The Telegraph
Monday , September 1 , 2014
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Trek to tonga, unwind ahead of debut

- Students climb up hill, take horse rides & shop before classes begin today

The first Sunday for Nalanda University students in Rajgir was fun-filled.

The 11 first batch students went up a nearby hill in the morning. Down hill, they enjoyed tonga ride. After shopping in the nearby market, they strolled on streets to unwind on the eve of making debut in classrooms.

The eight students of School of Ecology and Environment Studies and three of School of Historical Studies decided on the breakfast table to go for a trek. To decide on which hill to climb, they walked out of Hotel Tathagat Vihar, the temporary hostel of Nalanda University.

At the first sight of green Viplagiri, a hill bang opposite the hostel, the jury was out. The students unanimously decided to scale it.

Led by Yin Ker, the adjunct assistant professor of School of Historical Studies, the 11 students started the trek. The climb was a comfortable affair for a few. The others gasped reaching the hilltop.

Ngawang, a student of School of Historical Studies, said: “For me, it was an easy affair as I hail from Bhutan, also known as Himalayan kingdom. But the trekking was a tough task for some, especially the girls.”

Akiro, another student of School of Historical Studies from Japan, said: “I, too, did not face any problem in climbing the hill. The trekking made the Sunday exciting.”

After visiting the Jain and Shiva temples on Viplagiri hilltop, they climbed down the hill. On their way down, they decided to enjoy tonga ride, a popular mode of transport in Rajgir. The students enjoyed the horse cart ride on the road in front of Rajgir International Convention Centre, where they would attend their first class on Monday.

After a quick bite in the afternoon, some students went around the town visiting the historical places. Virayatan, a religious site barely 200m from the hostel, was a big draw.

Daniel Machane, a student of Ecology and Environment Studies, said he liked the historic sites around the town. “I visited some of the Jain and Buddhist tourist spots,” he said, while taking a stroll in the evening.

Some students visited the nearby marketplace in the evening. So did associate professor in School of Historical Studies Samuel Wright on Saturday. “The market is small but all essential items are available in the Rajgir market,” he said.

Some varsity officials also used Sunday to unwind. A few visited nearby tourist spots. Some opted for complete rest.

Sridhar V.K., the varsity’s administrative head, spent the Sunday morning in his room reading newspapers. He told The Telegraph: “I took a little rest on Sunday after a busy week. The weekdays ahead will be equally hectic.”