This post is from Thana, an Iraqi colleague who has shared in several training programs run by Simmons. She is currently in Chennai (formerly called Madras), India on a six-week training program. She writes:
Wednesday, November 19, early morning (4 am) and everybody was awake and ready to go to railway station. It is big station full of passengers, and when the train came we took our seats. The train car had 28 seats and the training group are 27 with Dr. Ravi, our coordinator. I found all seats beside the windows are booked and I felt bad because I wanted to watch out along the way. Lucky for me that Noor al Dien Ibrahim (from Nigeria) give me his seat – he is a nice man who has done so many nice things for group.
After awhile the breakfast was ready and served, and then some of us went to see the view from the train door – that was wonderful for me – wow! The view outside is hard to describe. Green trees all over and we can see mountains from time to time. The fresh air smelled of many kinds of flowers, so I spent the four hours standing this way and not using my seat.
When we reached Bangalore, two buses were waiting to pick us up to go to the hotel. After one hour rest and lunch we went to Informatics India Limited. It is a private institute for digitizing resources – books, journals, with abstracting to articles. 20% of these resources can be used freely and 80% can be used by payment. The database is updated every day with links to other resources. For more information, visit http://www.informindia.co.in
Then we went shopping, after which we went to the ISKON temple, a big temple for Hindu people. We then went back to the hotel more than tired.
The next day we went to visit J.R.D. TATA Memorial Library / Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. It was established in 1911, and this library is regarded as one of the best scientific and technical libraries in India. The library has a collection of 175,000 books & manuals, 186,000 bound volumes of periodicals, 6000 theses & 85,500 reports (there are also CDs, etc.).
The National Bureau of Higher Mathematics has recognized the institute library as the regional center for mathematics for the south region. They use DDC classification and computers are located at various locations mainly to access the OPAC with internet facilities and services. For more information about this library, visit http://www.library.iisc.ernet.in
What I loved in all Indian libraries I visited is that I found librarians who are so cooperative and you feel them love the work they do.
After lunch we went to a park (a big garden) that was very nice with so many old trees (you can find the date of birth for each tree). We enjoyed this place and saw many children come with school trip. We kept saying “Hi” for them and taking photos.
Then we went shopping and in Bangalore you can find so many kinds of souvenirs… At the end of the day, we went back to the hotel to be ready next day for another trip by car to Mysore.
We were ready at 7am for this trip, and the way was green green – we enjoyed it a lot. The first stop was in a big shop on the way for sale of so many wooden souvenirs – I heard Mysore is famous in good kinds of wood (sandal wood) and also for silks. We stopped to visit a temple, and when we reached Mysore went directly to a restaurant for food – Mysore food is delicious.
We next went to a big ZOO…then to the wonderful place called Mysore Palace. It is a maharajah’s home. Wow, it is a place that deserves a visit …the architecture outside & inside is incredible!
Then more wood shopping. Sellers started out by giving big prices, then we keep going in our way so they follow us give us lower prices and then lower until we agree to buy. The things hand made from wood are so nice. I found an expensive nice swing made from wood – ohhh I loved it, but no way to take it to Iraq.
On our way back to Bangalore we stopped in a big garden in Brindavan that was close to a dam. There, they did wonderful shows using colored lights. After the show, we had our dinner and continued our trip to back to Bangalore. We reached hotel at 12 midnight. It was wonderful trip to Mysore.
Next morning we checked out of the rooms, left hotel at 10:30 am to visit the University Industrial & Technological Museum. It is amazing in the way that they display the technology specially for school students, and interesting that made you learn how the sciences developed and that it is full of so many funny things suitable for all ages.
Then we went for lunch to be ready for train travel back to Chennai. We were all feeling sorry to leave Bangalore – it is nice city and we spent wonderful time there and I will not forget it all my life.
Best for everybody,