Most people know me as a mountain person, as I spend about 80% of my time in a year over on the mountains. But the truth is , I am also as much fond of sea, if not more. Yes it did take me a little late to realise that as I was wandering in the mountains mostly with work and stuffs. But better late than never. Finally this year , I took upon myself to venture some of magical beach paradises of India. Gokarna was the first choice.
Situated in the state of karnataka by the arabian sea, gokarna is a temple town , very religious for the hindus , but backpackers , travelers and hippies like me , find their spirituality in the beaches of the town less known to the world. Gokarna has five beaches mainly, Kudle , Om, Half moon , Paradise and gokarna beach itself. I took up my residence in kudle beach, a lot of cheap shacks just hundred metres from the sea suits any traveler like me perfectly. Less crowded yet full of travelers from around the world enjoying the sun, sand and the sea.
Gokarna beach is mostly visited by the religious cult that comes to worship in the shiva temple in town. Om is the most commercialised of all beaches with nice vegetation around and cute lovely cafes and shacks operating. Half moon and paradise is only accessible by foot by hiking from Om beach. The best thing about all this beaches were that they were realy clean compared to other beaches around our country.
The usual day in Kudle starts early around 7 in the morning, people from all over the world, travelling here is mostly fond of yoga and meditation as I have felt. The morning would see , travellers running by the sea or meditating in calmness as the soft rays of sun hit the sand. I cannot imagine a better place to do yoga or meditation surely.
As the day grows older, the sun becomes cruel with scorching heat radiating around. Its best to be in any of the shacks in the beach and eat your breakfast slowly , savouring every bite and feeling there is no need to hurry and be bound by the time. Laziness might creep in but that is the best thing for then I guess. I loved my little worry less naps I could take in the shades of the trees with winds blowing in the sunshine. You can also have a beer and go for a bath in the sea, that is one of a kind relaxing too, I must say. Read your favourite novel or just listen to your music and look at the sea or the people around, the day passes.
Come near the evening , the beaches bloom in activities. Parents taking their children to swim , friends playing in the water or sport lovers like me playing beach football to celebrate the day.
As the sun is near the horizon , the time of sunset lures. Gokarna offers one of the best sunsets on the sea. The cliff around the blue water adds to the frame. The last soft rays of sun turns the sand golden, and all the people present on the beach would gather together to enjoy the best time of the day.
The musicians play their instruments , a sunset jam session is must if you have not experienced it yet. Soft winds , setting sun and harmony in music , what better can it get. A flee market comes to life during the sunset in Kudle , with nomads selling their artistic stuffs to earn some on the road. The Kudle beach is mostly home to hippies and nomads , and I find it comforting to be with them, which added to my great time here I guess.
The nights are calm, music playing in the shacks and cafes, while one can just sit in the beach hearing the roaring of the mighty waters, share some thoughts with nature, or a conversation with a stranger, or may be just sit and watch the unlimited stars glowing above the head. Whatever way it is , its a ending to a beautiful peaceful day of your life.
If you are going through this , you are surely a mountain lover like me and I hope this post helps you to reach the base of the highest mountain in the world.
From 1856, when Everest was first discovered as peak XV and measured at 8840m , the tallest pinnacle from the sea level, men had the fascination to climb it. By the time , they dared to take up the challenge it was known by the name of Mt.Everest, in gratitude of Mr. George Everest who was the head of Trigonometrical survey of India, who had done the measure. In 1953, finally , the summit was ascended and since then more than 4000 men have climbed the top of Everest.
Ironically , the beauty of Everest is not visible from the top of the summit , but from the foot of it , where it stands with all glory. That foot my friend , Is Everest base camp. The base camp , for me, is more important than the summit, for it is the confluence of diversified people in the world. It is the only common place where you not only find successful Everesteers or summiteers , but others mountaineers , amateurs and experts alike, all eyeing glory for the feat and also simple mountain lovers like us , who wants to see the highest mountain of the world from the closest point possible.
From EBC , at 18000 feet ,one can feel just a touch away from the Everest, and it might inspire us to climb it subsequently or as it does always, inspire us, in leading a life worth the feat of climbing it, or inspire us to, just be happy , like we are when we reach the base camp and behold the Everest. Happiness and Inspiration is worth a thing to take journey for , I am sure , you agree.
So if you are thinking and just going by your life, being a mountain lover, and have not yet been to the foot of highest mountain on earth, I think you should give a thought again.
The process of any journey of such caliber starts from the calling. Once I met a wise sage who told me “ places have a soul, and until it yearns to your soul and gives a beckoning you are not worthy enough to be there” . I do not believe in superstitions but I do belive in that line. So as the people of Nepal believe , Mt .everest to be the mother goddess of nature and hence they call it as Sagarmatha. And if faith is to be believed, until she calls us herself , what worthy are we mere mortals to reach and pay tribute at its feet? So do you think , it has yet called you? I believe it has.
The process also depends on the physical preparations, specially in days now, when our body work has decreased a lot, thanks to our intelligence and smartness. But to reach there to the base camp, you will need pure gut and health. If your health is not topnotch, you won’t find the true flavor of being there at such a place. For a sick body and mind does not let you enjoy the feeling, which is sure. So one must run jog, walk miles and kilometers to put up his body or one can also swim a kilometer a day , every day, like I do to prepare for such a journey. So are you ready to prepare yourself , put yourself to the grit?
The routes and other preps such as things to take, avoid, etiquettes can be learnt later, the question to be asked now, do you want to see Everest up close? Do you think you are worthy or have the calling? If you are as crazy as me, and feel it, give a shout for I am heading Everest this April. Ofcourse , you have thousands of organizations taking you to EBC, charging a fortune or less, promising you all comforts. I cannot promise you such. For I believe , Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I can only promise you to be by your side, when the first rays of sun hit the highest point of Everest. Together we stand and behold.
Images by Nastya Semynov , mountain lover & dear friend from Israel. Content by Deepjyoti Biswas.
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. Sharing you all those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust "