A Brief History of the Hippie Trail

Series: Westerners in India.

By Richard Gregory;

Journey to the East

The European concept of an epic overland journey to the east may have started with the conquests of Alexander the Great in Afghanistan and India around 325 BCE.

But most in the west associate the idea with Marco Polo and his family in the late 13th century, though their trips to Kublai Khan’s China used almost none of the routes that later formed the Hippie Trail.

Less known are John Mildenhall, the first Englishman to travel to India overland (and who did it twice), Richard Steel (who followed him), and Thomas Coryat, who left England in 1612 and arrived in India three years later, having walked much of the way.

Nobody ever called them ‘hippies.’

On The Road

The first to drive to India was a three-man team led by Major FAC Forbes-Leith, who took a Wolsey 15 from Leeds to Quetta in 1924 – and filmed the trip too.

In 1927 a team led by the Australian Francis Birtles made it from London to Delhi, and later that year Birtles drove solo to Australia (with a few sea crossings).

In 1931 a French team drove from Lebanon via Afghanistan to Kashmir, and in 1938 Owen Wright and Ted White drove a Morris Cowley from London to Calcutta. Several others did at least part of the trip between the wars, using sea crossings where roads were too difficult.

Nobody ever called them ‘hippies’ either.

Read the full article here A Brief History of the Hippie Trail https://www.richardgregory.org.uk/history/hippie-trail.htm

Overland to Asia in Search of Hashish
Journey to the East
On The Road
The Overland
The Origins of the Hippie Trail
The Advent of the Hippies
The Paradox
The Transport
The Route
The Extension
The Hiatus
The Seasons
Travel Guides
Lonely Planet
Always A Freak – Never A Hippie
Local Experience
The End of The Road
The Aftermath

The Long Read
The Motive
The Yarkandi Connection
The Chitrali Connection
The Kashmiri Connection
The Nepalese Connection
The Manali Connection
The Afghan Connection
The Pakistani Connection
The Lebanese Connection
The British Connection

The Media
The Tropes
The Subcultures
The Definition
The Crux of the Biscuit
Reefer Madness

Afghan Holiday
The Hashish Trail
Beatniks v Hippies
Sexy Sadie
The War On Drugs

Goa Freaks
The Dangers
Timothy Davey
The Advertising
Overland Buses
Budget Bus
Magical Mysteries
Magic Bus Requiem
John Hackney
Rocket Jon
Own Transport
Public Transport
Tourists v Travellers

The Guides
BIT Parts

The Railways
The Hotels
The Restaurants
The Tea (Chai)
The Brands
Boris of Kathmandu
Beatniks Go Places
Down Under

Christmas in Kathmandu
Kathmandu or Bust
The Fruits Of Eden

The Legacy
The Numbers
The Draft
The Blame Game
Rizla Rosie
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Acid

Along The Hippie Trail
BBC Witness
Blazing The Hippie Trail
The Nudity
Hippie Chicks
Karma Cola
Marco Polo
Reunions & Tiffin
Map Reading For Dummies
False Profits

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