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Sunday, January 08, 2017

Best 10 travel stories of the week!

Today everyone is a content creator and no one has time to read. For those who have some time to read, identifying good content amount the mountain of blogposts is a tough task, often resulting in better posts getting ignored or not getting the attention they deserve. Even for a blogger, promoting his/her own content remains top of the mind priority, with little time or motive to read and promote other bloggers’ stuff. In this context, I am thinking of writing one post every week, listing various most interesting/most useful travel blogposts I read that week. The benefit to readers is that they get a set of hand-picked blogposts to read, which will be worth their time, instead of having to browse through lots of contents and finding only few are useful. Also to the bloggers, this should help get some extra visibility for their quality content. There is a general belief that Indian bloggers don’t help each other and think of everyone else as a competitor. This is a small attempt to defy that belief.

Jan 01-07: My pick of best travel blogposts to read

1. Self Drive tips for Italy by Ashwini Neetan
Self drive is a topic close to my heart. Though I have tried that in India extensively, I am yet to rent a car drive abroad. I have only driven two wheelers in Thailand, Indonesia etc. This post by Ashwini caught my attention as it lists her tips for planning a road trip with a rented car in Italy. Do read the post for 14 useful tips. The post has lots and lots of photos of the scenery outside and just a few photos of the car- if it was me the photos would have 80% car and 20% other things!
Photo from HoppingMiles website, used with permission.

Note: Indrani Ghose has also written about road trip in Europe last year, if you need additional experiences on this topic.

2. Akharas of Varanasi by Anuradha Goyal
Many bloggers have written about Varanasi in past few months, probably due to few FAM trips organized by UP tourism. In this particular post, Anuradha Goyal has detailed the life in a Akhada (place where students practice wrestling and build their bodies). This gives an additional perspective to the city otherwise known for its ghats, last right rituals and other traditions.

3. Bhakkali near Kolkata: While I was researching on places to visit around Kolkata, I do not recall noticing Bhakkali. This particular post gives a short introduction about this and seems worth a consideration if you're looking for a weekend or one day trip from Kolkata. Included in the list here purely because I felt the location needs some more visibility.

4. Cliff of Moher, Ireland by Hema Jain
Since I haven't visited UK and Ireland yet, I read posts about these countries with envy. Some of the pics reminded me of Bali- few temples like Uluwatu had similar views. Check the photos and if you are heading that direction, consider visiting this place.

5. Mauritius Submarine Experience, Ami Bhat
Underwater life is always interesting. Some of the better known forms of exploring underwater life is usually Scuba dive, under sea walk (popular in Pattaya), Snorkeling or simply visiting aquariums. Another unique way is to travel in a boat with a basement section customized to look out. These are popular in Maldives and Mauritius. Ami has shared details of her experience trying on of these submarine rides, with great pictures and all associated details

6. Cape Town pictures by Manjulika Pramod
Africa is another continent I am yet to visit, so like the UK any post on Africa I pay little more attention. This post my Manjulika Pramod has 16 nice pics- her best, of Cape Town. Good enough to inspire.
Photo from above mentioned blog post- used with permission.

7. Bird Watching in Mangalajodi- Lakshmi Sharath
An interesting story from Odissa where poachers turned protectors, supplemented with amazing pictures, as usual from Lakshmi.

8. Bijapur through the eyes of Niranjan Das
Photos and details of Niranjan's visit to Bijapur, Karnataka
Photo by Niranjan Das- Used with permission

9. Lakshadweep Cruise by Antarik
Lakshadweeep is largely ignored by most Indians- mostly because of poor accessibility and high cost. More people go to Thailand than Lakshadweep I guess. Even when I wanted to visit, the cost and access factor sorts of limited me, so I am yet to explore this place. Antarik has explained the Samudram Cruise package details in this post. Do read and plan your trip to Lakshadweep.

10: Bengaluru weekend destinations by Shilpa Shastry
In her new blog, Shilpa Shastry has made a good attempt in documenting details related to weekend destinations from Bengaluru. Though there're 100s of blog posts on this topic, I felt her first hand experience and narrative way could be useful to readers. Welcome Shilpa to the world of blogging.

Special Mention
Learnt that Rajiv Verma has big goodbye for his corporate career and is venturing into the mountain to try something different and follow his passion. Read his post on this here. We wish him all the very best.

Rutavi Mehta got married last month and has relocated to New Zealand. I wish her happy married life and looking forward to read more from NZ (a country still on my wishlist) on Photokatha

From my own blog, below posts have been relatively popular this week- if you’ve not read them yet, suggest you take a look:
Bikaner's Jain temple made of Ghee: This temple is said to be constructed with ghee instead of water. With lots of interesting art work all over, the visit was totally worth it. Do take a look.

Laxmi Nivas Palace in pictures: An 115 years old palace in Bikaner now converted into hotel, Laxmi Nivas palace is campus full of heritage. Some photos from my short visit are shown in this post.

Disclaimer: I can’t promise how long I can keep doing this-hopefully longer. All posts are picked manually after reading. The criteria used is that post should be published in current week and end of the post I should feel that this post was worth my time and relatively better than other posts I read this week. Source: posts I could see in Indiblogger Indivine, ones that came to my attention on facebook and blogs that I regularly read. The time I have for this is limited. It is still possible that there are many other posts which either didn’t come to my attention or I didn’t have time to read them, so this weekly list is not to be considered as ultimate and that rest all are bad. If you had a great post and I didn’t include it, please forgive. I will be focusing mostly on travel related blogs, but if I accidentally come across something interesting, I may include a few from other categories like auto, food, fashion etc, though I won’t be scanning these categories actively. From the selected posts I have used a few lines of text and sometimes a picture too- if concerned bloggers have an objection I will remove them. There is no ranking, listed in the order in which I read the blogs and decided to shortlist. Doesn't mean #1 is best and #10 is least good of the 10.

I am not the first one to do this- Desi Traveler has done a few editions of curated lists last year- like this one. Soumya Nambiar has published her pick of best travel posts of 2016. There are many more such attempts in the past.

If you see a value in this kind of activity, feel free to adapt and execute. Share your list of best reads with your readers. Do not think "What if I lose my readers to those bloggers" or "why make him/her more famous". What you give will come back to you many folds more.

Similar: Best of 2016 from my blog
Indian Bloggers

15 comments :

Deepika said...

Wish to feature here as a amateur blogger... :)

Good efforts will go through this...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Deepika

What is your blog URL?

Rajiv said...

Thank you for the mention Shrinidhi and for this wonderful idea. I seriously think it is a good one and more and more people should be doing it, sharing a list of best reads over a week or month which they found to be worth sharing. I think I too would love to do something like this. Thanks for the idea.

Cheers,
Rajiv

Shrinidhi Hande said...

You're welcome Rajiv- best wishes

Swati & Sam said...

I have read most of the posts that you have mentioned here except three... Love your selection 😊

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thank you!

Shilpa Shastry said...

Highlighting others' work and appreciating it is a true worthy...thank u so much :)

Antarik Anwesan said...

This is a pleasant surprise. Thank you Shrinidhi. I think it's a brilliant idea :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Shilpa- Thanks

@Antarik - You're welcome.

To all- No need to thank me- I felt those posts were relatively better, hence listed them. Pay it forward or once in a while promote other bloggers/blog posts which you think deserve wider audience.

Soumya Nambiar said...

Thanks for the compilation. Now I have some reading to do. :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Soumya
Great. Enjoy the reading.

Arti said...

Wonderful idea and such a great list here! Off to read a few now.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Arti

vignesh said...

Good initiative Shrinidhi, keep the good work

Vignesh

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Vignesh