Kadama 14: Using diamonds as paper weights
Trip Start Jul 12, 2012
71Trip End Dec 01, 2012
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The climb was quite strenuous – not only because it was on the top of a humongous hill – but mainly because the rock “stairs” were all different heights and slants. Turns out, the royalties were carried up and down the fort on a wooden structure and believe it or not, the two people in the front were short and the two men in the back were tall to insure a steady, flat ride. On the way up, the views of Hyderabad were breathtaking and it was clear enough to see mosques and tombs weaved throughout
Following Golcanda, we headed to The Eat’s which is a boardwalk-like area off of the Hussain Sagar Lake. Instead of Indian food, I opted for Subway.
The Hussain Sagar Lake is home to the monolithic Buddha statue that sits 56 feet high and weighs 350 tons. The rock in which the statue sits upon was established in 1562 but the statue of Buddha itself was not set until 1994. The ferry in which carried this beautiful piece of art sank in the lake due to the heavy weight in 1986 and they just waited until 1994 to get the statue out of the water. It was in pristine condition – thank you water preservation. We did not end up going to the statue today, so I do not have any photos of the statue itself although, I was able to eat lunch on the other side of the lake which was pretty memorable.
The Chowmahalla Palace was the next stop for us which is one of the few palace’s in Hyderabad. It was magnificent to say the least. The detail and time put in to creating this masterpiece was much to be envied. I think that it was a sign I should attend this palace today because workers were setting up for a wedding! Could you imagine getting married at such a beautiful place?
Charminar “Four Towers” is the Eiffel Tower of Hyderabad. It was built in 1591 and is now the center for Bazaars and shopping. Charminar consists of two clocks, four pendants, and the top floor is the oldest mosque in Hyderabad. After receiving our tickets to get into the main gate, our tour guide preached to us about the history of Charminar and the significance of the number four. Four is my lucky number as well so things worked out for me…at least I thought so. We were walking to look at the fountain in the base of the tower and right when I stepped towards it, I got pooped on by one of the pigeon’s sitting up above! Just my luck! We had all been harping throughout the day on the worries of getting pooped on and what do you know! I had been the chosen one all along. It I was one second slower it would have landed right on my head and smeared down my face.
After gathering my composure, we snapped a few shots at the fountain and then headed upstairs to check out the view from where the clocks are located. The stair case was spiral, concrete, and could only fit one person in at a time. Anyone who is claustrophobic should never consider stepping foot inside of this staircase. I was even a little bit nervy at the close quarters and unlit steps. Arriving at the top of the stairs was like being reborn –I could see, I could breathe, and I was a bit shaken. I was proud of myself and the views were much worth the struggle. I was able to see the Mecca Masjid which was built in 1617.
Once exiting the towers, I was bombarded by men selling knock off sunglasses, poor people begging for money, and others being rude trying to video and take photos of the “white people”. Two instances in particular really bothered me though. Firstly, a woman (who I believe may have been mentally retarded) stepped right in front of me and began grabbing my stomach and my purse strap, touching my earrings and cornering me between her and rickshaws. I kept trying to push her away but she continued being aggressive and all the while smiling and laughing like a child while doing so. Finally breaking free from what seemed like forever, she did the same to the girls behind me. I was startled and for the first time the entire trip, I almost cried. Not from the fact that I was in shock but just because I felt helpless in this situation. It was either keep pushing my way through her or get hit by the oncoming rickshaw traffic. I had to take a second to let my heart stop pounding out of my chest and then I was okay. Right after though I witnessed a man whose legs were deformed and he could not walk. Instead, he rolled around the city pushing a bowl for money.
On the car ride back to campus, Rahul was telling us how people do eat cow meat in India. I know this may be hard to believe, but it is true. He said that it depends on how devout you are to Hinduism and what your own personal beliefs are. Furthermore, a large portion of people in their twenties are more open to modern ways rather than traditional. Although it is not offered on menus, high class restaurant’s and a few select eateries from word-of-mouth offer this meat meal.
I enjoyed my jam packed day and spent most of my ride home with my head out the window, eyes closed and thoughts racing through my mind. There is no doubt about it that my mind is constantly analyzing and taking in everything about the culture and the way of life here. Within the coming weeks, expect rather deep and analytic blogs about life. For example, the concept of time here is so incredibly different than it is in any other country that I have been to. It makes you question life and how we spend it. I will leave this conversation for my next blog. Until then, stay safe and live freely.