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Understanding India: Around the Coffee Plantation

A few days into the trip we ventured into the coffee plantations. Wild elephants kept meandering through the coffee plantations looking for sustenance they could not find in the forests. We traveled here specifically for these wild elephants, trying to determine why they came into the plantations, how farmers deal with the costly invasion of a troupe of elephants, what the government does to assist farmers, and if there were any solutions to keep them at bay. Coffee normally is not appealing to me, but I found myself at every sitting throwing back a small cup of richly flavored...

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UNDERSTANDING INDIA: RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY

It was like a scene from Jurassic Park. Our group piled into a boat with bench seats and a canopy, each of us accessorized with some combination of cameras, tripods, monopods, go pros and life vests. One man rowed us in between small islands, all occupied by exotic and unusual birds. Crocodiles sunbathed on giant, half submerged stones, and bats swung lazily from tree branches. At one point our boat captain, rower, and steerer saddled us up right next to a mother crocodile resting on one of the stones. Everyone in the boat shifted, avoiding the edge where surely...

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UNDERSTANDING INDIA: MYSORE PALACE

From 1399 to 1974 Maharajas lived in Mysore Palace. Featuring unique architecture, sprawling lawns and eight different temples, the palace is often referred to as a fort. The current palace is actually the fourth to be built at this location, the previous structure was burned down in 1897. The other iterations of the Mysore palace were destroyed by lightning strike, political upheaval, demolition, and finally disrepair leading to a fire. Before entering the palace we had to remove our shoes and stow our cameras. No photos inside the historic palace! I was funneled through the entrance crowded by sarees,...

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Understanding India: Chennakesava Temple

The Chennakesava Temple (ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನಕೇಶವ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ) is a dead temple. People no longer visit this temple with the intention of worshipping, so instead it functions as a museum. The temple is dead because it has sustained damaged. Several carvings have been chipped and a variety of invaders (the British, vandals) have removed full sculptures from the site. The temple was carved from soapstone, and the earliest inscriptions date back to 1117 AD. According to our guide, soapstone takes 60 to 100 years to fully harden. The softness of young stone allows for intricate detailing while carving. The temple itself...

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U.S. Embassy India Praises CLIC Abroad

Recently the U.S. Embassy India on Facebook offered praise to CLIC Abroad for bridging students in America to India. See a screenshot of the post below or click this link to see it on Facebook so you can like it too! Using photography, CLIC Abroad pairs Indian & American youth for mentoring projects, entrepreneurship & to foster int’l… Posted by U.S. Embassy India on Monday, June 22,...

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Resolving India’s human-elephant conflict

CLIC Abroad members Tom Grant, Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and founding member Bhaskar Krishnamurthy are working to better understand the elephant human conflict in India. They will present what they have so far discovered in Sweden before the World Environmental Education Congress. Below is the presentation abstract and video further detailing what the human elephant conflict entails and how it is                                                          currently being handled. Abstract WEEC 150604-1520 5....

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Understanding India: Infosys

    We were guests for a few nights at the Infosys campus in Mysore. Infosys is a technology campus that trains employees, but it feels more like a normal college. At any time of day I would see young men and women walk together with their backpacks bouncing around as they head to class or to their dorm, all with ID cards hanging around their necks.     We got rooms to ourselves and air conditioning and wifi. I watched Cartoon Network in Hindi and birds perch on the bars of my open window. Everyday we ate on...

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Understanding India: Bangalore

    While exploring the city streets of Bangalore on our first full day in India we managed to strike up a conversation with locals. An easy thing to do really – not only is everyone curious about white people, but most people have an inherent kindness in them. A man sitting on a moped with his grandson asked me what I was studying in college. It took me a moment to understand his question. I was still navigating English with an Indian accent something similar to wading through choppy ocean waters.  I brace myself through every word.  ...

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Understanding India: The Arrival

In May 2015 several students journeyed with CLIC abroad to learn about and experience India. This is one student’s perspective of the trip. Above is my first journal entry in India along with our first sights. Going back in time through photos and journal entries will be a whole other trip in itself. But I want to share this with you – a reminder that the world is big, weird place worth seeing and...

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