheers
    Karthik

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  7. Awesome!! Wish I could do it someday.

    Btw, you should've tried sponspors for your trip. Sure you'd found plenty.

    Well done ma'n. Good going.

    Cheers

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    Replies
    1. You can.. anyday you want :)
      Thanks Buddy.

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  8. Neatly written Jayanth and Congratulations on completing this amazing feat!

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  9. I have no words to say anything Jayanth. When I read it all, I just took a deep breathe and there was surprising, admiring smile on my own face.
    All I can say is 'I am so proud of you'. Glad to have met.

    The best part of your writing was: Helps you make peace with some of those unsettled thoughts, lends valuable perspective on life & quality living. YOU are the one person YOU ought to know well in life. (Especially last sentence) :)

    Simply Brilliant.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Pratima for the kind words.. Nice to see that those lines caught your attention :-)

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  10. Jayanth..toooooooo guuuud:0 And also I am feeling J(ealous)!!! You actually travelled all the 9 states in 14 days...
    Waiting to hear more adventurous and thrilling travelogues...Keep going - Hats oof to Royal Enfield tooo...

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    1. Thanks Anchal.

      Actually, it was 12 days!
      Rest on 13th day and back home on the 14th :)

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  11. hats off to your spirits! truly inspiring and rejuvenating :-) CONGRATULATIONS!

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  12. Good Stuff !!!!!

    Could you please share me your day to day itinerary used in the K2K ride.

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    1. Hi Shamanth,

      Here's the link to my Route Plan.
      Link: http://goo.gl/maps/ZRrQJ

      Each pin indicates a stop-over.

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    2. Route Link is not proper I believe and I also wanted the day to day itinerary of your travel.

      When I did my ladakh I had a rough day to day travel plan like place and distance to be traveled on each day. Which will never work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure u would have experienced it !!!!!!

      Kindly lemme knw if u have it. U can email it to me. My id is Shamanthadvocate@gmail.com.

      Sorry for the trouble !!!!!

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    3. Hi Shamanth,

      I've emailed you the details.

      Delete
  13. Great trip Jayanth..Hats off to your passion :)

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  14. Hi Jayanth!

    Cheers mate on your wonderful trip! Some of the phrases of your story reminds me of my bike trip to Ladakh. Such a passionate biker you are!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shishir,
      Ladakh bike trip is also one of my favorite memories. Thanks for dropping by and your kind words.

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  15. Mi & my 2 friends did like pune to vaisno devi to patni top to pune....0 km to 6000 km in 15 days....both side riding. ... congrats we would like to do this....very inspiring. ...thanks

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    Replies
    1. Wow... 6,000 kms must have been bloody awesome.
      Thanks for your compliments and keep riding :)

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