92 episódios

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

    • Lugares e viagens

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!

    Varkala with Nishu Barolia

    Varkala with Nishu Barolia

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to the Tanned Travel Girl, Nishu Barolia!

    Today's destination: Varkala, Kerala!

    Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport (TRV)

    Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Central (TVC)

    Prerequisites - NA

    Packing -  Pack appropriately for some warm weather and sun!

    Time of the year - Winters are the best, Nov-Feb

    Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days

    Itinerary Highlights:
    - Nishu sets off by exploring the beaches of Varkala, the most important being the Varkala cliff beaches.
    - Apart from the North cliff and the South cliff, other important beaches include black beach, Odayam beach, Edava beach, Kapil beach.
    - The Kapil beach is unique in the sense that there is Kapil lake across the road where one can take a boat ride or kayak.
    - The entire stretch of beaches can be covered in a span of 4-5 hours by WALK!!!
    - Some beaches offer fun adventure activities like paragliding and jet ski. Other activities include beach yoga.
    - The North cliff beach is popular among international tourists and offers a variety of stay and food options. The north cliff is usually crowded as a result of this.
    - Apart from the beaches, one can also indulge in temple hopping as there are several significant temples in Varkala.
    - The important temples include Janardhana swamy temple, Shiva Parvati temple and the Guru Ashram amongst others.
    - Finally, one can visit the Anjengo fort and light house and find out about the history. There is also an old tunnel constructed by the British for trade/transportation which is being revived now.

    Links:

    Link to blog post: https://www.tannedtravelgirl.com/india/varkala-blog-kerala

    Link to blog: https://www.tannedtravelgirl.com (https://www.tannedtravelgirl.com/)
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/tannedtravelgirl/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tannedtravelgirl/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/tannedtravlgirl

    Image Credit:  Tanned Travel Girl- Nishu Barolia, https://www.tannedtravelgirl.com (https://www.tannedtravelgirl.com/)

    Thank you Anuj Agarwal and Feedspot for including The Musafir Stories in the list of Top 15 travel podcasts in India - https://blog.feedspot.com/indian_travel_podcasts/

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    • 44 min
    North Kolkata with Madhurima Chakraborty

    North Kolkata with Madhurima Chakraborty

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to  Madhurima Chakraborty from the blog www.orangewayfarer.com (http://www.orangewayfarer.com/) !!!

    Today's destination: North Kolkata!

    Nearest Airport: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU)

    Nearest Railway Station: KOLKATA (KOAA) Railway Station

    Prerequisites :n/a

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

    Time of the year: October/During Durga Puja

    Length of the itinerary: A weekend to a week!

    Itinerary Highlights:

    - Madhurima talks about the history and significance of Kolkata, right from its origins to the time Job Charnok set up the first trading post of the East India Company.
    - We start off the itinerary of North Kolkata from the Shyam Bazaar area and 5 point crossing with the iconic Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose statue
    - Madhurima takes us on a walk across the buzzing neighbourhood, sampling some interesting local cuisine like Golbari Kosha Mangsho, Kachori and interesting eateries that are over a 100 years old.
    - From here, we walk to the iconic potter's quarters: Kumartoli. This region is popular for the iconic Durga Puja idols with over 200 families that carry on the tradition for this festival. Madhurima shares some interesting tidbits about the region, the traditions as well as the people.
    - Moving on from Kumartoli, we discuss the rich traditions associated to Durga Puja, the pandals, and the connection to the Bonedi baris of the Zamindars.
    - After talking about the grand festival of Kolkata, we move to College Street, one of the popular streets not just for the educational institutions, but also for the largest second hand book market of Asia. Don't forget to stop and get a bite at the iconic Indian Coffee house!
    - From here, we move towards Central Kolkata, stopping at MG Road and Badabazaar, talking about the local markets and its popularity.
    - The next pitstop is at Zakaria street - one of the most popular food streets of Kolkata. The street has some iconic eateries as well as the popular Nakhoda mosque.
    - Madhurima talks about the various eateries on Zakaria street and the local foods to try out - make sure to go on an empty stomach!
    - We move on from here to Esplanade to stop over at New Market and Park Street, giving a flavour of the contrasting regions of Kolkata!
    - We also discuss the Christmas festivities of Park Street and the charm of Nahoum's cake for Christmas!
    - Continuing with the lavish food choices of Kolkata, we discuss the famous Kolkata Biryani, the potato in the Biryani and the Lucknow connection - do not miss!
    - We talk about the unique Pice hotels of Kolkata, its speciality and history.
    - We close off the episode talking about the popular sweet dishes of Kolkata beyond Rasgulla and Sandesh - gotta go eat some sweet now!

    Links:
    Link to Madhurima's blog: https://www.orangewayfarer.com (https://www.orangewayfarer.com/)
    Links to Kolkata blog posts: https://www.orangewayfarer.com/?s=north+kolkata

    Follow Madhurima on
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/orangewayfarer
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/orangewayfarer/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orangewayfarer

    Image Credit - Orange Wayfarer, Madhurima

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    website: www.themusafirstories.com (http://www.themusafirstories.com/)
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    • 1h 1m
    North Sikkim with Utsav Mamoria

    North Sikkim with Utsav Mamoria

    Thank you New Indian Express & EdexLive for '40 Under 40 Award for Socially Responsible Social Media Superstars' to The Musafir Stories!!
    https://www.edexlive.com/40-under-40/2020/sep/23/saif-omar-faiza-khan-14711.html

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Utsav Mamoria, host of the travel podcast "Postcards from nowhere"!

    Today's destination: North Sikkim!

    Nearest Airport: Bagdogra airport, IXB or Pakyong Airport

    Nearest Railway Station: Jalpaiguri or Siliguri railway station

    Prerequisites: permits might be required for some regions, make sure to check.

    Packing: Pack warm clothes and multiple layers based on the time of the year

    Time of the year: Late Feb-March (shoulder season)

    Length of the itinerary: 8 days

    Itinerary Highlights:

    - Utsav arrives in Gangtok, where he is based briefly before he starts moving north.
    - If this is your first time to Sikkim, make sure to explore some of the touristy places in and around Gangtok. You can also check out our other episodes on Sikkim by Surya Raju and by Sandy and Vyjay
    - Utsav and his partner head off from Gangtok towards their itinerary of Lachen, Chopta valley and Gurdongmar lake.
    - It is highly advised that you hire a driver to drive you around as driving in the state is quite challenging given the weather conditions and the roads.
    - Utsav spends his time in Lachen, enjoying the shoulder season with no tourists, interacting with locals as well as exploring the local monasteries.
    - Make a quick trip to Chopta valley from Lachen - the valley gives a beautiful view of the snowcapped mountains and the river (depending on the time of the year).
    - Utsav's trip to Gurdongmar was cut short due to the weather, since the army recommended to avoid travelling during severe weather conditions.
    - On the way back, Utsav makes a stop at a Gurudwara to enjoy some good conversations and a hearty langar (meal in the community kitchen).
    - Utsav also learns about the legend of Gurudongmar, about how Guru Nanak is believed to have traveled here and how a portion of the river never freezes at the point where the Guru hit his staff ('Dong' in Punjabi, 'Maar' is hit). There is also a legend about the Buddhist saint Padmasambhava with a similar story, hence the lake is considered sacred by both Sikhs and Buddhists. (Erroneously mentioned as "Sikhs and Hindus" on the podcast)
    - After spending a day at Lachen, Utsav decides to move base to a small village called Dzongu and spend some time absorbing the slow life of the village.
    - Slow travelling gives one the opportunity to live like a local and enjoy some authentic experiences, without having to rush from point to point.
    - This includes enjoying some wholesome organic food (Sikkim is the first officially organic state in India), local beers and Sikkimese hospitality in general.
    - Utsav also shares some interesting tidbits about the colourful prayer flags in Sikkim and their significance.
    - Try to hire a local tour guide driver, as they have the best network in the area (which is often useful) and also helps boost the local economy.

    Links:

    Link to Utsav's podcast:
    Postcards from nowhere: https://ivmpodcasts.com/postcards-from-nowhere
    Also available wherever you listen to podcasts

    Link to the Utsav's budget traveling specials on Simblified:
    https://ivmpodcasts.com/simblified-episode-list/2019/6/10/ep-137-how-to-travel-on-a-desi-budget-with-utsav-mamoria-part-1-1

    https://ivmpodcasts.com/simblified-episode-list/2019/6/24/ep-139-how-to-travel-on-a-desi-budget-with-utsav-mamoria-part-2
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/utsavmamoria
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/whywetravel42

    Photo by Abhishek Singh (https://unsplash.com/@iamsinghabhishek?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on

    • 48 min
    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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    • 1h
    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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    website: www.themusafirstories.com (http://www.themusafirstories.com/)
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    • 59 min

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