Happy New Year to all of you! I intended writing this article out last week as a befitting end to a great 2016 — What better way to wrap it all up than a travel round-up.
However, since the year was quite good, I decided to relish those last few moments of 2016 in the real world. That of course, meant that with my digital detox, I leave this post as the first one for this new year – possibly, an inspiration and hope for even better things to come this year. 🙂 Let me start this year on a positive note by sharing 15 of my favorite moments of my travels in 2016 through this round-up.
1. Discovering Apsarakonda
2016 started with a family trip to Jog falls, where sadly we did not find enough water but managed to stumble upon a nymph’s secret hide-out. Apsarakonda beach was a delight with its unspoilt shores, blue water, calm backwaters and little green cliffs.
2. Crossing over to Mumbai
I have been to Mumbai several times but never have entered it officially on a boat, through the Gateway of India. The ferry ride from Alibaug to Mumbai was a thrilling experience that transported me back to an avatar of Queen Mary. If you have not read about how I was the Queen for those few moments, you need to click here and read it all.
3. Visiting Mastani in Pune
Besides rediscovering the haunted fort of Shaniwar Wada, I found the re-created palace of Mastani at Kelkar Museum in Pune. It is heartening to see that the love story of Baji Rao and Mastani still lives on in this small room. Besides this, I also discovered the other treasures of Kelkar Museum as well as found the gorgeous and unexplored Shinde Chhatri in Pune.
4. Exploring Madurai
I know, I have not yet put out these posts but my new year resolution is to do so soon. 🙂 However, my visit to this ancient city was just amazing and which is why I share it in my travel round-up of 2016. The classic charm of the Madurai Meenakshi temple, the enchanting Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace and discovering the unusual Jigar Thanda were the key highlights of this trip.
5. Visiting Dhanushkodi
The sad story of Dhanushkodi did leave a mark on me while at the same time, the lovely blue sea completely enchanted me. A melancholic moment of this travel round-up.
6. Experiencing the Cucumber Festival
The rare and lovely cucumber festival or the Touxeachem festival was a rare and unique opportunity that I got in 2016. It was lovely discovering the faith and rituals of this festival while also, discovering the non-beach part of Goa.
7.Up close and personal with the Komodo Dragon
This one is best said and experience through my post here. I am just glad that I met this elusive, rare and prehistoric creature in Indonesia.
8.Tri-colored beaches of Padar Island
No words – I just cannot get enough of this picture! To know more about it, just click this link.
9.Sunrise at Kelimutu mountain
The early morning hike itself, was an experience that I will relish for the rest of my life. And then, the winds blowing those clouds over the bewitched craters of the Kelimutu mountain. Truly one of the most magical moments of my 2016 travel round-up.
10. Scuba Diving at Havelock
The time I realized how alive I felt under the sea, amidst the colorful underwater world. My new year resolution is to do my PADI certification soon!
11. Stumbling through Ross Island
I loved being Lara Croft and I did not have to travel to Angkor to do this. Ross Island was just perfect for my curious self.
12. Exploring the Andamans
Ross Island and Havelock were not the only places that pushed Andamans on top of my favorite places. It was the rest of Andamans too – the limestone caves of Baratang Island, the sunsets of Chidiya Tapu and the historic Cellular Jail to name a few.
13. Sighting the Winter-Line at Landour
I have shared this earlier and I say this again – the colors of the sky in this rare winter line of Landour and Mussoorie had me mesmerized. I still dream of this and I know that this memory will stay with me beyond this travel round-up.
14. Witnessing nature’s colors at Chamarel
Chamarel in Mauritius was just beautiful – it was as if nature decided its mix of colors and presented an artwork to us.
15. Sea-karting in Mauritius
The thrill of driving a machine over the waves at 60 kmph is something that is best explained by the glee on my face in this picture. It is a heady feeling as the wind zips through your hair and your heart leaps up with every jump that the sea kart makes on the waves.
2016 has many more memories, some of which I have already shared and others that I am yet to share. I hope that all of you enjoy these through my blog and make them real for yourselves this year. Here is to more travels, adventure and fun this 2017.