HYDERABAD: Meet the globetrotters family who embarked on a journey joining the ‘Work From Anywhere’ bandwagon, to explore remote villages and small cities across India. Entrepreneur Tarun Kumar Bansal, president of Sagacious IP, has visited 200 small villages, 90 cities and 250 temples since October 2020. The 36-year-old Delhi resident and his family comprising wife Sunaina, 35 and daughters Trijaa, 7, and Shubhda, 5, are a bunch of travel buffs who have done many circuits such as the Caribbean, Latin America, etc in the past.
"We wanted to experience India and this time, when the lockdown was easing, seemed like a great time to visit India," he says, as he fondly recalls his visit to Hyderabad in mid-January and is looking forward to staying for a few more days next week. The family that travels in their Audi Q5 says that they had solid downtime in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Tarun works out the day's itinerary based on his work (work from home now) and kids' online classes and exams.
He designed this trip which encompassed visits to places such as Jyotirlingas of India, National Parks, Rama and Pandava Vanavas Route, etc. "We typically travel in our car, cook in our Instapot while getting some rotis and rice locally. From Rs 400 per night homestays to Rs 22,000 per night luxury suites, they have stayed at all places, he says.
But how did Tarun manage to answer those who ask him about the fear of corona and taking the 'risk' of travelling at this time of the year? "If you use common sense, everything will work out. This is my mantra. So far, we have travelled everywhere and stayed healthy. I believe that every moment of life should be celebrated and not lived in fear," he says.
Tarun is elated that his family got to see some amazing temples in and around Hyderabad. "We checked out Yadadri, Vemulawada, spent a night at Kondagattu, drove past Dharmapuri and then visited Bhadrakali temple in Warangal before heading to Dwaraka Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, " he said. The family had already travelled to Kerala and Karnataka and they were in Badami when Express talked to them. Now in his list are Kurnool, Gandikota, Belum Caves, Ahobilam and Alampur and Jogulamba temples.
"Then we will stop by at Pillalamarri in Mahabubnagar, the banyan tree village before heading back to Hyderabad to Delhi via Chattisgarh." Talking about how he manages work and classes, he explains, "Two days a week, I work 13 hours a day and finish my work. I do have to connect to monitor, but that doesn't take much time. So we travel on the other days – Tuesday, Thursday and Friday."
But what about poor net connectivity? Has he faced that anywhere? Tarun has bought data connections of all the top mobile phone companies so that at least one would work when the others don't. The family typically would wake up by 4 am, head to the temples, finish darshan and breakfast and be back by 9 am for the online classes. Then after lunch, they would do more sightseeing and move to the next place and sleep. He says that on average, he spent Rs 3,500 per day.
About his best memory from Telangana, he says, "Mulluru Narsimha temple is powerful. The statue (though made of stone) is soft like human skin when you touch it. Also, the statue discharges some fluid from its Nabhi constantly. The temple is 4,776 years old and was kept in hiding for a long time. Such legends are fascinating," he says.
Work and travel balance
On our way to Hyderabad, we visited Dichpally. Then, we spent a week in Hyderabad doing office work and classes and visited places such as Golkonda, Shilparamam, Ikea etc. I also did some client meetings in Hyderabad. We then visited Keesaragutta followed by Yadadirigutta.
From here, we went to Wargal Saraswati temple before reaching Vemulawada and doing darshan. On Saturday, we went to Kondagattu Anjaneya Swami temple and then to Dharmapuri. From there, we headed to Kotilingeswara and then to Warangal to visit the famed Thousand Pillar Temple and Bhadrakali temple. Due to lack of time, we skipped Nagunur and Koteshwar Mahadev temple that we were keen to visit.
- On Sunday, we did a few more temples in Warangal (Padmakshi, and Siddheshwara temple) and then went to Mallikarjuna temple at Inavolu. Due to lack of time, we skipped some more locations like Ghanapur temple, Warangal fort, and Kolanupaka.
- On Sunday, from Warangal, we went to Ramappa temple and then we visited a very powerful and less-known temple in Mulluru (Narsimha Swami temple) before reaching Bhadrachalam and doing darshan there.
- We went to Dwaraka Tirumala And then to Vijayawada before visiting Parnashala and Ramalayam in Bhadrachalam.
Tarun Kumar Bansal, his wife and two daughters, have been using the work from home and online classes privilege to travel across India. As they stop by in Hyderabad to check out temples and offbeat places, we find out how they managed it all. “Use common sense and everything will be fine,” was their mantra during the lockdown
— Manju Latha Kalanidhi kalanidhi @newindianexpress.com @mkalanidhi