The world can become a little too much of a routine for all of us at some point. During times like these, its a great idea to pack basic essentials in a bag and head off on a trail which will rejuvenate the traveler in you.
Take a cue from the Israeli’s who travel to India after completing their mandatory Military Service that allows them to blow off steam. From remote Himalayan towns, coastal villages near Goa and quiet places in South India – the ‘Hummus Trail’ comprises of around 60 towns and villages which are frequented primarily by Israelis in India and are a perfect mix of ‘trippy’ and ‘peaceful’.
We have been invited by the folks at Routern to explore a ‘part of the Hummus trail’ for ourselves and see what the fuss is all about and what makes this string of remote villages and locations, a must visit for the average Israeli traveler.
These are few of the places from the hummus trail which no backpacker should miss:
1. The Mesmerizing Valleys of Malana
If you fantasize getting away from civilization and technology, Malana is the answer for you. The village remains isolated and untouched, ventured only by serious travelers. With its own culture and ways of life, Malana is both welcoming and reclusive at the same time. One of the oldest democracies in the world, Malana has a unique Hashish culture which is a part of regular life there.
2. Captivating Kasol
Nestled in the valleys of Himachal Pradesh, this place is notorious for rave parties and psy-trance music bursting out of speakers. However Kasol also offers sights with unparalleled beauty and is a heaven for backpackers. Replete with hippie hideouts and multiple cafes with names like Freedom Cafe, Pink Floyd Cafe – Kasol will have you craving for more of hills and music.
3. Trek to Triund
From the spiritual seeker to the adventure enthusiast, Mcleodganj has something in store for everyone. Popularly known as Little Lhasa, Mcleodganj is a hill station which headquarters the Tibetan Government in exile. However, the more adventurous embark on a trek to Triund to satisfy their wanderlust! Some of them even venture out to reach the Indrahar Pass on the Dhauladhar mountain range. Triund is a place which will definitely get you closer to nature.
4. The Serene Pushkar
The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Pushkar’s name is the famous Pushkar Mela – the fair which attracts hordes of tourists every year. However, there is a world beyond the Mela which resides in Pushkar – one which is strewn with serenity. Sip the apple cinnamon tea at ‘Out of the blue cafe’, try the apple crumble pie at La Pizzeria and watch the various hues of the evening sky near Pushkar Lake.
5. Kalga & Pulga
Many know Kalga and Pulga as the ‘villages’ which fall along the trek to Kheerganga. Few are aware of the culture and stories in these ‘sleepy looking’ villages. The villagers here are friendly and there are some breath-taking sights which this place has to offer.
6. The Curvy Gokarna
‘The hummus trail’ also has some spots from the South. Gokarna beckons us next. A temple town, Gokarna is popular for a story that Lord Shiva appeared out of a cows ear to bless the devotees (hence the shape of the beach-side retreat). Lined with awesome beaches like Om Beach, Rocky Kudle Beach, pristine Paradise and Half-moon beach – Gokarna is every Israeli’s favourite and is now slowly turning into a popular destination.
7. The Majestic Hampi
From the greens of Gokarna, head over to the mystical brown of Hampi. The leftover sandstone’s echo a tale of a city which was once a brimming civilization but is now in ruins. The beautiful rocky outcrops and stunning architecture engulf you in its charms as you begin to feel one with this city frozen in time. You will primarily see budget backpackers in Hampi who are here for the calm which the ruins have to offer.
8. The Ever Changing Vattakanal
It’s not called a paradise amidst clouds without a reason. Vattakanal, popularly known as ‘Vatta’ or ‘Little Israel’ by most of the villagers, is located in the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu and is just 7 km away from Kodaikanal. An evening stroll around Vatta offers a mesmerizing view of the circular valley (Vatta in Tamil means circle) surrounded by mountains. Vattakanal attracts backpackers and hippies from across the globe. It is not uncommon to see ‘Chabads’ and signboards in Hebrew across the village! Also known as ‘Kodai’s little known sister’ – this relatively unexplored village is what you need to discover yourself.
9. Colourful Varkala
Very few would have ever thought a sleepy little beach-side town would become the next EDM and trance destination. But Varkala has a quieter side too, it gives you solace when you need it and lets you have some moment for just yourself in this busy world.
Pro tip: Do not forget to have a sumptuous breakfast at Café Del Mar when you are there.
Head out to cool off the travel fatigue at Allepey or Alapuzha as it is called locally. A quaint village on the banks of the Backwaters of Kerala, the rich green vegetation and the breeze are just the thing you need to soothe your soul. Also who can give the ‘houseboat’ ride on the backwaters a miss.
With a distinct ‘hippie’ vibe to boast of, these mesmerizing places along The Hummus Trail will make you believe that deadlines, assignments and all other complexities in life can wait.
Planning travel can be a complexity too and Routern is attempting to simplify your travel planning so that you can concentrate only on making the most out of your trip.
They are launching the ‘Hummus Trail’ (a complete list of 60 places) in India and the launch will be held at Kalga village where renowned musicians like Monjyoti Bhattacharya and Aneesh Vidyashanker will be performing live. This will also be followed by camping and yoga sessions.
Stay tuned as The Broken Scooter in collaboration with Routern take you on a ride and decode the secrets of The Hummus Trail!