When I met Niyog I was completely unaware of his quests, the direction he is planning to travel or anything about his entirety for that matter. But there’s something about Niyog that made me want to peek into his Facebook profile and learn more about him. I did find some piece of him that helped me solve the puzzle.

NiyogNiyog in Khardungla PassHis Facebook intro reads, ‘Roads, Movies and Magic!’, which makes me believe is the key to unleash his thirst for adventure, the yearning to explore the unknown, and the spirit of challenging life in the face of all odds. The cover picture has a picture that talks about the wanderlust in him. And quite recently, he is representing India in the Fjallraven Polar competition held worldwide. He is competing with the travelers from the countries like USA, Pakistan, Greece, United Kingdom and many others.

polar expedition 2015
Image Source: polar.fjallraven.com
Polar expedition competition
Image Source: polar.fjallraven.com

Niyog is now ranking in #1 with 21,335 votes (Last update: 04-12-2017: 09:40 PM) in this competition.

Make him winner so he can represent India in one of the toughest expeditions. You can visit his page and vote for him. But if you want to learn more about him just like my intrigued mind, then here’s more.

This is Niyog’s Story: the 26 Year Old who is Traveling India without a Rupiya in his pocket!

It is impossible to begin talking about Niyog without mentioning the very facts that made me go boggle head at first.He carries no money in his pocket or purse. So that means he does not have a dime to board a public transport, book a hotel room, or even buy food to eat.

Niyog at Babushka's KingdomSo what does He do? Hitchhiking is the Answer

This young man identified how people coming from the West often hitchhike when they travel in India. This trend is, in fact, one of the hiking trails in the Hippie culture. At the same time, it is one of the challenging tasks for a traveler since not many passersby generally tend to be enthusiastic about giving a lift to strangers.

Niyog was very much touched by the Hippie culture at that time and decided to take up the challenge for himself. Most of his trips were made by lifts from truck drivers and motorcyclists who also offered him food and also made necessary arrangements for him to stay.

Niyog in LadakhNiyog hitchhikingOther than that, the railway stations and the temples were some of his other places of stay.Even the social media helped him. People on his friend list would see his posts and often invite him to stay for the night at their place.

It has been more than 180 days since this 26-year-old film director had left his home in Punalur, Kerala, and is traveling all over India without a Rupiya in his pocket. Does not it want to make you learn how he does that? It did to me.

Niyog in road trip Niyog Penniless travelLike any other fascinated and equally impressed travel enthusiast, I asked him, “how?”

And that’s how our rendezvous started, unfolding Niyog’s journey right in front of my vision –

Here is Niyog’s interview with us

Me: You full Name?

Niyog: ‘Niyog Krishna’ is my full name.

Me: Where are you from?

Niyog: I’m from Punalur, a small mountain town in Kerala.

Me: What you do apart from traveling?

Niyog: I was associating with legendary director late IV Sasi sir in the screenplay of a multilingual movie named ‘Burning Wells’ based on the Kuwait Invasion and Operation Desert Storm. I also worked in the creative department of Aries Group Global, All Lights India International Film Festival, and Indywood Film Carnival. I’m currently working on the screenplay of my first movie as an independent director.

Me: How did you manage to escape from your daily life and job?

Niyog: Film making is all about working hard for few months and taking breaks to feed your creative side. For me, traveling is a vital part of my life that helps me to be a better storyteller.

Me: Why this solo trip?

Niyog: I faced some unfortunate events in life, followed by critical depression and insomnia. More than any danger that awaits me in the external world, more than war or violence, I was scared of my own thoughts. I knew that traveling without money will be about facing uncertainties in every second of the journey which could keep me thoughtless and not go back to memories that made me suicidal. And as I knew I would, I watched myself finding blissfulness with the journey.

Me: When did you start this journey?

Niyog: I started my journey on June 1, 2017, from Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India.

Me: What gave you the inspiration to do this?

Niyog: Beat Generation and the Hippie trail of the 70s were all inspirations. There are also works of literature like ‘One the road’ or ‘Into the wild’ which have all influenced me greatly.

Me: Why without money?

Niyog: It was more about challenging myself, pushing the limits and proving that it is possible to travel in such a way. I also thought it could inspire people who think money is a barrier to move.

Me: What are the places you visit till now?

Niyog: I covered 15 states and 3 Union Territories in 150 days traveling from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and then to Delhi. The journey will continue and I’m planning to cover all the states as well as Nepal and Bhutan.

Me: Why Not bike or car?

Niyog: Hitchhiking is my method of travel. I took free lifts in hundreds of trucks and motorcycle to cover thousands of kilometers in last 5 months.

Me: How did you manage without money?

Niyog: I hitchhike to travel. I go and ask people for food, houses or restaurants telling my story. And most of the time, I don’t get food. Hunger was always a great companion and I already lost 17 KGs in the journey. I find stays with Couch Surfing or through Social Media friends. And most of the time, I sleep in temples, gurudwaras, mosques or bus stations.

Me: How did you plan entire trip

Niyog: To be frank, the only plan was to travel as far and as long as possible and otherwise it’s all about following instincts and intuitions having no clue about what I’m going to do next.

Me: What was your travel route map?

Niyog: Kerala – Tamil Nadu – Andhra Pradesh – Karnataka- Goa – Maharashtra- Gujarat – Rajasthan – Haryana – Punjab – Himachal Pradesh – Kashmir – Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand – Delhi

Me: Any special incident you faced?

Niyog: It will be an understatement to call the journey a roller coaster ride of experiences and emotions. And it’s the people that I met that made this journey magical. Ijas, a Pravah ICS volunteer introduced me to an NGO named Manthan (I worked there for 2 weeks), Tejaramji, the founder of Manthan who is working to cure the critical water crisis in the villages of Ajmer district, Rajasthan for last 20 years. The Sufi saint I stayed within Ajmer Dargah for a week, Babushka who selflessly hosts thousands of travelers every year in his farmhouse in Manali, A millionaire from Thailand turned sage known to people of Vashist by the name ‘Bamboo Baba’ who is in meditation for last 35 years… So many people… it is the kindness of people that compensated my empty pocket and they were all magical.

Me: What you have learned from this entire journey?

Niyog: There was something very enlightening about this journey which I call as ‘Road to Magic’ (that’s the name of my Facebook page). It restored my faith in humanity and made me believe in miracles and magic! I also realized that all events and people of our lives are dots that are connected to make an amazing picture, to take us to the place that we’re destined to be.

Me: Your message to your fellow travelers

Niyog: For me, traveling is not about destinations, but about the journey itself and the people I meet. The world is full of magical things waiting for our senses to grow sharper… so observe!

Me: Anything you want to say about Top Five Buzz travel magazine?

Niyog: I came know about Top 5 Buzz from Ambika Bharadwaj of ‘Daastan-e-Musafir‘ who is my favorite travel blogger. I’m following the website for couple of months and I absolutely love the contents

To make Niyog winner for Polar Competition, click the below image and go to the link and just click VOTE

niyogAlso if you want to learn more about Niyog – Visit his Facebook Profile at https://www.facebook.com/niyogkrishna

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