I can’t put into words how special this trip has meant to me, two days in and I had already decided that it was going to be the best trip of my life so far, and it exceeded my expectations beyond that. I can’t be more grateful to have received this scholarship to attend Bannari Amman Institute of Technology in India for 6 weeks.
One of the bigger highlights for me was visiting the Ucchi Pillayar Temple situated in the Rockfort complex in the city of Tiruchirappalli. I heard someone say there was about 700 stairs we needed to walk up to reach the temple. This initially freaked me out and made me feel a bit anxious, but we all did it, and the view was more than worth the journey. Being high up on top of this rock, we got a 360 degree view of Tiruchirappalli. Every single building was square shaped and they were all painted a different vibrant and pastel colour. It was nothing like I had ever expected or experienced before. Being up there and seeing all of the amazing colours made me so inspired by the beauty of India.
I am very much blown away by India’s beauty and rich culture, it has left me feeling very inspired and very eager to travel and explore the world more. From the Ucchi Pillayar Temple seeing all the different beautiful colours, to the Mysore Palace in Mysore with absolutely stunning ancient architecture and bursting at the seams with history, to then the Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur known as one of the largest temples in India built over 100 years ago.
Every single person on the campus made us feel more than welcome. Whether they were faculty from the institute or just the people that worked in the guest house where we stayed, they all went out of their way to accommodate us, make us feel comfortable and safe. Sitting at home now writing this blog is making me miss all of their smiling faces and kind attitudes so very much.
This trip to India has touched me on a very personal and spiritual level. It has taught me very important life skills and being one of the youngest of the bunch, it has me feeling very appreciative and grateful to have experienced this at such a young age. I can now put these experiences and skills into building my own life and career. I cannot thank everyone enough who made this opportunity possible for me.
Words and pictures by Tessa Gould