Our trip to India December 9th to December 23rd 2017
20 pupils from our High School and 2 teachers visited their Indian correspondants in Pune in the state of Maharashtra in December 2017. You can find some photos and comments of our stay below. Enjoy your visit!
SATURDAY 9th DECEMBER: Departure from Brest to Mumbai via Paris.
MONDAY 11th DECEMBER: After a three hours’ drive from Mumbai to Pune and a good rest at our host families’ the day before we were welcomed by the Head of Symbiosis. Some students had prepared a small show to welcome us.
We also attended a lecture on Buddhist caves and iconography to prepare our visit at Ajanta and Ellora.
Our first lunch at Symbiosis:
In the afternoon we took part in a henna workshop after a presentation on its origin and its history.
TUESDAY 11th DECEMBER: We visited Shaniwarwada, the old quarters of Pune.
Many of us experienced our first rishaw ride- quite an adventure!
We had « dosa« – the equivalent of our pancakes- in a restaurant:
In the afternoon we visited the Kelkar museum which contains the personal collection of Dr. Dinkar G. Kelkar (1896–1990). Many Indian decorative items from everyday life and other art objects, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries are displayed there.
WEDNESDAY 13th DECEMBER: After attending some classes with our correspondants we visited a Non- Governmental Organisation – Samagra– which installs toilets in slums. Today 150,000 people in Pune are using their facilities. Nationwide 600 million Indians have no access to toilets, 100 million have no access to water.
The rest of the day we had a lecture on Indian painters and dancers and we rehearsed our show.
THURSDAY 14 DECEMBER: Another busy day with a yoga class with Sonali early in the morning on the hills of Pune:
Later on half the group stayed at Symbiosis to work on their studies (!) while the other half took part in a textile workshop using the technique of hand-block printing:
Once again we had lunch in a very nice restaurant in town:
FRIDAY 15th DECEMBER: D-day for us as we organised our « French Day ». It was very successful indeed as over 300 students from Symbiosis came!
We ended the day with our show presented to our host families. We decided to give an overview of French music and dances over the last decades from the 1930’s to today.
SATURDAY 16 DECEMBER: We left early from Pune to go to Kolwan Valley where we saw another side of India. There we visited a village, a primary school and an organic farm where we had lunch.
We handed out the school supplies that we had collected in Le Dantec before leaving.
The pupils sang and danced for us and so did we.
MONDAY 18th DECEMBER: After a day’s rest with our host families we left early to go to Aurangabad, a 6 hour-journey from Pune. We visited Ellora’s cave temples, a UNESCO World heritage Site. Built during the 6th to 8th centuries AD, the caves were built by digging into a mountain side and removing thousands of tons of rock, leaving only the temple structures behind.
TUESDAY 19th DECEMBER: We visited Ajanta’s Buddhist caves dating back from 200 B.C. to 650 A.D.
During these three days away from Pune we stayed at PACE Hospitality Training centre, a hotel and training centre run by students who learn housekeeping and food service skills.
WEDNESDAY 20th DECEMBER: Before leaving we got very early to visit the Daulatabad fort nearby at dawn.
THURSDAY 21st DECEMBER: We all stayed with host families and did the last shopping or rested before our departure the next day. We also got ready for the « Indian night » with all our hosts where we all wore typical Indian outfits.
We celebrated Christmas together by giving out small presents to each other. Our hosts put up a very nice meal for us.
FRIDAY 22nd DECEMBER: We left Pune late morning to go to Mumbai. In spite of the heavy traffic we had time to walk in the city centre of Mumbai and to see the famous « Gateway of India » before heading to the airport in the evening.