Top twelve destinations of 2015 2


Top twelve destinations of 2015

travel, journeys

The Roads taken this year

As a year ends and another begins,  the only thought that comes to my mind is my gratitude for the countless journeys that this year has taken me to and the many people I have met who are now part of  this journey called life. Seychelles, Denmark, Indonesia, Singapore, Bhutan are some of the beautiful countries that I visited. I started this journey with Kutch and ended it with Kutch. I spent a lot of time shuttling between my two homes – Bangalore and Madras (Chennai) and visited another city after a gap of seven years, which was once my home – Mumbai. I holidayed in Andamans and visited Amritsar. I started this year with a few thousand rupees and ended up adding a few more zeroes as I explored the opportunities of being a professional travel blogger. And now, I sit in my room, leaning against my favourite pillow, with my feet up,  my head clouded with memories. As we are on the cusp of a new year, I would like to go on a nostalgic journey, looking at the top twelve posts this year – one from every month.

January – Kutch Gujarat, India

Kutch, artist, jewellery, bead jewellery

Making magic with her fingers

I had always wanted to visit Gujarat. Besides Ahmedabad and Baroda, I had not been anywhere . But this trip happened without any plans.  The best part about this trip was that it was a holiday planned around my birthday and the husband was rather generous by taking off from work . The worst part was that it was last minute and during peak season. We went to Ahmedabad, Patan  LRK, Bhuj and GRK. While I have not blogged about all the destinations – here is one on Kutch

My first impressions on Kutch 

 

Kangaroo, Kangaroo island

Kangaroos in Kangaroo Island

February – Kangaroo Island, Australia

I visited Australia in 2014 but I just got around to blogging some of my posts this year. I spent almost a week in South Australia and the visit to KI was absolutely the highlight. However the best part of my Australian adventure was a road trip, a personal holiday that my husband and I took. We drove from Adelaide to Melbourne via the Limestone Coast and the Great Ocean Road – this is post that this still pending. But for now, read my story on KI

Sighting wildlife in Kangaroo Island

 

Dhanushkodi, ruins

Ruins of Dhanushkodi

March – Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu, India

I have always been tempted to visit places which have a melancholic tinge to them. And Dhanushkodi, the town that was wiped out from the face of the earth along with a train full of passengers due to a cyclone was long on the agenda. Another holiday planned with the husband, although we went a couple of years ago. We visited Madurai-Rameshwaram- Chettinadu and Dhanuskhodi was part of this trip. This was the only town that connected India to Srilanka through land and sea at one time.

Dhanushkodi-the town swallowed by a cyclone

 

Mallikarjuna temple, Pattadakal

Mallikarjuna temple – built by another queen

April – Pattadakal, Karnataka, India

I visited Pattadakal when I was in college as a part of the study tour. Ever since, I have been wanting to go back. So where there was a wedding in the family in a town near Badami, the husband and I took off to explore Badami-Aihole and Pattadakal. What fascinated me about this ancient Chalukyan UNESCO World Heritage Site is that these temples were built by queens to honour their husbands

Pattadakal – Where queens built temples for their kings

May – Sikkim, India

Sikkim, waterfalls

Waterfalls in Sikkim

Another latergram, as they say in Instagram parlance. I did not visit Sikkim this year but the post was a story that was published for a magazine on monasteries in Sikkim. And I realized that I had not written about my second visit to Sikkim at all – the first was however a holiday with the husband over a decade ago. So I sat down to publish this story last year

Sikkim Stories

June – Seychelles

La Digue , Seychelles

The jetty at La Digue

I visited Seychelles earlier in the year but it took me a few months to start publishing the story. I fell in love with it instantly and I would say that it is largely due to great company. The best part of the story was the amazing wildlife and the birds that we spotted . And I overcame my fear of water thanks to a man called Hyacinthe to do some snorkeling.

Snorkeling in La Digue, Seychelles

 

Goa, Black capped kingfisher

A black capped kingfisher looks on

July – Goa, India

Another post from one of my older trips. The husband and I went on a holiday to Goa, where we saw a different facet of this state. It was Goa beyond the beaches as we stayed in jungles and the closest beach was an hour away. We went on a morning boat ride on the river where we saw a wide variety of birds- residents and migrants

Birding on a river cruise in Goa

August – Tranquebar, India

Tranquebar, sunrise, fort

The Danish fort at sunrise

My favourite coast in India – the Coromandel Coast has so many secrets tucked away in it. Amidst all of them are the old colonial towns of the European and British powers . The British, the French, the Dutch, the Portuguese and even the Danish were here . And the latter landed in Tranquebar or Taragambadi as its called today

Tranquebar-  a 400 year old fort

September – Pahalgam, Kashmir, India

Kashmir

Rivers and rivulets curve around the landscape

If there is one word truly defines beautiful then it is Kashmir. Misty, ethereal and fragile, the mountains and meadows here vie for attention. I went to Pahalgam and I was lost not just in the beauty but in the melodious song of the Himalayan whistling thrush.

A morning at Pahalgam, Kashmir

October – London UK

Meals served on board

Meals served on board

I had a dream experience when I flew to London from Delhi  aboard the Virgin Atlantic Dreamliner. But the pampering did not end there. We visited Crawley, where I went a variety of food bloggers, specialists and chefs who took us behind the scenes of a kitchen on board the flight. And as they say, its not just meals – it is a restaurant in the sky

Cheese, chocolates, cocktails and champagne at Crawley

November – Indonesia 

volcano, Bandung, Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban Perahu in Bandung

Indonesia was by far the best trip of 2015. With 50 bloggers, instagrammers, photographers and travel enthusiasts, we were travelling down Indonesia for a fortnight. And while the experience of being together was fantastic, the destination took me by surprise. I had been to Bali before , but Bandung, Jogja, Komodo Island and Mount Bromo were fantastic destinations. It was the first time I had ever got up and close to a volcano. While i am still blogging about Indonesia, here is a post on Bandung

The volcanic trail of Bandung

December – Singapore

Say Cheese

Say Cheese

I ended this year with a lovely short trip to vibrant Singapore. It has been five years since I went to the island country and I was happy when I was invited. The Christmas Wonderland Fair in Gardens by the Bay was colourful and quaint and then I ended the trip by being pampered by Changi. A special thanks goes out to Tiger Airways and I would not have made the trip without them

Postcards from Christmas Wonderland in Singapore

So cheers everyone, here is wishing all of you in 2016 some wonderful journeys and experiences.  Thanks so much for being part of this year – hope to see you soon in the next as well. And before you leave, let me know – which of these twelve posts is your favourite ?

 

 


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