Meet Lida Scherbakova and Maxim Kozlov Tula who have travelled across India on their Royal Enfield covering 78000 kms. Interestingly, this Russian Couple travels 10000km in India on Bike every year. You will be surprised to hear this beautiful travel Love story because firstly, their love for India Travel is 10 years old. And, secondly, Maxim documents his travel with Film cameras, mostly medium format.
I met Lida enroute to my trek to Jogni Falls in Himachal last year and she caught my attention because of the travel postcards that she was selling from anytime-wrap-up-shop that she had set on the small patch during my climb uphill. The first thing I noticed was her macramé dreamcatchers and then I saw some great picture postcards. Each postcard had photograph pasted on a brown handmade sheet, carefully outlined with black markers and captioned too- the postcards were all handmade! I was stunned at the workmanship and that’s where we started rolling!
The photographs have captured the life of the South Indian villages, Western Ghats, fishermen of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, sunrises and sunsets of the Rameshwaram island, Ellora caves and the Hampi temples, Lonar meteorite crater, Rajasthan, remote Himalayan villages and Ladakh, all on their Royal Enfield 500 motorcycle, produced in 1993, with laurels of having traveled at an altitude of 5328m (Manali-Leh road) along with a record of one day travel of 1100 km (Kodaikanal-Goa road).
The archive collection of his photographs is 500 medium format films (about 5000 photos with frame 6×6 and 6x9cm negative).
Every year Maxim and Lida drive another 10,000 km across India. On the way, they distribute photographs to people who were featured in the last year. Sometimes it happens that the heroes of the pictures move from place to place and you have to search for them for a long time. Basically, they give back portraits to everyone they had clicked.
At present they have been living in a forest in Russia for last 3 months! They had to move from India, considering the present scenario around the world and because they cannot live in big towns anymore, as Lida says, they shifted to 1300 kms to south Mountain where internet is a luxury and electricity is rarely occurring phenomenon. It is an eco-camping. This place is only 14 km from Black sea. So, what actually triggered the whole travel syndrome for them?
“12 years ago we went traveling to Goa for 2 weeks. It was love from the first day (about India). And when we came back to Russia we were not the same people! As luck would have it, we saw the film ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ about Che Guevara’s traveling in South America. And that was our eureka moment. We packed our bags, came to India, reached Goa, bought our Enfield to head south from Goa. Only that, before coming to India, we didn’t know a thing about a motorbike, let alone drive one!”
Maxim and Lida have been together for 20 years and their travel to India is like their soul calling. “We love everything about India. The people are amazing, the places are amazing and altogether it’s a feeling of freedom, there’s a feeling of a miracle happening soon! We have made many friends who make it all just so wonderful. Our journey is a kaleidoscope of beauty, happiness, adventures, smiles.
Apart from India, we have seen Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bulgaria. There are no plans, only dreams. Now, we want to travel to the North-east India.
The Best place in India for us? It has to be Ladakh, Zanskar. It will remain in our hearts forever!”
Loved what you read? We would love to hear it from you! Well, if there’s a question for them or if there’s a postcard that you want from them– write it in the comments box. Let’s help them, however small, to fulfill their dreams! This Russian Couple travels 10000km in India on Bike every year, let nothing stop them
You can also contact them on their insta page, which they have started recently- maximkozlovphoto