Devi Chandana needs no introduction for the television audience of Kerala. The soap opera actress and danseuse is an avid traveller too.
“Travels are like books,” Chandana told Onmanorama. “Each book presents you a different reading experience. Similarly, each travel gives you different sights and experiences. Everybody loves to travel. I could go to a lot of places thanks to my acting career. And I fell in love with travelling.”
“I had gone to many places as a child but I can't remember anything that I have cherished. When I travel now, sometimes as part of a show, I have come across many places that linger. I am lucky to have visited places which I had never even dreamed about.
“If I had to leave a day for travel amid my busy schedule, it would be to a temple. My family trips mostly begin with temple visits. I have gone to Murudeswar, Mookambika, Thanjavoor and Rameswaram. Pilgrimages have a different feel.
An average Malayali frowns when someone says she plans to visit Uganda. Chandana disagrees. “Uganda is a marvellous place. There are a few Malayalis there. I went there as part of a stage show. It was an exciting journey. I make it a point to roam around any country where I go to perform a show. I did the same thing in Uganda,” she said.
“I was wonderstruck when we explored the rural parts of the country. The place looked almost like Kerala's interiors, complete with cassavas and bananas. The people are so innocent. Their diet shocked me but I was safe because I am a vegetarian. I relished on cassava, jackfruit and the other fruits you get in Kerala. I was happy.
“The highlight of the trip was the wildlife safari. In the Murchison Falls National Park, we encountered lions, leopards and giraffes at close quarters. It was an experience to watch wild animals in their natural surroundings.
Across the globe
“I have visited most of the European countries. I was enamoured by Italy, particularly Rome. My trip to the Indonesian archipelago was also memorable. I liked so many things in Jakarta. Indonesia is a treasure trove of beautiful sights. Breathtaking terrains, historical monuments and volcanic lakes await the travellers. I also enjoyed the wildlife safari near Jakarta.
“I just returned from New Zealand after a show. I made the most of the journey by roaming around the country. With countless hills and vales, New Zealand is one of the best adventures destinations in the world. We were based in Wellington and visited a few places within the confines of time.
“My dream destinations are within India. I have travelled across the country but yet to go to the prestigious tourist destinations such as Taj Mahal in Agra... I had gone to Jaipur but I wish I had more time to explore the Pink City.
There are more beautiful places I want to go to. My dream destination is Ajanta-Ellora rock caves. I have dreamed of going there ever since I read about in in school. The rock-carved are pure poetry. I will go there some day.