During last week’s back-to-back episodes, the seven remaining teams, including yours truly, traveled to Berlin, Germany and Almaty, Kazakhstan where we competed in a death-defying heights challenge, performed an intense stunt routine and decorated yurts in the frozen tundra of a Nomad Village. Despite our Trabant troubles in Berlin, we survived both legs and landed our third, first place finish this season at First President park in Almaty. Our biggest threat in the competition, Leo and Alana, were thrown a curveball when southern sisters, Haley & Kaylynn used their 20-minute yield, ultimately eliminating them from the race.
Only six teams remain heading into tonight’s episodes, as we travel to Hyderabad, India for the first-ever MEGALEG in the history of The Amazing Race -- double the Detours, double the Roadblocks and double the distance… what could go wrong?! If you haven’t caught up on this season, be sure to watch previous episodes on CBS All Access then tune in TONIGHT for two hours of adventure starting at 8pm/7c on CBS.
Hyderabad (above) is the sixth most populous city in India and is considered the cyber capital of the country. Telugu and Urdu are the two official languages of the city however English is also widely spoken and considered to be a secondary official language. This cyber city has established economic zones that have encouraged multinationals to set up operations in information technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. Much to our food-loving excitement, the city of Hyderabad is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site of gastronomy for its exquisite cuisine. Historical tourist sites abound in Hyderabad and some of them will be making an appearance in the upcoming MEGALEG of The Amazing Race. With all of this information and the massive population size within the city, there is no telling what will happen in India.
The moment we stepped off the plane, we were thrown into the busy streets of Hyderabad.
We teamed up with a Pollution Control Technician to perform three routine smog tests on auto rickshaws. It’s said that this city is home to over five million vehicles which is why we immediately felt the hustle and bustle of this city, something very different from anything we had experienced on the race so far.
Cars, buses, auto rickshaws, motorcycles, and trucks were all sharing the road in what seemed to be constant, organized chaos which made it challenging to perform this particular task. Check out this sneak peek to watch this chaotic, traffic ridden challenge:
As we mentioned, Hyderabad is filled with historical sites like the ornate Qutb Shahi Tombs which was the location for the first Roadblock of the MEGALEG. This site contains the tomb of Hyderabad’s founder and fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shahi.
His tomb is part of a massive 16th century necropolis that houses other structures all from the Qutb Shahi dynasty.
Check out this exclusive sneak peek for OutTraveler, as James competes in a Roadblock using augmented reality to successfully locate three distinctive turbans and correctly match them with the right location.
Another historical landmark we were able to visit was the Charminar mosque, known globally as a symbol of Hyderabad and as one of the most recognized structures in India. Constructed in 1951, this monument and surrounding bazaar served as the backdrop for one of the Detours during the MEGALEG. We couldn't help but take this moment of the race to soak up our surroundings, including the amazing locals who wanted us to succeed in the tasks we had in front of us.
Last but not least, we can’t conclude this travelogue without mentioning “the jewel amongst the clouds”, Taj Falaknuma.
This magnificent palace, now a hotel (above), was built in 1891 by Nawab Sir Viqar-ul-Umra. Falaknuma overlooks the entire city of Hyderabad and fittingly served as the location for the final task of the leg. Beginning this leg by conducting smog checks on auto rickshaws and ending this leg at a palace goes to show how incredibly diverse and full of adventure this leg of the race was for all the teams.
Our experience in India was fantastic even if we were excruciatingly tired by the end of the leg. From the technological and cultural challenges to royal experiences that culminated at Falaknuma Palace, we will never forget everything we were able to see and do.
Can Haley and Kaylynn climb the ranks in India? Will the alliances begin to crumble? Be sure to watch two all-new episodes of The Amazing Race in Hyderabad, India, for the first-ever Megaleg TONIGHT at 8pm/7c on CBS.