VARANASI: Everything has its own place in the ancient city of Varanasi. Students here enjoy both work and play. The Ramnagar ka Quila is a favourite with the students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). “One had to cross a Tankiwallah Bridge over the Ganges to get there. There is a Vishawanth Temple on campus,” says BHU alum Rohit Singh Dangi. Everything from enjoying the Banarasi aloo bhujia and paan to spending long hours by the banks of the river Ganga, “It was so much a part of our lives,” says Dangi. The city of narrow gallis is also known for its nightmarish traffic as well as its Holi celebrations
HYDERABAD: It’s not just the forts, monuments and museums that enchant people visiting this historic city. Many youngsters come here for higher studies from within India as well as outside. While you get your fill of history by visiting the Golconda Fort, the Charminar and other popular destinations, you could consider many institutions for a degree. These include University of Hyderabad, IIIT Hyderabad, English and Foreign Language University, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and IIT Hyderabad. Lunliansam Vaiphei travelled all the way from Manipur to get an education here
BENGALURU: Other than g­iving you a chance to keep your fingers on the pulse of the IT industry, this city gives you ample options to pursue higher studies too. Some of the ­popular ­institutions include IIM Bangalore, Indian Institute of Science, National Law School of India University and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. “The weather here is awesome 24X7. The pub scene is amazing. People are educated, nice - from your teachers to the mochi fixing your shoes - everyone treats you with respect,” says Ankita Saha came from Delhi to study here
KOLKATA: For Gaurav Mishra, who was born in Jharkhand, did his schooling from Delhi and is now studying at Presidency College in Kolkata, “Kolkata is a better city than Delhi.” Besides the art, culture and film scence immensely popular here, places that one can visit are Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, Eden Garden and Park Street. Students flock to the city to pursue their higher education from institutions such as University of Kolkata, Jadavpur University and IIM Calcutta. “As far as Kolkata as a city is concerned, it is cheaper than Delhi and people are quite friendly and helpful,” says Mishra
CHENNAI: This city is prominent not just for its politics, food, culture and films, but also for its beaches and temples. It does not have a rocking campus scene like certain other cities up north or in the west, but its institutions are known for many different things such as dress codes, discipline and remedial classes or training for students. Major institutions here include Loyola College, Ethiraj College, Stella Maris College and IIT Madras. According to Tom Benny Augustine, a final-year student at Loyola College, “Some of the things that one must do is to grab some quick lessons in Tamil and visit the East Coast Road and Marina ­beaches”
CHANDIGARH: This first planned city in India post independence is home to many good educational institutions such as DAV College, Government College for Girls, and Government College for Men, that are affiliated to Panjab University. It is also known for its Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. “Besides regular studies, we have a lot of societies for academic and cultural activities,” says Piyush Sharma, a student of DAV College who recommends Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden and Botanical Garden to newcomers
MUMBAI: This city of dreams attracts thousands of people from across the country to pursue their ambitions. It’s home to major institutions such as IIT Bombay, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and University of Mumbai. “Mumbai is a vibrant city. It gives you the feel of an international city, exposing us to a multi-cultural environment,” says Priyanka Suneja, an economics student at St Xavier’s College. Places such as Marine Drive, Bandra and Colaba Market are popular among visitors and locals alike
PUNE: College life in this city is what many students look forward to. Paromita Ghosh left her hometown in West Bengal to expand her horizon. Two years of staying in Pune “has made me grow up as an indevidual,” says this University of Pune student.