My travelogue, my cherished memories
Being the students of Geography department, we treasure a secret desire for traveling. There is hardly any place within Bangladesh that we did not go. But in 4th year, we decided to go to India. The idea faced mixed reactions. Some took the idea heartily, some teased us as if we planned to go to the moon. And most of them gave blank faces. The reason behind the attitude was because in the last 15 years no group dared to think of a foreign tour. And also because unlike other local tours, the girls took the lead in organizing the India tour.
Finally, after six months of back-breaking hard work the tour of our dream turned to reality. In all 30 students and 2 teachers were all set to explore a new nation.
The journey was fabulous. We visited Kolkata, Agra, Jaipur, Ajmer, Delhi, Simla and Manall and we were so impressed by the diversity we found in a single country. The mode of transporation was mainly bus and train but we were fortunate to have the experience of riding rickshaw-van, tram, tanga, jeep, horse-back, cow-cart and even elephant back.
Metro rail in Kolkata was a unique experience. It is surprising that the city which is so close to Dhaka has such extraordinary facility. We went to the Kolkata Museum, Victoria Memorial. Coffee House and Science city. Do you know that there is a Mummy in Kolkata Museum? I was so astonished.
If you are in India the one place that you can never miss is the Tajmahal. Every one was so excited to see Shahjahan's unique creation.
Jaipur was the heaven for shopping. We visited the historical sites like the Amber Palace, Birla Temple and City Palace in the day, in the evening we went shopping and at night we saw Hindi movies in Rajmandir, the largest cinema hall in South Asia. Have you even heard of 'Dhaba'? These are small restaurants by the side of the highways and the foods are superb. The tastes of panir pakoras and the parathas are still in my mouth.
The moment we reached Agra, our guide warned us about the place. It is notoriously known for touts and cheats so be careful while buying anything. He whispered that there are rumors that at night the city is haunted by the spirits. Well, we were old enough to believe in ghosts.
We received warm welcome in Aligar University. The Chairman of the Department of Geography requested us to stay a day in the guesthouse but we had to leave for Delhi. Delhi was too hot and it was tough to go out in the day. Still we visited the Red Fort, Jam-E-Mosque, Qutob minar, India Gate, Indira Gandhi Memorial, Lotus Temple and Rajghat. But the girls also managed to go to the New market, Chandnichawk and Bigbazar at night.
My personal favoirte was Simla. The climate was great, the people were frank and there were so many places to hang out. From Kufri one can see the Indo-China border. The mall is the center of attraction of Simla. It was built by the British and gives the impression of East European cities.
One can never imagine how big the mountains can be if they do not see the Himalayas. On our way to Kulu we were flabbergasted by the sight of the huge mountains and the fast-running, crystal clear rivers. When the bus stopped for a short break one of them could not resist the temptation of taking a quick bath.
Manali was chilling. In September, there is little possibility of seeing snow except in Rotang Pass, where snow is found throughout the year. But there was a problem. No transport can take us to the ice-cap. We have to walk. None of us were scared. We got divided into groups and set to conquer the Himalayas. Some of them were lucky and actually reached the top. But there were also some unlucky people like us. Our group leader was a confident chap (who happens to be our guide). He told us that he knew a short cut through which we can reach the top before the rest. The short cut turned out to be a never-ending long nightmare where there were no snow but only horses (and horseshit) He is still alive because we were too tired to dig a grave for him.
I can write about this tour endlessly. But unfortunately there is a word limit and I have to stop. Before I do that we want to show our heartiest gratitude to our honorable teachers for supporting the venture. We are indebted to all the people and organizations for helping this tour, financially or otherwise, and also hats off to the 'Geo-gals' (the organizers) for making the India tour a big success.
Department of Geography
University of Dhaka
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