Every year i pray for Good health, progress/focus in Work, and ofcourse Travel.. 2010 was no different, as Jan 1st dawned these were the things on my "to do" list... And now, 12 months have flown by with me sailing along in various directions...
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
The first trip i made in 2010 was to Bangalore.. A week filled with meetings and making plans for the months to come..I also managed to meet up with friends i had made in the recent past.. Bangalore, almost like my 2nd home is one city where i find something new every time i visit...
Hmmm, i was once again visiting Bangalore... more for work than personal... but i did manage to sneak out time to meet friends!!
A friend who was taking photography classes managed to lure me to Lal Bagh Gardens a beautiful saturday morning to enjoy the love showered by nature.
Within a few days, i also visited Hebbal lake for the 1st time with Lakshmi for a spot of birding...
Spent the 2nd half of the Month in Bangalore, work!! The highlight of this trip was A dream of mine coming true, Thanks to a friend of mine, K... bugged him so much that he gave in, and one saturday morning we were off to the Butterfly park in Bannerghatta national park.
What a day it was.. Not only was the park beautiful, we also spent the day visiting some other friends of his , hopping from one place to the other... :-)
Packed my bags and got back to Chennai wondering where i was going to head next, hoping it was somewhere interesting... it was 14th April, tamil new year and i was back on the road with my uncle and aunt to Singaperumal Lakshmi narasimhar temple near Chengelpet .
A surprise project took me to Ooty to cover the Dog & Horse Show..A good 4day trip, i spent not only attending the shows, but wandering around exploring the town.
Since my uncle was visiting from the USA, we also did a packed day trip to Pondicherry. Gave him a 1st hand experience of our Buses, and i dont think he enjoyed it too much, especially the return journey where we had to battle our way through the crowds to grab a few seats.
The month i was looking forward to.... I was finally going to realise another dream of mine- going to Rameswaram.. A friend of mine from pune called to say she and her family were doing a Madurai- Rameswaram trip following advice by an astrologer... Without a second thought, i jumped and the rest as they say is history...
Visiting Madurai was special as i spent the 1st few years of my life there, started School there and had fond memories.... Rameswaram was beautiful, more than i had imagined! Along with friend and her family, i did 24dips in the ocean-Samudra Snanam, enjoyed a bucketful of water from 22wells-Theertha Snanam [ each containing water from a different river source], each of them tasted different..
By far one of the most exciting travels was in July. Though i dint pack any bags, or book tickets, it was a day of fun and adventure ... With the help of Arvind from Poetryinstone, Lakshmi and i set out to explore a few Pallava Caves around Chennai...
- Seeyamangalam-- Thirumalpadi
Driving near Gingee Fort, catching a glimpse of the towering fort, we grunted at the harsh Sun, and yet managed to enjoy the day, as if on a treasure hunt...
Following this, we also did a small weekend trip to Bikode, a bus ride from Bangalore..
It was a low budget, high on birding, and nature kind of a getaway.. Stayed at our uncle's Coffee plantations, and spent hours walking around with a binocular and camera looking for birds, soaking in the gentle drizzle... We also discovered quite a few hidden temples from Hoysala Dynasty..
Even though work was busy, one Saturday, i up and dragged mom & gramma to the beautiful pristine Puri Jagannath Temple in ECR, just beyond the toll booth. Untouched and quiet, this temple was refreshing and a sight for sore eyes. No loud crowds, or priests who were busy trying to grab all that we carried in our wallets..
Ah, the month that brought my birthday along was always special.... It was 10days since my bday and i was wound up, excited and looking forward to Hampi, with Lakshmi. The 2days we spent there were magical..
- Sloth bears at Daroji, sitting within a foot from them, watching them savour the sweet licks, fight with each other;
- Vittala Temple;
- The Royal Enclosures;
- The Queen's bath- The Pushkarni,
- Lotus Mahal,
- Birding along the River Tunga,
- Coracle ride to Anegund
- The hunt for cave paintings up a hillock and
- ofcourse the Matanga hills
Giving me a taste of what Hampi was all about, this trip has made me want to revisit this destination once again, and explore some more!
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
Diwali came and went, adrelin was rushing for there was a vacation in the offing.... 4 of us High school friends, all gals [plus a friend's almost 2yr old son] had planned a trip, a reunion of sorts.. The bookings were done, tickets were sorted out and bags were packed... It was the 1st time the 4 of us were travelling together... Destination was Kerala, 1st stop at Coir Village Resort, about 45kms from Allepey, followed by a quick trip to Varkala, Kovalam, and Trivandrum before heading back to Chennai.
The 5 days were filled with interesting experiences, loving the Kerala waters and hospitality. As the trip drew to a close, we knew there would be one every year, for as long as possible!!
And now, its 2011, time for me to make new plans... visit unexplored destinations.... here's to more travels for me and for you all... Have a Lovely Adventurous Year Ahead!!