Discovering the real India on a bicycle

Ankit Arora is joined by students on his way to Machilipatnam, on the outskirts of Guntur.  

Ankit Arora’s bountiful experiences are intriguing. Villagers in Gujarat touched his feet mistaking him to be a saint, a group of people in the countryside of Tamil Nadu sought his blessings, and of late, an NRI asked him where Sriharikota is in Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday during his visit to the textile town of Pedana on the 327th day of his mission to cover 21,000 km across India on bicycle, Mr. Ankit, 29, said: “Aiming at learning about the real India, I have started the cycle expedition to cover 21,000 km in five months. At this juncture, after covering 12 States, including Jammu & Kashmir, and six Union Territories, my mission will have no deadline until I cover Nepal and Bhutan.”

He said: “I do not have any plan how and when my India tour completes and am prepared to deal with any uncertainty. The quality of life, happiness index and eco-friendly agri-practices in Nepal and Bhutan are a few curious things to extend my cycling trip to the neighbouring countries.”

Hailing from Jaipur in Rajasthan, Mr. Ankit was a freelance travel and content writer. “At the end of the day of my expedition, the distance travelled by bicycle may set a record (Guinness). On the other hand, I am documenting the everyday life of people from different walks of life in Indian society. I am planning to create an online ‘open learning source on India’ by documenting my experiences, photographs, videos, people engaged in different missions, rural life, arts and crafts and people associated with them”, added Mr. Ankit.

The cyclist was curious to interact with schoolchildren, work with farmers in the fields and spent days with different sections of people. “In Andhra Pradesh, the rural arts — Kondapalli, Nuzvid Veena making, Kalamkari which was covered so far — and organic farming practices are the most exquisite areas to learn about rural life,” he opines.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 2:10:14 AM |

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