“THE REAL INDIA” Summer in India VisakhapatnamSummer II, 2019 (July 7 - August 16, 2019)This program is based in Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag), the largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh located on the Bay of Bengal coast roughly half way between Chennai and Kolkata. A smaller city by Indian standards (about 2 million people) and generally off the tourist beaten path, Vizag offers an opportunity for students to live in and learn about India in an in depth and casual manner. Students will explore and study cultural, historical, and religious sites located in the vicinity of Vizag (see below) and have opportunities for undergraduate research, independent study, and/or community/service learning. Housing and food will be provided for in the quiet community of Lawson’s Bay, located near the oceanfront and Kailasagiri, a mountain with a cable car! The program coordinator is Dr. Peter Schmitthenner, a specialist in modern Indian history who has lived in India for over 20 years. Local arrangements will be coordinated by M.V. Krishnayya, retired Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Andhra University, who has worked with American students and scholars for about 50 years!Excursions
- Tour or the city of Visakhapatnam (Vizag), where the program is based.
- Visit to Simhachalam, a famous Hindu temple and pilgrimage center, located in the hills nearby Vizag.
- Tour of Bheemunipatanam (or Bhimilipatnam), a coastal town near Vizag which contains remnants of a Dutch settlement dating to the 17th century.
- Visit to Aruku Valley. A popular tourist destination in the hills about 60 miles north of Vizag. It is home to indigenous peoples (advasis).
- Tours of Vizianagram and Bobbili, towns about 30-40 miles from Vizag which were once part of an independent princely state (under British rule), whose rulers were great patrons of the arts and literature. Bobbili is the site of a famous battle between the British and French during the 18th century, which is the subject a popular folk performance.
- Tours of Rajahmundry, the Godavari River, and Machilipatnam. Rajahmundry, located at the head of the Godavari River delta about 120 miles southwest of Vizag, is an important Hindu pilgrimage destination and is known as an important center of Telugu literature and culture. The tour includes a boat trip up the Godavari River, the largest river in south India. Machilipatnam, located about 100 miles southwest of Rajahmundy, was once a thriving port city (under the British East India Company) and is famous for its colorful block-printed textiles (kalamkari).