ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP is my most ambitious project to date. I say that about all my expeditions, but this one truly lives up to it. A journey of about 70,000 km, spanning almost all the 695 districts in India, to better a Guinness World Record of the longest car journey in a single country.
It is also a journey to pay homage to the 25,942 soldiers who laid down their lives in defence of this country we call our motherland. Each turn of the wheel is dedicated to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who fell in war, defending our country against her enemies.
ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP will be conducted in a campervan that I have christened Roamulus. I will travel, eat, brush, bathe and sleep in about 75 sq ft of space. I will recount the memories of this journey of homage from within this campervan. I will conduct my social media interactions from within Roamulus. This will be my home. And this will be my office on wheels for the entire duration of the journey.
Bettering a Guinness World Record
ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP is an attempt to better the existing Guinness World Record of the longest car journey within a single country. The current record, according to the Guinness World Records website is:
The longest journey by car in a single country is 58,135.87 km (36,123.95 mi), and was achieved by Greg Cayea and Heather Thompson (both USA) who toured throughout the United States from 11 July to 9 November 2016.
The difference between the existing record and our attempt at bettering it, is that our attempt will be a solo effort, without any sharing of driving responsibilities.
We are awaiting specific guidelines from Guinness World Records that will govern this attempt. One rule is certain … there can be no backtracking on any route. Which means that no road can be repeated throughout the journey. Consequently, we will be missing out on visiting many of the wonderful sights that dot this gorgeous land.
Nevertheless, a successful effort will bring the record back to India. The earlier record was held by a trio of Indians (Deepak Shrivastava, Sheetal Shrivastava and Ateef Abdulla) , for a drive they undertook in India. This was subsequently broken by the current record holders. We plan to bring the record back home.
The proposed route
When I started out on the logistics behind the ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP I did not realise that the toughest activity would be to design the route. India is a large country, one of the largest in the world. Yet, to cover a distance of over 65,000 km, without backtracking on any road, was very difficult to design. For instance the driving distance between Leh to Kanyakumari is 3,802 km. The driving distance between Koteshwar and Tezu is 3,517 km. This was tough. In fact designing the route has taken a better part of two months and it is still being polished and finalised.
Take a look at the proposed route below. This covers 68,254 km. I suspect by the end of the journey ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP would have traversed well over 70,000 km travelling through 28 of the 29 States (except the Andaman Islands), six of the eight Union Territories (except Ladakh and Lakshadweep), and 594 of the 695 districts in the country. I could have possibly travelled through more districts except for the condition that I cannot retrace my track, which makes it difficult to visit some remote districts. Also, Ladakh and the Kashmir valley is not part of the route.
Honouring India's fallen heroes
ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP is a journey of homage. Through this journey I will be remembering the 25,942 soldiers, sailors and airmen who have died in battle since Independence protecting and defending our country from her enemies. I will try and bring you as many stories of valour, bravery and sacrifice as I can. I will visit some famous battlegrounds. I will lay wreaths at the war memorials I come across. I will talk to some people who foughts in various battles. I will also try and reach out and speak to those family members who have lost a loved one.
We need to remember the sacrifices made by members of our Armed Forces who readily face the bullet, and sometime die fighting for the flag they hold so dear. We need to remember and honour them. It is they who put their lives on the line and some give their tomorrow for our today. We sleep in peace at home because these awesome men and women in uniform stand at the borders, ready to take on any and all offensive aggression from our enemies.
We are putting together a bundle of unique products that you can own as a token of our appreciation for your contribution towards this cause. These are two beer mugs, four coffee mugs, four coasters and one framed artwork printed on canvas.
The revenue generated from the sales of this kit will go towards an organisation working directly with war widows. Your contribution will mean a lot. You can buy the kit by clicking here.
Moreover, revenues from every purchase made at Matlock Island will go towards the ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP. We look forward to your support and contribution.
Click the Matlock Island logo alongside to go to the storefront and discover some truly awesome products.
Aspire to Inspire
Often we look to other people for inspiration. We idolise those who have achieved some eminence in their lives. We like to see achievements in people and revel in the reflected glory. However, it is much more important to be able to strive to become better individuals ourselves. Life is NOT a spectator sport, and even though it is not expected that each of us can or should climb the highest mountains, or cross the oceans, or learn to skydive, each of us do have the capability within ourselves to become an inspiration for those around us, our loved ones.
ONE INDIA ROAD TRIP is trying to instill this sense of achievement among the common people, people like you and me. We all have the ability to inspire people and we should make a conscious effort to aspire to do so. I am embarking on this 65,000 + kilometre journey in the year when I complete my Diamond Jubilee of walking this planet. An age when I hear people should put their feet up and relax. I have a prosthetic knee (necessitated due to a motorcycle accident), artificial lenses in my eyes, a broken collar bone, a couple of broken ribs, and a fitness level that leaves much to be desired. Yet, I am going to be sitting in Roamulus and starting this great Indian road trip.
Will I be able to successfully complete it? Will I be able to hang a Guinness World Records certificate up on my wall? I do not know. But I will never know if I do not start the journey. I urge each and everyone to think beyond the box, draw outside the lines, do what people tell you are impossible. It is not the possibility of success should govern our efforts, but the sheer joy of participation.