A trip to Udaipur, the city of lakes, with Grade 8

Field trips serve one vital function as far as education is concerned. Field trips link the classroom experience with the outside world, in so doing they not only improve learning but also give both the learner and educator valued practical experience. Students who have been exposed to many different things do better in school. To think broadly, students need to have a variety of experiences. This particular trip envisioned improving students’ knowledge base grounded in the classroom concerning indigenous tourism.

This year’s field trip for Grade 8 students was organized from 3rd to 7th February 2020 to Udaipur, a place well known for its well-preserved architectural heritage. The Udaipur tour bequeathed the students with a pleasant and exceptional educative and informative experience, which absorbed them into the culture of one of India’s most attractive cities. The students had the chance to explore the natural charm and its hidden treasures. Also, they engaged in its colorful history, starting from its colonial and indigenous beginnings to its current boomtown, filled with culture and tradition. This trip was led by me and 6 other teachers that took 4 and a half days to complete.

On 3rd February 2020, seventy students accompanied by 7 teachers, boarded a flight from Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport for Udaipur, also known as the ‘City of Lakes’. As expected, the ambience was of excitement and enthusiasm. The first lunch of the trip was served en route in a very luxurious resort Udai Bagh. After having a delicious lunch in Hotel Udai Bagh we headed towards Shilpgram also known as an artisan village. The Shilpgram is an ideal place to interact and explore the artistic fervor of the Indian culture. It is a place where history, culture, and heritage are bound together to offer a ravishing image of a glorious Indian past. In this visit, students watched dance performances of tribals from Rajasthan and Gujarat, interacted with locals who were selling their products at Shilpgram. After exploring this small village for an hour and a half we started our journey to the Amargadh resort where we stayed for 4 days.

The next day, the students were excited to go to Molela village (potter’s village) which is popular for terracotta sculptures and Haldighati. At the Molela village, students tried their hands on the hollow votive plaques, which is the most famous artistry. Students learned to wedge and knead the clay by the feet and the hands respectively. Then they laid this clay flat on the ground using water and wooden tools. This then works as the base surface of the sculpture. After preparing clay students cut wet clay into the desired shapes using a stencil. Grade 8 students also attended the morning assembly in the local primary school where they interacted with students and observed the small bird habitat.

In the afternoon, we all departed for Haldighati, a historic place that had witnessed the great battle between the Mughals and Maharana Pratap. The students visited the museum which tells the tale of one of the brave kings of Mewar, Maharana Pratap, and his favorite horse Chetak. The King’s courage, valour and his sacrifices for his state have been beautifully showcased by murals, hand paintings, and a short animated film. The students also witnessed the various aspects of Maharana Pratap’s life through light and sound shows. One couldn’t avoid the goosebumps while listening to the historic battle fought at Rakt Talai. The visit to Haldighati was undoubtedly enriching and informative. To increase collaboration and to encourage creativity we did team building activities in the evening at the resort Amargadh. By the time dinner was served at the hotel, everyone was looking forward to the next day.

Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. On 5th February we visited a lovely city palace. In the city palace, we saw the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The tour guide showed and explained to us the history of the palace. The Udaipur Palace has various towers, domes, and arches, which add to the flavor of the heritage site. Towering on the banks of Pichola Lake, City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes. City Palace is a marvelous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms, and hanging gardens, students did not miss the opportunity to save this beauty in their cameras.

The Udai Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Jaisamand Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, and Rajsamand Lake together make the city an incredible land of beauty and pleasure. Although we did not take a boat ride at Fateh Sagar Lake on Wednesday afternoon we enjoyed and witnessed beauty, pleasure, and fun all in one place.

Even though in the era of Information and Technology access to varied and prompt information available at fingertips, the role of radio not marginalized. Radio is not merely announcers, news and songs, it is about companionship and the emotional connection with the listener. We visited one of the popular radio stations MY 94.3 of Udaipur. At the radio station, students were divided into four small groups where they interacted with RJ Sim and RJ Kavya. RJ’s of the radio station explained to us about the functioning of the radio station, some of our students did mock interviews with them.

On 6th February Saheliyon ki bari (Garden of maids) was scheduled on our list to visit next place. The garden is famous for its lush green lawns, marble art, and fountains. And no other place is better than Saheliyon ki bari to do zen zone. This garden is spread over a wide area, it took 1 hour to enjoy, imbibe and appreciate beautiful spots of the garden. On the very same day, we also visited the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal Museum. This place exhibits an exclusive collection of articles representing the folk culture of Rajasthan. There are ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, rural-dresses, folk deities, folk musical instruments, and paintings. Students enjoyed the live puppet show conducted at the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal Museum.

On 7th February we headed back to Mumbai with a collection of a lot of experience, lovely pictures with friends and a lot of memories to share with the world. The trip was excellent exposure for the students to understand and appreciate the language, culture, traditions, and practices of another state. The students will forever cherish the memories of this trip which enabled them to get acquainted with Udaipur’s rich heritage. Apart from the knowledge, such excursions bring the spirit of camaraderie and friendship to the fore.

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