Tag Archives: Maharashtra

#100Days Photo 14: Kashid Beach, Alibag, Maharashtra, West India

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Bordered by the Arabian Sea, Kashid Beach is a popular destination, especially from weekend escapists of Mumbai. It’s about 3 hours from Mumbai, with more than 90kms of plains, mountains and valleys to be seen along the way. Apart from the beach, Alibag is also popular for its forts and some temples. It’s kind of a hillside or hilly area so the weather is cold and quite nice. We went there on July 2012 (my good friend Sravan from CS invited me to their company team thing) and it was awesome! Kashid beach itself is nice enough, especially when you’re looking forward to some playtime with the waves. Be warned, however, that you might need a massage session after! The photo I chose for Kashid beach is actually one of the most photographed scenes and very recognizable to Indian travelers and nature trippers. If you want to see more photos and read more about our playtime at Kashid beach, visit my blog on living in India. 🙂 >

FotoFolio: Virtual Tour of Prince of Wales Museum (aka Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya)

Last night, I went down memory lane as I tried to find some pictures from my volunteer life in India and among the thousands I have to check, I saw pictures from the Prince of Wales Museum, officially known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.

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I’ve seen the Prince of Wales Museum several times during my touristy trips to Colaba (aka South Bombay) area. But I never went inside. So one fine day, I checked with my friend, Leah who’s a couchsurfer from Canada, and since she also hasn’t been (you know that thing about places being close but never go to?) we both decided to learn more about Indian history, culture and the arts!

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And since we held residency cards, and perhaps with some of the Hindi we managed to learn, we only paid Rs 50 to get in instead of 300. There’s a camera fee though. As it’s cheaper, I got the rate for the iPod/mobile phone (can’t remember the exact price) instead of my camera. Results are still ok, though might have been more spectacular if I had a better gear. Oh well, that’s done. What’s left now to do is to share the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya with you. Enjoy your photography-based virtual tour! Continue reading FotoFolio: Virtual Tour of Prince of Wales Museum (aka Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya)

My 25th Year in Travel

Yep, today is a personal post. I mean, of course, everything I share with you on this travel blog is from my personal experience but this one is different. It’s my birthday blog post! Today, I turn 26 and to commemorate the completion of my quarter life (assuming of course that I live to 100 years), I would like to share with you my 25th year in travel.

My 25th in Travel - Birthday Celeb at YUVA
Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra – 25th Birthday Celebration with YUVA Staff and Volunteers

Continue reading My 25th Year in Travel

FotoFolio: Walking Tour of South Bombay (Images of Colonial Mumbai)

I miss Mumbai. There, I said it. I lived in Navi Mumbai (New Bombay, totally different twin city) and I would go to South Bombay (aka SoBo) whenever me and my friends  would go out for dinner and drinks. Why SoBo and not in Bandra, the party/gimik capital of Mumbai? I think it’s mainly because it is more accessible and hanging out in Colaba has a more chill vibe. Not to mention, I personally find South Mumbai more pleasant to walk through, with more character and history than the upscale Bandra area.

FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Gateway of India and Taj Hotel
The Gateway of India and The Taj Hotel

Needless to say, South Bombay and Colaba is also the most touristy. But hey, when you live in the city, you don’t really mind the mix of the local and foreign crowd. You enjoy it. People-watching and all. Being a foreigner myself, though I am not as tourist as the newly-arrived ones anymore, I always find something new to discover in Mumbai.

Anyway, I am not in a talking (writing) mood much today. Unless I want to end up too nostalgic to function. Haha. Therefore, I would jus want to share with you the images of Colonial Mumbai. I always call South Bombay the British area, primarily because the structures you would see closely resemble what you would find in London. I think (as referenced to movies and TV series).

I’ve included here a series of photographs, showing these British colonial structures. I tried my best to put them in the walking order, although my memory might be messed up already since there were some turns during these several walkthrough of South Mumbai.

FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST, formerly known as Victoria Terminus) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main railway terminal for local and inter-state trains
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - BMC
Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) serves as the City Hall (sosyal!). It’s on the left side if facing CST
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Unidentified Building
I can’t be sure if this is still part of CST but it is behind the CST facade area
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Unidentified Buildings
These colonial buildings house modern establishments and banks
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Sculpture
Several unidentified sculptures form part of one building’s foundations
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Churchgate Area
I am not sure if this is the Churchgate Railway Station. If it isn’t, then it must be the building across the road
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Hutatma Chowk
Hutatma Chowk (Martyr’s Square) is found at the center of South Bombay. Easily accessible from Churchgate Station
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Hutatma Chowk - Martyrs
The Hutatma Chowk memorial, as far as I have heard, was to commemorate the lives of the martyrs during the Maharashtra and Gujarat separation (correct me if I’m wrong!)
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Hutatma Chowk - Flora Fountain
Flora Fountain, built in 1864, is one of the most photographed landmarks in South Bombay. Sorry, no more water flowing through. 😦
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - University of Mumbai
University of Mumbai (Fort Campus) was established in 1857. It’s mong the oldest universities in India
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Rajabai Clock Tower
The Rajabai Clock Tower, completed in 1878, is called Little Ben as it was patterned to the Big Ben in London
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - David Sassoon Library
David Sassoon Library, built in 1870, is another main landmark in the Kala Ghoda area. I never entered the library.
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Prince of Wales Museum
The Prince of Wales Museum (officially renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) houses artifacts, sculptures, painting, china and other art collections. I think it’s under the patronage of the Tatas. (Entry Rs 300 for foreigners, Rs 50 for Indians. Camera fees apply)
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Colaba Crossing
I don’t know who the statue is for or what is the building. But I’m sure this is after the museum and towards the Colaba area
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Gateway of India
The Gateway of India (not to be confused with the India Gate in New Delhi). Built from 1911 (primarily to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary) to 1914, the Gateway of India is perhaps the most visited and photographed monument in Mumbai. The boats leaving for Elephanta Island is found at the back of the Gateway of India.
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Taj Mahal Hotel and Arabian Sea
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Tower is on the left of the Gateway of India if arriving by boat. It is said to be the or one of the most expensive hotels in Mumbai.

I hope you enjoyed these virtual walking tour of South Bombay. Maybe you’ll get to walk through Colonial Mumbai someday too! I’ve heard several mixed reviews of being a tourist in Mumbai. Admittedly, the city can be unnerving and overwhelming but hey, give it more than a day or two and surely, you’ll get to know and feel it’s vibe too. If you need a walking guide (especially for couchsurfers), let me know and I might introduce you to a friend or two who may be able to show you around Colaba, South Mumbai and the rest of the city!

FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Taj Hotel Dome and Arabian Sea
The illuminated dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel and the waterfront (Arabian Sea)

FotoFolio: Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Aurangabad

I spent the weekend on top of the world—well, on top of cliffs and mountain-plateaus to have better viewpoints of the Ajanta and Ellora caves, with the Kailash Temple as one of the highlights of my Aurangabad cave exploration!

Kailash Temple
View from the Top: Kailash Temple and its ornate designs and carvings, surrounded by the cliff from which it was made from (see the people climbing up?) and the garden/park

Here’s a basic description of the Kailash Temple, according to Wikipedia: Kailashnath Temple, also Kailash Temple or Kailasanath Temple is a famous temple, one of the 34 monasteries and temples, known collectively as the Ellora Caves, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff in the complex located at Ellora, Maharashtra, India. Of these 34 monasteries and temples, the Kailasa (cave 16) is a remarkable example of Dravidian architecture on account of its striking proportion; elaborate workmanship architectural content and sculptural ornamentation of rock-cut architecture.[1] It is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva.[2] It is a megalith carved out of one single rock. It was built in the 8th century by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I.

Elephant and Pillar at Kailash
View from the left-side terrace (second level): massive elephant rock sculpture, towering pillar, and temple areas containing the Shiva lingam and Nandi (Shiva’s bull), adorned by carvings of deities, celestial nymphs, elephants, lion, dragons (and the mix of three creatures in one!)

And, according to me, the Kailash Temple is a magnificent symbol of millennium-old awesomeness of Indian architecture, religion and culture. The entire complex of Ellora Caves actually! Whenever you are in Aurangabad, a visit to the Ajanta caves (totally different area) and Ellora Caves is a must and marveling at the Kailash Temple is a delight. Now, climbing on top of the high basalt cliff from which the Kailashnath Temple is carved from? That is another experience altogether. If you can do that, you’ll see the Kailash Temple from a different angle and really, maybe you’d feel like Shiva looking over his worshippers!

Intimate Couples at Kailash Temple
If you are observant enough, or not yet overwhelmed by the number of carvings waiting to be admired, you will notice sculptures of couples in intimate scenarios