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Travel Diary

Yesterday’s trip to Agra heightened my long cherished desire: I want to travel.

Yes, I have travelled a lot in the past and am still travelling a lot. But all the time, it was few weeks (or lesser) of vacation period. I was never satisfied. Ironically, now that I am at such stage in life that prolonged free time is quite impossible, thanks to the rat race that exists, I want such a time more eagerly than ever before.

I want one or two full years of free time, just to travel the length and breadth of India. There’s so much of it still left.

My father is an avid traveller and so we happen to tour a lot. It’s time to document all these travels.

One of my earliest memories of travelling takes me to Darjeeling. The tour also included Calcutta, Gangtok, Mirik, Siliguri and few other places nearby. I still clearly remember seeing the mystic peaks of Kanchenjunga, snow covered, glistening in the sun.

We went to Guwahati, Shillong, Cherrapunji, Siliguri (again), Jalpaiguri, Jaldapara and few other places I don’t recall (shit!) in another trip. This was the first time I saw an orchid, saw SLR camera (though at that time I had no clue that it was a special camera!). This trip was also the first time I stepped outside India. We reached Jaldapara wildlife santuary to find it closed. Talking to the locals, we decided to head for Bhutan, which was not far from there! Bhutan doesn’t require a visa and there is just an archway to separate it from India. The border city was called Phuentsholing. People will say that it’s not a great place, nothing good to visit apart from a crocodile bank, but that is never an issue with me while travelling. Travel for the sheer pleasure of travelling. Sight-seeing is an added advantage.

In other trips, we have covered Delhi, Jammu, Vaishno Devi (twice!), Agra (twice!), Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura.

Once we went to Orissa: Bhuwaneshwar, Puri, Nandankanan wildlife sanctuary, Konark, Pipli, Chillka Lake etc. This was the first time I saw the sea. The famous Golden Beach at Puri was awesome. This also covered one of the four Dhams of India: the Jagannath Puri temple. I consider the Sun temple at Konark as one of the finest temples of India. And who can forget the handicrafts of Pipli!

After this, there were two school trips. The first one was to Chennai, Bangalore, Pondycherri, Kanniyakumari, Kancheepuram, Mysore, Madurai, Ooty, Thanjavur, Velankinni. I know more about the tourist attractions of Chennai from that trip than the three-year stay in Chennai! The second trip was to Mumbai, Goa, Ajanta and Ellora caves.

These started the age of travelling with friends. During my stay in Kota for two years, we visited Ranthambore National Park, spotted three tigers! I missed a trip to Mount Abu due to an eye infection. Needless to say, we explored all that was there to at Kota.

While in IIT Madras, we have been to Pondycherri, Kodaikanal, Tirupati, Itanagar, Bomdilla, Tawang.

Recently, we had another family trip. This one covered Nainital, Corbett National Park, Ranikhet, Badrinath, (this covered the second Dham)  Rudraprayag, Rishikesh and Haridwar.

On other occasions, we have been to Varansi, Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Betla National Park, Devghar etc.

So much done and so much still left! That’s why I need time. To travel and to know about places: legends, history, customs, rituals, beliefs… even thinking of this is such a pleasure!

  1. June 23, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Be it a slow paced bus or a height you can’t breathe at, travelling is always pleasing, silent yet thrilling, there is a satisfaction that you are a step ahead of where you were.

    The cultural differences in India is something we should really appreciate; different foods, different customs, different beliefs, different languages; there is so much to learn and experience.

  2. June 24, 2008 at 11:00 am

    @Moli:

    I agree about the satisfaction thing. Nice thought!

  3. abhinav
    June 24, 2008 at 11:50 am

    It’s high time you Get a SLR.

  4. June 25, 2008 at 9:33 am

    @abhinav

    Soon, I will have more than one in my room!

  5. June 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Travel is the mosht important thing. And that too, to totally unknown places. Me & Moli were thinking of planning another grand trip (like the Tawang one) to Sikkim during Saarang next year.

    This 15th Aug, may be we can be done with Munnar

  6. neelangana
    July 22, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    dude…finally i found one pasion that both of us share..

    travellivg…pure bliss!!!

  7. neelangana
    July 29, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    why dont i hav a single memory of d 1st trip???

  8. July 29, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    @neelangana: its in the blood. 😛

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