This morning I left 25 degrees and sunny, palm trees, flowers, and fruit that is still good and came back to 12 degrees, cloudy, rainy, no palm trees or flowers.... awesome... One week was definitely not long enough in Hyderabad. The weather was amazing. It was sunny and around 80 all week but it wasn't just the weather. There is something about it that makes it so much different than Delhi. Maybe just because I really needed a change.
I was lucky enough to spend Christmas in Hyderabad with a family friend, Hannah, from the states who is here visiting her family. They were so welcoming and it was a great experience to be a part of an Indian family! Hannah was busy working on her new house but showed me a lot of things around the city. The top picture is of the mosque called Charminar. It is the most popular site in Hyderabad. Charminar is the equivolent of France's Arc de Triomphe. It is located in the center of the city and is surrounded by Bazaars selling a variety of different things. The most famous one is Laad Bazaar. It is a large strip with shops and vendors selling fabric, scarves, bangles, clothes, sarees, shoes, jewelery, and just about anything you could be looking for. Needless to say we spent a while there one afternoon.
Another great thing about Hyderabad was the diversity. There were not many travelers, but it was great to see so many different religious groups in one area. Here in Delhi you really only see Hinduism. Its advertised and all the holidays are celebrated widely but you never really see anything about any other religions. In Hyderabad the Hindu Temples are advertised as well as Mosques, Churches, and every type of ceremony that is happening. There is also a large statue of Buddha (the other picture) in the middle of the lake. It is on a stretch of the road called the Tangbund. There is a mini fair ground on one side with food stands, henna booths, and a book fair and on the other side of the road there are sculptures of great poets, writers, philosophers, and artists.
We were able to go to a Christmas celebration in a park, a pageant on Christmas Eve, and to church on Christmas morning. Hannah also showed me the studio that her brother created and now they run a Christian broadcast station on TV. The whole family is a part of the station. They all help run it and the four sisters all sing and read messages for the program.
I wasn't exactly looking forward to coming back to this weather but it will be good to get back to the kids! It's only been a little over a week and I already miss them. I hope everyone is has a great holiday season and makes the most of the start of a new year!