A Diamond shaped country full of diamonds
India’s official title is Republic of India. It consists of twenty-nine states. The two states that the three major cities I visited were in the states of Telangana (Hyderabad) and Andhra Pradesh (Nandyal and Vizag). India received its name from the Indus River that runs along its northwest border.
India was the first country to recognize and mine diamonds.
Many famous diamonds have come from India.
Diamonds such as;
Noor-ol-ein diamond - pink
Sancy diamond - yellow diamond
India’s most prized diamonds
From the Golconda mines in Hyderabad;
Princie diamond - pink
Archduke Joseph diamond - intense pink
Shah diamond - yellowish
Darya-I-Nur the largest pale pink diamond
Koh-I-noor - colorless diamond largest cut diamond
Hope diamond - grayish-blue diamond
Regent diamond - colorless - last diamond take from India
Wittelsbach diamond - blue
Nassak diamond - blue
National Bird Of India
The national bird of India is the peacock. They have made a dramatic display in which they display their diamonds known as the Peacock throne.
I visited three major cities while in India; Hyderabad, Nandyal, and Visakhapatnam or nickname Vizag.
Hyderabad known as the City of Pearls because historically it was known as the trade center for pearls and diamonds. This city holds the famed diamond mine of Golconda. I flew into Hyderabad and spent a couple of days getting acclimated to the city and the climate before visiting surrounding villages. Hyderabad’s terrain is hilly and located near the Musi River. The year I visited the Musi River had flooded for the first time in 100 years leaving many homeless and dead. Many of the vineyards and gardens were also destroyed leaving many starving. I visited a flooded vineyard and as I walked the bank I saw a tibia bone, part of a vertebra and a human rib bone. The owner of the vineyard said that there had been a graveyard up river and the graveyard had emptied into their vineyard. It will take many months for them to clear the land and plant again. Many of the people buried in the graveyard will never be buried again.
I had the opportunity to visit the archeology dig and sight/sound show at Golconda. It is also known as Golkonda or Golla konda. Golconda is forts that reside over the now depleted diamond mine. Golconda means “shepherd’s hill.” It is located west of the city Hyderabad. It is four forts build on a granite hill that stands 400 feet high. The main entrance is the Bala Issar Gate which is located on the east side. The dome at Bala Issar reverberates and a hand clap can be heard a little over a mile away. This was the method used to notify the king when there were visitors. The architecture is Hindu - Muslim. The sight and sound show is shown at dusk and takes you through the history of Golconda. This is must do if you visit Hyderabad, India.
One hundred and eighty four miles to the south of Hyderabad is the city of Nandyal. The trip from Hyderabad to Nandyal is usually four hours or so. We left Hyderabad with a bad spare tire and finding tubes or tires for our type vehicle was complicated. The four hour trip, included many hours sitting beside the road, as the driver walked to the nearest town to find a place for the repairs. This happened twice on this trip making it twelve hours long. Nandyal is in a dense forest near the river Kundu. Granite is mined in this city. This is the center point of the nine Nandi temples or temple of Lord Siva. This city is primarily a Hindu city.
Sanjeev Regency in Nandyal, India
We stayed in the Sanjeev Regency near R.T.C. Bus-Stan in Nandyal. The rooms were 350 to 900 rupees a night this included a/c. The hotel provided breakfast and the recommended food was Idili and Chutney. Idili is made from the Basmati rice, mixed with red parboiled rice, and flattened poha. It is fermented, cooked and served with Chutney or other foods. I thought I liked rice and this sounded like a good choice, the hotel personnel said it was very healthy. I had a quick education on rice that morning. It became apparent that I did not know very much about rice. I do not enjoy fermented foods. I had several more serving of different kinds of rice on my trip. I have a lot more to learn about rice.
Night Train to Vizag
It was a night train to Visakhapatnam or Vizak. The train took us seven and half hours and four hundred and seven miles to the east. Vizag is nestled between the Eastern Ghats mountain range and the Bay of Bengal. This city is called the Jewel of the East Coast. This city was occupied by Great Britain for years. This city is primarily influenced by Buddhism.
Bay of Bengal
Vizag is located on the Bay of Bengal. This bay is the largest bay in the world. It is located in the northeast part of India. It is a salt water bay. This bay is strategically crucial for India. Some of the biggest ports in the world are in the Bay of Bengal. I visited the Hindustan Shipyards. The smell turned my stomach, so I did not really enjoy what I was seeing during my visit.
East Indian Trading Company
This city and bay have a very colorful history for they were once the trading center for both the British and French East Indian Trading Company. This is also the area that Marco Polo visited. I visited a cemetery that had many British and French people who made that one way trip to India to trade spices with the Indians.
On the road in India
I made a trip to a store that sold pearls. Some precious salt water pearls were strung while we waited. I wore Saris and bought one to bring home. India is a colorful and intriguing place to visit.
A red light in India does not mean stop. It means I pause until the intersection clears. There is a mass amount of people in India and moving them safely about is an awesome task. One of the area they have chosen to relieve some pressure is allowing the pause not the stop. Of course, they will come to a dead stop and wait a whole red, yellow or green light for a cow.
The one thing I remember the most is how the Indian women would balance on a motorcycle while riding side saddle. I admire their ability to do this for to keep the motorcycle balanced, to stay on, keep from getting burned on the exhaust pipes and holding packages is quite an accomplishment.
Final thoughts on my visit to India
India is on the cutting edge of technology. Its fastest growing industry is software for computers. The price of a 8G flash drive was about $15.00 when I visited. I had the opportunity to visit a school science fair while I was in the country. Their science projects dealt with issues of clean air, clean streets, technology, but nothing on how to clean up their water. People are dying because they do not have clean water or just water period.