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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Destinations wishlist

We all have our wishlist.. wishlist like "Things I want to eat", "Things I want to do", "People I want to meet", and of-course "Places I want to see". What better time than now, when the new year unfolds , to look into my Destination wishlist , add a few and may be subtract a few as well.
I simply love travelling. While I was growing up, my parents made sure we make a trip to any new land every year. Because of my school and studies, Baba's office and Ma's school , it was usually during Diwali holidays we made our trip to far and near places. I just love touring and tripping and don't mind any landscape except for crowdy and congested places. I love sea as well as mountains, I love jungles and rain-forests as well as sand dunes. Palaces and temples allure me and so does vintage cities. My husband is more of a mountain person. He is all gaga about hills and deep forests. Sand dunes and big bustling cities don't attract him that much. Here's my list of 10 places I(or rather WE) would want to visit.

1. Kashmir
The "heaven on earth" this is one place I would just die to go. From mountains and hills, to lakes, rivers, from  flower meadows to snow desserts , from temples to mosques and monasteries Kashmir is a tourist's paradise.
The northernmost of state of India, JnK stands like a crown.  The state has three different climatic regions : Arctic cold deserts of Ladakh, temperate Kashmir valley and sub-tropical Jammu. Rich in flora and fauna not to forget the delectable Kashmiri Cuisine , if we ever visit Kashmir we would make sure it is during the Tulip festival.

2. Alaska
The largest state of US , this land of beauties has attracted me since childhood. Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 and remains the least populated state of US. It is the land of adventure and unspoiled wilderness. The immense geography, wildlife , flora and fauna are a treat. The many national parks and national forests, the icebergs , the long coastlines , the Dalton highway crossing the tundra and the Arctic Circle and of-course Mt McKinley ... Alaska is definitely a lifetime destination.

3. Kailash Mansarovar and Tibet
 I had read a poem about the beautiful Mansarovar lake at the foothills of Mount Kailash. Thanks to the beauty of the expressive poem , my desire to visit this place has bloomed and flourished since then. Mansarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world. The Hindu religion refers to the Mansarovar as the soul of Brahma. There are four great rivers springing from this lake.
While Mount Kailash , is revered by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains. For Hindus , this mountain represents the abode of Lord Shiva. For Buddhists, it remains the center of Universe.
Apart from all the religious importance, this place and the Kailash Mansarovar trek has some of the most panoramic scenery and breathtaking beauty.

4. Jaisalmer and Sand dunes
I have been to Jaipur but could not get a peak of the Thar and its sand dunes from there.. so Jaisalmer and also for its forts and temples. Being so arid, I totally love the vibrant colors of Thar and its people. Located in the heart of Thar, this city is quite close to the Indian border. The sand dunes , the fort, the haveli,the Jain temples, the mud houses ,the camel ride and the Rajasthani cuisine provide a rustic and peaceful solitaire from the busy life.

5. New Zealand
This island nation sits on the Pacific Rim of Fire and so is the land to spectacular geothermal areas and volcanoes. It is strewn with glaciers, golden beaches, mountains and plains, forests and fiords. The country was aloof from the rest of the world for 80 million years and this resulted in the immense diversity of flora and fauna found here. The active volcanoes and the hot spring , geysers , hills and mountains may be the hot hot pursuit of Mr Husband, but for me New Zealand holds another secret. This is the land of over 170 exotic birds some of which are native to New Zealand only. Also it is home to the earth's richest flora.

6. Kruger National Park
The first bengali novel which I had read was "Chander Pahar" meaning "Mountain of the mountain"at the age of 10. This was a pre-independence story of a boy who had gone to Africa to find work and for adventure. The story portrayed vividly the wild dangerous and mesmerizing Africa. Since then I have been fascinated by this wild continent.
The Kruger national park is one of Africa's largest wildlife reserves. Home to all the Big Five Game "lion, African elephant, cape buffalo, leopard, rhinocerous" along with numerous other mammals, around 517 bird species including native and migrants,  114 reptile species, and 50 fish species , this is located in the most ecologically heterogeneous regions of Southern Africa.

7. Sunderban Tiger Reserve
How can we miss the Sunderban which is in our backyard. Situated at the confluence of Ganga Brahmaputra, Sunderban is part of the world's largest delta. The largest reserve for Bengal Tiger, Sunderban is densely covered by mangrove forests.
Other than the Bengal Tiger, it is home to 58 mammal species  , 55 reptiles species, 248 bird species many of which are endangered .
This paradise for wildlife lovers is a must in our list.

8. Bhutan
This Himalayan Kingdom, with its mystic beauty and serenity is every trekker's paradise. While its pristine ecology is cradle of rare endangered flora and fauna, spiritually strong only Vajrayana Buddhist nation in the world. The rugged mountains and deep valleys are rich with spectacular biodiversity making Bhutan one of the world's top ten  most important bio-diverse hotspots.

9. Valley of Flowers
Seen on Discovery and National Geography a hundred times, this place beckons me like a fairy land. Nestled in the high in Himalayas of Uttaranchal, protected by the snow capped mountains, its' again a trekker's paradise. The place blooms to its magnificence with the monsoon rains. Just imagine a carpet of around 500 species of flowers surrounded by snow-capped mountains, isn't it nothing less than a dreamland. The valley is home to the celebrated Bhrahmakamal, Blue poppy and Cobra Lily, along with orchids , calendulas , daisies, rhododendron. The fauna consists of tahr, snow leopard, red fox, many varieties of butterfly  and many other.

10. Lakshadweep
I have been to this tiniest UT of India, but cant wait to reach there again. Situated in the Arabian Sea , Lakshadweep's beauty can be attributed to its remoteness. Islands with creamy seashore and strewn by coconut trees, away from the outside world, provides the much needed tranquility, peace and the bewitching panorama. For adventure you have scuba diving, wind surfing, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing. What else does one need.

This list can never end. There are so so many places which we want to visit that choosing or prioritizing them is almost impossible.
Bon Voyage!!


Vinay said...

oh wow, our wish list matches to a great extent. I too have a list of exotic destinations. But if I want to see them in my lifetime, perhaps Mukesh Ambani or Vijay Mallya will have to adopt me as their son and give me full rights to spend the money as I wish :P

Sushmita said...

Hehehehe Good one Vinay.. We wish to complete atleast the domestic ones in this lifetime..

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