135 episodes

The Musafir Stories is an audio podcast that documents Indian travel tales. Each episode, we share the journey of travelers in their own words and relive their experience with you, our listeners. The sole aim of our podcast is to share the rich experiences of traveling in India and inspire listeners to take the leap of faith, grab those backpacks and set out to explore the beautiful and exotic country, India!

The Musafir Stories - India Travel Podcast Saif & Faiza

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 190 Ratings

The Musafir Stories is an audio podcast that documents Indian travel tales. Each episode, we share the journey of travelers in their own words and relive their experience with you, our listeners. The sole aim of our podcast is to share the rich experiences of traveling in India and inspire listeners to take the leap of faith, grab those backpacks and set out to explore the beautiful and exotic country, India!

    Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal with Keshav Chaturvedi

    Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal with Keshav Chaturvedi

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to podcaster Keshave Chaturvedi as he takes us on a temple trail across North Karnataka!
    Today's destination: Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal, Karnataka
    Nearest Airport: Hubballi Airport - HBX
    Nearest Railway Station: Badami Railway Station (BDM)
    Prerequisites - N/A
    Packing - Pack light clothes, as it is hot most of the year
    Time of the year - Winter (November to Jan) and monsoons (June to Aug) are ideal time to visit
    Length of the itinerary: 3-4 days
    Itinerary Highlights:
    Kehsav takes us on a whirlwind tour across the Northern part of Karnataka on a temple trail. The pit stops include the Badami cave temples, Aihole and Pattadakal.
    We start with Badami, discovering the rock cut cave temples built during the 4-5th century CE by the Badami Chalukyas as they established their political capital in Badami. The cave temples consist of 4 main caves - 3 Hindu and 1 Jain cave that have some finely sculpted temples. Keshav talks through the significance of each of these cave temples as well as subtle differences.
    There is Cave 5, which is a relatively newer cave that is closer to the Agastya lake and Bhootnath temple and is unique for its representation of the deities
    Besides the cave temples, Badami also has a mosque that was likely built during the Adil Shahi sultanate. The town is also a popular hot spot for bouldering among the local and international community.
    Aihole was considered to be the cultural capital of the Chalukyas and is situated a few kms away from Badami.
    It is considered to be the cradle of Indian temple architecture due to the sheer diversity and number of temples found here. There are over 100 temples in the main complex including Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples.
    THe main temples include the Durga temple, Lad Khan temple, Gaudargudi temple and the Ravan Pahadi caves.
    Other important temples include Ambigergudi temples complex, Jyotirlinga temples complex, Mallikarjuna temples complex, Ramalinga temples group, Veniyar shrines complex, Maddin temples group, Triyambakeshvara temples group, Kuntigudi complex.
    Finally, Pattadakal came into prominence between the 7th and 8th century CE and was considered as the place of coronation of the Chalukya Kings. It is often referred to as a harmonious blend of architecture styles from North and South India.
    The main temples include - Kadasiddheshwara temple (Nagara/North Indian style), Jambulingeshwara temple, Galaganatha Temple, Chandrashekhara Temple, Sangameshwara Temple (dravidian/vimana style), Kashi Vishwanatha Temple (rekhanagara), Virupaksha Temple (dravidian/vimana), Jain Narayana Temple
    Links:
    Keshav’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keshavchaturvedi9/
    Keshav’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keshav.chaturvedi.37
    Keshav’s podcast - https://shows.ivmpodcasts.com/show/tedhe-medhe-raaste-8nsu-Rh7epsqeWjEL8yjl
    Follow the Musafir stories on:
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    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musafirstoriespodcast/?hl=en
    website: www.themusafirstories.com
    email: themusafirstories@gmail.com
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    • 47 min
    Coonoor with Ayush Kumar

    Coonoor with Ayush Kumar

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Ayush Kumar, solo traveller and photographer as he takes us to the hill town of Coonoor in Tamil Nadu!
    Today's destination: Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
    Nearest Airport: Coimbatore International Airport - CJB
    Nearest Railway Station: Coonoor Railway Station (ONR)
    Prerequisites - N/A
    Packing - Pack warm clothes, depending on the time of the year
    Time of the year - Summers (March to May) and winters (October to February) are ideal time to visit
    Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days
    Itinerary Highlights:
    Ayush takes us to the quaint little hill town of Coonoor on the podcast today - we begin the journey on the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nilgiri Mountain Railway or popularly known as the toy train.
    The train runs from Mettupalayam to Udhagamandalam or Ooty, making stops at several beautiful stations, including Coonoor. Make sure to book the tickets well in advance as the demand is very high during the tourist season! The toy train runs 3 times a day between Ooty and Mettupalayam, and is one of the steepest lines that is run on a narrow gauge rail line supported on a rack and pinion mechanism.
    The journey takes about 5 hours, and is one of the few lines that still runs on a steam engine (for a part of the journey). Other stations in the journey include Runnymede, Ketti, Hillgrove, Lovedale and Wellington. The railway line has also been featured in a number of popular movies including the SRK/Mailaika song “Chaiyya Chaiyya” and Kamal Hasan/Sridevi starrer Sadma.
    The Nilgiri biosphere is also an ecological hotspot that is teeming with wildlife and hundreds of species of flora and fauna. The western ghat formation is believed to be at least 150million years old, making this a significant part of the Indian subcontinent.
    After enjoying the train ride, Ayush covers off the touristy places in Coonoor including Sim’s Park, Lamb’s Rock and Dolphin’s nose to get a view of the beautiful Catherine Waterfalls.
    As you are visiting these spots, make sure to visit tea estates in the vicinity like Glen Morgan, Homedale, Glen Mark, Highfield tea estate, Guernsey Tea factory etc
    Other places Ayush explores include Tiger Hills and the cemetery, Wellington, Kotagiri among some of the other places.
    From a local cuisine perspective, make sure to check out Ramachandra restaurant (hotel) for some mouthwatering local dishes. Cafes include Cafe Diem, La Belle Vie, Bird house cafe, Crown bakery, Indian Bakery, Ayush shares his experience being stung by a honey bee as well as the trip to the nearby town of Wellington!
    Wellington is popular as the HQ of the Madras Regiment and its famous alumni include Field Marshall KM Cariappa. The trip also includes a visit to the Defence college, Wellington Lake and the Wellington Station. Other points of interest in the vicinity include Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Bandipur Tiger reserve and Kotagiri.
    Links:
    Ayush’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soul.traveller.kumar/
    Ayush’’s Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ayush.kumar.737448
    Ayush’s previous episodes:
    Bhubaneshwar - https://open.spotify.com/episode/3j9rNyQ9FUVrJJoSD4tcDP?si=6528696138dc4a01
    Puri - https://open.spotify.com/episode/2qlot1VdxOHoUsQhxGYPTc?si=50710e9bb1c44d43
    BBC Documentary on Indian Railways: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpoQO9ggzC4&list=PLwOyHkOUH9wKRF46cU7Pzxc4U1eE0RPst
    The Musafir Stories on Audible:
    Ooty - The Queen of Hills!
    https://www.audible.in/pd/Ooty-The-Queen-of-Hills-Podcast/B09F1PLKF7?ref=a_pd_The-Mu_c0_lAsin_0_3&pf_rd_p=fb415642-61ca-48d1-82f5-1e0dcaa1f83f&pf_rd_r=JP0AVEWDCXJYSEJ7B0XK
    Image Credit - Ayush Kumar
    Follow the Musafir stories on:
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    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musafirstoriespodcast/?hl=en
    website: www.themusafirstories.com
    email: themusafirstories@gmail.com
    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Androi

    • 57 min
    Kedarkantha Trek with Surya Raju

    Kedarkantha Trek with Surya Raju

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Surya Raju who was the very first guest on the podcast when we started more than 5 years ago talking about her experience on the Kedarkantha Trek!
    Today's destination: Kedarkantha, Uttarakhand!
    Nearest Airport: Dehradun Airport (DED)
    Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun Railway Station (DDN)
    Prerequisites - Permit required
    Packing - Pack trekking gear and warm clothes
    Time of the year - December
    Length of the itinerary: 6 days
    Itinerary Highlights:
    Surya talks about the USP of the trek, as well as the difficulty level and preparation required.
    The railway head for the trek is Dehradun from where the trek company takes the team to Sankri, the starting point of the trek.
    Sankri is a small village that serves as the base camp for a lot of treks including Harki Dun, Rupin pass along with Kedarkantha trek. It is situated at about 200kms from Dehradun and some buses ply to this little village.
    The first day’s trek involves trekking for about 5 hours and camping at the Juda Ka Talaav - a high altitude alpine lake. This is the first pitstop and provides some wonderful views with the stunning alpine lake surrounded by trees and some dense forests. The stop is a great chance not just to rest and recoup from the first day’s trek but also acclimatise with the altitude and get to know your trekking group.
    The next day’s trek is fairly easy and the team gains relatively less in terms of elevation. The destination of the second day’s trekking is the Kedarkantha base camp. The team not only rests here, but also prepares for the snow trek with microspikes to ensure grip.
    The final day of trekking starts very early in the morning, as early as 1AM when the team sets off for the Kedarkantha peak. This is the most strenuous of days given that the team has to not only summit the peak but also return to the base camp at Sankri.
    The trek involves an ascent in sub zero temperatures on very narrow ridges and severe conditions. However the views once you reach the summit are worth every bit. One gets a view of neighbouring Himalayan peaks including Nanda Ghunti, Swargarohini, Kalanag peak, Gangotri and Yamunotri ranges amongst others.
    The descent involves taking the same route back to the Kedarkanta base camp followed by a descend to Sankri, usually through a different route.
    Links:
    Surya’s podcast: Travel Rope - You Inspire Me - https://open.spotify.com/show/7vkwapzVBv2adt3qCjcLzl
    Surya’s blog - https://travelrope.com
    Surya’s’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/travel_rope
    Surya’s Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/travelrope/
    Surya’s Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/thetravelrope/
    Surya’s episode on Sikkim with The Musafir Stories: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5YI3FaVMG1QqCQOC6rdRr3
    Image Credit - Photo by Vivek Sharma on Unsplash
    Follow the Musafir stories on:
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    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themusafirstories/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musafirstoriespodcast/?hl=en
    website: www.themusafirstories.com
    email: themusafirstories@gmail.com
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    Do share the word with you folks!

    • 55 min
    Nagpur with Amol Wanjari

    Nagpur with Amol Wanjari

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Amol Wanjari, co-founder of Orange Odyssey - a tour company specialising in curating heritage experiences around Nagpur, Maharashtra!
    Today's destination: Nagpur, Maharashtra
    Nearest Airport: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (NAG)
    Nearest Railway Station: Nagpur Railway Station (NGP)
    Prerequisites - N/A
    Packing - Pack light
    Time of the year - October to February, winters are ideal time to visit
    Length of the itinerary: 3 hours
    Itinerary Highlights:
    Amol takes us on a guided heritage tour around the old city of Nagpur, uncovering the evolution of Nagpur.
    The evolution takes us from the prehistoric time to the post-independence era, unravelling a layered history of Nagpur.
    The first reference is of the stone circles at Junapani and Mahurjari that date back to the megalithic period. There are 300 such stone circles dating back to 3000 years ago and are believed to be burial sites of those periods.
    There is also a copper inscription at Devri dating back to the 10th century, probably from the Rashtrakuta period that mentions Nagpur.
    Then we discuss the Gond era, the Gond Fort, the foundation of Modern Nagpur, and the brief rule of Gods at Nagpur. There’s a bastion left from the early Gond period which we visit during the walk.
    After that, we unfold the History of Maratha's rule at Nagpur by visiting the Kalyan Dwar, a gateway of the old Rajmahal or Mahal of Nagpurkar Bhonsles, their rule & development of the city. During this layer, we visit Gol Bazaar, Kotwali Police Station, Kelibag Temple Complex, and Bakabaicha Wada (Now DD Nagar School).
    We then visit the site of the old palace to see the Town Hall & Native Library. We start here with the British rule & developments during the colonial period. After that, we visit Senior Bhonsla Palace, followed by the Rukmini temple complex. This temple is a masterpiece from the Bhonsle Rule.
    We then come to Shukrawar Darwaja, which is known as Gandhi Gate now. We talk about history from the post-independence period, discussing the Nagpur pact & the renaming of the gate & lake after Gandhi.
    As the walk ends here, we visit an old food establishment, to have Nagpuri breakfast of Tarri-Poha.
    Post that we take an overview of the structures of Civil Lines, like the Central Museum, High Court & Zero Mile Stone. We also have an overview of Weavers of Mominpura.
    Links:
    Orange Odyssey’s website - https://www.orangeodyssey.com
    Orange Odyssey’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/OrangeOdysseyIN
    Orange Odyssey’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/orangeodysseyindia/
    Orange Odyssey’s Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/OrangeOdysseyIndia/
    Image Credit - Amol Wanjari, Orange Odyssey
    Battle music: Sota War (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/sounds/258207/ ) by YleArkisto (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/ ) is licensed under CC by 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
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    website: www.themusafirstories.com
    email: themusafirstories@gmail.com
    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.
    You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

    • 51 min
    Calicut with Ajay Kamalakaran

    Calicut with Ajay Kamalakaran

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Ajay Kamalakaran, a writer and traveller as we explore the beautiful town of Calicut or Kozhikode, in the Malabar region of Kerala!!!
    Today's destination: Calicut or Kozhikode, Kerala
    Nearest Airport: Calicut International Airport (CCJ)
    Nearest Railway Station: Kozhikode Railway Station (CLT)
    Prerequisites - N/A
    Packing - Pack light
    Time of the year - October to February
    Length of the itinerary: 2-3 days
    Itinerary Highlights:
    Ajay sets off on our virtual trip to Calicut by speaking about the historical significance of the place, the influence of the Zamorins or Samoothris as well as the conquest of the colonial powers starting with the arrival of Vasco da Gama on the shores of Calicut.
    Some of the first pit stops in the city include the famous Kuttichira, a heritage locality popular for some wonderful monuments like the Miskhal mosque and the Tali temple. Ajay discusses the history of the place, architecture, cultural influences of the Chinese as well as Arab merchants which forms a part of the popular culture.
    We also discuss the popular eateries in Calicut, including the influence of the Arab and Gulf cuisine.
    We talk about the busy SM Street and its specialities including Halwa and Banana chips.
    Ajay then takes us to some of the prominent beaches including the Calicut beach and Kappad beach, where Vasco Da Gama first landed in India.
    Ajay also shares the experience of walking about in SM Street area as well as watching a movie in an old single screen theatre - Radha talkies.
    Ajay speaks of the popular personalities of Calicut including the former Defense Minister, VK Krishna Menon, PT Usha and author Vaikom Basheer as well as his hometown of Beypore and its shipbuilding industry.
    We discuss short day trips that cna be done from Calicut - Kannur, Ponnani, Thalassery and other places nearby including Mahe.
    Finally Ajay shares his experience interacting with the locals from different communities - including the oldest woman freedom fighter, Parsi community
    Links:
    Ajay Kamalakaran’s newsletter - https://ajaykamalakaran.substack.com
    Ajay’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/AjayKamalakaran
    Ajay’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajaykamalakaran/
    Ajay’s episode on Sakhlin islands: https://themusafirstories.com/podcasts/explore-sakhalin-island-with-ajay-kamalakaran/
    Image Credit - Photo by Arun Geetha Viswanathan on Unsplash
    Battle music: Sota War (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/sounds/258207/ ) by YleArkisto (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/ ) is licensed under CC by 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
    Follow the Musafir stories on:
    Twitter : https://twitter.com/musafirstories?lang=en
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themusafirstories/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musafirstoriespodcast/?hl=en
    website: www.themusafirstories.com
    email: themusafirstories@gmail.com
    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.
    You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

    • 54 min
    A weekend in Aurangabad with Sagar Senapati

    A weekend in Aurangabad with Sagar Senapati

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Sagar Senapati from Travel Safar aur Hum as we explore the historical town of Aurangabad.
    Today's destination: Aurangabad, Maharashtra
    Nearest Airport: Aurangabad Airport (IXU)
    Nearest Railway Station: Aurangabad Railway Station (AWB)
    Prerequisites - N/A
    Packing - Pack light
    Time of the year - October to February
    Length of the itinerary: 2-3 days
    Itinerary Highlights:
    Sagar starts off the journey by taking an overnight bus to Aurangabad from Mumbai. The historic town is at a distance of about 300kms from Mumbai.
    Sagar spends the first day exploring the Ajanta caves. Along with Ellora, these cave temples are the first UNESCO world heritage site from India.
    Ajanta caves are about 4 hours away from Aurangabad. The caves contain intricate sculptures and frescos and are an exemplary form of buddhist architecture. Ellora on the other hand is a mix of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain rock cut caves and temples, the most popular being the Kailashnath temple or Cave 16.
    The next day’s itinerary starts off with the Grishneshwar temple, one of the 12 jyotirlings of Hinduism. The temple is believed to be almost 1000 years old. The temple was reconstructed after previous Mughal destruction by queen Ahilyabai Holkar
    On the way from Ellora to Aurangabad, Sagar makes his next stop at the tomb of Aurangzeb, a very modest structure given he was one of the last powerful Mughal emperors.
    From here, Sagar visits the Devagiri fort, believed to be one of the most impregnable forts in India. The other structures within the complex include Chand Minar, similar to the Qutub minar
    The final destination on the itinerary is the Bibi ka Maqbara, a mausoleum built by Aurangzeb for his first wife, Dilras Banu Begum. The monument resembles the Taj Mahal but is on a much smaller scale. Make sure to enjoy a sunset at the maqbara to cap off your visit.
    Other places close by include Aurangabad caves, Panchakki and Shivaji Maharaj Museum. Also dont forget to try out the paan at the popular outlet Tara paan center and Paithani sarees.
    Links:
    Sagar Senapati’s travel on Travel Safar Aur Hum -
    Sagar’s Aurangabad trip - https://travelsafaraurhum.com/bibi-ka-maqbara-the-dakkhani-taj/ and
    Exploring Ajanta& Ellora Caves - https://travelsafaraurhum.com/exploring-the-most-visited-unesco-world-heritage-site-ajanta-and-ellora-caves-along-with-aurangabad-city/
    Sagar’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sagar_senapati1/
    Image Credit - Sagar Senapati (Travel Safar aur Hum)
    Follow the Musafir stories on:
    Twitter : https://twitter.com/musafirstories?lang=en
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themusafirstories/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musafirstoriespodcast/?hl=en
    website: www.themusafirstories.com
    email: themusafirstories@gmail.com
    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.
    You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
190 Ratings

190 Ratings

Arunish ,

Wonderful podcast, promoting tourism in India

It's a wonderful initiative by Saif and Faiza. If you are going on a trip to anywhere in India, you must look at this podcast and look whether the place has been covered by this podcast. If yes, you would hardly need any other resource to learn and plan about that destination. Ih have a suggestion however. Most of the time the interviewee's voice is not christle clear, sometimes echoing too much and very blunt at times. Please look into it.

SN KOZHIKODE ,

Thanks

Dear Saif and Faiza

Thanks for making my days great. I got into habit of listening to podcasts just a month back n when I was browsing your podcast just came across n being a travel lover though not explored that well but listening to Thrishhur podcast I really got into it. My thoughts manifested so beautifully n it’s been like a surreal experience. I enjoy this virtual tour and since then till today which is almost a good 60 days not a single day missed your episode’s.
It’s now become a daily ritual and I make time to listen to your podcasts and that I called my ME time. DND to entire world
I listened to
Thrishhur
Kochi
Varakala
Munnar
Pollachi
Coamandel coast
Mangalore
Goa islands
Mumbai
Varanasi
Pune
Bangalore and now listening to Darjeeling

I found bliss in musafir stories

Trust me the travel madness in me is getting developed n soon I wish to be in your show sharing one of my travel experiences too

Thanks for inspiring

God bless

Arjun Harish ,

Best Indian Travel podcast

I started listening to this podcast from the second lockdown. Has been a great companion for my cycling. Huge shout out to Saif and Faiza for asking the right questions, bringing in great travellers and creating great content. The search for great Indian travel destinations ends here.
Wishing you guys good luck on many more episodes.

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