89 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

    • Places & Travel
    • 4.1 • 124 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!

    Rebroadcast: Conquering Mt. Everest with Satyarup Siddhanta

    Rebroadcast: Conquering Mt. Everest with Satyarup Siddhanta

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Satyarup Siddhanta - a Bengaluru-based Bengali mountaineer.[1] On December 15, 2017 he became the first Bengali civilian from India to complete the seven highest summits in the 7 continents. He is the President and founder of ABETO – "A better tomorrow" foundation, and works as a consultant at Brady Corporation, India.[5]

    Today's destination: Mt. Everest, Nepal

    Nearest Airport: Lukla airport

    Nearest Railway Station: n/a

    Prerequisities - Required visas, training and certification, practice and acclimatization

    Packing - n/a

    Time of the year - May

    Length of the itinerary: 55 days from the base camp to the Everest summit and back

    Itinerary Highlights:

    Satya shares the story of his early struggles from asthma as a kid and how he overcame this to start climbing.

    Satya's speaks of his expedition to Mt. Killimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and how he discovered the feat to the 7 Summits i.e. a challenge to scale the 7 highest peaks in each of th 7 continents (Mt. Everest in Asia, Mt. Killimanjaro in Africa, Mt. Elbrus in Europe, Mt. Aconcagua in S.America, Mt. Mckinley in N.America, Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia, Mt. Vinson Masiff in Antarctica)

    Satya discusses his trek to the Mt. Everest base camp and how this turned into a dream to scale the summit of the tallest mountain in the world.

    He then also discusses how the massive expenses related to the expedition played as a deterrent to his dreams and how he overcame the challenge.

    Next Satya discusses the preparation and acclimitazation he underwent to scale Mt. Everest, he had to quit his existing job, take up two jobs, hire a personal trainer and overcome his sweet tooth in order to get ready for the Everest challenge!

    Satya explains the duration of the Everest expedition and the iterations and acclimatization involved during the push to the summit.

    The adversities that Satya had to face during the push to the summit are also discussed, this includes a fall in a bottomless crevasse, watcing a sherpa fall to his death while climbing, and members of other teams losing fingers due to frost bite as well as death.

    Satya himself suffered from temporary blindness in the left eye while close to the summit, a failed oxygen mask and 3 failed cameras!

    Satya finally describes the feeling of being on top of the world as well as the sights!

    Final thoughts and tips.

    Listeners can follow Satyarup on his social media handles below and contribute to his expeditions when fundraising takes place.

    Links to Satyarup's social media handles:
    Website - http://satyarupsiddhanta.com/

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/satyarup.siddhanta
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/SatyarupS
    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/satyarup.siddhanta/

    Photo by Theodor Lundqvist on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/@umbriferous)

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    • 45 min
    Hampi - A Short History with Anirudh Kanisetti

    Hampi - A Short History with Anirudh Kanisetti

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to host of the hit podcast "Echoes of India" - Anirudh Kanisetti!

    Today's destination: Hampi!

    Nearest Airport: Hubli Airport (HBX)

    Nearest Railway Station: Hospet Junction (HPT)

    Prerequisites - NA

    Packing - Pack according to the weather - summers can be HOT!

    Time of the year - Nov to Jan is a good time to visit!

    Length of the itinerary- 5 days

    Itinerary Highlights:

    - Anirudh speaks about the origins of history, rise of the Vijayanagara empire and the dramatic fall.
    - Hampi is located in the state of Karanataka, close to the Andhra Pradesh border
    - Vijayanagara empire rose to fame after the fall of the Kalyana Chalukyas, and the capital was established in the city of Pampa - who was married to Virupaksha, a form of Shiva and is also believed to be the land of Kishkinda or Ramayana.
    - Anirudh talks about the layout of Hampi, which was described by many travellers as one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the world.
    - The city is divided into the sacred centre and the royal enclosure. The sacred centre mushroomed around the Virupaksha temple. The royal enclosure was a bit further away and consisted of the royal residences.
    - Close to the sacred centre is the Hampi Bazaar, a crowded bazaar that was frequented by travellers and traders from different parts of the sub-continent and even abroad.
    - We also discuss about the Vittala Temple complex built by one of the famous Vijayanagara rulers - Krishna Deva Raya, and the layers of history within the temple complex: From musical pillars to the story behind the chariot.
    - Anirudh also calls out other important places in the ruins, from the hills of Hemakuta and Mathanga, to the Tungabhadra river and the hippie town and it's stories!
    - The royal enclosure has several important structures like the elephant stables, Lotus Mahal, Navami Tibba, Hazara Rama temple, Queens bath, pushkarni and many other important structures.
    - Finally, Anirudh talks about the fall of the great empire in the war of Talikota to a coalition of the Deccan Sultanate.

    Links:

    Link to Anirudh's podcast:
    "Echoes of India" - https://ivmpodcasts.com/echoes-of-india-a-history-podcast
    "Yuddha" - https://ivmpodcasts.com/yuddha
    Follow Anirudh on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AKanisetti
    Follow Anirudh on IG: https://www.instagram.com/aniryuddha/

    Picture credits:
    Ayush Kumar @soul.traveller.kumar (https://www.instagram.com/soul.traveller.kumar/) on IG
    Thank you Ayush!
    (https://www.instagram.com/soul.traveller.kumar/)

    Attribution:
    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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    • 1 hr
    Bastar with Edwina D'Souza

    Bastar with Edwina D'Souza

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Edwina D'Souza from the blog wannabemaven.com (http://wannabemaven.com/) !

    Today's destination: Bastar, Chattisgarh

    Nearest Airport: Swami Vivekananda Airport, Raipur (RPR)

    Nearest Railway Station: Jagdalpur Railway Station (JDB)

    Prerequisites: Local tour guide/agency, reservations for all stays. Unexplored Bastar does a great job with travel in the state.

    Packing: Pack according to the weather

    Time of the year: April

    Length of the itinerary: 5 days

    Itinerary Highlights:

    - We start off the conversation with the geography and history of the Bastar region as well as the connection with epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata
    - We also discuss the misconceptions and realities about safety of a solo traveler, as well as the naxalite movement.
    - Edwina begins her journey from Raipur, making a stop at Dhamtari. Dhamteri is famous for the Gangrel dam as well as it's likeness to Goa! One should definitely enjoy the two places relaxing.
    - The next pitstop is at Jabarra, spending time with some locals, this place is famous for its rich sal trees and timber.
    - Gond, Baiga, Korba, Abhuj Maria, Bison Horn Maria are some of the prominent tribes of the region.
    - The next point of interest is the Kailash caves, believed to be over a thousand years old and is popular for the underground caves and their stalactite and stalagmite formations. The caves, along with Kutumsar caves, form the backbone of the nature biosphere of Bastar.
    - The next stop was Teerathgarh falls, the milky white cascading water falls that add to the natural beauty of Bastar. Additionally, the Chitrakoot falls are one of the biggest (widest) waterfall of Bastar measuring over 300m wide.
    - Another core component of the Bastar region is the 'haat' or weekly market. Picking up a small memento or souvenir from the weekly haats (tokapal haat in our case) does wonders for the local economy.
    - The banned sport of cockfighting is also a common occurrence on on the haats of Bastar and gives a view of the practices of the Edwina also attends some of the processions of the tribals.
    - The next event Edwina goes to is the Ghotpal Madai or the village fair. The madais are a popular attraction of the locals and everything from singing to dances and commerce takes place at these fairs. The important art forms like Dhokra art can also be found at such fairs.
    - Another popular festival of Bastar is the Dussehra festival, which is different from they Mysore Dussehra and goes on for 75 days - the longest festival in the world!
    - Edwina also talks about the quirky food preferences including the 'red ant chutney' or chapra, the local beverage 'salfi' and the kadaknath chicken or the black chicken!
    - Finally Edwina covers off some interesting things like the paintings of the tribals as well as their graves.

    Links:

    Link to the Edwina's blog: https://wannabemaven.com (https://wannabemaven.com/)
    Link to the tour agency: https://www.unexploredbastar.com (https://www.unexploredbastar.com/)
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wannabemaven
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/wannabemaven
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/wannabemaven/

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    • 59 min
    Mangaluru with Sampath MK

    Mangaluru with Sampath MK

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Sampath Menon as he takes us around the coastal town of Mangaluru!

    Today's destination: Mangaluru, Karnataka

    Nearest Airport: Mangalore International airport (IXE)

    Nearest Railway Station: Mangalore Junction (MAJN)

    Prerequisites : n/a

    Packing : pack according to the weather, summers can be hot!

    Time of the year : Winter months from November to January is a good time

    Length of the itinerary: 3-10 days

    Itinerary Highlights:

    - Sampath starts off by speaking about the rich history of Mangaluru and the various names it has been known as over time - Mangalore, Manjaran, Kudla, Kodial, Maikala
    - Sampath calls out the various temples in the city, starting from Mangala Devi temple, after which Mangaluru is named, Kadri temple, Gokarnatheshwar, Venkatramana temple, Saravu temple among others. In the vicinity are temples of Udupi, Kollur Mookambika temple, Dharmasthala, Ananthpura lake temple, Shringeri mutt and Jain Temples of Moodbidri and Karkala!
    - Along with the temples, some iconic churches are a must visit - Rosario church, Aloysious chapel, Milagres church
    - Beaches in Mangalore are quite unique and a popular tourist spot. The important beaches include Someshwar beach, Tannirbhavi beach, Kaup beach, Suratkal beach, Panambur beach, Padubidri beach and St. Mary's island.
    - Don't forget to catch up on the international kite festival if you are in town during the event. Another new addition is a cycling trail along the coast!
    - Once you are done with the beaches, you can catch up on the Pilikula wildlife sanctuary a well maintained zoo.
    - Mangalore is also famous for the tiles -the famous Mangalore tiles with Albuquerque tile factory a possible visit.
    - Coming to the food choices, Mangalore is a world in itself. From Bonda juice (tender coconut juice), Mangalore bajji, Mangalore buns, patrode, Gole bajje, patoli, neer dosa, ghee roast, kundapur chicken, fish fry and the lest we forget the popular Gudbud ice cream!
    - Mangalore is also rich in culture right from the Yakshagana form or dance/performance to the hulivesha and Karadivesha dances. Dusshera celebration is also one of the popular festivals that draws in large crowds.
    - Nearby places like Udupi, Bekal fort and Chikmagalur are great options for a short trip!

    Links:

    Links to the blogpost:

    Why visit Mangalore:
    https://sampathmk.com/great-destinations-mangalore-india
    https://sampathmk.com/my-perfect-day-in-my-city-mangalore

    Pilikula Heritage Village:
    https://sampathmk.com/nikon-photo-walk-pilikula-heritage-village

    The vegetarian crocodile:
    https://sampathmk.com/in-search-of-the-vegetarian-croc

    Sultan Battery:
    https://sampathmk.com/sultan-bateri-tipus-watch-tower

    Mangalore Intl Kite festival:
    https://sampathmk.com/kite-festival-in-mangalore

    Moodbidre Jain temple:
    https://sampathmk.com/a-jain-temple-and-a-giant-statue

    Nearby Murudeshwar:
    https://sampathmk.com/that-trip-to-murudeshwar

    Nearby Chikmagalore
    https://sampathmk.com/a-few-days-in-chikmagalur
    https://sampathmk.com/chikmagalur-into-the-rains (Chik

    Nearby North Kerala:
    https://sampathmk.com/north-kerala-places-to-visit

    Bakel Fort:
    https://sampathmk.com/amazing-bakel

    Odhens sea food:
    Kannur: https://sampathmk.com/dog-cafe-dosas-more

    Oyster Opera
    https://sampathmk.com/oyster-opera-great-settings-good-food

    Nearby Dharmasthala:
    https://sampathmk.com/a-day-in-dharmasthala

    Link to the blog:
    https://sampathmk.com (https://sampathmk.com/)

    IG: @sampathmk
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sampath.menon.7
    Twitter: @sampathmenon

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    • 54 min
    Kartarpur Sahib with Abhishek Vaid

    Kartarpur Sahib with Abhishek Vaid

    In this episode

    #Kartarpur #Sikh #Gurunanak #pakistan #sikhism #pilgrimage #border #holy #gurudwara #love #peace #brotherhood

    ====================================

    Winners of the book giveaway contest on the Pondicherry episode: Mohan and Shruti! We will reach out to you shortly!

    ====================================

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Abhishek Vaid, founder of the Untravel Show as he takes us across the Indo-Pak border to the holy gurudwara of Kartarpur Sahib, the place where Guru Nanak spent the last years of his life!

    Today's destination: Kartarpur, Pakistan!

     

    Nearest Airport: Raja Sansi Airport, Amritsar

    Nearest Railway Station: Dera Baba Nanak

    Prerequisites :  You need an ETA - electronic transfer authorization to travel and passport is mandatory, even though there is no visa stamped on the passport. Look up the process and requirements on https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in/kpr/

    Packing :  Avoid carrying anything that you would not carry on a plane (carry-on) 

    Time of the year :  Round the year (but watch out for the political situation and COVID-19!)

    Length of the itinerary: 1 day

    Itinerary Highlights: 

    - Start from Amritsar and drive/take local transportation to Dera Baba Nanak. 

    - Complete your immigration formalities at this post, the experience is very hospitable. One can apply no earlier than 15 days before the planned date of travel.

    - A bus ferries you from Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur, it is a short journey of 4kms. 

    - Make sure to carry 20USD/1800INR as the fee has to be paid at Kartarpur. 

    - Start early so that you get to Kartarpur around 9am. The latest you can get in is about 2pm since you have to return by 4pm IST. 

    - Each visitor is allowed to carry items up to 7kgs. Cameras and photography is allowed. 

    - Kartarpur is significant as the first guru and founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak spent the final 18 years of his life here. 

    - The corridor was opened after years of lobbying by both the governments and important members of the Sikh community. 

    - The corridor now leads to the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara which is one of the largest gurdwaras of the world. 

    - Built in white marble, the gurudwara complex has an elegant and simple look, very different from the Golden temple in Amritsar, one of the other important places of Sikh pilgrimage. 

    - The gurudwara is an epitome of calmness and tranquility, despite of its size and the crowds of people. 

    - The main shrine has day long prayers and darshan and the community kitchen/langar severs food to the pilgrims for the full day. 

    - The complex also has a well that is from the time of Guru Nanak devji, a monument of the Kirpaan or dagger as well as a small market to buy souvenirs. There is also a muslim shrine in the vicinity. 

    - One of the highpoint of the visit, besides the opportunity to pay homage to Guru Nanak is the chance to interact with Pakistani locals who travel here to interact with folks from across the border. 

    - The ambience is that of peace, calmness and friendship and very different from the Wagah border where patriotism and aggression is more evident. 

    - A great opportunity for not just followers of sikhism but others as well to visit a historical and religiously significant place across the border when the option is available! 

    Links:

    Link to the video log: 

    How an Indian can go to Pakistan | The Kartarpur Corridor Experience (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcoorOvh5G8) : 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcoorOvh5G8

    10 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE VISITING KARTARPUR SAHIB | Documents, passport stamping, fees etc: 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfGv-TQlIas

    Facebook: The Untravel Show (https://www.facebook.com/TheUntravelShow/) (https://www.facebook.com/TheUntravelShow/)

    IG: @the.untravel.show (https://www.instagram.com/the.untravel.show/)

    Photo by Ali Rizvi (https://unsp

    • 46 min
    Pondicherry - A Short History with Aditi Sriram

    Pondicherry - A Short History with Aditi Sriram

    In this episode:
    #beaches #cafes #French #colonial #folklore #aurobindo #ashram #photography #auroville #art #streetphotography #villas #quaint #finedining #unionterritory #UT

    GIVE-AWAY ALERT!!!

    ------------------------------
    Listen to the episode, answer 3 simple questions in the form below and stand a chance to win a copy of Aditi's book! Open for two weeks!

    https://forms.gle/Mmb5jgx5mzsTXT7K7

    Alternately, you can buy the book here!
    https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07PS1SLXP/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    =======================================
    The Musafir Stories mentioned in an article on the Wall Street Journal!! (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/5-travel-podcasts-to-cure-stuck-at-home-syndrome-11593094350) Thank you dear guests and listeners!!
    =======================================

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Aditi Sriram, a traveler, a teacher and author of "Beyond the Boulevards - a short biography of Pondicherry"

    Today's destination - Pondicherry a.k.a Puducherry

    Nearest Airport - Puducherry airport, PNY

    Nearest Railway Station - Puducherry railway station, PDY

    Prerequisites - Read the book!

    Packing - pack light for humid weather

    Time of the year -  Round the year, summers are HOT!

    Length of the itinerary - Depends!

    Itinerary Highlights:
    - Aditi talks about the backstory of the book and how she came about meeting the editors.
    - After covering how she got the lucky break, Aditi begins be drawing out the orientation of Pondicherry, some of it's historic milestones, the Arikamedu connection and the conquest by colonial powers, and the journey up until independence and beyond.
    - We talk more about the French connection, it's history and how it has played out in the modern day Puducherry.
    - Aditi speaks about the layout of the city, how the city was segregated into the various quarters and the distinguishing factors.
    - We discuss about unique identity of the town, some important citizens like Aurobindo Ghose and his journey, Auroville and the mother.
    - We also delve upon some of the popular folklore of the city, the Aayi Mandapam and it's connection to Napolean.
    - Aditi wraps up the conversation by calling out how even though POndichery is seen as a narrow strip of land comprising of the French and Tamil quarters, it has deep rooted connections to the history of the city.

    Links:
    Link to Aditi's book:
    https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07PS1SLXP/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    Aditi's Twitter: https://twitter.com/sriram_aditi
    Aditi's IG: https://www.instagram.com/sriramaditi/

    Photo by Vivek Sharma (https://unsplash.com/@vivekxr?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/s/photos/pondicherry?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText)

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    website: www.themusafirstories.com (http://www.themusafirstories.com/)
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    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
124 Ratings

124 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.

Gokul Dodge ,

Great Job Saif & Faiza!!

Ive been listening to the musafir stories podcast from the corona lockdown times and its my favourite terrace walking companion.
Great work from u guys, keep up the good work. Expecting many more podcasts from you!!
A hugeee Thumbs Up👍👍 from me.✌️

GirishShivakumar ,

Well Produced

I wouldn’t call myself a traveller but I do enjoy the conversations on the podcast featuring avid travellers. I particularly enjoy the travelogues of remote destinations. Huge credit to Saif & Faiza for running this popular podcast and stepping it up year on year.

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