During the time of 2013-2016 i visited India a wopping 9 times. I was invited to play tours and gigs there with my project Parandroid. During the tours i usually had a couple of free days inbetween gigs. I used this free time to experience India and enjoy the local food and people.
I visited so many different beautiful places in India. India beeing a country of great ambievalences i also saw some not so nice places as well. I traveled to many of the major citys like for example Delhi with it`s stuffed traffic and big plazas or Bangalore with it`s booming IT market where thousands of peddlers press themself through the overfilled streets to get from home to their work or vice versa. I like the Citys and what they have to offer. Especially Bangalore is cosmopolitan , modern and has anything to offer what anyone could ever wish for. But nothing comes close to the beautiful nature and it`s offerings of calm. From all locations i visited , one really grew very cloce to my heart.The Himalayas. To be exact , the parvati valley.
PARVATI VALLEY – A DIFFERENT KIND OF INDIA
The first time i came to the Himalaya i was booked there for a Psytrance festival. It was a rather busy tour and i just previously played Gigs in Bangalore and Delhi. One day after the gig in Delhi was finished a bus was booked for me. The tour manager told me that it is pretty hard to get to the placer and a semi sleeper bus is a comfortable and safe way of traveling there. Ok fair enough i said to myself. They brought me to the “Bus Station” for the ticket they booked for me. It wasnt a bus stop at all , it was a busy highway somewhere outside of Delhi.
DELHI TO PARVATI VALLEY – A BUS JOURNEY FROM HELL
The bus they booked for me was completely filled to the brim with people. Apperently i was the last and the only one getting on the bus in that weird fashion. In all the bus there was only one single seat left: Last row middle seat. The worst seat in the entire bus. The trip is a very long one and it was definately one of the most dangerous and adventurous bus drives of my entire life. At this point i have seen india for enough times to know how people drive there. For a european citizen it is definately an extraordinary way of driving. Be sure to be prepared to a couple of near death experiences when traveling to Himachal. The bus drivers will do things on the roads that you wouldnt even dream of in your worst nightmare. There are allmost daily incedents of buses that drive of cliffs or crash into trees of fall into rivers and be sure that the locals are not shy of telling you about that. I really didn`t have a lot of luck with my first bus trip to the himalays i must say. I had other trips with buses on other occasions where i have been much more lucky and everything went smoothly.
A BETTER WAY OF GETTING UPHILL: PRVATE CAR
Nowadays i would allways book a private car from Delhi to Kulu or wherever i have to go up to the mountains. That is especially affordable if you aren`t traveling alone and can splitt the costs. If i remember correctly the last time i went together with a friend it costed me around 60€ (120 for both) with a very reasonable driver. The cars are comfy , the driver really depends on who you know or how lucky you are when booking one. If you have any friends in Delhi you should definately try to if they know a good driver or company.
This way of driving there is amazing. You can stop whenever you are and i fyou are lucky enough to know the driver the ride is probably smoke friendly. I remember one momenten when i once drove alone from kulu to Delhi and then woke up in the very early morning hours. I think it must have been 4AM. I opened my eyes and couldn`t believe what i see. It looked so sureal. We where on a small road, maybe 4 meters wide. Next to the road there was a fluffy coating of clouds. We drove above the clouds thousands of meters about sea level. The colour spectrum was one that i never saw in my entire lifetime. During my time with my project Psytrance project Parandroid i visited more then 30 countries and if you count all the countries i visited before that time it is allmost 40. Every place has a own light spectrum. I was above the clouds during the a sunrise in the himalaya. The Sedan i was driving in offered a serene 360 degree view of the spectacle that erupted around me in yellow and orange bloomy color. I wish i would have been able to get my camera out at this moment. It was heaven and earth coming together in a way i nerver witnessed before. We where driving on a magical road above the clouds.
ARRIVAL IN KULLU
I was so happy when the bus ride was over. During the bus trip there was a guy sitting next to me with headphones on his head. The was a guy in his twenties and listenmed to psytrance all the time he spend awake during the bus trip. We got to know each other and i explained why i was there and i told him the name of the party. He was from a village just a few kilometers after parvati. The rest of the way up to parvati valley is was a bliss. The guy beeing a local had no problem in getting us a taxi. of course he knew the taxi driver.
My new buddy plugged his phone into the soundystem of the car and the last 1-2 hours way i spend smoking with the taxi driver and my new friend. A huge smile apeared on my face. Everything was so wonderfully chilled out. I loved the place. the tall trees and lush bushes. The mighty stream parvati that is so cold that you would die allmost instantly if you`d fall in.