#GoRurban – Initiative to bridge the gap between RURAL and URBAN India.


Don’t forget where you came from, especially if you don’t even know where you are going. – Sara Marie Hogg 

Year 2017 is about to end, while evaluating personal growth and looking back to the memories I shall share some experiences that I had in the journeys of this year.

Hiking to a hill for a bird eye view of the valleys, trekking around the forest, swimming in a river, cooking and community eating, traditional dancing on folk songs, roller coaster ride in tractor trolley, counting shooting stars, skygazing, witnessing beautiful sunrise and sunsets  and many more such activities. Feeling Nostalgia !

On 26th may to 30th may 2017 an experimental camp named Go Rurban with a tag line ‘Disconnect to Connect‘ is conducted by Ekta Parishad and ANSH Happiness Society in a forest village Bhimkoti which falls under Budhni Block of Sehore District in central India. I will share more about Bhimkoti and it’s geographical details in this article, but first let me introduce about Go Rurban. A youth camp with the objective to know about the life in rural environment. The basic idea is to explore the shortcomings and highlight both of the rural and urban lifestyle. It is only through this exploration that we can build a bridge between both the ends and can actually be the combination of rural and urban, RURBAN.

A youth group of 22 participants from 7 different regions of India were selected through a screening process and sent to Bhimkoti. The village is located in a Budhni surrounded by jungles, a small river and mountains. A perfect scenary for nature lovers.

We all started our journey from Habibganj railway station at 7am. Train halted for 2 mins amidst forests for break testing at Chokha which is few kilometres before Midghat station. We all deborded within 2 minutes and trekked with our backpacks parallel to railway track and then started to follow a narrow trail leaded towards Bhimkoti. 3 villagers were waiting at choka for our group, greeted us with smile and started to walk on trail. After 30min of trekking in the forest we reach the village. Being just 70kms far from BHOPAL the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhimkoti is still untouched with so called ‘Development’. Yes trust me ironically, even electricity haven’t reached yet in this village so forget the rest of the facilities.

I was asked to document the camp by Aneesh Bhai (Ekta Parishad) and Mohsin (ANSH Happiness Society) these two are the minds behind this amazing concept.

Camp was designed such a way that both locals and participants can learn and teach from each other. Few govt. Officials, social workers and experts were invited regularly for a session to create a dialogue between participants, locals and govt. authorities to facilitate the local issues for better development of the village. Gandhian leader Mr. P.V. Rajagopal also visited and stayed for night during the camp to listen the experiences of participants and also met and communicated with villagers.

I don’t know what I have taught them but what I have learned from these villagers is precious. For me Go Rurban is a wonderful educational tool and the camp was an eye opener to me and my fellow participants too.

Important points from my observations.

  • In Bhimkoti they don’t put locks on doors, it shows the level of trust and confidence among the community which lacks in our cities.
  • Mutual respect within the community. For nature and animals as well they share a lovely bond.
  • The feeling of sharing resources with known and unknown which clearly shows they are content with warm heart which is very rare in our urban lifestyle.
  • The level of hospitality, “aathithi devo bhawa” is legit in rural lifestyle.
  • Instead of having all the modern facilities like electricity, transportation, internet, technology and gadgets, infrastructure etc. We still complain, cry and feel upset for the things we don’t have, but it rural it’s opposite.
  • In urban lifestyle we are highly literate, no doubt but in rural lifestyle they are highly educated in real sense (not talking academically).
  • They accept everyone who come their way, are we?

On the name of development we are intentionally and unintentionally ruining their homes, livelihoods and culture. It’s a high time to stop displacement of tribal, farmers and producers from their land and forests.  Because they don’t need us but we need them. 

On a concluding note Go Rurban is wonderful and touching education for me and I can’t explain and share everything in this small article because it’s too tough for me to summarize my daily experiences of the camp. It is just a glance. 

Today the second Go Rurban camp is starting and another batch of participants left to explore a village named Basangawa in Tikamgarh Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. I am looking forward to listen their perspectives and experiences.



Adventures are the best TEACHER | Ladakh-Himalaya |

‘Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’

Ibn Battuta said it right. If you don’t agree , try it once 🙂

Traveling is an adventure and adventure makes you calm, stronger and wise. Well that’s not quoted by Ibn Battuta but if you’ve been through any adventure then you can agree with me. 😉 High Five !

Click here and watch my story 🙂
Share with your friends who are lazy or afraid of adventures. Share with anyone and subscribe the channel for more adventures from my backpacking. You also go through this experience  Lost our way for an Adventure and got Starstruck. 🙂

Dzukou Valley of wild flowers, Trekker’s Paradise.

Are you also stuck in polluted, noisy and crowded cities?
Do you wanna breath in pure oxygen and wish to drink pure water?
Are you missing the peace and chills ?

If yes, then read it till the end and thank me later 😉

Let me take you to the hidden paradise which exists on the border of Nagaland and Manipur, the two states of North-Eastern India.

Dzukou River bridge

Look ! Liked it? Now keep reading 😉

The place is known as Dzukou valley, which is also called as trekker’s paradise. The word Dzükou is derived from Angami and Mao language, ‘Dzu’ means cold and ‘Kou’ means water, thus it’s cold water valley.

The valley is situated at an altitude of 2452 meters above sea level, behind the Japfü Peak located in Nagaland. The two of the most beautiful rivers run through the valley – the Dzukou and Japfu streams shaped like serpentine  flows through Dzukou becomes frozen during winter.

Mao legend said that when lovers go to Dziikou the night also turns like day and moonlit shines as of the sun.

Dzukou serpetine

Two rivers Dzukou and Japfu in the serpentine form flows through the valley.

How to reach here?

To get to the Dzukou Valley, you have to reach Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland. It is around 74kms from Dimapur which is the only city connected by Indian railways and Airways in Nagaland. You can either hire a private taxi or take a govt. bus to reach Kohima. To enter Kohima you will need the Inner Line Permit.  You have to show it on check post with one valid ID card. For more info about ILP check this link http://mokokchung.nic.in/files/torpage.html

NOTE- Once you get the ILP, you don’t need to pay any money to Policemen at check-posts.

Kohima LoS

Night view of Kohima city, the capital of Nagaland.


Where and how to start?

There are two starting points for Dzukou valley trek:
 1) Zakhama Village 20kms away from Kohima.
 2) Viswema Village 24kms away from Kohima.

Both points are ideal bases to start your trek to Dzukou valley which have stone staircases leading to the top point. The trail is moderate and steep climbing  stone and pebble track which take 4-6 hours from base to top. Once you reach the top, you have to walk down hill to reach guest house which will take 30-45 mins. Route is full of lush and evergreen rain forest which gives you an enchanting experience in the lap of mother nature.You will walk across the clean trails, crossing the small water streams, inhaling the pure, fresh and rejuvenating air, blissful environment, golden rays of sunlight penetrating from the green tree leaves and enchanting never seen faces of nature will make you feel heavenly and blessed, will leave you awestruck.

Dzukou Trek Water stream-horz

Climb up, turn around, look back and take a deep breath of pure bliss.

Things you will enjoy doing in Dzukou valley ?

Camping here is an amazing experience here. Carrying your tents.
Explore Caves and relax.
Stargazing in the nights.  Milky Way (click on blue link for my Starstruck experience)
Trekking along the trails and water streams.
Roam and Lost in vast natural garden, because it’s piece of heaven on the Earth.

Dzukou camps

Caving and Camping. Fun amid of Dzukou valley.

Other things like….
*Photography (Don’t forget to carry your gears)
*Reading (Carry your favorite books)
*Painting/Sketching ( Yes ! you are in the paradise, Canvas please ? )
*Fishing ( No Way ! Forget it, no fish survives there 😛 )

Dzukou Burnt Tree

A bit more beautiful set of information about Dzukou Valley.

The valley is famous for its wide range of flower in every season. The most famous one is the dzuko lily. Untouched by civilization and splendiferous in its beauty, this valley otherwise called the flower valley of celestial charm has an tempting appeal to all who gaze it. In summer, wild herbs, flowers and shrubs sprout along the stream banks. Lilies in white and pink, euphorbias, aconitums and hundreds of other botanical species in varied colors adorn the valley in monsoon.

Dzukou purple lily-horz

Which time of year is good to visit? 

The best time to visit Dzukou Valley is from the month of June to September. At this time the valley is flooded with various stunning and vibrant flowers. All the wild rhododendrons and lilies will be in full bloom during this season. It will be ideal time to explore the beauty of this valley. 

Dzukou Flowers

Panoramic view of Dzukou valley carpeted with white wild flowers.

Except the peak monsoon you can visit the valley any time of the year. In winters that is from November to January it will be too cold and give chills to your soul. Temperature can drops to 4 degree Celsius in nights and maximum 10 degree in the day time . It can be different experience. I am planning to witness this one too. 😉

At the top there is a guest house available for shelter. 2 big dorm rooms and 2 private rooms with separate kitchen. Private room costs Rs.600 to 1000 and Rs.50 per person for Dormitory. Blankets and mattress Rs.50 per piece.

If you are carrying your own food, you can cook or you can order the prepared food at the guest house. Very simple meals available in the menu. Meals can cost you double the price compared to the city. Black tea Rs.20, milk Tea and coffee Rs. 40, Noodles Rs. 60 for one plate and meals Rs.250 per plate. Cooking utensils and firewood also provided by staff at chargeable basis. ( Price may differ according to the season ) 

Dzukou kitchen

Small chit chat session in the kitchen with other trekkers. Friends from the valley. 🙂

Note : These are really important TIPS for this trek.

– Carry some warm cloths in your day pack.
You can feel the 10-12 degree Celsius of temperature while trekking. 

– Carry your food and snacks in your bag.
No shop and stalls available as the trek is totally remote. Mind it !

Dzukou Party

Picnic in Paradise.

– Carry a hiking pole or bamboo stick with you.
Trek is moderate but steep and slippery because of rain forest. Stick or pole will support you for comfortable hiking.

– Battery pack and power banks.
There is no electricity, neither at route nor in the valley. Gear up accordingly.   

– Carry rain covers and poncho.
If it rains there is no shelter in the valley except caves. Be prepared !

– Do not litter, leave it clean.
Valley is virgin, free from pollution and super clean. So maintain the decorum, trek clean and come clean. Dump your waste in dustbins after coming back to the base. Request !

Dzukou board

For more traveling related pictures feed check this link too  https://www.instagram.com/travellust.varun/

Still have any question ??? 
Comment section is open for the answers 😉

Star constellation – Big Dipper

“You can enjoy stargazing just by going out and learning a couple constellations with your kids.” – Timothy Ferriss

Stargazing is a hobby and amazing activity for astronomy students, photographers, night crawlers and specially kids. i also love it and like to spend time under the dark sky sometimes alone when i feels low and many times with my camera and tripod. So it’s kind of a therapy for me. 😀
Shooting stars, spotting planets like Mars, Venus etc are the learning and fun part for every children during his childhood. Even for adults it’s fun. Have you been to campfire or night drive outside your city with your friends??? What can be more amazing than stopping your car, pitching your tent in any dark place and gossiping with your friends and the night continues with having fun under the sky full of stars. 😉

I’ve been to Laddakh few months back. Being free from light pollution, the place serves the best night views for the travelers, tourists and locals who like stargazing. It is kind of adventure too, because of it’s high altitude terrains, weather conditions and trekking routes famous globally.
I shot this photograph just after sunset around 6:30 pm. I climbed  up towards Leh monastery situated in Leh. I was enjoying sunset and suddenly i made my mind to compose the monastery itself in the frame with the sunset. So, i moved bit down to the other side of monastery. The trail was so narrow and sloppy that it took twice to my calculated time to reach the desired point. Sun was already set behind the mountains leaving blue dusk and stars. The stars were enough bright and the very famous constellation URSA MAJOR which is generally known as Big dipper was clearly visible. So instead of sunset i got this pretty view. Scroll down and have look on the photograph. share your reviews, experience, thoughts and photographs in the comment section or you can also email me at varuns.pixography@gmail.com. 🙂
My Instagram – https://instagram.com/varuns.pixography

DSC_8944PSLoSDSC_8944PSLo Big dipper chalkout