M. Ramadhan (INA AFS to INDIA YP 18–19)
Namaste! I’m Ramadhan an exchange student in Ahmedabad at the state of Gujarat, India. It’s almost seven months since I came to India for my year long exchange program. India is a huge country with a diverse people and a differs from place to place. This time I’m going to talk about my experience travelling around India.
I’ve had visited a lot of cities and places in India. In Gujarat state, I had visited Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Bharuch, and Samlaji. I also went to Mumbai at Maharashtra state. My best experience was when I visited Shimla and Manali at Himachal Pradesh. Also three times I went to Delhi.
Gujarat, the state where I live, is the most western state in India. Gujarat is very large. And it has a flat lands and made it faster and easier to travel around the state. I went to Vadodara for my mid stay orientation at September and visited some places like MSU University, Baroda museum, and ISCKON temple. At Gandhinagar, which is the capital city of Gujarat, I went to Akshardam which is a temple of Lord Swaminarayan. And Samlaji is kind of a village, I went to Samlaji temple. It is located near the Gujarat-Rajashtan border. And I went to Bharuch only for visiting host family relatives, which located in south from Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
The next place is Mumbai in Maharashtra. I went there at December. I haven’t really seen how is Maharashtra, because I was sleeping on the way at the bus. I stayed at Mumbai for five days, it was one of the best cities that I ever been to. Mumbai has a lot of high story buildings, it reminds me of my hometown Jakarta. Mumbai is a city of opportunity where people pursuing dreams there, and it give people opportunity to meet people and enjoy life. At Mumbai, I was able to met a lot of another exchange students from all over the world from another exchange program. I went to a lot of places and landmarks there such as Juhu Beach, Gateway of India and Taj Hotel in Colaba, and Jama Masjid. I also experienced travelling with Mumbai train which was challenging but it teach me how to survive. I would like to visit Mumbai again oneday.
The best journey so far was when I went to Himachal Pradesh for a winter trip with Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia (PPI)/Indonesian Student Union at the early January. I went to Shimla, Manali, Kufri, and also passed Kullu. Himachal Pradesh basically already the Himalayas region. It is a mountainous region, and it took a lot of time to travel there as we have to pass mountain slopes and the land is not flat like in Gujarat. First I have to flight to Delhi and from there We went by bus. It took 10 hours to Shimla, and 14 hours to comeback to Delhi from Manali. It may took a long time but it made the journey unforgettable. And at the time when I visited Himachal it was winter so it always below ten degrees celcius, and at Manali it was minus degrees. Shimla is the most unique city that I ever been to. The entrance of the buildings usually is at the top floor, and it goes downstairs. It has the place called mall road, which like a hidden city and we have to take a lift down from a building. And the best part at the winter trip was snow. People rarely knows that India also has a region that snowing, and it was in Himachal especially in Manali. For the first time in my life, I saw and touched snow. Even when we just arrived at Manali, it was snowing. So the snow welcomed us, it made the trip special and memorable. And at the last day when it was not snowing, we can see the mountains that covered by snow clearly. Finally I can say, that I’m on top of the world. I was at the roof of the world.
And after that trip, I stayed at Delhi for one day. Before this I had visited Delhi twice for the arrival orientation in July and for Model United Nations (Which actually was at the satellite city, Noida) in November. But both of the moments I can’t travel freely as I had to follow the scheduled program. This time I had visited Jawaharlal Nehru University, India Gate, Connaught Place and Old Delhi. Also I could use the metro to travel around before I took the flight back to Ahmedabad.
From what I have seen in India, it is a vibrant country where you can see everything. At Delhi or Mumbai you can see a mega city where everyone lives there and pursuing their dreams. And you can go to Ahmedabad as it is a heritage city of UNESCO. At India you can see mountain region and snow also. There also a lot of beaches and coastline in India like in Mumbai, and some cities in India have a lot of beaches like Chennai, Pondicherry, and Visakapatnam. And there also desert like in Rajashtan. Not only vibrant with a diverse people, India also vibrant where you can see everything.