Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Sikkim

From Darjeeling I carried on to Sikkim, the largely Buddhist north-eastern corner ofApproaching Khangchendzonga India, between Nepal and Bhutan and bordering Tibet in the north. Even more than in the northern part of West Bengal, I felt I was not in India anymore.

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May 20, 2007 Posted by | Indian life, Traveling in India | 2 Comments

The cool north

Kolkata was big, congested and very hot. I spent a few days there going through the sights and eating well. On Thursday I met a friend of mine from Delhi. We went to see the KaliKolkata traffic temple, had a traditional Bengali fish lunch and got on the bus going up north to Darjeeling. The 40 degrees of Kolkata changed to the little over 10 degrees in the evening in Darjeeling, the “quintessential” hilDarjeeling toy trainl station in the north-west corner of West Bengal. The people here look more Tibetan than Indian and, I have to say, they are friendlier here. When somebody offers you a taxi and you say no thanks they say OK without any more hassle! Wonderful 🙂

On Monday I went on a five nights long trek in the mountains. I met a couple of other trekkers on the jeep on the way to the starting point of the trek and then did most of the trek with them. The route went up to 3660 meters where it was really cold but the viewsKhangchendzonga were great as well. We were really lucky to get clear weather almost throughout the whole trek. We were able to see the 3. highest mountain in the world, Khangchendzonga, very well and even Mount Everest from a far! We also saw a lot of rhododendrons, mountain flowers, many of which are as high as trees.

This day I will spend just relaxing and getting over the trek. Tomorrow I will go to Sikkim,Buddhist praying wheels which is the state just north of Darjeeling. After that I am planning to go to Nepal and maybe do the Annapurna trek. North India would be a very interesting place to visit, let’s see how I have time for that.

Go see more pictures from Kolkata and Darjeeling as well as the Sandakphu trek in the gallery.

May 6, 2007 Posted by | Pictures from India, Traveling in India | Leave a comment

Delhi, Rajasthan and Varanasi

It has been a while since the last post, almost a month! I have beRajasthani camelen to so many places since I was in Nagpur where I wrote the last time that I think I will just write briefly about where I have been. After Nagpur I stopped in Gwalior and Agra before heading to Delhi. In Gwalior I saw a great old fort on a hilltop and in Agra, naturally, the Taj Mahal and the Agra fort. I was impressed by Taj Mahal and spent a couple of hours (all the money’s worth) just gazing at it. Then it was time to move to the capital.

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April 23, 2007 Posted by | Indian life, Pictures from India, Traveling in India | Leave a comment

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.

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March 27, 2007 Posted by | Traveling in India | 2 Comments

Kutch

After the Little Rann Sanctuary visit I have now spent a week (!) in Bhuj, a city in theGirls dressed up for the wedding, Kutch, Gujarat heart of the area known as Kutch. Famous for its handicrafts and the Great Rann of Kutch desert (similar to Little Rann except bigger) it has been through some rough times, including the devastating 2001 earthquake, in which 10% of the city’s population perished. Nevertheless, the people here are enjoying life, they are extremely friendly and welcoming and the ages old traditions of creating the most amazing handicrafts are still strong.

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March 12, 2007 Posted by | Indian life, Pictures from India, Traveling in India | 6 Comments

Agaria

Fishing boat in the desert, Kutch, GujaratI spent four days in the Little Rann wild ass sanctuary in Gujarat, Western India. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my trip so far. Staying in the desert inspired me to write about many things, including the salt workers (the agaria).

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March 5, 2007 Posted by | Indian life, Pictures from India, Traveling in India | 3 Comments

Maharashtra and Gujarat

kids-in-the-hills.jpgIt has now been a couple of weeks since my visit to Hyderabad. It was great to see my old friends again after more than a month of traveling. After Hyderabad I went to the state of Maharashtra to see the hill stations Mahabaleshwar and Matheran and the city of Pune. The hill stations were nice places. Mahabaleshwar because of nice sceneries and fresh strawberries and Matheran for the ban of all vehicles (including bicycles) making it an extremely pleasant and relaxing place to stay. The city of Pune did not manage to attract me so much, although the restaurants and the multiplex cinema were nice 🙂

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February 28, 2007 Posted by | Indian life, Traveling in India | 1 Comment

Back from Andaman Islands

Hello! After 10 days without Internet I am here again, at the Central Train station in Chennai, writing my blog, putting new pictures online and reading emails. The Andaman Havelock beachIslands were an experience I was still this morning hoping to last a little longer. On Thursday I found an excellent place for my hammock by the Bay of Bengal, hanging from an old tree branch over white sandy beach, looking at the tide go out slowly. Perfect. And I thought I am not a beach person 🙂 The 10 days I spent there (on the Havelock island) were not exactly enough, so still this morning I was thinking whether to use my place ticket to Chennai or cancel it and get a new one, paying 5000-6000 Rupees more for already expensive plain tickets. I decided to be cheap and not pay up, so I am here now.

The Andamans are definitely a place to chill out and relax and I might go there againSnorkeling trip to South Button someday. What surprised me though was the number of tourists. The first two nights I had to sleep on the floor of a restaurant (50 Rs per night) because there simply was no room. For the third night me and Colin managed to find a tent in Village 7 (the villages on the island are numbered 1-7), next to a beach that has once been voted the best beach in Asia. And truly amazing it really is too!

So the first couple of days we basically just spent finding accommodation. Several people sleep on the beaches in hammocks, by the way, and I actually had one made for 340 Rupees just in case… After we got the accommodation I spent a couple of days snorkeling and riding my bike around the island (there are only two roads though 🙂 and then the last day in the hammock by the beach. I put some pictures from Havelock into the gallery, go check them out!

Tomorrow morning I will arrive in Hyderabad. It has been two months since I was last there, so it is about time I go see what is happening there.

February 10, 2007 Posted by | Pictures from India, Traveling in India | 6 Comments

Leaving Pondicherry

I will leave from Pondicherry this evening. Tomorrow morning I fly to the Andaman Islands. I have heard that Internet connections are scarce over there so I might not be able to keep in touch with people or write my blog while I am there, unless I stay for a while in the capital, Port Blair. With this in mind I thought I would share with you what I currently know about my future plans here in India.

After the Andamans I will visit Hyderabad briefly, for two days. I will see my friends, catch up on what has been happening there and relax a bit before I go to the West, to a city called Pune. Close to Pune I will visit some hill stations. After this I will go North West to the states of Gujarat and later Rajasthan. After this I am not so sure about what to do, but the direction will be East.

I have plenty of time left though. I changed my flight again yesterday. I am definitely coming back to Finland on June 21.

January 31, 2007 Posted by | Traveling in India | 3 Comments

Fortune telling

Last night before going to bed I read in the Traveler’s Tales book about a place close to Pondicherry that is famous for its astrologers. The type of astrThe fortune tellersology they practise is nadi, which basically means reading the future from ancient Tamil (the local language) script, printed on a palm leaf. I could not believe how lucky I was to read about this right here, in Pondicherry, only 100 kilometers away from this astrology headquarters! Anyways, I hopped on my bike this morning, asked people at the restaurant if they know where the place is (it is not in my guide book) and got instructions on how to get there.

I found out that nadi is big business in the town of Vaithiswaran Koil. The street outside the temple was filled with astrologers promoting their services. I ended up paying 500 (!) Rupees for “a general outline of my future”. The whole thing was recorded onto an audio cassette. Now there is a nice souvenir 🙂 I also got my horoscope written down in Tamil. Some important predictions:
– married at 30
– kids at 34 (first a daughter, the second one is a boy)
– something really important and great happens related to work at 51.

Believe it or not 🙂

Colin managed to get tickets to the India-West Indies cricket match tomorrow, so I will be leaving Pondy in the morning for Chennai. I really feel like coming back to Pondy on Sunday (anyways it is only 3,5 hours by bus from Chennai), the place is so lovely. Well, let’s see what happens.

PS. I uploaded pictures from the two weeks after Bangalore to the gallery. Go check them out!

January 26, 2007 Posted by | Indian life, Pictures from India, Traveling in India | 1 Comment