Planning the Gounesco challenge

So after covering three world heritage sites and already booking tickets for another one I have been thinking of which one to cover next and how to go about it. with a full time job and with a reluctance to taking leave there are not many options left. I plan on finishing the sites in southern India as soon as I can as they require less number of days and may be done after a night’s journey. That’s what I thought, till Aj got me to thinking about actually clubbing the sites to reduce the money spent. This alone was a great motivator (who doesn’t love money). So I have a few trips planned.
Image courtsey www.asi.nic.in
Hyderabad-Mumbai-Goa-Hyderabad
No. of sites covered -3 points earned- 85
Now this is perhaps the most rewarding of trips I can finish in two days but I am still not sure if I want to just reach goa and start back maybe I’ll manage to get aj to take a day’s leave. I plan to do this sometime in June when monsoon would make travel convenient and my new found ability to travel in sleeper can be easily used.
Hyderabad –Bhubaneswar-Hyderabad
No. of sites covered-1 Points earned -25
Yup it is not the most point awarding trip but I have been dying to see the temples since I studied them in 3rd year. Manageable and I am happy with a night at Bhubaneswar.
Hyderabad-Coimbatore-Ooty-Hyderabad
No. of sites covered-1 Points earned-25
I think this is the most viable trip for next two months with a hill station in its name but the logistics do not add up. My train reaches Coimbatore at 8:30 am and the Nilgiri leaves Mettupalayam (1 hr away) at 7:10 am or so. Even if Indian railways decide to be on time it is quite impossible to catch the train. Buses I am still looking at but that requires research apart from online searching which I am yet to do. I am planning to make this a trekking trip to Coonoor but let’s see what I end up doing.
Hyderabad-Thanjavur-Hyderabad
No. of Sites covered-3 Points earned-60
Definitely a trip I would love to make and visit the chola temples and Kesineni may come to my help. I am also looking at some cheaper alternatives so that Aj and my pocket do not make me feel guilty. The travel alone would cost me more tahn the entire Ajanta ellora trip.
Hyderabad-Champaner-Hyderabad
No of sites covered-1 Points earned-40
I am planning to do this sometime in July. It entails 20 hours journey to and from Vadodara and an hour long trip of 50 Km from Vadodara to the pavagarh archaeological park. Maybe I’ll find some trekking areas too
Hyderabad-Hampi-Hyderabad
No. of sites covered -1 points earned- 25
This is one of my jinxed trips. It has been planned quite a few times money has been paid and tickets have been booked and till date I have not laid my eyes on the beautiful monuments. This would probably be in late June when monsoon has given its blessings to the area letting the heat go down.
Hyderabad-Bijapur-Pattadkal-bijapur-Hyderabad
No. of sites covered -1 points earned- 30+20
An overnight trip to bijapur takes you to the trio of badami aihole and pattadkal. Bijapur is some place I want to visit as it is but restrictions of a two day weekend mean reaching bijapur and rushing to see pattadkal then coming back to badami sleeping looking around badami and back to bijapur to catch the bus. I hope to cover aihole and bijapur too but I know thats just a wish after all I have to work in office after I get down that bus in Hyderabad on Monday. I might club a western ghat site with this trip.
Apart from these I do have an elaborate itinerary planned covering Delhi, Valley of Flowers, Agra, Gaya and Bhopal. The trip covering 11 destinations would earn 345 points and entails spending almost all nights on a railway sleeper. Budgeting the same is also a task I have to undertake.
I am well aware that even after all the trips I have planned I still have a lot more to cover. I am working out details for Sunddarbans Kaziranga and Darjeeling. Once I get the trip detailed I would have covered 4 destinations in a part of India which fascinates me the most earning me a total of 185 points
The destinations remaining are Khajuraho which I have kept for last as I have already been to the place another one left is Kalka Shimla railways. I am still thinking about a route I can use to club both because the other North India trip is well packed and ther’s no scope to introduce another day or two into it.
Lets see what I end up doing; the nearest trip is Hyderabad-Chennai-Hyderabad. I would be visiting Mahabalipuram another one I had been waiting to visit since I did a presentation on it in college. The trip would give me a chance to earn 20 points and visit Pondicherry which is another place I have simply not been able to go to.
I have also decided to closely monitor my expenses from now on and give out a semi detailed expense sheet for anybody willing to take the same route as us.

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