Reflections of 2016 – My Travel Round-Up

Happy New Year to all of you! I intended writing this article out last week as a befitting end to a great 2016 โ€” 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, ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me start this year on aย positive note by sharing 15ย of myย favorite moments of my travels inย 2016 through this round-up.

1. Discovering Apsarakonda

The pristine beaches of Apsarakonda - my travel round-up for the year
The pristine beaches of Apsarakonda – my travel round-up for the year

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

Gateway of India from the Arabian Sea
Gateway of India from the Arabian Sea

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 avatarย 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

Mastani Mahal 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

Madurai Meenakshi Temple

I know, I have not yet put out these posts but my new year resolution is to do so soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 Old Church at 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

Touxeachem Feast

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

Close-up of 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

Atop 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

As the clouds blew over the craters and the sun rose over Kelimutu

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

That’s me – Scuba Diving in Havelock, Andamans

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

Officers’ Homes at 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

Limestone caves at Baratang Islands, 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

The perfect Winter Line of Mussoorie, caught from my porch at Rokeby Manor

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 – the 7 colors of Earth in Mauritius

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

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.

Happy New Year to all of you!




Share the Thrill of Travel

64 Responses

  1. xhobdo

    Awesome posts and pics.
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year.
    Best wishes. Keep sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ami

      Thank you Jyotirmoy. Glad you have traveled along with me. Your support really matters a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. iamsuanlee

    The Madurai Meenakshi temple very much reminds me of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and others in Singapore. It has the same ornate and colourful details! You got up to some incredible adventures and visited amazing destinations in 2016. What an exciting year 2017 will be for you Ami!

    • Ami

      Most of the Tamilian temples do seem a little similar. In any case, thanks for your wishes and hope you have a great 2017 too.

  3. Nisha

    Gorgeous pictures as always. And girl, you had wonderful experiences. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I am glad that we could meet this year. May we travel more this year and hopefully together on some trips.

    • Ami

      I am glad too…And I hope to make more of these trips with you. They are so much fun. Here is to more travels for both of us.

  4. Traveling Bytes

    Quite a year you had! I truly enjoyed reading about your favorite moments. I have to come back and read about your adventures in all details. I never been to India, every little bit about this colorful country sounds fascinating. I couldnโ€™t contain my curiosity and had to read about Dhanushkodi right away (the rest of the stories are saved for later). The legend is so touching and also a heartbreaking reminder about Almighty Nature. Happy travels in 2017!

    • Ami

      Thank you. Dhanushkodi was indeed a melancholic tale …glad you liked the places that I visited. Wish you a good year with lots of travel.

  5. 2travellingsisters

    Happy New Year Ami! Let 2017 be more adventure packed!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. traciehowe

    Sounds like a great year! I am especially envious of your visit to Indonesia! I didn’t make it that far East when I was there, sadly. Such a beautiful country!

    • Ami

      Indonesia was indeed a treat for me. Hope you get there soon. MAybe 2017 will be the year for you.

  7. 100cobbledroads

    What a wonderful collage of travels. I did not know about the Mastani place and the cucumber festival. Those seem so interesting. Wishing you many more wonderful travels in 2017.

    • Ami

      Thank you. Padar Island was really beautiful and am glad you have decided to travel there. Have a good 2017.

  8. neha

    I followed all your posts for the year. And I must say, such an exciting year of travel. You got to see so many new places and experience so much. Hope 2017 will be even better for you..and you will be brining in lots of new stories our way ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Sandy N Vyjay

    Happy New Year! Looks like you had a fun year with lots of travel memories.
    You explored such stunning places. May you travel more this year.

  10. Chris

    Some amazing moments, but I’m most curious how you went diving without before hand completing your dive certification?

    It really is an amazing world beneath the sea, isn’t it!

    • Ami

      Ah, there is an assisted dive that you can opt for where they teach you the basic breathing in Scuba diving and then you along with a dive instructor can go for an open water dive. And yes, the underwater dives are just amazing

  11. sensubhadrika

    wow. Thats quite a year you have had. I am sure you had immense fun on all of your travels. Each of the destination are just great. I have been to a few places on your list myself and know exactly how it feels while travelling in those places.

  12. Abigail

    It looks like you had one busy year in 2016! I need to go out more and explore. seeing your photos just make me realize there is so much to see and discover in this world!

    • Ami

      Oooh Blair, this is just skimming India. There is so much more to see. Hopefully, will be able to do more this year!

  13. Veronica

    Ami, I am so happy to know you through your blog and social media!
    Your life is full of adventures and I love your attitude to the places you travel to.
    2016 seems to have been very exciting and I hope 2017 will bring you at least as much travels as 2016 did!

    • Ami

      Thank you so much Veronica and it is my pleasure to know you too. Glad to have met and here is to a fantastic 2017

  14. Shane

    Oh wow it’s safe to say I’ve never heard of most of these gorgeous places! Love that you venture off the beaten path.

  15. EG III

    I definitely said “Wow” out loud on more than one occasion while strolling thru your travels. You definitely had an amazing ride and the things I’m most envious of are the komodo dragon experience and the tri-color beaches!

  16. Miriam Ernst

    Your post and pictures give me the impression to travel! Glad you had such a great year, hope 2017 will be as fantastic as 2016 was for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Erin

    What a year! Looks like you truly lived it to the fullest. It is refreshing and inspiring to see what you’ve done in such a short amount of time. Cheers to 2017 and to even more life-changing experiences.

  18. Alessandra

    Oh my gosh it sounds like you had an amazing year! And bring on 2017! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Mar Pages

    You’re so lucky you got up close and personal with the Komodo Dragon! That’s definitely on my bucket list. What an eventful year for you ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope 2017 follows in the same way.

    • Ami

      And wasn’t that amazing? Hoping that we get more of such amazing experiences going forward. Cheers.

  20. Davide

    It looks you have been almost everywhere, wonderful places in this list ( I have just visited few of them); But I was wondering what did you exactly feel during your diving in Havelock Islands?!? It seems amazing, ๐Ÿ˜€ thanks for sharing your nice experience with us

    • Ami

      Diving in Havelock was so exhilarating…I fell in love with Scuba after that. Thanks for stopping by,

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