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The Jodhpur Jaunt
101 students of classes XI and XII, accompanied by our teachers, set off for the historic ‘Sun City’ on September 11, 2015. The trip was a memorable affair and we brought back with us tales of adventure, pranks and delight. If there was the simple, undiluted fun of beating the heat in the hotel swimming pool on arrival and the pulsating excitement of the DJ night on September 12, there was also the visit to the awe inspiring Mehrangarh fort, standing a hundred feet atop a four hundred feet sheer cliff face! We could not stop marveling at the view from the top of the city below and wondered about those long-ago builders who had constructed that splendid specimen of man’s architectural and engineering skills. The JaswantThada Memorial, in contrast, was a more delicate piece of architecture that employed white marble to bestow a sense of serenity that befitted the monument which was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
The imposing UmaidBhavan Palace, in contrast, was all about living life king-size in the lap of sheer luxury! The Palace is the principle residence of the Jodhpur royal family and also houses a museum and a hotel in its premises. Among the many interesting exhibits, the impressive collection of vintage cars was of the greatest interest to a few among us, who could not stop raving about their “beauty” and “stately form”!
Finally, like all good things, our tour too came to an end and we returned to face the daily grind of study and tests on the morning of September 14. For the seniors of class XII, it was even more poignant because our “Jodhpur Jaunt”, as our tour group named this trip, was the last one of their school life.
Our tour was certainly filled with fun and excitement, but it also put before us yet another example of the rich cultural heritage of our nation and made us feel proud to be citizens of India.

The Space Trekkers
15 Vidyanians, accompanied by Principal Rekha Mishra and Physical Education Teacher PawanRai, participated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) ‘Space Trek’ Programme at the Kennedy Space Centre. During the ‘Space Trek’, students got hands-on knowledge in the NASA labs about the use of robots in space, the science and math behind various developmental aspects of robots, and how technology and engineering are coming together to create more advanced robots every day. Like the first batch of Space Trekkers, these 15 also took in local sights and sounds as their itinerary included popular tourist destinations like the Orlando Disney World, Universal Studios, Washington DC, Niagara Falls and New York.
From May 27 to June 9, the group, thus got the rare opportunity to explore the Kennedy Space Centre, the world renowned gateway to space from where America has launched its astronauts, as well as do sightseeing around the U.S. – a perfect combo of learning and pleasure!

The Pachmarhi explorers
For Classes VIII and IX, the destination was the “Satpuraki Rani”, Pachmarhi. While the 106 students of Class VIII visited Pachmarhi from September 11 to 16, the Class IX group of 132 had their tour from September 18 to 23. The Pachmarhi tour too offered many sites of natural and historical interest and students were especially impressed by the verdant green forests and waterfalls that dotted the landscape of rolling valleys and gentle hills. The history buffs in the two groups were especially intrigued by the legend behind the name Pachmarhi as it is supposed to be named after caves built by the five Pandava brothers. Indeed, whether they were soaking in the pristine beauty of their scenic surroundings, experiencing India’s ancient heritage by way of the BadaMahadev, GuptMahadev and Jatashankar temples, learning about silk production or the DJ session in the beautiful resort, the trip had something to offer to every student in the two groups.
For the two tour groups, the Pachmarhi trip thus provided a gamut of experience encompassing natural beauty, religion, myth, history and modern enterprise. The Class VIII group even saw a bison while on their way back from Dhupgarh!
As Vidhatri Trivedi (VIIIC)put it:
“Experience of Vidyanians, Education along with fun! Pachmarhi – a place to visit at least once To see the rising and setting sun.”
Certainly a tour that will remain a cherished memory for a long time to come. A few moments in time:
“Education not only includes reading books but also includes visual experiences and our Pachmarhi tour simply enthralled us with its many beautiful places and ancient historical sites.” Reeti Chauhan (VIII A)
“We were told all about silk production at the silk farm by our guide Bhagwan Singh. He explained the whole process very simply and so we could easily understand how silk is made from silkworms.” (Supriya Patel, VIIIB)
“The ‘Queen of Satpura’ lived upto its name with its endless spots of natural beauty, lush greenery, breath taking views and rare flora and fauna.” (VrushaliRanadive, VIIIC)
“The Bison Lodge Museum of natural history displays specimens of the flora and fauna of Central India. After visiting the museum, we could better understand the local vegetation. We had adventure too as we trekked up the hills to take in the spectacular views.”
(ShubhKhandelwal, VIIIC)
“We had a boisterous time at the the Bee Falls with every one getting drenched in the gushing waters. We also visited Dhupgarh, the highest point in the Satpura range.” (Jayneel Shah, VIIID)
Who said learning couldn’t be fun?

The Udaipur-Kumbhalgarh circuit
A glimpse into India’s natural and cultural bounty
Viewing the many historical monuments, the famed lakes of Udaipur and the scenic terrain on the journey to and fro, the students of Classes IV to VII were unanimous in agreeing that the Udaipur-Kumbhalgarh trip showcased a unique mix of our rich natural and cultural heritage. The tour was undertaken in batches with the Classes IV to V group of 122 students touring from September 22 to 25; the Class VI tour, comprising 94 students, from September 11 to 14 and the Class VII trip being undertaken from September 18 to 21 with 90 students in all. The itinerary included a visit to the MaharanaPratapSmarak, the City Palace, SaheliyonkiBadi, Haldighati, Kumbhalgarh fort and, of course, the beautiful Lake Pichola and the Shilp Gram Bazaar. The DJ night was but the icing on the cake that rounded of a perfect tour.

Some jottings:
“To go boating in Lake Pichola was amazing. It is an artificial fresh water lake, built in 1362 AD and there are four islands on it.” JiaHariya (VC)
“The FatehSagar Lake is named after MaharanaFateh Singh of Udaipur and the famous Lake Palace is situated in the middle of it.” SanskrutiSheth (IVE)

“The Kumbhalgarh fort was a long climb but I found it wonderful to know that it had a wall of over 38 km and it is supposed to be the second longest wall continuous after the Great Wall of China. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.” Naisargi Patel (VIB)
“The guide informed us that the MaharanaPratapSmarak statue is made of bronze and is the exact height and weight of the brave king. Everyone was also excited to know the story of Kumbhalgarh fort and that it is the birth place of RanaPratap.” Dhruv Desai (VIB)
“There are 5 fountains in the SaheliyonkiBadi and each is connected to a story. It was really interesting to hear all those stories.” Prachi Patel (VIC)
“It was simply mind-blowing to visit Haldighati and see for ourselves the actual site of RanaPratap and his famous horse Chetak’s bravery in the battle with Akbar. What we had studied in our history text book came alive before our eyes as we imagined the whole battle scene.” - Nidhi Shah and Vidhi Patel (VIIC)

Taking the ‘class’ out of the class
Educational tours, besides having a major education element, give students the chance to build closer bonds with their peers and also instill independence and self-management skills in them. Students are thus exposed to valuable educational opportunities away from the classroom, even while doing away with textbooks and other tools of teaching employed in a formal school setting.

Science is better ifit’s experiential
Class XII (Sc-Bio Group) went for field trip to SSG Medical College on August 11. The students were impressed to see the names of the different departments as it brought home to them the many specialties they could go in for as future students of medicine. The trip was also singular because they actually got a feel of what a hub of activity a hospital is with a constant stream of doctors, patients and their relatives moving about the premises in the different departments.

“Science is better practiced than read”.
Students of grade 7 visited the Anatomy Department of Baroda Medical College, M.S.University as part of their field trip schedule, they studied as well as learnt about the organs and functions of the human Respiratory , Circulatory and Excretory System. Charts and models served as tools of information. It was an enriching experience for the students.

Grade 2 learns about plant life first-hand
Grade 1 went trooping off to the zoo for their Field trip on December 9.

Their teachers described the eating habits and homes of the various animal and birds almost making the creatures come alive in the children’s imagination! The tiny tots were especially drawn to exotic and unfamiliar inmates and posed numerous queries to their teachers.

Students were also informed about the Zoo’s system of “Adoption of Birds” that allows citizens to have their names displayed on the cages of the birds they sponsor. Hopefully, these young nature enthusiasts would convince their parents to come forward and contribute to the upkeep of the zoo, thereby lessening the Government’s burden.

Off to the zoo on a field trip!
Grade 1 went trooping off to the zoo for their Field trip on December 9.

Their teachers described the eating habits and homes of the various animal and birds almost making the creatures come alive in the children’s imagination! The tiny tots were especially drawn to exotic and unfamiliar inmates and posed numerous queries to their teachers.

Students were also informed about the Zoo’s system of “Adoption of Birds” that allows citizens to have their names displayed on the cages of the birds they sponsor. Hopefully, these young nature enthusiasts would convince their parents to come forward and contribute to the upkeep of the zoo, thereby lessening the Government’s burden.

Field Trip to Baroda Dairy
On 4th December 2014 ,Grade  4,accompanied by their class teachers, went for a Field Trip to Baroda Dairy. During the visit, students witnessed the processing of milk and milk products like buttermilk , curd , ice-cream, flavored milk , shreekhand , ghee , butter and cheese.  Students also learnt about the packaging of milk and buttermilk.

Senior Executives, Mr. M.K. Dave and Mr. Rajesh Kumar , informed the children that the milk is sourced from 2000 villages every day, collected in big containers and then processed in modern machines. Everyday about 6 lakh litres of buttermilk and about 5 lakh litres of milk is sold .To the great surprise of students, they learnt that the Dairy is managed by a huge staff strength of 1400 !!

It was a very enriching trip for the 4th graders because they learnt firsthand what they had studied in the class.

Showtime @ Vidyani

Grade 1 to 6 took in the year’s much awaited movie, ‘The Penguins of Madagascar’, on December 6, 2014.

The students had a whale of a time enjoying the movie and feasting on the yummylicious snacks provided by the School.

Fun In The Rann

It was a memorable tour that students of Class VI had on 27th November when they went on a day’s trip to the little Rann of Kutch.  The 46 children were accompanied by their teachers – Ms. Ritu Ghatpande, Ms. Niharika Dahiphule and Mr. Narendra Dogra.

Leaving school at 8.15 am, the group reached the Rann at 1.00 pm.  After lunch, they visited the Wildlife (Ass) Sanctuary in a Safari Jeep with guides (arranged by Royal Safari Resort).  It was a magical experience to see the spectacular sight of the flamingos, though their numbers are decreasing due to decreasing grass and adequate water supply.  Children also spotted the dens of hyenas and wolves which are being killed by villagers as these animals prey on their sheep and cattle.  The sight of the chinkara, blue buck, spotted eagle, Black congo and wild ass was a real bonus.

The next morning, their destination was the Wildlife Sanctuary, where plenty of migratory and rare species of birds were seen.  Another highlight was a visit to the salt pans and later the salt factories where salt is refined and packed.  In the villages, children saw the creation of handloom and tangail textiles and bead jewellery.  Some even bought a couple of these as a souvenir.  An interview was also arranged with an agari (salt worker) whose family resides alone in this 500 km stretch.

On the third day, after breakfast, they left for Mehsana Water Park (reaching at 10.45 am).  Children found the rides so thrilling that they persuaded the teacher to grant them an extra hour there!  They also paid an unplanned visit to Modhera Sun Temple where they showed keen interest in the guide’s narration about the 990 years old temple’s history, architecture and carvings.  At 8.00 pm, they reached the hotel but still had energy left for a DJ dance session after dinner.

30th November was reserved for another enjoyable venue – the Science City at Ahmedabad.  Children loved the various touch and operate models and displays and the one of PSLV launching too.  They specially enjoyed activities like simulated earthquake, cyclone, coal mines etc.  In the evening, they all returned to Baroda with sweet memories of an enriching experience.

Destination Jambughoda
We set off for the tour to Jambughoda on Friday November 21 2014 from the school. A one-and-half-hour drive through picturesque sites and dusty roads took us to Champaner. The unique architecture of the beautiful Jami Masjid, inspired by the Jain monuments, has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Prof. Ghanshyam Joshi’s (a prominent historian) address about the historical significance of this place proved very informative to all of us. On the way we saw a lake where we spent half an hour enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings.
  We then headed for Jambughoda Palace and  reached there at 7.00 pm.  We were greeted by His Highness Yuvraj Karmaveer Sinhji who told us about the historical significance of the place and answered all our queries at length. A bonfire was arranged for us which we thoroughly enjoyed.

The next day (i.e 22/11/14) we all got up by 5.30 am. We had milk and biscuit and went for trekking to Malaban hill. The trek was very adventurous and scenic. We came back to the Palace for breakfast.  After that we headed for a higher secondary school – Kelavani Mandal. We interacted with the students there  and learnt about their curriculum and the challenges they face.   We also visited their science laboratory. The visit to the village gram panchayat (Village Sachiwalay) was another learning experience for all of us. After coming back to the Palace we were addressed by His Highness Vikram Singhji who explained about the monarchial form of Government. After lunch we went to Jhand Hanuman ,  Hidimba Chakki and a well which is filled with water most of the year. Then we visited Kada Dam and saw how earlier water was conserved and stored by blocking the flow with stones, lime, sand and soil. By now we were exhausted so we had dinner and slept. The next day , i.e. on 23/11/14 we walked down to a step well. Then we saw live demonstration of ‘Neera’ collection by a local. All of us loved drinking the fresh delicious ‘Neera’. We came back to the palace for breakfast. We saw the documentation of literary and artistic heritage of tribals act in the BHASHA Research and Publication centre which was followed by a presentation on tribal dance and festivities. We also saw beautiful Pithora paintings. After lunch we bid adieu to the beautiful Jambughoda Palace. On the way back we got down at Narukot village to see more Pithora paintings.

Indeed , It was a memorable trip for all of us.

By Students of Class V

Exploring Riparian Resort
  November16 – the day when our entire school went for picnics to various sites by way of celebrating Children’s Day. Riparian Resort, near Rasulpur, was the destination for the students of Classes IX and X. The resort is located on the banks of River Mahisagar and is very scenic indeed. We set off quite early in order to have more time to spend at the resort as it was an hour’s drive by bus to our destination.

On reaching there, we were served snacks and then divided into four groups of two classes each. The senior group was taken to the riverside while the IXth graders were taken to the camp site. There, in turn, one group went on a trek while the other enjoyed adventure sports and later exchanged places with the former group members taking advantage of the thrilling adventure sports and the latter going trekking. The Xth graders too enjoyed themselves thoroughly at the riverside. They played in the water and splashed about happily till everyone was quite drenched. Lunch was a culinary treat with everyone sharing the lip-smacking delicacies brought from our homes.

However, like all good things, the picnic too had to end and we boarded our buses reluctantly, unwilling to have such a wonderful day draw to a close. Still, we enjoyed ourselves on the journey back to the school as much as we had done in the morning on our way to the resort. We sang and danced and munched on our stock of snacks right up to the school gates and took back with us a storehouse of memories of a truly memorable Children’s Day.  

Ruchira Vaghela (IXD) and
Ami Chhadva XC
Joyride In Kamatibaug
  On November 16, 2013, the students of classes I to IV, accompanied by their teachers, went on a picnic to Kamatibaug. It was a beautiful morning with just a hint of chill in the air and the children enjoyed the short bus ride to their destination.  First on the itinerary was a ride on the toy train that had been reintroduced recently. As the train chugged and tooted its way around the park, students laughed and sang, thoroughly enjoying the ride. The train even made its way into the zoo section! All were reluctant to disembark once the ride ended and reluctantly allowed the next batch of students to board.

However, they soon discovered that fun-time hadn’t ended. After the exhilarating joy ride, students went into the garden area where they frolicked on the grass and ran around playing games like ‘Catch’, ‘Hide n Seek’, ‘Langdi ’ etc. The outdoor added a special dimension to the lunch they had brought from their homes. As for the samosas and laddoos prepared in the school kitchen – they were simply scrumptious! A visit to the museum after lunch proved to be an exciting experience with students viewing the various exhibits with keen interest. The juicy oranges provided by the school proved to be real thirst quenchers once the children emerged from the museum.

Like all good things, the picnic too came to an end with students boarding the buses waiting to take them back to the school.  Though tired, it didn’t stop them singing and playing as enthusiastically as they had done in the morning on the way to the venue. Finally, they reached school and then dispersed to their homes, carrying back with them memories of moments spent together with friends and teachers.
An outing to Ajwa Fun World
  Exhilaration, living life on the edge, throwing up hands in the air and shouting at the top of one’s lungs …if that is being fully alive and enjoying life, then the students of classes VII and VIII truly lived life to the full on their picnic to Ajwa fun world on November 16, 2013.

The picnic was a Children’s’ Day gift from the school - the best gift ever, according to all the students. There were many breathtaking rides for the children to enjoy and the company of their friends was simply icing on the cake. Children also took advantage of the extensive grounds to pay various games and sports.

The samosas and laddoos provided by the school kitchen tasted fabulous and the children gulped down the goodies being ravenous after the games and songs on the bus ride to the venue.  Lunch was one huge spread with children sharing the contents of their lunch-boxes. The pleasant weather and the fresh outdoor environment made the food even yummier and soon the mountain of food disappeared under the onslaught of hungry youngsters. All those thrilling rides and the running around had roused their appetite and also made them a wee bit tired.

The bus ride back to the school was as enjoyable as the journey in the morning with students dancing and singing enthusiastically. However, the ride back was tinged with regret at the prospect of a perfectly splendid day drawing to a close. They took back to their homes treasured memories, memories that would see them through the routine of academic life and bring a smile to their lips whenever they recalled their picnic at the Ajwa Fun World.
Picnic to Isha Upwan
  Classes V and VI went for a picnic to Isha Upwan on November 16, 2013. About 250 students, accompanied by 8 teachers, set off on 6 buses for the picnic site.

Isha Upwan is a big garden with lots of greenery all around. Breakfast was served soon after arrival at 9.15 a.m. and then students dispersed to enjoy the different activities like rock climbing, bridge crossing, web climbing, balancing on the rope etc. Some of the children preferred to take advantage of the huge playground and played various games, enjoying themselves immensely in the pleasantly cool weather. The picnic also featured an ‘Educational Magic Show’ specially organized for the students. The wonderful tricks were all based on sound scientific principles and so the show was all the more interesting for the children.

More fun and games followed after lunch and everyone was reluctant to board the buses when it was time to return as no one wanted the wonderful day to end.
A Day at Vananchal Resort
  November 16, 2013 is a day etched in the memories of the students of classes XI and XII for it was the day of our picnic at the picturesque Vananchal Resort. As the resort was quite some distance away from Vadodara, we reported to school early at 6.55 a.m. and set off as soon as all students had boarded the 3 buses that had been earmarked for us. As always, the bus ride to our destination was hugely enjoyable as we sang, danced and chatted on the way. The unending supply of chips and other munchies that we had brought along just added to the fun and made the journey one of the highlights of the day.

We reached the picnic spot after about one and a half hours and the resort more than lived up to our expectations. Vananchal is an eco-resort and is ringed with hills all around. The presence of many signboards warning about the presence of wild animals in the forest outside the boundary wall added to the feeling of thrill and adventure. We were also greatly excited to see the various activities on offer - a trampoline, Rope Bridge, tire swings, web climbing, Zip Line, playgrounds etc. We were provided light snacks and then allowed to enjoy ourselves in whatever manner we might choose to do so. Soon games of cricket, football and volleyball commenced in various corners of the resort while some children went for an exploratory tour of the premises. A few lazy ones opted for comfort and chose to sit around chatting in the cool comfort of the many shady seats by the poolside. Lunch was a fun-filled affair with lunch-box contents being shared by all. The result was a lavish gastronomic spread that really upped the fun quotient. 

However, like all good things, our picnic too came to an end when we had to leave the resort at 3.30 p.m. Vananchal is about a kilometer and a half from the main road and the walk to and from the resort is very enjoyable since the path passes through a village and thus affords a glimpse of rural life. We were surprised to see many little kids greeting us in English and asking for chocolates and other goodies.

Tired but happy, we were comparatively less boisterous on the ride back to the school and spent the time discussing possible venues for next year’s picnic. It was indeed one picnic that we will always cherish as a wonderful memory – especially our seniors for whom it was the last picnic of their school life.

Suchitra Kini

Classes I to IV – Kamati Baug
Classes V & VI – Isha Upavan
Classes VII & VIII -  Ajwa Fun World
Classes IX & X - Reparian Resort
Classes XI&XII – Vananchal Resort
Medical College
Students of std V went for a field trip to "MEDICAL COLLEGE" on 22 August. They visited the anatomy department and learnt about the various parts of the human body. The trip was extremely informative as the lecturers showed them the important organs and described them in detail. It was an extremely interactive session with curious students posing numerous questions related to human anatomy.
Eco Awareness Exhibition
Students of class VI visited an eco awareness exhibition related to the Wild Life of Kutch on 29 June at Kirti Mandir. The exhibition was organised by the Lions Club of Baroda wherein photographs taken by Shri Jugal Tiwari, an acclaimed photographer, environmentalist and eco-tourism expert, were exhibited. The objective of the exhibition was to make the children aware of the flora and fauna of the Kutch region. Besides, it also intended to encourage children to take responsibility of all the waste that is created in order to conserve the unique bio-diversity of the region. A signature campaign was held and pollution control guidelines and waste management tips were also discussed by the students. In the end, the students took a vow to conserve the environment.
A field trip was arranged to Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. (GSFC) for the students of class VII in order to create awareness regarding new techniques in reproduction of plants. The trip also enhanced their understanding about Artificial Vegetative Propagation. Students visited the nursery and the ‘Tissue Township’ and were also given information regarding the method of producing Nitrogen fixing bacteria. The field trip proved to be not only informative but also provided a welcome break from the routine of regular classroom learning.
MArathon with PT USHA
Olympian PT Usha ran on city roads on 22 September with eminent citizens and sportspersons in the citizens’ run organized by Vadodara Marathon. I was part of this run entitled ‘Bhag Vadodara Bhag’ and had the privilege of running with her and also shook hands with her. Throughout the route people shook hands with her and photographed her. The great athlete, called the ‘Queen of Indian Track and Field’, readily interacted with all the people who came to greet her. Truly, a wonderful experience!

Shlok Tilokani V A
Visit to GEAR Innovative International School
We got an opportunity to visit GEAR Innovative International School, a world-class trendsetter in school education, while we were in Bangalore to take part in the Amateur Scientist 2013 national level science festival. On our arrival at the school, the Vice-Principal Mrs. Srinivasan gave us a warm welcome. We commenced our tour with a visit to the Pre-Primary, or what they call the Montessori, section. The classes were termed ‘Environments’ with each Environment being divided into different sections based on the different activities focussed on therein. So, while one section is devoted to activities related to daily life like chopping, clipping clothes etc., the second develops the five senses by teaching identification of
  colours, differentiating between rough and smooth surfaces, etc. Students share their feelings, views and opinions during Circle Time. Right from the Montessori to the Grade 4, there are no chairs or benches for students as they are grouped differently for different activities. Instead, ‘daris’ and low desks comprise classroom furniture with students not wearing shoes inside classrooms.  Most interestingly, students are not assigned any homework. The curriculum is designed on the basis of Multiple Intellligence so as to identify and develop the innate gifts and emerging talents of every student. The school was celebrating Onam on the day of our visit and so it had been done up with rangolis made up of flowers. We were served delicious kheer and were made to feel as one of them.

The visit proved to be educative as we got to experience a new pattern of education that believes in simplicity and relates learning to life.

Dhwani Sheth X A
Drashti Khanvilkar X A
Ishan Sharma XI A
An ‘Enlightening’ Experience
  On 2 September, the students of Class III to IX were taken to INOX theatre to view the film, ‘Swami Vivekananda – The Light.’

As a biopic, the movie sent across a strong message – work selflessly and think of the benefit of others; place others’ priorities before your own. Various incidents from Swami Vivekananda’s life were highlighted to show how they shaped his thinking and personality.

All students watched the movie with rapt attention, gaining valuable insights in to the great philosopher-saint’s life, ideals and beliefs.

The city of cities – Delhi
The city of cities – our beautiful capital DELHI!   We, the students of classes VII and VIII, were taken there for our annual study tour from 6 to 10 September and the visit proved to be a fascinating blend of heritage, royalty, culture, scrumptious food and governance.

Famous for its many monuments, we visited Delhi’s Akshardham Temple, the Baha’i house of worship, i.e. the serene Lotus Temple, the magnificent Humayun’s tomb, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar and  Red Fort, the solemn memorials at India Gate, Raajghat and Shakti Sthal, and, finally, the Parliament and imposing Rastrapati Bhavan campus in ‘Sarkari Dilli’.
Famous for its many monuments, we visited Delhi’s Akshardham Temple, the Baha’i house of worship, i.e. the serene Lotus Temple, the magnificent Humayun’s tomb, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar and  Red Fort, the solemn memorials at India Gate, Raajghat and Shakti Sthal, and, finally, the Parliament and imposing Rastrapati Bhavan campus in ‘Sarkari Dilli’.

We found old Delhi to be somewhat dirty, crowed and overwhelming as we walked through its narrow, crowded streets. New Delhi was a study in contrast as it offered us a glimpse into the life of a mega-metro. We found travelling on the wide, unsoiled, green, canopied streets of New Delhi to be quite exciting and satisfying after our experience in the old city. The icing on the cake was of course the ride on the metro rail followed by shopping at Saket Mall!

We thus had a great time exploring the Capital region. Truly, there are cities within the city of Delhi with the ancient and contemporary, the political and cultural, the spiritual and commercial, all co-existing harmoniously to make it a vibrant city of diversities.

The journey back was literally unacceptable as we were unwilling to get back to our tiresome, tedious schedule once again!!!
Anamika Chaudhuri
Tour to Kutch
On the morning of 8th August, students of classes IX and X set-off on their educational tour to Kutch. About 150 students, accompanied by their teacher incharges, embarked from the School premises on the 10-hour road journey to Bhuj. On arrival there, the group proceeded to the Bhujia Dungar on which stands the ruin of a 15th century fort.  They proceeded next to the Hill Garden which features a big aquarium with its star attraction being a Blue Whale skeleton.

Next day, the tour included a visit to the Swaminarayan temple, then to the Chattardi (a 700 years old heritage site), followed by a visit to the Ramkund stepwell constructed in such a way that the first rays of the sun fall on it.
The students then went on to visit the scenic beauty of Kala Dungar. From there, the Indo-Pak border can be easily viewed too. The eventful day rounded off with an informative visit to two Bromine industries.

On the third day, the group started for the port town of Mandvi. En-route, the students had an interaction with weavers who were masters in the traditional art of block-printing.  They also visited the Hiralakshmi Memorial Craft hub in Bhujadi. The Vijay Vilas Palace was truly awe-inspiring and was followed by fun times on the famous Mandvi beach.

On the last day, the group visited the Aina and Parag Mahal and later departed for Vadodara via Anjar so as to take in the tombs of the two epic lovers, Jesal and Toral.  The memorable trip finally concluded with the bus reaching Vadodara at 7.30 pm in the evening.

Enthralling Pune-Lonavala Tour
7th to 11th August was the period scheduled for the very exciting tour to Pune and Lonavala for classes XI and XII. The senior-most students had made up their minds to leave behind the stress of the ever- threatening bogey of Board Examinations and enjoy themselves to the fullest. The students, accompanied by teachers, boarded the train to Mumbai Central on the night of 7th August and reached there in the early hours of the next morning.  From there, they travelled by chartered buses to their destination - Pune. The ribbon-like twists and turns of the road, making its through a verdant green landscape, made for a breathtaking experience. It was nature at her most beautiful – gushing waterfalls, winding rivers, misty forests and cloud-covered hills.

On reaching the resort, they rested briefly before freshening up to set-off for the Symbiosis University campus. The sprawling environs of the renowned institution was truly awe-inspiring and more than lived up to its reputation. The highlight of the visit was the lecture delivered by two eminent professors followed by a lively interactive session in which they addressed the queries of students related to the various courses offered by the University. A scrumptious buffet was followed by an outing to the Film Museum within the city premises. Another lavish spread at dinner rounded-off the informative yet enjoyable day. The next morning began on a thrilling note for ‘Imagica’ was planned for the day. The theme park, spread over a mind-boggling 200 acres, features games based on the Arabian Nights and various fairy-tales. The feel, spectacle and excitement is an indescribably thrilling experience and simply leaves one hankering for more!

The following day was reserved for the trip to the Lonavala and Khandala hills. A rather long ride was made memorable by many large and small waterfalls gurgling down the rocky terrain. The 200 odd steps up the stony pathway to the Karla Caves had everyone panting and gasping but the exhaustion evaporated at the sight of the 1st century Buddhist stupa and the writings in the ancient Brahmi script within the cave. The waterfall gushing over the cave entrance was an extra bonus for viewing the caves in the monsoon. The visual delight offered by the expanse of the rain drenched, magnificent ghats of Khandala was enhanced by little cups of hot, sweetened tea and piping hot roasted corn.

The journey back to Mumbai Central via Lonavala was a low-key affair with everyone being aware that it was the last leg of the fantastic tour. For the class XII students, it was even more poignant because it would be their last trip from school. Even the delicious chikis could not lift the mood of the students as the realization dawned that their ‘time-out’ was drawing to a close and the monotonous routine of reality was close at hand.