Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Travel Calendar

2017 brought me my leanest travel year since I began active travelling ten years ago! Work and family commitments took centre-stage, leaving me rooted to home. I did miss the sense of excitement and discovery that travel brings, and I often found myself browsing through old trips’ photos for some armchair travel and nostalgia.

The road-trip to northern Karnataka in Jan 2017 was special, because I have finally seen all the distinct regions of Karnataka, where I have been living for almost 14 years now. Karnataka’s diversity in landscapes, wildlife, culture, art, architecture, and food have given me many fond memories and enriching experiences over the years.

Though I have no travel planned for 2018, I am optimistically looking forward to the year!
North Karnataka road-trip
This region had been on my wish-list for a long time, as it promised to be different from Karnataka’s other zones. North Karnataka’s close proximity to Maharashtra and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh has led to its unique culture, food, language and clothing. The region is also filled to the brim with a rich architectural heritage of diverse styles. The 10 days we spent in Bidar-Bijapur-Badami-Pattadakal-Aihole left me craving for more; so did the mouthwatering local food at khanavalis, traditional eateries in the region.

An artist paints the Bhuthanatha Temple at Badami

A serendipitous addition to our itinerary, Hyderabad fell into place because we decided to access Bidar - the starting point of our North Karnataka road trip - via Hyderabad, as that seemed to be the best route. Although a short break, we were able to enjoy a fair slice of the city’s culinary treasures. I have visited Hyderabad before, and am vaguely familiar with its tourist attractions, which we decided to skip this time. With my cousin (who lives in the city) in tow, we spent a couple of days feasting on Hyderabad’s well-known as well as little-known culinary delights ranging from the very fiery to extremely sweet. And of course, copious cups of Suleimani chai and an assortment of breads and biscuits.

Irani chai & an assortment of biscuits at Nimrah Cafe, by the Charminar.