One more year passed by eh!! How fast. It seems like very recently I wrote a retrospective of travels in 2009, the first year when I started blogging regularly. Surprisingly I was regular on 2010 too amidst some tight official engagements and some successful projects which gave a lot of work satisfaction. On the personal wellness side also, I could do justice to my 2010 resolution by reducing atleast 6 kg payload, thanks to a more regular exercise routine.
The major motivator for the year, was nothing but my passion for road trips, atleast one planned family outing per month, combined with some team outings, some wedding related journeys, family get togethers all resulted in myself getting on the road with that shoot at device on my hand, enjoying each and every surprise nature had in store for us, shooting down frames and sharing it here by some late night efforts.
The appraisal session at office had just ended when we had to do a retrospective of all our efforts of the last year. So it is time now to do a retrospective of my other passion.
Year 2009 began with a flurry of blog posts, when one of my close friends who is toiling in Gulf prompted me to write about a trip during our college days, during which we crossed the border of India to Nepal, a trip which eventhough happened in 1997, is etched strongly in our minds. Literally I went back to those days and was in a dream land travelling with my friends once again while reliving the experiences alongside sharing it in blog.
Click here to read the memoire
It was a great trip with these friends around, most of them who are still in touch but sprinkled in different parts of the Globe.
I consider fortunate enough to stay pretty close to Akkulam, for it contains enough amenities for my kids to enjoy.
We are a regular there and this beautiful tourist spot deserved a blog post from one of its ardent followers.
"You can read it by clicking here"
One of the great thing which I cherishes is the sunset view from the akkulam lake side.
This place is going to figure in my itinery more in 2011, coz one of my resolutions for this year is to learn swimming and the Akkulam swimming pool is going to see me atleast once in every week !!
January again gave some nostalgic memories when we visited Aruvikkara, one of the beautiful dam sites in Thiruvananthapuam.
It was truly nostalgic coz this was one of the few places which I had visited as a child and considered traveling to this site which was just 10km away from my home as a real long journey.
Watch the calm and serene dam here
But the high point of January was nothing but a trip to Kuttikanam, when we four families made a beeline to one of the heavenly hillstations of Kerala - "The Kuttikanam"(Click here to read the story)
If Kuttikanam was a planned visit, the unplanned one was taking a detour to have some trekking fun and found out a place unfamiliar to us. The Panchalimedu.(Click here to view)
We learned that the famous divine lamp lighting Makarajyothi could be seen from here.
This place was so magically beautiful that the shots which I took from here were the most satisfying ones, especially this one
The visit to Kuttikanam hill station really kick started a wonderful year. The place is so addictive that we are contemplating one more visit to this place and hopefully it will materialize within a month or so.
If January had some planned outings, all the trips in February were detours related with some functions
My colleague's marriage at Alappuzha gave the oppurtunity to visit Kuttanad - The rice bowl of Kerala The sea of greenery, the beautiful coconut trees, the backwaters a perfect blend for a typical calm holiday destination.
Another marriage at a place close to Thiruvananthapuram and another detour, this time to a lake which eventhough is a beautiful one is a neglected piece even by the localites. Just see how beautiful a place it is (Click here).
Presence of a relative at a beautiful hamlet of Pathanamthitta called Vechoochira resulting in us getting a feel of the master craftsmanship of nature. The place called Perunthenaruvi was unfamiliar to me, but just one glimpse of it made all of us a fan of this place.
It was an excellent find and the lack of any tourist activity makes it a perfect ecofriendly destination. Click here to see more of the nature's master craft
During the return trip from this excellent place we had some anxious moments as our car banged against another one. The other car hit a motorcycle and on applying brakes skidded and came in front of us. Luckily nothing happened apart from some reparable bruises for the cars.
The month of March saw a team of auto enthusiasts all of whom are united by the webforum Team BHP, marching to a beautiful dam site near Thiruvananthapuram - the Neyyar Dam. The weather was so pleasant and the sky was so colorful that a boat trip through the reservoir was a feast for the eyes and for the camera. Infact there was a galore of screensavers.
To watch more of them Click here
An outing to a friend's house turned more interesting when during the way along the coastline, we found that there is an beautiful picnic spot called Pozhikkara, near the Anjengo fort. It was an estuary and that too a beautiful one. See more of this place by clicking here
Temples are supposed to be places where the primary aim is to have an atmoshpere to meditate. But of late heavy rush of devotees make this nearly impossible. Hence I am love with temples which are not so renowned. Thiruvachira in Calicut is one such temple which is bestowed with a beautiful pond and a calm surrounding.
No wonder I blogged about it here.
Another nostalgic place of the Trivandrumites, the Shangumugham beach, a favourite hang out of all the city folks was subjected to a heavy shoot out in March. The art work of Kanayi, the beach palace, the beach park and the beach is exclusively feature in the blog post. Click here to see this favourite beach Shangumugham
If March was a month of short distance tours, April saw a series of long rangers. The month started with a journey to Calicut for a marriage. During the stay at Kozhikkode (Calicut) the busy SM street and the famous Mananchira again featured in the itinary. A trip to Calicut is never complete without a visit to these places. Watch the heart of Kozhikkode here
During this trip found out a less popular beach resort at Kozhikkode - Gotheeswaram.
The temple at Gotheeswaram right on the beach front was something really special. Click here to watch the resort and the beautiful beach.
The highlight of April, was the trip to Coorg. Infact this was one of the most memorable trips. The twisty trails through Wayanad was simply awesome.
Enjoyed the super drive through these ghat roads too. This drive contained all types of road, brilliantly maintained highways, superbly scenic ghats and terribly pathetic hilly roads (no roads to be precise). Click here to read the travel story through the wayanad Ghats.
At Coorg our base was at Madikeri - one of the most beautiful hamlets in Coorg. All the amusements at Madikeri figured in my blog too. Click here to read
The Kaveri Nisargadham experience was a heavenly one too. The beautiful landscape encircled by the river Kaveri, is maintained so well that the tourists visiting this place is guaranteed a really good vacation.
To see more of this beautiful place click here
One look at the Golden Temple and you will know why it is a must visit place.
The inside of the temple is also very special, since the big hall inside demands silence from all the visitors. Yes it is the kind of architecture whicn can talk.
To watch the full preview, Click here
May saw us traveling together to one place where we frequent quite often, thanks to its proximity to where we live and high addiction quotient. The name Ponmudi, meaning Golden Peak is true to its name.
The newly laid tarmac was inviting me for a drive and this drive quenched that thirst. Click here to watch the beautiful roads and the ever so green Ponmudi.
Ever since vacation started for mhy son, he was demanding a trip to Bangalore and somehow we managed to fit a Bangalore trip right at the last days of his vacation. And what a trip it was. Even though it was made to satisfy my kids, we were also more than satisfied with the Club cabana resort offering a day of pure fun in the water. Got to know that Leela Palace also has lot of amenities just for entertainment and common people can make use of them without actually staying in the marvelous building architectured in the form of fort.
Watch the brilliant architecture and the facilities inside this palace hotel (Click here
This month also saw me participating in a contest for the first time related to my blog, a photography contest conducted by blogadda and I felt really elated when I saw that my blog got a special mention along with the award winning blogs and this really resulted in many new blogging friends for me. To see the pictures and post which I will cherish for a long time in future visit this link.
In June, wedding of a close friend at Chengannur gave me a chance to see upclose the beautiful temple which is one of the base camps (idathavalams) during Sabarimala pilgrimage.
Get a glimpse of the mahadeva temple and a Kerala style wedding here.
Get a glimpse of the mahadeva temple and a Kerala style wedding here.
A trip with one of my biker pals and his family resulted in adding one more unheralded but really marvellous tourist destination etched in our minds. Achenkovil, a temple in the midst of dense forest, eventhough situated in Kerala has motorable road access only through Tamil Nadu.
Just watch how beautiful and serene a location is this.
The only water theme park in the Thiruvananthapuram was completely explored by us in June too. This is not a very big water theme park, but enough to keep the visitors happy. To make a virtual tour to this theme park, click here
The month of July saw myself getting engaged with lot of short visits in and around Thiruvananthapuram. Nostalgic memories of many a Trivandrumites will be tickled by the mention of the name Kanakakkunnu palace, at whose grounds the Onam related carnival is held.
The palace is really beautiful too. Watch it here
Lot of beautiful resorts have sprang up along the backwaters. The daily usage packages offered by them lets common people also to enjoy the facilities there. I made use of the daily use package as part of a team outing at Ashtamudi resort.
The trip was really a fruitful one with the whole team completely engaged in activities and came out with the satisfaction of a day well spent. Click here to make an etour.
Indias first IT part - the Technopark celebrated its 20th anniversary in July and I cannot stop myself from just walking through the entire length admiring its beauty and the saluting the vision of the great persons who created this resulting in giving jobs to many many engineers.
To see India's first IT park click here
August saw me going in search of a location suggested by one of my blogger firends. Being a frequent blogger has resulted in myself getting some good blogger friends from whom I am learning a lot. Parapally (meaning mosque on a beach) is a beautiful location near to Quilandy in Calicut.
A photographer's paradise, this rocky beach destination was subjected to a vigorous shoot out and the results are seen here (Click here to view)
The month of September was a month of celebration and family reunion, thanks to the festival which all Keralites celebrate, the Onam.
I tried to recreate my experience by blogging a journey through my celebrations. Read it here
I got a chance to explore the great roads of NH7 connecting Kanyakumari and Bangalore when I travelled with my brother through this route.
This express way made me a addict of sorts and no wonder I repeated this trip again within two months and now I am trying to find out reasons to again travel through this route. Click here to have a complete report of the fastest route from Trivandrum to Bangalore
The month of october was bolstered by a trip to the Southern most tip of India - Kanyakumari. Some of the spots enroute Kanyakumari was explored fully. The brilliantly architectured Padamanabhapuram palace was completely explored and subject to an exclusive photo shoot.
To have an exclusive e-visit to this palace click here
We also witnessed a superb engineering feat which was built for a purpose. The Thottipalam Aqueduct. The sight of this huge Aqueduct disappearing into the woods will not be forgotten in the near future.
Interestingly this is Asias biggest Aqueduct too.
Click here to watch more pictures and information
Needless to Kanyakumari was so special. This place has something in it which makes each trip so lovely and we wanting to go their again without any feeling of boredom.
The two huge statues in the sea and the vastness of the ocean makes us feel really miniscule
Witnessing the sunrise from the ocean gives us a special feeling as we, the dwellers in the west coast of India do not get to see this quite often.
Watch more pics of this beautiful beach destination which is also the meeting point of three oceans
The riding club of Trivandrum was having a relatively silent phase with no rides happening in 2010. But there was a sudden spurge and some of the riders including me found out a reason to ride. The reason was to have breakfast from a distant location and to have a photo shoot of one my riding pals modified bullet. The ride through the offroading track through the Oil Palm India limited was really awesome.
We were again in the thick of touring during NOvember, with the Goan tour keeping us completely in awe.
Goa - the easy go lucky place, one has to go there to enjoy the beaches, the historical churches, the forts and above all to experience the hospitality of the peace loving Goan people. The trip to Goa via Konkan was simply captivating with this kind of scenery around
To view more of them click here
The Baga beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Goa with the golden coloured sand and the beach sports keeping it lively.
(View more of Baga)
The multifaceted Vagathore was simply outstanding with the beautiful beach, the estuary, and the superb hill above which there are remains of the Chapora fort.
Our experiences at Vagathore is shared here
The Fort Aguada & Anjuna Beach were pretty good too.
The most memorable part of the Goa tour was a scooter ride through Panjim, when we got to know Goa a lot more closer.
We stayed at Calangute close to the wide open beach which also will be one of the top five beaches of Goa.
The Dolphin Trip was something special when we went out in a boat to the open sea for sighting the Dolphins jumping up and down in unison. The view of Fort aguda, the aguada prison, the diamond merchants superb mansion and the Kingfisher owners luxury boat added more dimension to the Dolphin cruise.
The month of December was again time for a family reunion and this time it happened at Bangalore during xmas vacation. This decision helped me to have another drive through the excellent NH7 with all in the family onboard. Wonder how such great roads reduce the fatigue levels of all the passengers.
All in all it 2010 was a great touring year roaming around to find out interesting places near my home town and occasionally going out on long trips mostly by road satisfying my passion for road trips.
Looking forward to 2011 to find out new destinations, shoot them down, and share it here in my blog.
Once again wishing all my blog readers a very very happy 2011 !!
Keep visiting and commenting for it gives me a real boost to post more and more of the trip logs.