The year began with a bang with a para-gliding event within the city of Barmer to increase awareness about adventure sports. Having the advantage of acquaintance with the staff conducting the event, I utilised the opportunity to the fullest and every time there was nobody queueing up for a ride I went and strapped up to fly again and again..
Hardly the adventure was over when we with friends planned an overnight stay at Khuri, a lesser known desert safari site few kilometres from the much popular Sam sand dunes at Jaisalmer. The best thing was that my post on Khuri “Oasis At Khuri” was picked up as guest post by HappyTrips a travel website launched by Times Internet.
The weekend at Khuri was one of the best with all friends bonding over tea in kulhars, dal pakoras and at evening with beer that stayed chilled courtesy the dipping temperatures of Great Indian Thar desert in January night, around a raging camp-fire and kalbeliya dancers swaying to drum beats and folk songs.
The weekend of Valentine’s Day being second Saturday, was a day off from school and office so who was to stop us from planning another quick getaway? With plans of making it to Munabao Railway station, the railway transit point on the Indo-Pak border, to witness the passenger exchange across border when gates are opened , we decided to drive from Barmer. However our hopes were dashed when we found that the train exchange would be over by the time we would reach Munabao (later we did see the glamorized version of passenger exchange in the movie Bajrangi Bhaijan). Undeterred we decided to go to Tanot Mata mandir and Longewala instead…the 1971 Indo-Pak war site much popularised in the movie Border.
Tanot temple is maintained by BSF and Army; even the priests are soldiers who take up duty on rotation.
With approaching final exams in school, I had no plans of travel but the selection by BlogAdda team, as one of the winners, saw me travelling to Delhi alone for India Today Conclave. I very obviously had a blast at the conclave and not once did I worry about the ongoing examinations!
After a brief lull, we found ourselves contemplating travel during summer-vacations…after all who wants spend a month and a half trapped in a house with an over-energetic-nothing-to-do tween who either wants to watch television whole day or eats your brain off by lamenting ‘what-to-do-next-because-there-is-nobody-to-play’!
Beginning the holiday with a visit to the exquisite Sun Temple at Modhera, the fine embroidered step well Adalaj Vav, the modern offering of two great minds artist MF Hussain and architect BV Doshi Amdavad ni Gufa all in and around Ahmedabad, we proceeded to Hyderabad finally culminating our spree of holiday with a drive at Tamhini Ghat!
Soon it was time to shift base from Rajasthan to Tamilnadu and we took up a tiring herculean road trip from Barmer to Thanjavur driving in our wobbling twelve-year-old Indigo Diesel Car. En-route we first visited the magnificent Jain temple at Ranakpur and city of lakes Udaipur. The trip lasted six days with overnight stays at Surat, Pune, Belgaun, Bengalore besides Udaipur before we parked outside the temporary quarters at Thanjavur!
Settling down in a new city, new house, new state where it is a task for us to make any conversation(because locals speak only Tamil and ‘kunjum kunjum English’ ) made us long for a break again. We flew all the away back to Gujarat from Tamilnadu for a trip to Diu and Gir National Park.
Its been almost three months in Thanjavur now. This place will be my home for next one and half-year and I have just begun to explore this historic town replete with colorfully painted temples. The Brihadeshwara Temple built by Chola kings and renovated later by Maratha kings is the biggest attraction of this town and I am yet to visit it…
A year of travelling has increased my appetite and feet itch ever more so for another such extravagance in the coming new year. I am already bubbling with excitement to visit Coorg, Hampi, Madurai, Rameshwaram, Chennai, Chettinad and other areas around my new place of residence…
Call it a dream… a hope…a desire that has taken birth deep in my heart with all this travel…Ah! to feature in Travel Magazines…Conde’ Nast, National geographic Traveller, Outlook Traveller, BBC Traveller…(this pitching thing really stumps me however….more like scares me no end! I find writing easier than pitching monster…..)
I have yet to learn to pen an eye-catching article befitting the magazines…
Yet the hope floats and dreams soar….
Even as 2016 knocks at my door!!
“I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.”
“I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.”