Friday, March 30, 2007


Mumbai is hot these days. For those of you who are planning to visit - my advice is, stay indoors in the afternoons. That means cold beer, long lunches, and of course, airconditioned shopping. By 4:30 p.m. the heat isn't quite so bad, and you can try walking through the heritage district, or the bazaars, or really, anything that takes your fancy.

If you're planning to go see Elephanta, there are two ways to do it - one is by taking the 2:00 p.m. boat. You'll get to the island at 3:00, when it starts to cool down a bit. There's a twenty minute uphill climb. Fortunately, it is a shady climb with lots of space to sit down and rest, and there are little shops all along the climb where you can browse and shop. Don't forget to take bottled water. You'll have until 4:30 to see the caves, before you need to come downhill. You can take the 5:00 p.m. boat back.

The other way is to take the first boat out at 9:00 a.m. before the crowds come in. That's what I did yesterday.

If you take the 9:00 a.m. boat, you'll be up the hill by ten thirty, a
nd after an hour at the caves, you can come down and take the 12:00 noon boat. The boat ride is actually pretty nice, its cool and breezy in the lower deck.

This is me on the upper deck of the boat. It was sunny but not hot. I paid ten rupees extra for the upper deck (weird, you'd have thought the cool lower decks would be more expensive).

You can see the Gateway of India in the background. The
tall building is the new wing of the Taj Mahal Hotel, it completely dwarfs the Gateway from some angles. To the left is the old heritage wing of the Taj Mahal Hotel. They are renovating/repairing the dome.

P.S. Check out my 'sensible' shoes.


helga said...

The PS????????
WELLL.. I just did.. I checked out your sensible shoes and they look precisely like what I might have "floating around" and there. Are you serious in telling me you climbed uphill..came back downhill and after that your feet were still OK??

Deepa said...

Helga, it is a set of stone steps, so it's not very difficult.

helga said...

It looks more than attractive..and the stone steps might even "contribute" my eternal efforts in "weight control"..for which I "fear the worst" if I look at the more than attractive Mumbai meals..Is it possible to "park a Mumbai friend" with a bad knee some where downhill safe, sound and comfortable in the shade, with a drink or so while she watches my "sports efforts" going up?

Deepa said...

For those who cannot climb up (old people, or people with some medical condition), there are people who will carry you up in a chair.

Here is a photo:

helga said...

Ahh Deepa.. I was aware of the option -in theory" and now I looked at the picture and I hope it's the porters I see there sitting in the chairs since they look "young and healthy"..I'll ask my friend to join me (if she trusts the guys carrying her up, that is).. It's slightly absurd of course (after all I freely raced around my father at the time in a wheel chair)..but I would be worried every stone step that either she would fall off..or the poor porters would fall apart..., last thing even more.
I you had.. let's say a broken ankle.. but still wanted to show the caves.. would you feel OK having yrself carried up?

Deepa said...

I think if I had a broken ankle and it was VERY visible, I wouldn't be embarassed to be carried up. Otherwise, I'd feel uncomfortable.

helga said...

Precisely. Some tourists I know of..healthy and all though not young.. would have themselves "carried" up for "the kick"..(as in "hey???.. people carrying you???" Do they have that here??..great..)and with embarassment I would do my "utmost" to "not" belong to them if I can help it..My friend's knee problem is real Her children describe her way of walking as "hobbling" and both "operation" as well as acupuncture are the daily discusions..I'm still finding out as to what that means for "walking"..("can you walk to the Matunga market??" Yes she can..
But also she is.. well her "forehead" is not large enough
to write on words like "embarassment", "not done" and "what will people think of it"..and as for the porters, she has (who does not) some overweight she dislikes to the extreme..
So I'll find out if she would do me the personal favour and "join me all the way up"..(she's proud of what is there, that's for sure.-even if the portuguese did some damage) while she's carried or if she's more comfortable staying down in the hopefully available shade with a drink..watching my "sports-efforts" from a safe distance.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deepa this trip to elephanta is something that iam very much looking forward to take.Love the shoes any chance of borrowing them?
what size shoe are you? Thanks again for a great blog