Caravan Travel: 4 Travelers From India Spreading Their Love For Caravans

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Caravan-Travel-in-India
Image Courtesy – Caravan Chronicles

Van, Motorhome, Caravan, Campervan, Mobile Home, Recreational Vehicle/RV, Homecabs – the same vehicle has many names but one important purpose. The purpose is to luxuriate our expeditions and caravan travelers from India are fully optimizing it. However, Caravan travel in India is not a very popular mode of transport (yet). The reason is the cost of procuring it. A simple caravan ranges from 7.5 lakh and can go up to somewhat 4.5 crores! So, it does cost a fortune and depends on the factor of affordability.

Caravans have other utilities too besides solely being a travel buddy. Ambulances, vanity vans of celebrities, expandable food vans, and even specific election campaigns are some examples. Caravan travelers from India were influenced by the Indian movie Swades (2004) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Gayatri Joshi. It now appears that the trend is becoming more and more popular after the pandemic. So it is not bizarre to think that Caravan in English and Karavan in Hindi have somewhat similar connotations.

It is safe to say that caravan travel in India is now a choice for more sanitized travel. Also, it is supportive of your personal space and makes you feel at home while on the road. The best part is the personification of caravans: you can make them look the way you want! From interiors to the exteriors, an entire makeover is now possible. It can easily accommodate 4-6 people. The amenities range from electronics, TV, CCTV, a kitchen area, dining aka sleeping area, and so much more.

Here are 4 Caravan travelers from India that are regularly empowering Caravan tourism through their trips:

Sherin Pylan Parekkadan, Cocoon Life

 

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Sherin Pylan was previously a Commercial Pilot but presently, he is an entrepreneur. Additionally, his travel endeavors have led him to undertake solo travel journeys. His Instagram page is named The Cocoon Life and so is his Van. He is originally from Thrissur, Kerala, and is on a constant search for the unexplored. His dusty blue color van also incorporates a solar panel on the roof to charge the electronics. With his backups and his love for dogs and nature, he routinely goes into the wilderness. He also mentions that this is a perfect way to travel during the ongoing pandemic. A true Vanderer, indeed!

Ankita Kumar & Sharanya Iyer, Caravan Chronicles

Their bio describes them as ‘Two petite girls traveling across the Northeast of India in a hippie caravan’. Their Instagram page is a one-stop solution for all your Caravan woes. Additionally, there is also a web series named ‘Caravan Chronicles 2.0’ that features the curaters themselves! It features the incoming revolution of Caravans and of course brings in the vanlife movement to India. From an orange caravan to a minty fresh blue color, their Caravanning journey is pulchritudinous! Luna, the Caravan was driven all the way from Bangalore. Caravan Chronicles wrote in one of their posts,

“Back in Bangalore, when she was first painted blue, the colour was totally messed up. We didn’t know any better, and it turned out very dark and meh. After a whole week of paint prep, we had to go back to the drawing board for a second time. And that’s when we got her to this minty fresh blue which we absolutely loved. But with Indian vehicle modification laws, came the decision to wrap her in white vinyl sticker to get her across state borders without cop issues. Once she hit Siliguri though, with the white sticker, out came many sections of our yummy blue! ????

Ahhhh, long agonizing story short, we found some angels in disguise who helped us paint her Again overnight, and then @whirlwnd worked hard with us over another 12 hour overnight shift to get the art on both sides finished in time. We went with a simplistic nature theme with Sikkimese style Thangka clouds on this side you see, all hand painted and designed a day before it went up on Luna.

And then, our trip officially began last evening. We got out of Gangtok and made it to the idyllic  Temi Tea Gardens in Southern Sikkim and spent the day shooting and taking in the utter beauty of this State.

Sigh. We’re home. Caravanning in India is an adventure everyday. And we’ve learnt so much from it already! ❤️”

Deep Banerjee, Indian Roadies

A brand marketing strategist by profession and a devoted Van persuader, Deep is spreading the Van culture all over India. Even though he realizes that it is a novel concept, he is adamant about his research and encouragement. In his blog called Indian Roadie, he states very candidly,

“I (Deep Banerjee, Founder, Indian Roadie) have devoted countless hours since 2017 or earlier to drill the idea of leading a vanlife into the heads of roadies in India.  All the efforts have started yielding the desired results in India, thanks to the Communist Virus sweeping the nation since March 2020.

‘Vanlife’ lifestyle can be led for a couple of days to weeks even in a Tata Nano, Maruti 800, Maruti Omni, Maruti Ertiga, or a multi-axle Volvo bus (if one has deep pockets).

Spending a couple of days or weeks every year in your vehicle doesn’t mean that you have to buy a new or pre-owned Tata Marcopolo or Volvo B9R and convert it, spending ₹20 – 100+ lakhs in the process. A modest ₹25000 – 125000 is enough for a start.

It’s high time that we Indians, especially the complacent millennials in the Information Technology industry which the 7000 odd engineering colleges churn out year after year, learn to become more flexible, more realistic, more modest in their words and action. They need to move out of their cocoon/ their world of a 5’x5′ workspace.

People need to look around to realize that India already has all the facilities, if not better, to get set and go.

Plus, I am there to handhold you, but remember that there are no free lunches in life. You need to fork out money to buy ideas/suggestions.” Read more about him here.

Abhyant Sahu, WittyVans

 

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An entrepreneur, an avid traveler, and co-founder of his social initiative the WittyVans, Abhyant Sahu is passionately spreading the Caravan culture in India. Abhyant calls it his kind of luxury that he wouldn’t share with anyone else. Campervans to him are a persistent mood to travel; yet mobile. He often invites strangers to his van life and ends up having some of the best meals, together! The little pantry, convertible sofas, and an extended tent are the essences of van life.

With the Caravan anthem ‘Yuhin Chala Chal Rahi’ playing in the background, he undertakes most of his unplanned trips. A sucker for wildlife, unexpected guests (read dogs and cats), and watching movies by the river and mountains, this is the cabin life that Abhyant pictures and lives by.

A Caravan hack? He suggests cooking scrambled eggs on the go. Stargaze, early morning bird watching, sunset, camping in the forest – Abhyant gives some of the greatest major FOMO with his va’n’cations.

The cabin fever is real and with the wave of Vocal for Local, domestic, and private travel is likely to expand. The government of India is also in the process of empowering its ‘Caravan Policy’ vis-à-vis promoting ‘Caravan Tourism and Caravan Camping Parks’. It is not anymore about buying or converting but renting too. Not to forget the happiness of meeting conservationists and naturalists on the way. It is nonetheless about fun activities such as rescue, rehabilitation, food distribution, and nightlife on wheels.

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