“Educational tours are about imparting learning to provide a good base of actual hands-on experience of history that boosts the mind of every student with more innovative ideas by discovering varied aspects through travelling.”
There are many beautiful and worth seeing historical places in India. But, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal of Agra is the most beautiful of all. We took Presidians, our nurturing souls, to visit this majestic place to experience the mesmerizing beauty of this place which cannot be expressed in words.
This pristine white monument was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River in Agra and was built in the 17th century. The first sight of this monument leaves visitors awestruck and mesmerized. The Taj Mahal is truly a monument of immeasurable beauty.
Presidains also went for Taj Nature Walk during wee hours to amble among birds and butterflies with the view of Taj ahead. Trees surrounding the area made it a perfect walk. After returning and getting ready, we went to Jama Masjid, a fine mosque built by Shahjahan’s daughter that has a striking marble patterning on its dome.
Excursions and Tours are an integral part of an educative experience. The students not just only discover new places, but also learn self-reliance and taking care of themselves. As a part of this experience, an excursion to the famous Jim Corbett National Park was organized in the month of September for classes 6 th to 8 th . Students were very excited for this adventurous trip to India’s oldest National park. This educational trip was aimed to improve the survival skills in every student. Since the accommodation (resort) was in the heart of the jungle, it also involved learning about nature and its beauty as well as appreciating it.
After reaching the resort Presidians were ready to embark on the Jungle Safari. Travelling in a convoy of jeeps, students were excited to see the verdant forests all around. The excitement was palpable when the students were able to observe a herd of deer. Post the 2 hours Safari, everyone returned to the resort for a sumptuous dinner.
Overall, it was a memorable and wonderful excursion which helped the students appreciate nature and the need to preserve our forests and animals living therein. It is hoped that this excursion will create lasting impressions on young minds about the need to conserve our environmental heritage.
AMRITSAR AND GOLDEN TEMPLE
The students of Presidium received a golden opportunity to visit the Golden City of India—Amritsar, for a two day excursion. The trip was indeed a very memorable one as they visited all the places of tourist interest in the city, that is—The Wagah Border, Durgiana Temple, Golden Temple and JallianwalaBagh.
The Harmandir Sahib, famously known as The Golden Temple, is Sikhism’s holiest shrine, visited by millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The temple's architecture is a beauty and wondrous beyond imagination. The serene Sarovar (pond) that surrounds the temple is a holy lake that is believed to consist of Amrit (holy water), adding to the glory of the temple complex.
The students also witnessed the Beating Retreat Ceremony at the Wagah Border. The ceremony of the flag lowering in the evening conducted by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers (PR) at the border was undoubtedly phenomenal.
Follow-up activities were designed for students to sum up their overall experience. They undertook a questionnaire and did some research work after reading at length the handout which was custom-designed for them. The questionnaire consisted of relevant questions about the authenticity of The Golden Temple, rich legacy of the heritage city, its natural, cultural and historical sites etc. The Presidians understood the importance of this religious place and also learnt and enjoyed it’s multi- dimensional link to our past architectural and artistic history which should be preserved at any cost.
MASHOBRA and MUSSOORIE
Mashobra, located in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, is dominated by mist bathed hills, trees of pine, oak, cedar and deodar, apple orchards, and a picturesque stream gushing through the valley, enabling visitors to connect with their rich, fresh surroundings and unwind. Known as the ‘Quieter Shimla’, Mashobra takes pride in being amongst the prominent offbeat places to visit near Himalayas.
Our young leaders from Grade VIII went on a fun-filled trip to Mashobra last year in the month of June. Mesmerized by the enchanting beauty of Mashobra, they were excited to discover more with their dearest classmates. The Presidians, our adventure seekers, were delighted to take part in many captivating adventurous activities which included camping, trekking, mountain climbing, rappelling, fishing. Apart from this there were many serene and gorgeous places to visit like Apple orchards, glittering streams, pine and oak jungles, colonial architecture, pious temples, and utter seclusion. This tiny Himalayan hamlet is the most idyllic retreat in Himachal for those who look for serenity and seclusion with a touch of history.
So, enjoyment and side by side relaxation, was all that was felt by Presidians. They returned home with ear-to-ear smiles and jolly memories from the trip.
JAIPUR AND CHOKHI DHANI
The trip to Jaipur, the pink city, was a fun learning experience for our Presidians which enabled them to learn a lot about the glorious history, culture, tradition and monuments of this culturally rich state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan being the most colourful states of India has been the favourite of all age groups in our school for trips and excursions.
Our trip began with the visit to the famous Amer Fort - Pride of Jaipur, where the students had an enriching experience in the aesthetic ambiance of the palace. This was followed by visit to the famous City Palace, which includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal, palaces and other buildings.
In the evening the students visited ChokhiDhani, where they enjoyed the fair and the traditional Rajasthani food and dance. It offered a blend of traditional and modern amenities in an ethnic environment. The students relished their delicious meal in pure Rajasthani style. Their experience of the forts and palaces was very rich and educating. Student returned from the tour with a lot of happy memories and knowledge of Indian history and culture with them.