Golden Triangle Tour
First, we toured Delhi. I fell in love with all of the colors as the wind hit my face and the rickshaw driver weaved in and out of traffic. The smell of cinnamon and turmeric enveloped me as we strolled through the longest spice bazaar in Asia.
Then we traveled by car to Jaipur, the Pink City. I teetered back and forth as the elephant beneath me lumbered up the side of the cliff to reach a fort.
The final stop was Agra. The excitement was palpable in the air, almost as thick as the fog around us, as we waited in line. Sadly for us, the fog would not lift as the sun rose so the Taj Mahal was almost invisible to the eye.
Ellora and Ajanta Caves
Our Resident Director joined us on this adventure. We boarded a train which would be our home for the next ten hours. The ancient caves we visited were both Buddhist and Hindu. This was my first encounter with squat toilets, sleeping in a train, and eating street food. We enjoyed Bhutta, corn on the cob cooked on the roadside in front of the farm it probably came from.
I had the chance to travel with my Hindi professor to a village outside of Amalapuram. I slept on a concrete floor and bathed with a bucket, but I would trade city life for village life any day of the week. We were treated with homemade food which included, my favorite dish since being in India, prawn curry. It was near the east coast and the landscape was filled with paddy fields, banana groves, and coconut trees. I got to glimpse into the lives of men and women who preform hard manual labor and live on meager incomes but have unmatched generosity.
I, along with four friends, boarded a plane and took a short flight to this popular beach destination. We stayed in personal shacks at Sea Shades and spent our days relaxing on the beach. Each evening, as the waves lapped at my feet, I would watch brush strokes of oranges and pinks decorate the canvas in the sky. This was a weekend that left me rejuvenated and ready to finish out the semester strong.
Three of us spent two days in Kumarakom and one day exploring Fort Kochi. We stayed at Cocobay Resort which was located on Lake Vembanad. I would recommend visiting the bird sanctuary and taking a boat ride. The canals had lots of pollution but the beautiful flora and wildlife helped us see past it. Fort Kochi was a nice place to explore on foot. Make sure to try some Kerala specialties like matta rice and parotta.
Great Everyday Places in Hyderabad
Hyderabad has great places to explore without leaving the city. AIFS takes their students on several trips including Charminar, Golkonda Fort, temples, and the Buddha statue on the lake. This is just scratching the surface.
- Grab some friends and explore old city
- Go see a Bollywood film on one of the largest movie screens in Asia
- Visit the zoo
- Souvenir shopping at Shilparamam
- Ask locals for suggestions or, even better, ask to tag along with them
Places to Study
- Café Eclat
For a Taste of Home
- Frio Bistro — pizza and potato wedges
- Anna’s (outside of south gate) — chicken noodle soup
- The Drive Inn — huge variety
- Chutney’s — masala dosa and mango lassi
This content was contributed by Bethany Harting, who spent her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Hyderabad, India.