Our Travelogue

It was in 2004, when we went to London, U.K. for work. We preferred to stay away from the normal hustle and bustle of the busy streets in London and chose to stay at Newbury, Zone 4. Whenever we had time, we used to race to visit the countryside during weekends. One of the memorable trips we had was in Southend-on-sea, Essex. Southend-on-Sea has seven miles of sparkling seafront from Shoeburyness to Leigh-on-Sea. Along this unique stretch of coastline there are six very special beaches. One of them, the Jubilee Beach known for its high tide was our attraction for the day. From Southend Central railway station it is just 10 mins walk away. It was a 1 day trip to get few photographs of the coastline adjoining the beach, some interesting water sports and people reflecting various moods using our macro and tele lenses. At day end we were happy to carry back more than we expected. We have fed this trip's photographs to the flickr. Back in India, we have been moving from Kolkata to Noida to Mumbai to Bangalore as and when it is required. We are enjoying every moment of our stay in these cities and utilise the weekends for trip to reach to the nature; from mountains to sea and equally to wildlife. Mumbai reminds us of some very pleasant tours. One of them being the historical trip to Murud-Janjira via Alibaug and Kashid. Murud was the last outpost of the Siddis of Janjira, fierce warriors who hailed from Abyssinia in far-away Africa. The remains of their rule consists of the Padmadurg sea Fort built by Sambhaji, heir to Shivaji. The place has to be visited through sailboat from the jetty like the famous old Janjira Fort built by Siddi Johar. Many times this 20 feet strong foundation was attacked by the British, the Portuguese, Shivaji, Sambhaji , Kanhoji Angre but the fort never fell. We had seen Kalarbangdi, Gaimukh and Chavdi, the fort's biggest cannons and Bala Killa, the central point of Janjira Fort. Pictures of the Janjira Fort, the big cannons and its surroundings are uploaded at flickr. Another unplanned yet a very memorable trip was to Koyna at Koyna Nagar, nestled in the Western Ghats on the state highway between Chiplun and Karad, Maharashtra. It is 3200 feet above sea level spread in the heart of the Sahyadri mountain range, the Koyna Dam and it's wildlife. The 800 km. driveway to Koyna Nagar was so picturesque that we had stopped many a times to take pictures here and there, especially the beautiful olive green Koyna river flowing adjacent the road to Koyna Nagar. We were in luck to get a person from the local village who was our guide and his two dogs to trek through the dense forest and hills. Categorised as 'Exploratory' in our trekking nomenclature, the journey included climbing, hiking through thick tropical evergreen and mixed deciduous forests and seeking for wildlife adventure. We travelled for almost 11000 feet above sea level and got introduced to plentiful herbs, shrubs and trees which has medicinal value. We spotted langurs, sloth bear caves and footprints of big cats. Day 2 we visited the Shivajisagar Lake, the artificial backwaters formed by the Koyna Dam to have a glimpse of the slopes of the Western Ghats and diverse variety of vegetation in the wildlife sanctuary. We left Koyna Nagar with awesome memories and photographs by late afternoon to reach home early to get set for our next day office. A one-day trip to a historical place named Sinhgad is located 25 kilometers South of Pune perched on a steep hill. There was this fierce battle fought by Shivaji's General Tanaji Malasure who died during the battle, to win the fort for Shivaji. It is said that when Shivaji learned that his general had been killed in the battle he mourned, " We have gained the fort but lost the lion" and it is thus that the fort got its name. There is a monument and a memorial of the slain leader. We learnt all this from a local old man, traditionally dressed running a tea stall. We enjoyed the conversation with him and left the place with our bags packed with that man's photograph and of Sinhgad. In between these years, Chiradip had travelled to Europe and U.S.A for work and I had the privilege to count on the spectacular pictures he had gathered on his trip. Chiradip talks of many people he met. French, German, American learnt their culture, language and developed special interest in their food. Again, here in Bangalore; last year's trip to Bandipur was a well planned trip to cover wildlife photography. The time, weather, season everything was ideal for us to meet the fauna. Elephants on road, wild boar and spotted deers was in our close vicinity. A trek on the jeep through the dense forest gave us exposure to peacocks, strong and healthy bisons, again team of elephants, sambars, spotted deers exhibiting their huge antlers was such great fun. We took back very good wildlife photographs which are again available in flickr. This years trip was to Madikeri, Coorg. It is the capital of the Kodavas and is at the heart of Kodagu District. The place is known for undulating topology carpeted in every shade of green. Bamboo, sandalwood, rosewood forests, waterfalls, coffee bushes, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg ...a land fecund beyond belief. This was a trip for more of relaxation than exploring. We touched Kushalnagar to take a view of the Namdroling Monastery at Bylakuppe. We visited one of the 4 picturesque monastery named Kagyu or Kagyudpa. Inside we found the 40-ft high statues of Padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayus. On the way to Coorg we had viewing pleasure of many known and unknown dense trees, Weather was very pleasant. We dropped in at hotel Capitol Village, spread across 25 acres resort in the midst of coffee plantation. We had the pleasure of viewing Coorg from a place named Rajaseat., the Abbey Falls. During rainy season water from the fall splashes on the nearby visitors. There are many photographs of Madikeri populated in orkut. We have a thought to travel again on September. It is in the planning stage. I feel our passion and interest to travel will continue till we reach the end of our lives. Will never know... I may use my experience to build up a second career in travel journalism ;)