Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Going Places- Part 1


So bags packed? Watermelon and camera ready? Your favourite ice-cream brick stocked in the fridge? Good. Starting off with the first post of my ‘travel sperm’ diary, I bring to you few destinations which constitute the earliest travel memories for me. Enjoy the young me in the pics!

(Don’t know what I am talking about? Click here)

The Rajasthan Odyssey
I have been to a lot of places in Rajasthan over several trips. The earliest one was in 1998 when I was in Class 1. Udaipur. Yeah, I have very faint memories from that trip. A few things which I do have some photographic memories of include the Udaipur Lake and the huge palace. I think we even visited Chhittorgarh. Actually we did. A photograph of me standing in front of the Vijay Stambh proves it!

Then there was this visit to Mount Abu. My father had been influenced by the Brahma Kumaris and so he had taken us to Mt. Abu in 2006. The lectures at the Ashram were boring of course but Rajasthan’s only hill station had a beauty about itself. I remember climbing the many hundred steps to reach the town top at Guru Shikhar, the view at the sunset point, the Nakki Lake and of course the beautiful Brahma Kumaris campus.

The only trip, of which I have an ample memory of, is probably the trip to Jaipur that I took with my relatives last October. Starting right from the City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, ISCKON Temple to Chokhi Dhani, light and sound show at Amber Fort and Jaigarh Fort, the three day car-trip from Delhi is beautifully etched in my memory. (Well, the cops in Jaipur do have a keen eye. I didn’t have the seat belt on and it cost us 500 bucks!)

Another trip to Rajasthan is awaited by me- one which would include camping in the desert. Amidst the dunes and camels and an oasis, it should be fun!

The Trip to the Hills- Darjeeling and Gangtok
Darjeeling yeah! The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of this beautiful hill station is disappointment. Disappointment of a young train lover of not being able to travel on the toy train!

I visited Darjeeling and Gangtok in 1999 with mine and a childhood friend’s families. The trip had started from Sambalpur, my hometown, via Calcutta and Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling (By bus and not toy train) and Gangtok (by jeep). We had been to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, had travelled by the cable car (which I think was shut down for many years after that), took the dangerously winding downhill road to the rock garden in a Maruti Omni, clicked pictures with the toy train at Batasia Loop and our parents got into the tea-planters get-up at one of the tea gardens.

The visit to the Tsongmo Lake in Gangtok is one which I would remember every time I visit a hill station. Two reasons- One, due to the cold, all the exposed areas of my body including my face (the parts that the monkey cap didn’t cover) and a hand had swelled. That was when I was told that I am not suitable to visit very cold places. (Talk about my dream of having a huge bungalow in a snow-covered hill resort!!) And the second and bigger reason- I lost the Tazo inside my Lays packet! (Well, if you are wondering, I still have my entire Tazo collection at home! Don’t laugh!)

Another important thing about this trip- I could never forget in any of my Geography classes that Kanchenjunga is in the Sikkim-Nepal border, is the third highest mountain peak in the world (and of course, is beautiful). I am surely going to make another trip to Darjeeling sometime in my life and shall make sure I travel by the Toy Train! [;)]

Manchester of the East
A Google search told me that Ahmedabad is termed as Manchester of the East due to its huge textile industry. I never went to Ahmedabad to visit the place. It just happened to be a train-change mediator station while we were going to Mt. Abu in 2006. The brief one-day stay on our way to and from Mt. Abu at Ahmedabad wasn’t anything less memorable. We saw the laser-show at the musical fountain (I don’t remember at which place) which was amazing. It was this visit when I got to know that there was a big temple called ‘Akshardham’ in Gandhinagar where there had been a terrorist attack recently. We never visited the temple but at least I was excited to visit the Akshardham temple at Delhi after that.

We had also visited the Sabarmati Ashram, the zoo (which I had found really boring and small after being to the NandanKanan zoo just few weeks ago) and I had cried in vain for persuading my parents to buy me the recent Harry Potter movie DVD. Haha… (Now I own all 8 DVDs of the series! [cruel smile] )



(Almost all the photos in the slideshow are photos of printed photos and so the clarity is missing)


Have you been to any of these places? If yes, how was your experience? Do share with me. Keep an eye for the next post in this series with some more amazing destinations in India. :)


Update: Look here for Part 2 and Part 3.
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5 comments :

  1. Even I love visiting different places...Yes I had been to Jaipur I think in 1995....and planning to visit all these places again...Waiting for you next post

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    1. Thats great. Visiting athese places after 17 years shd be a different experience ;)
      The next post shd be up in a few hours :)

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  2. nice to read about your travel experiences! :)
    in Rajasthan i have been to Ajmer(faint memories,i was merely 6 yrs! )in mausi's wedding!Ajmer shareef was the attraction for the elders!n for me,counting the millions of camels on the sandy roads! :D :)
    n darjeeling!i went only for a day,as a trip extension from calcutta!n yes i travelled in the toy train till the highest railway station of india!! :D (wicked laugh)
    n yes that link that sends me to ur childhood pics is g8! :)

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    1. Even we wanted to go to Ajmer and also the Pushkar Brahma Temple..but lack of time prevented it...
      N i will have my day sometime before I die when I get to travel on the toy train! :P

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    2. hehe!possibly with your kids! :D :p

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