The Year That was – 2015 #TalesOf2015

Bucket list – The list of stuff you would want to do before your time expires on the Earth. It is like a bottomless pit -the more, the merrier- things to die for kind of  achievable and attainable goals.

PS : Mind you, my bucket list was made much before I saw Morgan Freeman-Jack Nicholson starred The Bucket List later during the year. For those who haven’t seen it, take this post as a recco to watch the movie.

Year 2015 could be called the year of transformation. The year when few firsts’ from the bucket list were struck off the list, some life altering decisions were taken and an aspiring internal journey began with the first external journey taken this year.

Anthony Robbins once said :

The Only Impossible Journey is the one you never begin”. 

That holds true for any journey one aspires to take in life .Whatever you desire for in life, destiny transpires it for you.

The year also taught me the value of companions during travelling.   Like-minded friends and family members make the journeys worthwhile.

(We shall talk about the benefits of Solo travel in another post).

It all began with a participation in a women car rally with a friend of a decade and driving down to Jhunjhun district in Rajasthan from Delhi.

Waking up to the chirping of birds and feeling one with the serene surrounding of exquisite Mandawa Castle in Shekhawati region in Rajasthan on my birthday turned out to be a wonderful initiation to the journies ahead. We also witnessed movie shoot of upcoming film “Mirzaya”at Mandawa and are now awaiting  release of the movie.

Another journey took us to Golden Temple in Amritsar, visiting wagah border and observing flag exchanging ritual followed by a visit to Dharamshala and Mcloedganj. Visited the beautiful Norling Monastery and Akbar’s coronation site near Firozpur,  saw a horizontal shivling at Kalanaur in Punjab which was a rare sight.

The next journey was to explore the ethereal beauty of North East. Another first. Still mesmerised by the picturesque valleys and mountains leading towards Nathula pass and the overwhelming sentiments felt at Indo-China Border-felt proud meeting and interacting with Army jawaans posted there who face  extreme weather conditions so that we can sleep peacefully in our secured homes.

Th thrill of riding a Yak at holy Tsomgo lake,the peace felt at tranquil compound of Rumtek Monastery, waking up to the sight of Kunjunjunga mountains, waterfalls, an old suspended bridge at Pelling were enhanced by warm hospitality of home stays we opted for in Sikkim. The stay at Darjeeling was spent in Mineral water, amongst a village resort with nothing but fireflies to show you way at night, resident dogs to accompany you to the waterfall to soak in and a sumptuous meal with a local Nepali family as you discover the rural village in West Bengal. Well, we also walked into Nepal through Kakarbhitta, one of the borders after a brief rickshaw ride from a town near Siliguri.

Travelling is therapeutic, enriching and humbling. Meeting people different than yourself, experiencing cultures with deeply embedded roots in traditions, respecting the differences and appreciating the new learnings, a sudden realisation of the grandeur of nature strikes you as you take a quick halt at mountains to see the setting sun become one with clouds behind the mountains.  It is only when you are back into the rigmarole of routine life, a step back to close your eyes and envision that moment brings such peace to the anxious city-bred heart than no stress buster cure can buy.

This was also the year when I saw a sunrise at Konark temple in a month and observed sunset at Kanyakumari in another. The year when we travelled to Vivekananda Memorial in a jetty while crossing Triveni Sangam and spent an idle day later in a houseboat in backwaters of Kerala at Kollam.

No travel is complete without a visit to the local zoo. Trivandrum zoo is a wildlife lover’s delight and Nandankanan Zoological park at Bhubaneshwar needs one complete day to explore the wonderful stories the place has to offer.

There was a trip down the memory lane too. A wonderful morning walk to Upper lake at Bhopal and watching the sunset from Bharat Bhawan. A visit to my favorite NGO in Bhopal and discovering the vast history the museums hold in the heart of the city.

The mystique and allure of Indian Mythology and religious places took me to ancient Hindu Temples in Bhubaneshwar including famous Lingaraj temple, a guided tour at Konark temple revealed the evolved mindset of our ancestor. The occult practices at Taran Tarini temple and a recent visit to Kamakhya Devi temple in Guwahati made me wonder on human psychology to attain their desires through nefarious means.

The year ended with yet another North Eastern sojourn  Shillong and Cherrapunji.Walking through the sacred forests of Khasi tribe and hearing interesting stories about their Matriarchal system was quite an experience. Staying by the Dawki river, zipping across mountains on a zip liner, kayaking in pristine blue waters, visiting the cleanest village in Asia, discovering live root bridges,walking over 4000 steps to and fro double root bridges, walking through waist deep water in lime caves after steep hiking, saw Bangladesh border atop a tree house. the exhilarating experiences of this journey transformed a trip of few days into an experience of a lifetime.

There were many moments that words can not do justice to. Experiences are feelings one cannot express adequately in words. Some pictures here to share the experience.

Wish you all a great year ahead. May you push your boundaries, expand your horizon and live life to your heart’s content.

A bucket list is always handy but I would say: ” Carpe Diem” – Enjoy the moment and live your day.

” I’m sharing my #Talesof2015 with BlogAdda.”


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