Meet the duo – Swati Jan and Abhinav of TravelPals, a community of travel bloggers who are embarking on the Great Indian Food Trip – Season 3! The third season of Great Indian Food Trip is special for many reasons. Two of which being firstly, we’re going Sattvic and secondly, we’re crossing borders!
We spoke to Swati and Abhinav before they start their journey beginning with the blessings of Maa Vaishnodevi in Jammu.
In the words of Abhinav Singh (A Soul Window)
The last time I embarked upon an ambitious trek in Himalayas, it changed my life. For real! It was Everest Base Camp trek and it made me realize what I want to do in life. I am expecting another life changing experience while embarking upon the Kailasha Mansarovar Trek. Very few people get this opportunity every year. I feel blessed that this opportunity knocked at my door when I was least expecting it. I am sure it is going to be once in a lifetime experience. I am also excited to experience the food served to the pilgrims. It had also been a long pending dream to step on the soil of Tibet at least once! I have to pinch myself that it is finally happening.
I religiously followed both the previous chapters. Though, I am a vegetarian yet Biryani trail taught me a lot about India and its food culture. The sheer variety and the history of each Biryani was delightful. And I also learned the hard way, that there is nothing called vegetarian Biryani.
The Indore chapterf was equally dazzling. My friends know I can stoop to any level for a well made Poha. The massive Poha fan that I am, I imagined myself devouring Indori Pohas from different stalls on 1st day alone. The Indore chapter made me want to jump into my phone screen and join the fun! It appealed to the vegetarian in me. Special mention for the infectious energy and joie de vivre they infuse in all the GIFT trips.
I left meat at the tender age of 14 on ethical grounds. 21 years later, as an adult, my resolve has become stronger as I am aware of the environmental impact of meat too. Vegetarianism defines who I am. It is an inseparable part of my spiritual and physical being. However, you can be vegetarian and still not a sattvic person. As I have evolved, I have become an apostle of sattvic food. I follow sattvic food in my everyday life and advice others to do the same. Hence, the 3rd edition of GIFT seems tailor made for me. Adventure, sattvic food and an (anticipated) life changing expedition which allows me some serious soul searching! I could not have asked for any better!
Honestly, it feels like a dream to me. It is one of its kind of trek which is a beautiful amalgamation of adventure, spirituality and food. I am already anticipating the positive vibes which the trek will exude. I have been told the trek has changed lives. I would want to find out! It will also give me an opportunity to write on this trek. I am also excited to click some memorable pictures which will be cherished for a lifetime.
In the words of Swati Jain (Buoyant Feet)
I ardently followed the South Indian Biryani Trail. Who would have thought there are so many varieties of Biryani available in India alone. It just reaffirmed my faith that India is a magical land rich in food culture. The trail showed us that no other country can claim to unity in diversity as effortlessly as India does. Food binds people and cultures. The Trip was successful in showing that. Kudos to SMT for such an unprecedented initiative!
And we all know Indore is Mecca for food lovers. I, in fact had long nursed the dream to check out the various foods available in Indore. The second edition of GIFT made me want to plan a trip to Indore asap.
Food is a dynamic force which interacts with the human on the physical body level, the mind emotional level, and also the energetic and spiritual level. And being a Yoga enthusiast, Saatvik food is in me. A Sattvic diet means not only vegetarian food but food rich in Prana – ‘life-force’ which keeps your mind at peace. If you ask me I am really happy with the initiatives that the governments took to ensure well being of the pilgrims. You need to ensure good and healthy food to take such a Herculean task.
Read this piece to know more about the Season 3 of the Great Indian Food Trip.