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Indian Adventures

Philosophy & Religion students spent an enriching half term exploring Delhi, Agra, and Amritsar.

Over 20 GCSE and A Level students received a warm welcome in New Delhi, as their hands were decorated in intricate henna designs, marking the start of their week-long adventure. Kaya in Year 11 reports back:

‘On the first day, we experienced the vibrant market of Chandni Chowk where we went on a thrilling rickshaw ride amid the spices and colourful, decorative accessories. We walked past the Jasma Masjid, the great mosque of Old Delhi, before arriving at Smriti Birla where the famous Mahatma Gandhi lost his life in 1948. This was followed by a visit to Raj Ghat – a memorial to Gandhi, with an eternal flame symbolising peace, love, and immortality. Towards the end of the day, we went to India Gate: a war memorial to those who fought in the World Wars, with the names of the Indian soldiers inscribed on the walls as a reminder of the sacrifices made for their country and for peace. After a day immersed in history, we also saw the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India. 

The next day we embarked on a road journey to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal. We cycled through the busy roads of Agra and then through the countryside, passing through farms, villages and a Hindu temple. We received a warm welcome with hot tea and snacks from the local farmers, before watching a stunning sun set behind the Taj Mahal – an unforgettable experience. We also visited the shining white mausoleum, admiring the reflecting pools, beautiful gardens and listening to the meaning behind the architecture of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Our tour of the city continued with a visit to the historic Red Fort of Agra where we learnt about the Mughal Dynasty history and the emperors who resided there. 

After two days of sightseeing, we went on the overnight train, taking in the unique experience of the 600km+ journey through several states, travelling from Agra to the holy city of Amritsar, regarded by many as the spiritual centre of the Sikh religion. On arrival, our group headed straight to the Atari border, the border between India and Pakistan, where we watched the dramatic lowering of the flags ceremony. 

The following day, we toured Jallianwala Bagh, a historic monument dedicated to the people who lost their lives at a protest. A short walk away, we arrived at the Golden Temple, where we were immersed in the history of Sikhism. As the world’s largest communal kitchen, serving 100,000 free meals per day, we had the opportunity to observe the community kitchens and food halls which are open to everyone, regardless of race, religion, or gender – we even helped to make chapatis. Our tour continued to the interesting partition museum, which highlights stories about the partition between Pakistan and India. Following a busy morning, we relaxed to watch a thrilling Bollywood movie at a local cinema.  

Our final day of touring involved an immersive experience at a farm where we participated in a game of traditional kabaddi, rode in a tractor, and dressed up in traditional Punjabi clothing. After such an exhilarating trip, we flew home, grateful for the fantastic experience.’  

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