Meet The Indian Man Walking Over 5,000 Km Of The Country With His Dog

Yati has travelled more than 5,000 kilometres in almost 3 years.
Yati has travelled more than 5,000 kilometres in almost 3 years.Yati Gaur

The African proverb 'If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together' may be true, but Noida-based Yati Gaur had already travelled quite a lot before he met his best friend and travel companion for life. Yati was a cinema student and Community Head for a backpacking chain called The Hosteller before he decided to travel India on foot during the pandemic. This story is about the journey of a man and his dog; not just a physical exploration of the land, but a profound quest for self-discovery and an intimate connection with the world around them.

Yati's journey began with a 520-kilometer pilgrimage from the spiritual haven of Rishikesh to the temples of Kedarnath, Tungnath, and Badrinath. Over the course of 1.5 months. Yati Gaur, an intrepid adventurer, embarked on his first walk, spanning 520 kilometres over 1.5 months, from Rishikesh to Kedarnath, Tungnath, and Badrinath. Following that, he ventured into the vibrant land of Rajasthan, covering approximately 800 kilometers as he journeyed from Jaipur to Pushkar, Bound, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Then came the 1550-kilometre expedition; trekking from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand to Banjar in Himachal Pradesh, a journey that spanned over 3.5 months following which he walked through Sikkim, traversing Gangtok, Chungthang, Yangang, Ravangla, and Pelling, totaling 780 kilometres. Yati has travelled more than 5,000 kilometres in almost 3 years.

Yati has travelled more than 5,000 kilometres in almost 3 years.
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It was in Rajasthan that Yati met Butter when she was a puppy who had lost her mother according to the locals. After taking her under his wing and nurturing her for one and a half years, Yati started walking with Butter and took her to her first serious practice walk in Uttarakhand, testing Butter's strength, and capabilities and teaching her essential commands. With her spirit as untamed as the open road, Butter proved to be an indispensable companion. Equipped with a raincoat, heat-resistant jacket, harness, and shoes, she fearlessly embraced the journey that lay ahead.

Here's a snippet of their travel together.

Traveling light, Yati carries only the essentials in his backpack—socks, a sleeping bag, a tent, water, and a camera to document his travel. His destination is not a fixed point on a map, but rather an opportunity to commune with nature and immerse himself in the ever-changing tapestry of India with Butter. Each day, they set out at a relaxed pace, allowing the world to unfold before them. Yati and Butter stop wherever they want, eat what's available on the way and walk on. They cover an impressive distance of 20-25 kilometres, savoring every step as they delve deeper into the heart of the country.

Yati has travelled more than 5,000 kilometres in almost 3 years.
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Yati's journey doesn't have a particular destination. It's about the experiences he encounters along the way. Making new friends, discovering hidden gems off the beaten path, and embracing the enchantment of unknown locales are among the many rewards of his walking odyssey. He recalls the advice of a wise sadhu, who encouraged him to walk like a child— to observe, to be present and to to be curious. In a land where languages, food, and rituals change every few hundred kilometres, Yati believes that exploring it on foot is the only just way to truly understand its essence.

Yati and Butter are truly living an unfettered life, enriched in the power of slow travel, the beauty of simplicity, and the profound connection between humans and animals. Their bond grows stronger with each passing day of their nomadic expedition amassing a community of fans online that can't get enough of Butter, probably India's first backpacking doggo to travel the country. As they traverse the villages and lesser-explored corners of the country, they invite us on an intimate and authentic expedition, revealing stories of people and cultures often overlooked by the glitz and glamour of the tourism industry. Through their footsteps and unwavering curiosity, Yati and Butter shed light on the everyday lives, traditions, and untold narratives that make up the heritage of India. Their voyage serves as a reminder to us all that the true essence of travel lies not in ticking off tourist hotspots but in immersing ourselves in the heart and soul of a place, embracing the untamed beauty and unfiltered experiences that await us on the path less travelled.

Follow the daily adventures of Yati and Butter here.

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