My summer vacations started on May 4 this year. I love swimming, so I started going to the pool twice a day. I am also fond of reading story books and I finished a good collection of about ten books in just a week’s time. In between, I also saw some movies. But slowly, I started becoming bored and started looking for some new engagements. My joy knew no bounds when my father announced that this year, we were going to visit the eastern region of our country in a very extensive manner. It was not only to cover the heartlands of Orissa and West Bengal but also the distant mountainous regions in Sikkim. I started waiting eagerly for the start of our planned journey.
It was 28 May and we first headed to Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa by the Rajdhani Express. It was a wonderful train journey and I enjoyed the natural beauty throughout. When we arrived at Bhubaneswar, there we saw an endless sea of water with dingy fishing boats, fishing nets pegged in shallow water emerges. I was told this is the famous Chilika Lake, the world's largest fresh water lake. Bhubaneswar is also known as temple city. The famous Lingaraj Temple of Lord Shiva stood majestically surrounded by one hundred shivalingas built all around the temple lands that stretched over quite a few kilometres.
Our next stop was Konark. Enroute, we passed through the famous Pipli village. Pipli is famous for appliques work. There were colourful umbrellas, lamps, table covers and assorted things. Mother nearly bought the whole shop! The Sun temple at Konark is an architectural wonder, built in the shape of a chariot. This temple is dedicated to the Sun God. The first ray of the sun falls at the feet of the deity. Each year the government organizes the dance festival of India here. Famous dancers of all schools come here to perform.
After Konark, we next stopped at Puri. There was this beautiful stretch of road along the sea, lined with cashew nut plantations, palm trees and birds like the Siberian Cranes. It was wonderful. The Puri beach was simply exotic. There were guides with tubes and comical caps who took us into the sea to swim. We collected shells, stones, artefacts to remember this lovely town.
The last stop was the Jagannath Temple at Puri. Sitting majestically were three idols of Balbhadra, Subhadra and Jagannath.
ON June 15, we started our journey to Kolkata. In Kolkata we saw many places like the Victoria memorial, Jain temple, underground metro rail, sunderbans etc. The Victoria Memorial, officially known as the Victoria Memorial Hall, is a memorial building dedicated to Victoria, Queen of England and former Empress of India during the British rule. The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal mangrove forest in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We stayed in Kolkata for three days.
The next day, we left for new Jalpaiguri. From there we went to Darjeeling by a toy train.           Really, this one was a once in a lifetime experience for me. I saw the people walking on the
roads, when we were going in the toy train. The tracks were situated on the corner
of the road. After reaching, it started to rain.
 A popular tourist destination, Darjeeling is located in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya. It is noted for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There, we also saw
the tiger hills where we had an excellent view of the sun rise from the top of the
hill, early in the morning.
Then, we hired a cab and headed to Nepal. It is a landlocked country that
has eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, The Mount Everest. there were many beautiful
hills around. It was heartening to sit peacefully in the lap of nature. After a two day-stay in Nepal, we left for Gangtok. Gangtok is a place with breath-taking beauty.
There, we went to the Nathula pass. It is the India-China border. It was fully covered with snow. The temperature was about -10 degree Celsius. It was really hard to breathe there. We played in the snow and we took a number of photos. Unluckily, we couldn’t go
to the top of the Nathula pass. We were stooped just 4km below it. We came back to Gangtok and stayed there for two days. It was the last leg of our long journey.
The entire journey was extremely fascinating. It also gave me an opportunity to share fun and affection with my family members and I will never forget this summer vacation in my life.