India
Ghārāpuri

Here you’ll find travel reports about Ghārāpuri. Discover travel destinations in India of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

10 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    After a hearty breakfast we left with Anil at nine o’clock. The traffic wasn’t too bad and soon we were driving along a new bridge, 4.9km long that got us onto the peninsula proper. Here the traffic was more heavy, though no tuktuk, these are replaced by i10 black and yellow taxis. We eventually arrived at the Gateway of India, where we needed the loo. What better place than the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, grand lobby and memorial to those killed in the terrorist attack of 2008.
    Out on the quay we boarded a boat (10 rupees extra to go up top) for a leisurely trip across the Arabian Sea out to Elephanta Island, named by the Portuguese for an elephant rock, now in the zoo. On the way we passed the old HMS Hermes, some other Indian navy vessels, coal ship unloading and a tanker preparing to leave. Arriving at the island, which has a ship breaking yard and is opposite a nuclear power station and oil refinery, almost lost in the haze, we met our local guide and travelled by train the 1.5km to the end of the pier and start of 120 steps up to the cave temple of Shiva. The temple is carved from the solid rock, pillars walls and statues. For preservation purposes the temple is only used one day a year, though there is evidence that Portuguese used the statues for target practice. Our guide was very thorough in his explanations. He is a local lad and lives on the island whose population is 1200. His English is self taught from speaking with tourists. It seemed pretty quiet. By now it was getting pretty warm, so we were glad to get back on the boat, with a cooling breeze.
    Arriving back at the Gateway to India, our guide, Philip, was delayed in traffic so we had time to grab a tea and snack spinach and sweet corn toasted sandwich.
    The traffic being so heavy we opted for a drive through the main interesting parts of the city, mainly constructed in victorian times, including mini Big Ben designed by George Gilbert Scott, Victoria Station facade, hanging gardens, which cover water tanks and passed the silent garden, where Parsi, of whom there are 72,000, ‘bury’ their dead by exposing them to the elements and birds. Last call was the largest laundry in Asia, where washing is done by hand and dried out in the sun. It was right next to the railway, so no idea what happened in steam age, nor in monsoon.
    We then headed back to our airport hotel for a swim and dinner before preparing for a very early departure.
    We were really pleased to have visited this vast buzzing metropolis. So many historical and contrasting aspects where what you see does not always reflect what’s really going on, e.g the amazing laundry operations which collect wash and deliver in three days with little error - this is also the case with the huge lunch delivery service run by a similar caste. The trains reputedly run every 3mins on time and through the night.
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  • Day13

    Elephanta Caves

    November 30 in India

    Our first target in Mumbai was highly recommended to us by Ani and his father: the Elephanta Caves. The caves feature stone carvings dating to the 6th and 7th centuries BC, and are on an island roughly an hour's ferry from the Gateway of India.

    On the walk there from our hotel, we stopped by the Oval Maidan - a huge park where hundreds of people were playing cricket. We don't know how everyone kept everything straight, since there were probably 20 cricket games going on with fields that actually overlapped. Occasionally you would hear shouts to pay attention to the flying balls... Nearby was the Rajabai Clock Tower, which was modeled after Big Ben.

    The ferry took us through the harbor, where we saw lots of empty freighters waiting for cargo. The island that we arrived at was a lush jungle, and we had a lot of work to do to get to the caves... hundreds of steps worth of climbing, with endless hawkers on each side of us the whole way. It's worth pointing out that despite this being nearly winter, it was nearly 90 degrees today!!

    It took us maybe half an hour to finally reach the main cave, a huge hall carved out of a stone mountain supported by rows of giant columns. Within the hall were lots of stone sculptures carved into the cave walls. The sculptures were very large - some were probably 15 feet tall, some 20 feet - and depicted various Hindu religious events, mostly revolving around the God Shiva, the Destroyer. There was one of Shiva killing a demon, one of him marrying Parvati, one of Shiva being half man/half woman, and so forth. The largest of the carvings was simply one giant head - or actually, it was the head of a 3-headed god, a combo of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

    After the main cave, which was enormous and contained maybe a dozen such large carvings, there were four smaller caves that were much less decorative, but no less old.

    Unfortunately, many of the sculptures were damaged or even partially destroyed. They are very old and totally in the open, so it's not too surprising. But fortunately, the government seems to have taken an interest in maintaining these caves with reinforced concrete, which Tina noticed because of a few areas of exposed rebar.

    Also on the island was a large cannon, built there for defense purposes by the Portuguese. From the hill, you have a good view of much of the harbor, so seemed like a sensible choice for artillery placement. It's no longer functional, both ends have been filled in.

    We grabbed a quick lunch at the island and were heading back to catch the return ferry when the trouble began. We bought a soda for refreshment purposes and, apparently, the monkeys on the island really like bottles. We're not sure if they're after the bottles themselves or are just crazed sugar fiends. Either way, a monkey came up to Tina and tried to grab the bottle. Tina yelled at it, it growled back, Tina kicked in its general direction. A local woman and man joined in on the yelling/threatening it with a large stick and it retreated. Ok, safe. A few meters later, a different monkey was more aggressive in pursuing the bottle... so Tina kicked it in the face. TAKE THAT! There was much growling, but it too retreated. We were making good time down the trail, with the docks in sight, and we thought we could make it... and then at the last minute, a monkey ran up from behind, grabbed the bottle before either of us could react, and bolted to the side and up a branch. And growled at us for good measure. Alright, monkey, you win this round. Enjoy the 7up.
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  • Day18

    Elephanta Island

    October 5, 2016 in India

    Diese Insel liegt ungefähr eine Stunde mit dem Boot vor der Küste Mumbais. Zum Glück gab es nicht so viel Wellengang sodass wir alle mit fitten Magen angekommen sind:)
    Elefanten gibt es, obwohl man es beim Namen erwartet könnte, aber leider keine 🙁🐘 sie heißt nur so weil die Portugiesen, als sie die Insel gefunden haben eine große Statue von einem Elefanten vorgefunden haben, welche von Einheimischen aufgestellt wurde. Also soviel zum Namen. Diese Statue gibt es aber auch schon länger nicht mehr 😕 naja aber die Höhlen mit den riesigen Statuen war schon schön. Die 3 Gottheiten Brama, Vishnu und Shiva wurden in vielen Statuen abgebildet und kleine Geschichten erzählt. Leider wurden viele der Statuen von den Portugiesen oder Engländern zerstört sodass die Hindus sie nicht mehr anbeten können 😠! Es gab ungefähr 5 Höhlen die sich alle im Berg befunden haben. Es war eine schön Kleien Tour nur hat sich leider kurz vor Ende unser Tourguide Jiji verletzt da er eien Treppenstufe übersehen hat. Das Außenband ist durch 🤕 das Wetter war dann auch wieder doof und es ging zurück zum Festland.

    Schade schade, ich hätte gerne bei besserem Wetter mehr von Mumbai gesehen!
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  • Day56

    אלפנטה

    March 10, 2016 in India

    אי ליד מומבאי עם מערות חצובות בסלע

You might also know this place by the following names:

Ghārāpuri, Gharapuri

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