Wednesday, December 8, 2021

“If You Want to Grow, get into Traveling”- Dharam Singh

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Sparsh Nitin
Hi. I'm a 15 y/o freelance content writer and a proud Indic Winger. I've been a TedX Student Talks Speaker in TedX KhaitanPublicSchool, 2020. I also run a YouTube channel named "Happy Reading and Exploring". I co-founded Stray Gets Help, an organization for strays.

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In this article, we have Dharam Singh, founder of Travel With Delhiite.

He’s a man who believes deeply in the importance of traveling, not just for the sake of photos and the “social media world,” but also for one’s self. He believes that one way a person can grow a lot is by traveling, and he does exactly that.

Enjoy this conversation with Dharam Singh, an avid traveler from Delhi.

Q.What was the trigger to get you traveling? How did the whole saga start?

Dharam Singh: If I correctly recall, I started my travel journey way before, when I was in school. To be very honest, it’s not me who goes out to travel, it’s the travel that pulls me out from my home and takes me to different places.

So, when I used to go for my tuition classes, my tutor used to take all children to different places every 3-4 months. Sometimes it was India Gate, sometimes another place, within Delhi. And that’s how it got to me, though I was traveling within Delhi back then when I was in 6th or 7th grade.

We started going to various places like the Science Museum (In Delhi), the Doll Museum, and other museums. Also, the other parts of Delhi like the Lotus Temple. I visited all these places during my school days, with the help of my tutor.  And when I came into college, I met a lot of people there, they also planned the trips for various locations. This is how it gradually happened, and now it’s resulted in the forming of Travel With Delhiite.

Everyone goes for school picnics and college trips and such stuff. Some people just go because it’s planned by some organization, and some people get into the trips so deeply, and that’s me. I get into the trips, into the places, I just explore myself, even more, when I’m traveling. I have just one thumb rule, which I always say to people and that is “If you want to grow, get into traveling” because travel helps you learn a lot of things, cultures, values, and different cuisines all around the world.

Q.You have traveled a lot, especially across the Northern part of India. What is that one place that never fails to impress you? Your one favorite place?

Dharam Singh
Source – Dharam Singh

Dharam Singh: I’ve traveled in many places of Northern India, but that “ONE” place is Rishikesh. Before the Corona Virus came in, for 6 consecutive years, I went to Rishikesh every year, just for rafting. And every time I’ve done rafting, I just have one thought in my mind, that says, “Okay, God saved me this year, I’ll not do this again”. [Laughs]

It’s really dangerous to do, the rapids, the whirlpools, and the various waves we go through are really dangerous, to be honest. But at the same time, it’s the thrill, the adventure, and the experience that you want to have every year. So Rishikesh is the place that never failed to impress me.

Even though things have changed in Rishikesh, it’s still good to go to and it’s budget-friendly too.

Q.As said earlier, we’ve seen you travel a lot across the Northern part of India, but what about the Southern part? Is that trip coming up soon? If yes, then when is it coming and where are you planning to go? 

Dharam Singh
Source – Dharam Singh

Dharam Singh: To be very honest, I’m waiting for one of my friends who is from Kerala.  I’m waiting as he’s quite busy with his work, and I want to go with him only, as he is from Kerala. The reason being that a tourist spot can always be best explored with a local person.

A local can get you inside the real places of the location. And that is why I’m holding myself back, I hope that the trip will happen in 2022 if Covid doesn’t hit again. So I’ll try to convince him, and believe me, we’ll probably do a road trip from Delhi to Kerala, and we’ll explore a lot more in the deep woods of Kerala.

He’s showed me different types of insects and snakes on several occasions. He’s even held snakes several times, and he’s shown me the videos of that. So I want to explore the inner beauty of Kerala with my friend. He’s not only a good friend but also a mentor in my life. And I’m probably more excited than anybody in the world to visit Kerala, on a road trip with him.

Q.Your “true love” seems to be the beautiful Royal Enfield Himalayan. What got you hooked to it? Also, what did it feel like riding a 411cc, off-roading beast for the first time?

Dharam Singh
Source – Dharam Singh

Dharam Singh: If I’m not wrong, Himalayan was introduced in India some 4-5 years back.

I saw this bike on road, roughly 3 years ago, in Delhi. And I was like “Wow!”.

It’s not a luxury bike, it’s not any ordinary bike, it’s something beyond all that. The look of the bike is mesmerizing. It’s simple, it’s crisp, and it’s attractive. So I was blown away. And then when I searched a bit about the bike, I saw its name is “Himalayan”. Then I went through the internet and YouTube videos to know more about the bike, its features, specifications, and everything. And that was when I got to know that this bike is specially designed for mountain regions.

After the Ladakh ride, I was about to buy this bike in Delhi, but then I thought that it’s for the mountains, and I’m not a frequent traveler to the mountains yet. But yes, someday I will buy this bike for sure.

I always wanted to ride the Himalayan on the mountains, but never got a chance, because each time I visited the mountains in the past two years, the kind of company I had, they were least interested in going around on a bike. So I was alone in favor of having a bike in the mountains and exploring places on it.

But it was always in my heart to explore the “Himalayas” on the “Himalayan”. So one day I thought that it’s high time that I visited Ladakh, as the last time was in 2017. And then, I decided to go to the place on a bike. I planned my trip which I completed just two months ago, to Ladakh.

When I reached Ladakh, I had decided that no matter what happens, I’ll get a Himalayan on rent. On the second day of my being in Ladakh, I got myself a Himalayan and traveled over 700 kilometers in the Ladakh region. I faced a “life-or-death” situation multiple times, because of the extreme off-roading terrain, but there’s a saying “Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai” (“Fortune Favours The Brave”). So I went ahead with this mantra, and now I am a “Self-declared Rider” [laughs].

Talking about the bike, it’s just awesome. Not just the name, but the performance too. During the entire 700 kilometer ride in Ladakh, not a single time did it disappoint me.

The last time I visited Manali, I was not able to find this bike. But me being a stubborn guy for the Himalayan, I knew I had to get it somehow on rent, by hook, or by crook. My friend was suggesting I go for some other bike if a Himalayan wasn’t available. “Bullet lele yaar”(take up a Royal Enfield bullet dude), he said. But I was by no means going to give up, I rented it, and crossed the (Atal) tunnel for the first time on a bike.

The experience with the bike is amazing, so I am going to continue these adventures on the Himalayan.

Q.We’ve seen you in the meditative pose multiple times on your Instagram page, and you call it your “signature pose”. It seems quite interesting, is there any story behind it?

Dharam Singh
Source – Dharam Singh

Dharam Singh: Honestly, there is no special story behind this. I just love to pose like this. And, everybody has a “signature pose”, so for me, for Dharam Singh, for Travel With Delhiite, this is what I call my signature pose.

It just came to me naturally. It wasn’t planned that I’ll take up one pose and do it on every trip. But at one point I noticed that I have numerous pictures in this very pose, I knew it had to be given a special status. And since then, it became a must-do for me, on every trip.

Q.Being a traveler for 10 years, which pocket-friendly-yet-fun place from the Northern part of India would you suggest to someone who is on a budget, and what are the “must try” things to do there? 

Dharam Singh
Source – Dharam Singh

Dharam Singh: I recently visited this place called “Bir-Billing”, in Himachal Pradesh. And when I shared my pictures from Bir-Billing on an Instagram story, many viewers asked me about the place. Now because every person was messaging me to inquire about the place, a posted a dedicated story where I mentioned the name of the place. People were quite taken by surprise. They were unaware that such a place existed.

Believe me, Bir-Billing is a gem of a place in Himachal. It’s that kind of a place where I can go multiple times a year. Off-beat destination, decent crowd, it has everything you ask for.

The stand-out feature of Bir-Billing is Paragliding. There’s this place named “Billing” which is the starting point of the glide. From there, the paragliders come down to Bir, which is the landing point. Hence the name, Bir-Billing.

The landing site in Bir is quite a scenic place. It’s a beautiful green flat land.

And not just that, the entire combo of Bir-Billing, has a beautiful waterfall, and the Rajgundha Trek. So it is a budget-friendly, off-beat destination. Staying there doesn’t cost much. Staying at good hostels would cost you a minimal price.

It’s 500 kilometers from Delhi and will take less than 12 hours to reach. It’s a perfect spot to visit on a weekend. Paragliding will cost you a bit more, but other than that, it’s pocket-friendly.

It depends on you whether to go for paragliding or not, but I would highly recommend doing it. The eagle-eye view you get while paragliding is unforgettable.

Q.Being a seasoned player in the field of travel vlogging, what is that 1 piece of advice you would always give to an upcoming travel vlogger?

Dharam Singh
Source – Dharam Singh

Dharam Singh: The only advice that I would give, and in which I believe myself, is that first, travel. It’s really important. You must take some time out once every 2-3 months, and travel. Especially for a corporate guy like me, the kind of workload we have, it’s really important to travel.

It refreshes the mind and gives a lot more energy to tackle difficulties. So traveling should be given much more importance than simply capturing moments for your social media. Before showcasing your skills related to photography, videography, and other related things, focus on enjoying the trip. You must travel for your enjoyment, and not to just gain followers or gain likes on social media. Having fun while traveling is the foremost thing in my mind, instead of how do I capture things.

When it comes to capturing, quality is really important. While sharing your work, concentrate on one thing- quality content. It will help you to grow your social media profile and it will help you to grow your skills too. But before all that, make sure you are having fun while doing all this.

So my mantra is – I travel, I enjoy, and then I capture. And I try to enjoy every bit of my time.

And an extra piece of advice for those going to the mountains – Never miss the early morning scenes.

When I’m in the mountains, irrespective of when I sleep, I always wake up at 5 a.m., roam around the streets a bit, and have a nice cup of tea.

Mr. Dharam Singh has a different motive for traveling, which results in him growing in both ways – personally, and on social media. We wish him luck in his future endeavors.

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