Three Indians, all aged above 60 went on a journey to Antarctica earlier this January. The trio including 63-year-old NRI Venkatesan Krishnan, CS Chandrasekaran, and Venkata Subramaniam Raju, caught the attention of the internet with their visuals showing them chant Jai Shree Ram slogan at the icy destination as they stepped there on the Ayodhya Ram Mandir Pran Prathishtha day on January 22.
V Krishnan |
Free Press Journal spoke to Venkatesan Krishnan about his experience from the unforgettable trip to Antarctica, stepping into snow and smiling at penguins.
Could you describe your feeling of stepping on ice-covered Antarctica?
I must call it a dream come true! I was overwhelmed with joy while putting my foot in Antarctica. We three loudly chanted “Jai Sri Ram” in excitement as our visit to the heavenly place came coinciding with the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. May be there was a connect with this land due to our previous births; it is His will that prevails.
How did this amazing trip manifest?
This was on my bucket list even last year, but I wished to not travel solo and waited for a great travel companion to join me. And, things manifested in 2024 with Chandru and Raju agreeing to team up for this adventurous journey.
We booked the expedition 10 months in advance through Quark Expeditions based in Seatle, Washington USA. It is that way our trip started, and it turned successful due to all our well wishers, especially my children who took care of their dad’s dreams.
How important is it to have good trustworthy travel partners?
There’s nothing like going with friends on such trips as they keep one’s mood pleasant. We share enjoyment and challenges together.
Could you tell us an unforgettable memory from this trip?
We cannot forget the calmness and the beauty of Antarctica: Penguins, Elephant seals, hunch backed whales in close quarters. We also cannot forget the Indian food provided by Rajesh Das, the Indian chef of the ship for his homely service.
What’s your advice to people wanting to travel Antarctica?
Don’t underestimate the weather as they change very quickly in Antarctica. Follow instructions of the travel guide, especially while walking and exploring the snow clad mountains. Keep oneself fit enough to travel and keep a positive mind set. Always keep extra pairs of gloves, head and ear covering woolen caps, keep a muffler to cover your neck.
As your trio’s 'Jai Shree Ram' pic from Antarctica went viral, do you plan to visit Ayodhya soon?
Absolutely! All three of us intend to travel to Ayodhya soon. We recite slokas daily and do our prayers before we start the day. So it is Lord Rama who has guided our trip successfully and we will take his darshan in near future.
After Antarctica, what's next on travel plan?
We plan to go to Kazakhstan and few CIS countries as well as Greenland and Iceland.
Where in India do you think one can closely experience a vibe like Antarctica?
Jammu and Kashmir and Leh would be a tranquil place to visit.
Your inspiring message for people…
Age is only a number. Dream big and prepare your body and mind to travel around the world and experience GOD’s creativity in different parts of the world.
About the travel enthusiast: Born in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, 'Venkat' currently resides in Doha, Qatar and specialises in trade development with an experience of 37 years.