On World Heritage Day this year (i.e. on April 18) I had posted a photo essay on Celebrating World Heritage Day with 10 Heritage Monuments from India.And while shortlisting pictures for this post, I came across some other beautiful pictures and sights in India, that just compelled me to write this post. Hence posting another photo essay on 10 beautiful sights to see in India that too in a unique way.
Now all of us visit the typical touristy sights at some point in time or the other, but with my own travels I have discovered that many of these places are even more stunning or beautiful when some minor natural / artificial elements, ceremonies, etc are introduced or amended. And I feel that in some ways, these sights then become a unique travel souvenir – images in your own memory or a wonderful story. This is also what takes your holiday to a whole new level. I am sharing 10 of my own such memories (from my recent visits) with you today –
1. Waiting and waiting for that rare yet wondrous sight of the snow-covered Kangchenjunga peak on a day with clear blue sky (and this is very rare :), West Bengal – Sikkim –
Kangchenjunga Peak, from West Bengal
Today and on the 18th April of every year , ICOMOS i.e. International Council on Monuments and Sites celebrates the “International Day for Monuments and Sites”. The aim of the International Day is to encourage local communities and individuals throughout the world to recognize the importance of cultural heritage in their lives, identities and communities, and to promote awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it. And I thought what better way to celebrate it on my blog than with a photo essay on 10 of my favorite heritage monuments and sites that I have been lucky enough to visit recently. I am limiting myself to 10, as I can go on and on with these pictures and the post can be never ending.
1. The Mumbai CST Station and the heritage walk on DN Road –
Mumbai CST Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Every good photograph has a main subject, that draws the attention of the audience and communicates a story. And this week, the challenge for the weekly photo challenge is “One” i.e. to share a pic that focusses on one thing. And I decided that what better pic for this topic than a colorful and dramatic kathakali dancer in all his finery.
A Kathakali dancer, Kochi, Kerala
This week’s weekly photo challenge is one of my favorite topics for photographic composition i.e. Horizon. Per its definition a horizon is the line or the boundary that separates the earth and sky. However I have always liked to interpret it as my “Ultimate Destination” for my travel journey. It is my “Hope” and “Inspiration” as it’s that point that keeps me wanting to undertake newer travel paths in the hope of reaching that end or that point someday and with each mile or trip I expand my horizon, both in terms of perspective and places.
So today I am sharing a few pics from my latest trip to Kerala with my own new found “Horizons” –
A gorgeous sunset over Fort Kochi, Kochi
This week’s weekly photo challenge is “Sea” and the emotions that the “Sea” invokes in each one of us. And, I couldn’t have asked for a better topic as amongst all the natural sights, this is my favorite. I was born and live in Mumbai, a city by the Arabian Sea and was lucky to live in a sea facing house (till very recently too). Hence some of my earliest memories are of the sights and sounds of the sea; and its various moods and colors have been an important part of my growing up years. Hence it’s no surprise that some of my best holidays and pictures have been by the sea and I am sharing some of the same with you today –
1. I love the gentleness of the sea but more than that I love its crazy angry look during the monsoons, when the tall waves literally come crashing down on the shores and rocks.
The wild monsoon sea in Mumbai
Kovalam, meaning a grove of coconut trees, is a small fishing beach village near the capital city of Trivandrum in the state of Kerala. True to its name, it offers an endless sight of coconut trees, long stretches of beaches and the wide expanse of the open Arabian Sea. I have traveled to Kovalam before on a day trip before but earlier this year, I had an opportunity to spend a weekend here and managed to capture some of its beautiful sights that day trip visitors miss through my camera lens. Sharing some of them with you below.
Kovalam has 3 beautiful crescent-shaped beaches separated by rocky cliffs, where each beach is serene, shallow and projects a sense of calmness all around. Hence these are ideal for swimming, sun bathing and snorkeling.
The long expanse of the Kovalam beach
A little bit of luxury doesn’t hurt anyone and every traveler, even a budget one such as myself, deserves a bit of luxury travel sometimes. Early this year I got my chance when we had our office offsite in Kerala and that too in one of the best luxury properties there i.e. The Leela Kovalam.
We flew into Cochin from Mumbai and then took the hotel coach for the short 20 – 30 minute ride to the property. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed in the traditional manner with tikkas (vermillion bindis), seashell necklaces and fresh coconut juices. Since our rooms were not ready and lunch was, the staff invited us to have lunch and then relax around the hotel till they could get the rooms arranged for all of us. So we had a sumptuous lunch and generally walked around the property to get a feel of it.
Views from the lobby