100kms from mumbai lies a beautiful and unspoilt hillstation called matheran.  This is a popular hill station with the localities and many people visit it. With my work getting extended for another week, I could get one sunday, which i decided to make use of by going to matheran.

Matheran is a hillstation which contains a series of view points offering a panaromic view of the sahyadris. Matheran can be reached by train or by road. There are numerous trains plying between mumbai to neral which is the last stop for matheran.

I reached neral by 9.30 after switching trains at dadar. One can travel to matheran from neral on a toy train which takes about 2 hrs to reach the top. Since there was a huge rush for the toy train,

Early Morning at Matheran

I took a shared cab, to the top

Winding roads

The ride took me about half hour and I was at the gates of matheran. After buying the tickets I went ahead to explore the place.

Walking along the tracks, I could see some amazing scenary along the way.

Scenary @ Matheran

There were quite a few viewpoints which I could cover till evening. There are boards with directions along with the name of the viewpoint.

One of the first viewpoint I visited was called Kandala Point, which offered me a good view of the sahyadri range

Kandala Point

Spending some time there I moved ahead to see the other view points. The view of the sahyadris got better from each view point

Views from other view points

My next point of attraction was a huge lake called chorlette lake , which was also a popular attraction. There were a couple of shops there where i satisfy my hunger pangs, before moving ahead. The lake sees a huge crowds as it is the only water body present in the hillstation

Chorlette Lake

Taking some snaps i went to another viewpoint from where we could get a clear view of the valley . I had a small nap there

Valley view

Evening was spent at sunset point before making my way back to neral to take the return train back to the hotel

Sunset @ matheran

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Snaps can be found here

Elephanta Caves/Gateway of India

The entertainment captial of India was on my list of places to visit for a long time, and this wish came true when I was asked to go to mumbai for work.

My first week was strangly spent in the room as I was sure of how to go around in mumbai, however the following week, I decided to go to Gateway of India,Elephanta caves and a few other popular places in mumbai

My colleagues and I met a VT which  is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Victoria Terminus / CST

Taking a couple of snaps of the station we headed to gateway of india, which was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, prior to the Delhi Durbar, in December 1911. The place draws a lot of crowd and after the recent terrorist attacks in mumbai security around the place has been tightened up.

Gateway of India

We spent some time taking snaps before boarding a ferry to elephanta caves. The ferry services start from gateway of india.

It takes an hour to reach elephanta island where the caves are located

Elephanta Caves is one of the UNESCO world heritage site located in elephanta island of mumbai harbour

Elephanta Island

The island, consists of two groups of caves—the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the god Shiva

The rock cut architecture of the caves has been dated to between the 5th and 8th centuries, although the identity of the original builders is still a subject of debate. The caves are hewn from solid basalt rock. All the caves were also originally painted in the past, but now only traces remain.

The caves attract a lot of visitors. We reached the harbour in an hour and proceeded towards the caves. The place has become highly commercialized,which was evident from the line of shops present along the way till the caves.

There was already a huge crowd by the time we reached the caves. Taking the tickets we went to the caves.

Elephanta Caves

The main cave also called shiva cave contains sculptures of which some are heavily damaged. Spending some time taking pics we roamed around the cave. The main cave contain 2 smaller caves. Taking snaps in the dark was a little tricky.

Rock cut sculptures

After seeing the main cave we went to see the other caves, which were suprisingly empty. Upon asking the other tourist we came to know that there are no sculptures in other caves.  At the entrance of the caves there was an error indicating the direction to canon hill. We went to see what was present on top of the hill. We could find a large canon which was present there

Trimurti Statue

As usual a couple of snaps were taken before heading back. Lunch was the island itself and we took another ferry back to gateway of india.

Canon atop canon hill

With enough time left to go back, we headed to marine drive which is also called the queen’s necklace and to chowpatty which is famous for its bhel puri.

Marine Drive

Munching on snacks we passed the time before boarding a taxi to bandstand which houses some celebrities such as SRK and Salman Khan.  We could see ‘ANTILLA’ enroute.

Sunset @chowpatty

We hit the bandra-worli sealink and in a couple of minutes we reached bandra and then headed to bandstand where we spent some more time roaming around.

Bandra-Worli Sea Link

Finally it was time to bid goodbye to my friends and i headed back to the hotel thus concluding a well spent day

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