Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Lions, holy mountains, a Portuguese island

After Bhuj in Gujarat, north-western India, I spent a couple oSunset on church in Diuf weeks in the southern part of the state. I saw landscapes and scenes totally different from the area I had been to in Gujarat before, and I had some very memorable experiences.

My first stop was Junagadh, a small city with a big fort and a high mountain, which is very important for the Hindus. I Sunset on Mt. Girnarclimbed all the way to the top to see the sunset, passing by holy men with long scrubby beards performing pujas (ceremonies) in the temples along the way.

After one night in Junagadh I went to the Sasan Gir lion sanctuary. I arrived conveniently about an hour before there was going to be the next jeep safari into the sanctuary. The lions in this sanctuary are Asiatic lions which are in many ways different from their cousins in Africa. This is the last place on earth where these Asiatic lions live. I went on the safari with a Dutch couple who had already done three safaris without spotting any tigers. I was really lucky, since we managed to see lions on this safari! It was only when we Gir lionstarted coming back to the town that the guide spotted a baby lion, about 1,5 years old, lying on the rocks in a dry river. The guide went around to the forest left of the baby lion and found the mother hiding in the bushes. We all got to go see it as well, from a safe distance of course. My first wild lions! 🙂

I was happy to have seen lions and to get to continue from Sasan the next day, as there is not much to do there. I even got a free ride from the Dutch couple to Diu! So great. On the morning before we left I still had time to see the crocodile breeding centre and the nature museum.

I arrived in Diu after a couple of hours. Diu is a small island on the southern coast of Gujarat, connected to the main land by a Hotel in Diuwet, salty strip of land. It used to be a Portuguese colony (just like Goa) and there is still a lot of that influence left there. The alcohol restrictions of Gujarat don’t apply here, so there are many bars and liquor shops here. My hotel in Diu was one of the most atmospheric ones I have been to so far: the rooftop of an old church. There is nothing like watching the sun go down from the roof of a big, old church, with a small, quiet town spreading out beneath you and the sea beginning from where the town ends. And top this off with a delicious home-cooked buffet dinner at the house of lovely old couple. One ofDinner in Diu the best meals I have had in India. The husband is from Goa and his wife is from Diu and of Portuguese descent. And oh boy can they cook! 🙂 We had carrot rice, potatoes, barracuda, calamari, tuna… all you could possibly need.

Diu has good beaches too, not like the best ones in Goa or Kerala, but I got a good tan anyway and swam a lot. Oh, and I saw big turtles as well 🙂 I had a scooter which is more than enough to go around the whole island of Diu in less than an hour. On the way I stopped on the beaches, in a sea shell museum, a fishing village (it stinks!) and a restaurant where I had the best tuna salad I have had in India, or actually the best salad of any kind I have had here really. Excellent, just excellent.

From Diu I got up to Ahmedabad and from there by train to the centre of India, Nagpur, to see a friend from Hyderabad. Sadly, I had to stay here longer than expected because I got really sick (stomach problems and a fever of almost 40), but I am getting better now and planning to take a train up towards Delhi tonight. I will stop in a couple of places before Delhi, including Agra and Taj Mahal. After Delhi my plans are vague, but I will surely visit Rajasthan and then travel east.

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March 27, 2007 - Posted by | Traveling in India

2 Comments »

  1. Sounds like you have gotten to like scooters and motorbikes 😉 Seeing lions sounds really exciting. That must have been really great experience.

    Good to hear that you’re already feeling better after being sick and having the fever.

    Comment by Tuukka | March 27, 2007 | Reply

  2. Terve, kiva lukea ja nähdä kuvista jotain sinustakin, HERRA Mikko Kärkkäisestä kun ei muuten kuule mitään niin pyysin Huovolta, tarkemmin Marjaanalta sun blogin osoitteen et voin seurata sun kulkuas siel Intiassa alusta lähtien, vaikkakin näin jälkikäteen…on pirun iso navetta rakennettu Huovolle(käytiin Pääsiäisenä) sait tästä mun e-mail osoitteen joten laitahan kirjoittaen kuulumiset…ollaan saatu sellainen käsitys (inkku ja minä ) et tulisit suoraan Turkuun kun lopetat reissusi…JO VAIN SE MEILLE SOPII OIKEIN HYVIN JOS NÄIN ON… varoitus etukäteen, joudut töihin, laittaan uusiksi mun tietsikan, ollaan molemmat töis mut saat avaimet ja voit tulla & mennä mielesi mukaan, täysihoito talon puolesta et sillee. Tänään tulee kaunis päivä, luvattu kakskyt (20) astetta lämmintä ja auringon paistetta, ei muuta kuin iloista reissu mieltä edelleenkin, tähän aikaan Turussa kello on 07.54 lauantai päivänä 14.4-07 Ilkka.P.

    Comment by Ilkka Pääskynen | April 14, 2007 | Reply


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