Looking back on 2016 Part III: Accomplishments
Having travelled to a number of destinations across India, 2016 is deemed to be a very happening year. The list is, indeed, long and for the ease of sharing my travel destinations that got struck off from my bucket list, I have divided the list in parts. If you haven’t checked out the previous posts, click on the links below.
Below are some more places that I could manage travelling to. Since hills and mountains covered most of the bucket list (Of course, I love mountains like crazy), I also decided to visit a few places with a different terrain and topography to have a distinct experience. For this, I chose some South Indian destinations.
Probably one of the most versatile places in India, travelling to Kanyakumari is a very rich experience. Standing on the last tip of the Indian peninsula at the confluence of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean is itself too exciting. The colours of the sea, the beautiful sunrise and sunset, the sea ride to the Vivekananda Rock, the display of faith in the Kanyakumari Amman Temple, local culture, spice market – the trip was very fulfilling. Moreover, walking down the lanes and hiking the town gave me a memorable insight in to the local life.
This ancient city of Travancore has everything regal. While the Padmanabhapuram Palace was a straight dive into the culture, art and architecture of Travancore, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a living example of the ancient prosperity of South India. The richest temple of India built by the royal dynasty of Travancore, is sacred to the entire state and beyond, because of the mythological significance and forms a large part of the rich heritage.
Just 13 kilometres from Kanyakumari, Suchindram is mainly known for its temple that is a superb instance of the Dravidian architecture dating back to 7th-8th century. The subtle contrast of the past and present is actually what attracted me. It was a beautiful experience of faith, beliefs, culture, food and a drive on NH-47.
Well, this throwback post also focuses on the accomplishments of 2016 that Mango Lady Diaries managed to achieve in its first year. I need to admit that as a newbie, I really did not have much plan to promote the blog in various platforms so early. And, of course, that was a mistake. For more than six months, I never really thought about promoting my blog before having some good content. However, we all learn from mistakes and with much of a surprise, a sudden event made me think about it. I was getting readers from a number of sources, without any promotion and my inbox were getting flooded with encouraging words and appreciations (And those were not spam!). It’s only after that I started planning out things.
Blogs Retweeted by Bengal Tourism Official Site and TripHobo
I got my first boost when one day, out of the blue, I got a notification in Twitter. One of my blog posts was retweeted by Bengal Tourism, the official account of West Bengal Tourism (No, I didn’t tag them). I was super excited because it’s something too special when you write about a place in the state and the tourism board of that state thinks it worthy to share! This was the first taste of happiness for getting read and shared.
Another post got retweeted by TripHobo. Well, retweeting never means that the brands are sponsoring but however, the act of retweeting is a way of approval that the blog is worthy of sharing. And that means a lot for a new blogger.
Nominated for Best Travelogue of the Year Award 2016
This was one of the best things that happened to Mango Lady Diaries in 2016. In November 2016, winning a nomination for the Best Travelogue of the Year Award 2016 by Salisonline was something I had not expected so early. It was a recognition of the hard work, a celebration of being able to deliver quality travel writing and of being read and shared.
Sponsored Blogging for Travelicious
I wrote my first sponsored post for Travelicious. I had written about an Indian destination, Gwaldam. When my post got published and shared across their social network, it was a very happy moment because I was finally getting to do something that I thoroughly enjoy. Check out my first sponsored post for Travelicious here.
Writing Offers for Reputed Brands
After this, I am getting offers to write for some popular and well-known brands. Though I can’t reveal much at this stage about them, but I am taking this liberty to share about the opportunities with you.
Winner of Nat Geo Daily Shot on 24th February, 2016
Though not related directly to Mango Lady Diaries, this is of course, a personal achievement. I am sharing this here because it happened after I started my travel blog. One of my clicked photographs from a beautiful destination, Sitlakhet, got selected and I got to be the daily winner of Nat Geo Traveller India Daily Shot Photo Contest on 24th February, 2016. Here’s a look at the winning picture.
— NatGeoTravellerIndia (@NGTIndia) February 24, 2016
Receiving Love for My Travel Pictures
I keep posting my travel pictures on Instagram, Facebook and other social networks. Instagram is special because I got some real love poured in from the very beginning. I didn’t have many followers in the beginning but then, within a short span of time, my followers grew. Sometimes, I also get elated when photographers from other countries with huge number of followers and some influencers drop in to appreciate my travel pictures and often ask which camera I use to take these pictures 😀
Overall, my travel blog Mango Lady Diaries is growing and this could not happen without the love of my readers and visitors. Last year was a satisfying year and I hope that 2017 will be bigger and better. Need all your love and best wishes! Thank you for being with Mango Lady Diaries 🙂