Cycle Yatra: A trip to our roots of Culture and Nature

THE SWAPATHGAMI CYCLE YATRA LEFT UDAIPUR ON JAN 9, 2011. They will return on the 13th. There were 17 yatris from Rajasthan, MP, Maharashtra, Delhi, Mysore, Gujarat, UP. Many were students of Swaraj University. Several yatris dressed up as animals such as polar bear, penguin, tiger, elephant, etc to raise attention to the global warming and climate change issues. The yatra was organized by Shikshantar.

Cycle Yatra

For those who are new to the cycle yatra idea, it is a weeklong cycle trip into rural Rajasthan. What sets this trip apart from a general cycle trip is that we do not carry any money, electronic gadgets, food or first aid medicines with us. We stop at villages along the route and find work to earn our board and lodge.

While each participant’s learning and experience from such a trip is unique, the general thinking behind such a trip is –

  • We go manual for transportation and basically burn off some calories that we have so lovingly accumulated despite being cholesterol conscious.
  • We go slow (rather than breeze thru in fast cars) and so get a better chance at appreciating nature and rural life.
  • We interact with the local people (rather than just buy stuff off them with money power) in the course of creatively managing our board and lodge.
  • We get a peek into village life and in the process learn skills that we have lost by virtue of being part of the ‘developed’ society. We can also share some skills that we have.
  • We develop an appreciation for local knowledge and skills and the ability to thrive in what nature has provided.
  • We develop some trust in the ability of nature to take care of us and in the goodness of human beings rather than having to constantly struggle for one’s existence as if it is one long battle against nature and other human beings.
  • We get some time to reflect on our own lives
  • We loosen a little the tight stranglehold that money has over our minds and learn that alternative ways to live might exist.

And let us not forget that most important is to enjoy nature, creating music, dance, theatre, games and have a fun filled adventure! This is a real chance to re-connect to the gift culture.

Check out the film from the first yatra to get an idea of the adventure…

We will cycle about 100 km from Udaipur to Jaisamand. The whole region is culturally very rich and still has some jungles left.

What you need to bring along (and remember that everything you bring along has to be carried by you on your bike)-

  1. Personal clothing.
  2. Some bedding (sleeping bag, blanket etc)
  3. Water bottle (if you have a non-plastic one)
  4. Bikes can be rented at nearest town

More Photos From the Cycle Yatra-

Cycle Yatra_More_photos

Cycle Yatra_More_photos

By Guest Author- Manish Jain



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