4221

VOTES
Finalist

4221

VOTES
Finalist

Off the Grid

Pranay Metta & Surya Chaitanya Vanapalli


Journey

Wrangler Hero Picture

ABOUT ME

Riding is meditation to me, where I have subconscious control over my every movement. I have taken rides that range between 1500-2000 kms for 6 years now without repeating a route twice. My longest getaway so far is a 52-day ride from Kanyakumari to Kargil spanning across 9619 kms.

MY TRAVEL COMPANION

I'm Suryachaitanya Vanapalli. I'm a photographer by day and a photographer by night. I hail from the city of destiny along the east coast. Vizag as a city, with its beautiful landscapes and beaches has motivated me a lot to get into photography. I've worked with two films as a cinematographer.

OUR ROUTE

#trueculture

The local customs, wisdom, arts and rituals that guide your way

In The Abode of Lord Rama

The Tribal Toll Gates.

Men and Metal

The Everyday Grind.

The New Age Kurukshetra

In The Abode of Lord Rama

The ride had to start with the blessings of Lord Rama who has an epic history of going 'Off the Grid' himself. Badhrachalam is a famous Hindu Pilgrimage site situated on the banks of the Godavari river. The rich and peaceful culture of this town is reflected in the white, devotees wear to pray to the lord. My day started among the holy chants before I head into the dense forests around here.


The Tribal Toll Gates.

A major part of my Road Trip wanders around the unexplored regions between AP, TG, Orissa, and Chattisgarh. There are multiple tribal settlements in these regions and all of them were inviting the monsoons by dancing on these highways. They find it as a good omen when complete strangers donate money towards the harvesting. It could be as low as a rupee but if you don't pay, You Shall Not Pass !!


Men and Metal

In conversation with Mahesh, a tribal artisan from Chilkotti village, Bastar District, Chattisgarh. Mahesh deals in hot wax and hard metals. This bell metal art has fans globally and only 7 men practice this art form all over the district since generations. The process from mould to product is 7 days. Mahesh also sells abroad with local support over internet. His signatures are pens that cost 13$.


The Everyday Grind.

On the drive from Konta to Jagdalpur, you will find small groups of kids doing a very complex operation. They're grinding what they call "NOOR" to produce oil, in the process. Usually, the kids do it because there is very less for them to do, for activities, in these regions. The oil produced is used for lighting the lamps in these settlements. It's an everyday process to fulfill basic needs.


The New Age Kurukshetra

The culture of riding resonates greatly with the rules of war. Every sunrise starts with maintenance preparing for adventure and discovery. We thread every terrain, from glistening tarmac to rocky cliffs on the way overcoming every hurdle. The sunsets are spent planning the adventure ahead, grateful for everything reaped today.



#trueview

From rural landscapes to city-scenes; your journey from your perspectives

A Splash of Serenity

Chores?? Chores!!

The Glass is Half Full.

Riding the Cobra!

Not on Google ?

The Wild Wild East.

Rock and Row

A Splash of Serenity

The Godavari river cuts through the Maredumilli forest range in a spectacular fashion. The extreme 42C made me notice the faint gushing sound over the thuds of the Enfield. As I made way through the dense jungle I came across this beautiful stream of water which gave me a much-needed splash of serenity I was craving for.


Chores?? Chores!!

How does your day get brighter when you got chores to take care of? This view of never-ending forests from my homestay changed this view of mine. And then the day just got a little brighter, frame by frame when this pupper, bullet, joined the moment.


The Glass is Half Full.

Laknavaram lake near Hanmakonda is supposed to be one of the primary source of water supply to the surrounding areas, but the lake has completely dried up in this summer wave, creating scarcity and killing all the fish. The opportunist that I am didn't hesitate to get down there with my bike and rode on what was once a lake, but now a dirt track.


Riding the Cobra!

The Maredumilli forest range is by far the most beautiful track I've driven on. The quality of the roads is amazing with roads slithering like a cobra through the jungle. The mid-day sun penetrating the deep forest canopy created a scene that made me realize how passionate my travel buddy was about photography.


Not on Google ?

Chowllapalli is a small settlement next to a beautiful lake that does not have a name on google yet. People call it 'cheruvu' for now. Very few commuters use this road and even fewer stop by this place. Before you get to feel the cool water you have to go through a rough off-road experience.


The Wild Wild East.

Nothing can match the wilderness of the Eastern Ghats. There are tons of explored riding tracks across the country but these less explored eastern ghats have a lot to offer to those who have the will to wander. Deomali was on our list for years. The 'W' formed in these ghats explained why it only happened now. Only True Wanderers' have ever explored this place and will continue to.


Rock and Row

The country took a great hit from the heat this summer and it was just evident at Chitrakoot. The locals offer boat rides to the foot of the falls for as low as 40Rs. The foot feels like an explosion of water in your face. They handled the rapids by pushing against the rocks with the oar along the bed because of the low water-level. The visit ended with a dip into these chilled waters.



#truefriend

Those you make unforgettable memories with along the way, new and old

Are you Mettahuman ?

Timid Tiny Tots.

Bastar Boys

The StowAway Painter

Not an Option.

Are you Mettahuman ?

It's always motivating to be recognized for your passion. It's even more motivating to run into people you inspire. Meet Ravi Teja, a young lad from East Godavari District who has been following my social presence for my signature rides. He chased me while I was driving through the coiled up ghats of Maredmulli in AP, to congratulate me for chasing my passions. He is a fan turned friend now.


Timid Tiny Tots.

Kids fancy bikes and cameras, but not this lot. Kids from this small settlement have zero to no interaction with the outside world that my very presence threatened them. After a talk with the local elders and treats with crunchy wafers, warmed them up to me. Friendly rides followed and before I knew it, they had a new friend. Fist bumps sealed the bond.


Bastar Boys

In the words of locals, the district Bastar is a blacklisted travel zone, it pained me to hear that as my time in Bastar was really amazing. The drives were beautiful and the landscapes were phenomenal, and there was not one second where I felt threatened by any sort of anti-social elements. These men here share a similar concern and are striving to promote Chattisgarh in their respective fields.


The StowAway Painter

We took a water break and found Mr.Kondaiah furious, by the road. Upon inquiring we found that he was denied a lift on this hot afternoon. We let him join us and in the process found out he ran away from home and immense wealth, at the age of 48. He later married a mother of three and supports them through his skill at painting. Here are some paintings he brought to life. He is 56 years young now.


Not an Option.

It's rare to find a person with a similar frequency. There wasn't a second thought for a Travel buddy when Surya was around. The passion he shares for delivering the best in photographs made me and my journey look awesome. Just like my story, this is one soul that will stick around to the end.



#truefoodie

Your culinary road trip that will make the judges hungry!

The Jack of All Food.

Road Trips for a Living.

Baba !! Ek Chilli Chicken.

It's an emotion.

Meat and Heat, ONLY.

The Jack of All Food.

Often losing the competition to mangoes in the summer, the Jack Fruit is really underrated. I understood this when I picked up an entire fruit from the market for 2Rs in the Maredmulli town. My buddy carved a sad face into it asking me to break it and the sad vibes that surround us. It was a tedious job to break into it but was one of the sweetest treats I've tasted in a long long time.


Road Trips for a Living.

If anybody tops the road trips food chain, it has to be the truck drivers who consistently travel for days with no comfort whatsoever. In conversation with Jagdish, a driver from Orissa, over lunch he cooked, I understood that they only enjoy most scenic views, lunch under the trees and dinners under the stars as they set out on a trip for weeks together.


Baba !! Ek Chilli Chicken.

It's so confusing to buy food in Chattisgarh. They sell chicken by the bird and not by the kilo. So you do not know what you're buying until you see it in your plate. Chilli Chicken was recommended and I also got to learn how to make it !! I was charged a whopping 600 for the bird, but it was worth it. Apparently, the bird was a champion.


It's an emotion.

Knowing we were wandering out into the wild and leaving behind the dosa, it was mandatory to have enough for the trip. No wonder it was voted the tastiest food in the world.


Meat and Heat, ONLY.

Bamboo chicken is an authentic tribal dish famous for its Oil-Free preparation and nutritional values. The meat is marinated in spices and stuffed in the hollow bamboo shaft and then cooked over charcoal. There is NO oil or stimulants added to the mix which ensures nutritious cooking. This is literally the only non-vegetarian dish available in the village of Maredumilli post sunset.



#truedenim

The Wrangler InfiCool apparel that keeps you cool and confident while wandering

42°C - 24°C

Off The Grid.

Through Everything

42°C - 24°C

After riding in scorching 42°C for two days straight, I experienced a shower at Konta, a town near the Chattisgarh Border. The sudden shower was the relief we were craving for and I did not hesitate a second to live the moment. I and my gear handled the 42°C - 24°C transition in bliss.


Off The Grid.

Travel is the center of my Jigsaw puzzle. All the places we ever "Tour" to are merely curated by human experiences. It is the first time that I ever went off the grid, to places untouched and experiences unsaid. Off The Grid is based around the sensitive border regions of Andhra, Telangana, Orissa, and Chattisgarh, notoriously known as "The Blacklisted Travel Zone In India".


Through Everything

True Denim stays through everything. The rains in Konta, the dirt in Laknavaram, the ruggedness of Chitrakoot or the attention from a flag-off. It stays through everything.




STAY TUNED FOR Pranay Metta's #TRUEADVENTURE STORIES!