Reminisce 2015 – Welcome 2016 – Happy New Year

Another year is coming to an end, so wishing all our readers a very happy new year.

2015 had been quite an eventful year for us for both travelling and blogging. We travelled extensively during this year, explored some wonderful places and met a few inspiring and amazing people. In the beginning of the year we had doubt about the sustainability of our blog, but we have successfully completed a year of our blogging in October 2015.

A review of the year that had passed…

Our year started with the trek to Sandakphu and visit to our favourite destination – Darjeeling. Trekking is always rejuvenating and Sandakphu-Phalut trek is an awesome trek which gives the best views of the Kanchenjunga ranges. Doing the trek during January has its benefits – trekking on the snow covered paths and getting the grandest and clear view of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the Everest peaks.

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Kanchenjunga at the backdrop

And also we met our friends from our previous Chadar Trek! It is so good when you meet known people in unknown places like Garibas! Not only that, we made some beautiful friends. The Sandakphu trek is also special as my first article was published at Indiahikes.

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Meeting old friends at odd places is always great

The visit to Darjeeling during the January has become a ritual. It seems that our year of travel remains incomplete if we do not visit Darjeeling! All those who are intoxicated to Darjeeling or any other place for that matter will understand our predicament.

March saw us packing our backpacks to Andamans. Our family and many of our friends were surprised as we were not going to a mountain! Andamans had been a revelation. From the capital city of Port Blair, to the bustling Havelock Island and the serene Neil Island, the archipelago had been a breathtaking experience. But the best part was definitely the northern Andamans which is much less explored, but has unparalleled beauty. At Neil and Havelock Islands, we explored the islands at our own way renting a scooty.

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Enjoying the sun at Neil Island, Andamans

Each of the places we visited had taught us newer things. We scuba dived at Andamans. The underwater experience at Andamans was beyond words. For a person like me who is so fearful of water, doing scuba diving and snorkelling were exhilarating.

© Tale of 2 Backpackers
Diving together is fun too…

In between, we visited Gour and Adina at Malda and explored a beautiful hamlet called Maluti in Jharkhand. The specialty of this village is this small village is said to have 108 temples! Many of the temples are in ruins now.  Maluti has an interesting history and temples of archeological importance. This village had been lying in utter neglect if not for Sri. Gopaldas Mukherjee, who had been working alone for the upliftment of the village and its villagers. He is an inspiring person and also a compelling story teller.

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At Adina mosque, Malda

In October, Tunganath-Chandrashila-Deoriatal trek welcomed us. Enroute we visited Haridwar and Rishikesh. Even this time, the mountains were kind to us and we got magnificent views of the Chaukhamba peaks. At Tunganath, we met an interesting person who self proclaimed to be a Naga Sanyasi. He had enough anecdotes to tell us to keep us engaged during the cold evenings. He was a there with a joint in his hand, taking a puff now and then and then telling us some wonderful stories about his life as a Sanyasi.

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Baba Tunganath

Rishikesh was another milestone. We did river rafting! Rafting is not any bid deal for some, but for people like me, who is so afraid of water, doing scuba diving and facing the rapids of Ganges indeed helps to overcome the fright of water. We had wanted to go for bungee jumping, but this time it eluded us. It was raining that day and so jumping was not taking place.

Finally, the icing on the cake was watching the Ganga Arti at Haridwar. It is a spectacle and you not only have to see it, but feel it too.

Ganga Arti at Haridwar
The visual treat, Ganga Arti at Haridwar

After bidding goodbye to the mountains, we went to the city of Nawabs, Lucknow. We utilized our 2 days in Lucknow to the fullest. Watching the Imambaras, finding our way through the BhulBhulaiya, marvelling at the Baolis and bargaining for Chikans – we did all. And of course, being the foodie we are, we gorged on Kababs, paranthas and Biriyanis.

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At theBara Imambara, Lucknow

We always visit Delhi while going to many places, but never have the time to explore Delhi. This time, we stayed over and explored Delhi at our own pace. From the historical Red Fort, to the artistic Humayun’s tomb, from the exuberant Hauz Khas village to the colourful Dilli Haat, we explored Delhi like never before by metro and foot.

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The colourful Dilli Haat
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Jama Masjid, New Delhi

Finally, the last weekend of this year was spent exploring my own city Kolkata. Kolkata has so many places which we don’t know of. A visit to Bow Barracks and having cakes from Flurys during the Christmas is always refreshing.

Bow Barracks kolkata
Celebrations at Bow Barracks

2015 was rewarding year of travelling. Met so many new people and made so many good friends. I overcame some of my fears and explored places, cultures and cuisines. And the year ended with an encouraging note. An old friend from school messaged me after a long time after she read one of our articles. We met one of our readers who also happen to be a traveller. It was so heartening to know from him that our blog inspires him to travel more.

We take this opportunity to thank all our readers, friends and all those inspiring people whom we met along the way, all those who helped us and encouraged us. Wishing you all a very happy new year with a great year ahead. Please do follow your passion, be it travelling or anything. You will be a much enriched person.

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