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Kerala couple, who walked India, wants to travel again

Benny Kottarathil and Molly Benny.

Only eight months have gone by since their return after walking 8236 kms covering entire India. Now the Kerala couple Benny Kottarathil, 53, and his wife Molly Benny, 46, of Pallikathodu, Kottayam are all fired up for another expedition if they could arrange some fund.

Benny is all in support of Molly’s desire to travel again. But lack of money is preventing the couple from taking up another trip. “We have run short of money. If we could arrange some funds, we will definitely go for another expedition. We are looking at all possible means to raise money,” Benny said.

It was on December 1, 2021 that the couple started the all India tour on foot from Kanyakumari. After eight months, covering 17 states, they reached Kerala back on July 4, 2022. The rich memories of the trip are still fresh in their minds and they feel elated recollecting all those special moments. “Open Digest” spoke to the couple to know their experience and what really made them take up such a journey.

“While we were crossing Banihal in Kashmir, we had a narrow escape from an accident. A lorry lost its control and came towards us. Luckily we escaped,” Benny recalled. On one occasion, they had to spend a night at a cemetery in Bihar as they couldn’t find a suitable place to stay.

For the duo, the journey through Punjab has been the most memorable. “The people of Punjab are very kind hearted. As we were looking for a place to camp in the open, a local resident took us to his home and treated us as his guests. It was a heartwarming moment for us,” Molly recollected. In Rajasthan, a person gave his house for them to stay. “Though we came across wild animals while walking through forest roads, no animal attacked us,” she added.

The idea to go for an all India tour on foot struck the couple after they returned from Andhra Pradesh where they worked as teachers in a school for over 15 years. Following Covid, the school closed down and they were rendered job less. Though Benny and Molly could find jobs in Kottayam, their urge to undertake an all India expedition made them mortgage their gold jewellery and borrow funds from their friends and family to fund the travel expenses.

Molly says that she always liked to travel and traveller Santhosh George Kulangara’s programmes had inspired her a lot.

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