I'm Pankaj from Bangalore India, and I currently work at a digital communications firm as a writer. While the job has allowed me to travel to a handful of places within the country, there have also been occasional personal trips that I go on from time to time.
I'm passionate about telling stories through pictures and in my free time, I like to pick up junk items and repurpose them to make musical instruments, books stands, showpieces and the like. My most favorite element is the wind.
On his experiences living in India:
I have lived in this country all my life and taken many trips. And yet I say, I know very little about this beautiful country of mine. For every time I step out, I find myself lost in the abundance of her mysteries and magic. You will find more than you asked for or imagined to find here. As one of the descriptions on my post on Instagram reads: Chaos and calm, pandemonium and peace, mayhem and magic - to me, they all come with the same tag - Made in India.
As for my travel experiences, I have always liked to experiment with my approach to travel. I cycled the entire south west coast of India, finally returning home to Bangalore in 2012-2013 on a journey lasting a little over 40 days. A little later, I found myself in the Himalayas, budget travelling all the way across the Himachal and living with the locals. I went on a 21 day solo running trip across the Nilgiri Mountain range carrying only a 12 hydration pack, where I planned to run up all it's 24 peaks. Unfortunately after 9 days of running in the Nilgiris, a storm hit the region and I had to leave the area.
The change in weather proved to be a blessing in disguise as I soon found myself on a bumpy, rickety bus to Hampi - the empire of ruins. The decision to quickly move to Hampi (a place I had only heard of) came after seeing a magnificent picture of the ruins my friend had posted on Instagram. Since my visit, I have visited Hampi many times and will continue to do so for all the climbing venues that it offers.
On what he wants people to know about India:
I want people to know that all that you read and hear about India is mostly true - but if you're willing to come here and shed inhibitions as you open yourself to her, you will find yourself being dragged into a mystical journey that will give you an experience that only you, being in that particular place at that particular moment could have experienced. There's a million experiences here, come and find yours.
Any advice for individuals that want to start traveling internationally, but don't know how to start?
I think it's best to plan your travels around an activity. It's always nice to travel and explore a new place every once in a while, but if you have a passion for a sport that you could pursue wherever you are travelling, it makes the experience a whole lot more fun. My trips have been planned around cycling, running and climbing so far. And doing so has gotten me in touch with people from different parts of the world who share the same passion. So basically, it's all about planning a trip around something you love doing, rather than just finding a new place to go to!
Can you share any fun facts or interesting stories behind how your pictures were captured?
In the picture of two gypsies with their bunnies, I had just asked them to randomly pose for me. And to my surprise, after the picture was clicked, the gypsies demanded money for agreeing to be photographed. I ended up paying them enough money to set up a trust fund for both of their rabbits' entire lineage! For that, I call this picture the most expensive photograph of my life!
Click here to see more of Pankaj's travel photography.
Images Courtesy of Pankaj Singh