Friday, 30 January 2015

Forts, Tombs, Temples, Statues

Busy first weekend.
Saturday we visited Golconda Forts along with the Quih Shab Tombs. These were tombs from the Muslim Mughal Empire so they often have mosques attached. The mosques are not in use anymore even though it would be super cool if they were. Though there are 100s of structures within the park we only saw a few at the front. Pretty typical Islamic architecture Persian influenced I believe our guide was saying. All white even though this was not always true. In one small square portion of a column you can see all that remains of what used to be the brightly mosaic-ed exterior. Time, and theft turned them white.
The 'tomb' - actual body many feet below the ground

Tomb with the small corner of colorful mosaic left

Next we went to the actual fort a drive away. It is massive and allegedly impregnable. The only way the enemy got inside was by bribing a guard. We saw a canon on one edge of the wall before heading up to the main part of the fort.

View from edge of the wall near the canon. You can see the tombs on the right.
More of the wall and the moat

It's amazing, built on top of the rocks of the Deccan Plateau with the stones of the wall fitted together without cement or other mortar. So many stairs. I would say going in late afternoon is the way to go. It'll be cooler as you walk up and then you can watch the sunset over the city. It was absolutely beautiful and you can see the whole city. High rise apartments and hi tech city alongside ancient forts, temples, rivers, and lakes.
View of the main portion of the fort

Me + top of fort + sunset

The next day was a city tour which was our first real chance to use public transportation. Otherwise we've just been calling taxis to come pick us up within campus. We got up early and took a bus to reach the train station about 10 minutes away. We then took the train for about half an hour to reach a temple on a far side of the city. I don't have any pictures from the temple but it was entirely in white. This Hindu temple was built in either the 70s or 80s fairly recent. It was upon a hill overlooking the city; you could even see where the forts we'd seen the previous day were located.

Huge Buddha

We just sat there for a while then we headed out to have lunch. Then we went to the man made lake Hussain Sagar which features a huge Buddha statue in the center. We took a boat to the little island with the statue on it, took a few pictures then left. The lake is located within like a mini adventure park so there are other activities and places to eat there. The multiple buses, an auto and a train we arrived back at the University.
View from the island in Hussain Sagar Lake

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Flight Story

    This was the longest flight I've ever taken in my life. Prep time for India was not very long. I only got my visa life a week or two before I left. I bought my ticket around the same time. I packed the day before I left, discarding unnecessary things the morning of my flight. Then I was off.

So long. Like 42 hours of traveling.

    I flew Singapore Airlines from LA to Tokyo to Singapore to Hyderabad. I was only in Tokyo for an hour so according to some people that does not count as being in that country. True but there was a sign that said welcome to Japan so I feel like that makes it count a little bit.
    Then I flew to Singapore. I arrived at 3am and did not leave until 8pm that night. Because I slept on the way there I wasn't super tired when I landed so I just rested a bit until things started opening in the airport. And Singapore is a country a tourists so the airport was full of activities. I went to the movie theater. I went to the butterfly garden then ate food by the koi pond. Sadly no pictures of the butterfly garden even though one landed on my head and it was beautiful. I then took a tour of the city. Saw some major buildings/areas Chinatown, colonial style public buildings, the Singapore Flyer, their lion fish statue.
Singapore Flyer: ferris wheel, observation wheel, what have you

Just a hotel next to the river


Lion fish with views of other famous buildings on the river

    What I learned is Singapore builds up instead of out because the island country is so small and that this is another country where I can use my Bahasa Indonesia because they speak Malay as well. Back to the airport where I went to the other movie theater and the sunflower garden before flying to Hyderabad. I was nicely picked up from the airport and transported to my dorm where I just basically unpacked a bit, showered, and then slept. Here.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Hyderabad, India: A Term

    New blog post! Not about Indonesia, but India this time. I'm on a Foreign Study Program with my college for winter term. The program is a combination of Women and Gender Studies and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. It's based in Hyderabad at Hyderabad University which is in a pretty central part of India. Me and a group of 11 other students will be living in a dorm and taking classes here. Apparently the school's very popular for international studies. Look it's here:

    It's actually in a different state now, Telangana, so forgive the map it's a pretty recent change. Hyderabad is a pretty well off city. It's famous in the tech world so you see the name Cyberbad being thrown around a lot. Also it's known for the great pearls they have here. During the term I'll have chances to visit other well known places in India like Delhi, Chennai, etc.

I just got here so I'm not working with very personal knowledge so far. Just wanted to let peoples know that I'll write some stuff here whenever I can to give info on my current travel happenings. I'm not even super sure of my classes right now. But yea, another country, same blog.