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Featuring - Praveen Mankar The WOW & HOW of Backpacking

Featuring – Praveen Mankar the rebel backpacker, who travelled 70 Countries 7 Oceans Still, Counting…. His is a World Traveler - confirming that there is happiness beyond fear. It was pleasure to meet him on road during all India ride India On Road. Let’s explore another interesting as well as inspiring personality. 


By: Praveen Mankar

I have drunk the night and swallowed the stars. 

I have danced to the tunes of roads & hostels with rapture.

I have loved everything on my way & at every destination.

I have thanked enough my host & every passerby on my way.

I have felt the universal love‘n’light & universal darkness too.

 Tonight, I am with the friend and at the dawn we are returning home after 66 nights. The moon is witness.


Mankar Rang



Travelling leaves you speechless and then it turns you into a Storyteller, my Guru, Ibn Battuta says. After travelling to 69 countries in backpacking mode, I too become story teller. I am a public speaker by choice & I love to tell my travel tales in extempore & dramatic fashion. It is my inner urge that takes me to various platforms & audiences to share stories and anecdotes from lands far & near. Every traveler is a story, told or untold. If all stories are put together, we can see the evolution of a community -‘Backpacker’s Community’. We must tell the stories generation after generation so that evolution can be traced.


This is my maiden attempt to tell a tale of ‘66-day European Odyssey’ through a book. I wanted to become a professional painter (instead of Writer), but it didn’t happen. Predicting life is impossible and hence one has no choice but to move with the stream and embrace uncertainly, gracefully. The artist in me remained deprived for long. To quench the thirst, I picked up the camera & started travelling. I was fortunate to have jobs which involve roaming within India & abroad. To supplement, I started trekking with Youth Hostels International in Himalayan ranges. This could be the beginning of my backpacker passion. It was not planned, but it started happening & sometimes I wonder at life.


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While opting for overseas job, in 1999, I chose East Africa very consciously to see the wildlife. I stayed in that region for 12 years. During those years, I became more aware about what world has to offer. In the second inning, I had my tent pitched in Saudi Arabia for 6 years.


I toured Europe only once with a Travel Company, without much satisfaction & pleasure. Then I started planning my own itineraries & push myself to an arena of backpacking from around 2000. I practiced the form of backpacking in which I embark on trip only after thorough study & planning. My initial tours were of short duration say of about 15 days. Then as the appetite for adventure grew so was the size of backpacking in terms of days & number of countries. To mention few tours among many, in 2018, I travelled for 56 days in 6 countries – 3 were most advanced (Australia/New Zealand/Singapore) while other 3 were less developed (Cambodia/Indonesia/Vietnam). In 2017 I embarked on 33-day odyssey to south India on scooter. Original plan was to travel from my home town Nasik to Kanyakumari in 60 days but was aborted due to typhoon in Kerala. A 26 days tour to Japan & South Korea was mesmerizing. My Iranian sojourn in 2015 for 15 days was unusual as my Host couple in their late 70’s knew no language other than Farsi. List will go on as I toured China / Hong Kong in 2006 for 25 days & still cherish my excursion to British & Scottish lands in 2007 for 24 days. I wish to write another book on my 56-day indulgence & love affair with USA & Canada. These journeys were over and above business trips to various destinations. Of late, I answer the question – ‘which is the best country in world?’ and pat comes the reply ‘Japan’.


After couple of self-planned tours within African Continent, (Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Congo etc.) my fear substantially abated & I realized that beyond fear, there is happiness, waiting for you. After connecting with the world, I got enlightened & that made me modest & humble. My further exploration helped me to become secular too. Travel made me modest. I started discovering myself & my trust in humanity enhanced. I started believing that people around me are good & will help me in the hours of need. This belief pushed me to do more and even today I think of only backpacking. I love documenting my every trip through photos & blogs. I began posting my travel photos / stories with proper narration on Facebook with the intension to tell story & excite readers. Facebook is my diary. People look forward to my stories.


I am a photographer with average ‘vision’. Even today, I keep my camera on ‘Auto’ mode. My style of travel photography is my own, including crazy titling or captioning. Many times, title is ready while I click. I have huge sense of ‘composing a photo’. My every photo ‘speaks’. Many a times, click happens even before my subject knew about it. Generally, people liked to get ‘photographed’. My Travel Photography has very limited purpose. If I wish to ‘rewind’ myself, I will go to that ‘moment’. Normally we rely on memory. Photo is the tool that sharpens your memory. Video clips are a superior tool where you actually enjoy the moments, while remaining away from the moments. Recollection of moments should not be left to power of memory.


The life in Saudi Arabia in 2009, when I landed there was pretty much orthodox something that was unimaginable & unthinkable in India. The dressing code, existence of Shariya law, 5 prayers in a day, traffic discipline, rules of work permit, Exit- Entry procedures etc. compelled me to think. I was always comparing Saudi’s restrictive life with liberal world. I started writing the blogs to make society aware about the myths & reality of life of Saudi. I started enjoying the writing as readers gave me encouraging feedback. Subject matters of blogs were always social experiences, mainly dealing with expatriates. I discovered ‘a writer’ in me very recently.


Praveen Mankar


This book is sequential compilation of events, experiences & my thinking on the spur of moment while I was backpacking for 66 days in Europe – Russia to Portugal via Iceland. I wish to let you know my mind. While the book brings experiences of backpacking, it also offers the nuggets of information on ‘Principles of Backpacking’, for your debut odyssey. Each chapter often consists of several scenes and has its own story arc within the larger experience curve. I will be happy if readers think of backpacking after reading the book.


Backpacking is like crafting an experience for oneself, by oneself. Every city is sculpture in time, created by Humans. These cities are capable of taking us in to the past. Narrow lanes, cobblestone roads, rivers, old facades, ruined places, monuments do speak to me. Backpacking is ‘Live Drama’ the script of which is written by Backpacker. The term ‘drama’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘action’, which is derived from ‘I do’. Backpacking is more than entertainment.


Backpacking has huge social relevance. Backpacking is an exercise in understanding the foreign cultures & comparing with your own, appreciating the differences. After travelling to 69 countries, the essence of my truth is – irrespective of caste, creed & colour, we are ONE. At core, we are human beings. Only our ‘passage of life’ is different. Let’s love the mankind.


The passionate desire to see the planet is a source of my backpacking. Initially I read about destinations & imagine. Then I go & see. The gaps between imagination & reality are very enriching, interesting – and it could be vice versa. The result is - I always look for next travel, before the earlier comes to an end. Backpacking is a play. This play has a rhythm. Play involves emotions. There is a pain & happiness in this game, and hence I continue to play.


My goal is to inspire people to travel. While reading the book online, please log in on Facebook & then open the links of my posts, to enhance the experience. See the VDOs & be there where I was. Enjoy the book & start packing.


Mankar Pravin, Nasik, Maharashtra, India.


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9 Comments

  1. Dear Ansh, A Mystic Rider in true sense , it was indeed a pleasure to meet you at our My'nest Hostel (#Mankar_Rang). Your help to develop www.mankarrang.in within 3 days was just mesmerizing. While GURU was ready to tought, the disciple was also ready to RECEIVE the lessons , passionately , eagerly. Learning was fun as Riding is fun. I love your web site ........ being on road. I also wish you all the best for your new safaris ...... may be by truck , walk , car , two wheels ............. you are amazing ... keep it up. Do viist our hostel (https://www.justdial.com/Nashik/Mynest-Boys-Hostel-Oppsite-Manjula-Medical-Lambodar-Avenue-Behind-Rugwed-Mangal-Karyalay-Tidke-Nagar/0253PX253-X253-180816181619-J3K6_BZDET) again

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  2. It was our Pleasure that Rider Ansh stayed with us at My'Nest hostel in Nasik and shared his wisdom. Listening to him was joy, awe and shock. We shall tell you our stories at https://mydvc.in/?d=mynest

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  3. 👌👌👌👍👍जबरदस्त....Now i start to enjoy world travelling.. Your experience simply amezing... Your ट्रॅव्हल्लिंग give me new energy.. Enjoing life....👍🙏👌

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    1. Thank You also do visit instagram page @TheMysticRiders & @India_On_Road जिंदगी के किसी मोड़ पर, फिर मिलेंगे रोड पर.... See You on the Road..👌👌

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  4. Can you share your travelling experience online.. Its amezing experience to everybody...👍👍👍🙏🙏🙏

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    1. Thank You, Sure , will keep sharing travel experience through this blog. Keep visiting India On Road जिंदगी के किसी मोड़ पर, फिर मिलेंगे रोड पर.... See You on the Road..👌👌

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  5. खूप सुंदर ,, very very nice

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    1. Thank You , keep visiting India On Road for new content on various travel experience जिंदगी के किसी मोड़ पर, फिर मिलेंगे रोड पर.... See You on the Road..👌👌

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  6. Mankarji...Great..
    अपने रंग हजार

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