“Um, we are in a group.”
Today we started early. Very early. In order to catch our 5:00 am train from Amritsar to New Delhi, we had to leave the hotel at about 4:00 am, which meant we had to be semi-functional by 3:30 am at the latest. Needless to say, this was a little difficult considering how much we had done the day before around Amritsar. Due to our wonderful tour guide, Jon, we were able to make it to the train station and on our train car with time to spare (which was a big accomplishment for our group, considering our last few interactions with train rides). Most of the six hour train ride was spent sleeping, but the last few hours were full of pranks, funny photos, and Stephanie’s search for a “good” banana.
We arrived in New Delhi around noon, and were taken from to train station to our new home at the Colonel’s Retreat Bed and Breakfast. This place is awesome! Our group was split up between two floors, but that most amazing part was that each floor also has a huge living room where we can actually congregate as a group (and not have to lay all over each other’s beds). After quickly dropping off our bags, we headed out to lunch to feast on some vegetarian Indochinese and met our tour guide for Delhi and Jaipur, Deependra. We then hopped on our bus to head to the Akshardham Temple, one of the world’s largest Hindu temples.
Akshardham was a beautiful combination of elaborate Indian history as well as interactive activities to keep us all entertained for the evening. We spent most of our time walking around the base of the structure, examining the the many elephant statues which told the story of the influence of elephants on nature and Hinduism.
Afterward, we attended a light show in another area of the temple, which followed several young children along a story which showed that no Hindu god can have all of the power. The light show itself was spectacular, and I have never seen anything like it before! Although, we ended up getting a little more than we bargained for by sitting in the front row (aka we got soaked by the water)!
After the show, we headed back to our big bus (almost hopping on the wrong one in the process), and headed to a mixer with several University of Michigan alumni and current students. It was very fun to connect to more Wolverines across the globe, and hearing some of their stories were absolutely wild! That drew our night to a close, and we all were asleep as soon as our heads hit our pillows!