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                      Buffalo in Benares
Part 1
BOMBAY, SOUTHERN MAHARASHTRA & GOA

For more pics of our latest journey
to INDIA, click on the Image!

                       


This was our second trip to India, launched in early October last year (2007) and lasting for two months. My wife Carina and I traveled from Bombay down to a (by comparison) largely uninhabited tourist resort in southern Maharashtra, then by local bus across to Goa and eventually taking the train to the Karnatakan city of Mysore where we attended the annual Dassera festival. After that we made it on up to Ooty in the Nilgiri hills,  then sliding hastily down again to a Tamil town  called Coimbatore and soon enough continuing to Kochin in Kerala where we stayed for a long time knocked out by a pretty nasty flue. Eventually, after visiting a local hospital, we took an inter city taxi to Kollam from where we made an eight hour cruise by boat on the Back- waters up to Allepey and then back down again by bus the following day. After this we spent one week in the lovely sea resort of Varkala before continuing by train, first to Madurai and then to Trichy, both cities in Tamil nadu. Finally we spent a few days in the bustling metropolitan of Chennai and then made a leap by long distance train all the way up to our last stop at Bombay to catch our return flight back to Sweden.


  

One of several stone carved statues of lord Shiva in the main temple of Elephanta Island, here with a rather terrifying look upon his face and with four fractured arms spread out in the air.




Mother and child gibbon perched along side of the thousand steps  or so leading up to the famous stone temples.  Quite often you can see them up in the tree crowns drinking from stolen Pepsi cola bottles while feasting on Pringles or other forms of assorted junk food.



Kartharli beach in southern Maharashtra just north of Goa.



An auto rickshaw and flowers  in the small town of Malvin a few miles north of Kartharli. 




In Malvin there are several markets selling stan- dard Indian staple food including various kinds of dal, but also places where newly caught fish is spread out on the ground to dry in the hot sun, much to the delight of  local cats, dogs, but also to some of the more dare devilish crows and eagles.




On our five hour bus ride through rain forest and woodlands down to northern Goa, we suddenly ended up in something reminding of a war zone. It was when three or more busses met on a road hardly wide enough even for one vehicle that all hell broke lose. Every man got caught up in a tumultuous and time consuming squabble until eventually deciding to assist the drivers to pre- vent the vehicles from falling down into the ravine which aligned this narrow strip of road. The man on this image had dye on his head (for probably having attended some religious cere- mony) which happened to match the color of the bus perfectly!



Could be the gateway to paradise, the golden gloaming spreading peace and tranquility across the Arabian sea just south of Arambol in Goa.




We had a brief scooter adventure lasting only one day, after which we decided to call it quits. Both having the machine breaking down up on the slopes of Chapora fort (which was due to a local gas station tanking up on a mixture of petrol and kerosene) and also getting caught without a license (a document not needed in our part of the world when driving this kind of vehicle) and having to bribe two corrupt police men on the outskirts of Calangute to get us out of a rather messy situation, made us decide we had had enough for one day.




In front of Taj Mahal
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the
next set of PICS!


 





Gate way of India in the southern part of the Bombay peninsula.
 
Click on the NOTES for some hindu inspired music by
In the labyrinth!



Vegetable market in Collaba, Bombay. On our Lonely planet map it said "fish market" though we weren't really so sure about that!




The assassination of Mahatma Ghandi in 1948 as portrayed here in this miniature wax cabinet, which is one of many in the excellent Gandhi museum of Bombay.

 


Cave temples on Elephanta Island, just east of the city
of Bombay.




Meditating dog or what?




Not only are there dogs acting as beach comers on the Indian sore line but also cattle occasionally grazing the dunes.





To us Kartharli was the perfect escape from the mega city of Bombay, from all the noise and the traffic and indigenous hawkers hassling you on the streets of Collaba. Maybe in years to come, tourists of Goa will finally discover this gem just outside of the beaten track and then the simple but adequate resort run by the Maharashtran government may very well be replaced with con- crete bunkers and commerce sprawling every inch of this sore line. But until then it stands out as one of the hidden pearls of the Indian subcontinent, that is if you're not one of those looking out for the more hefty scene in places like Calangute and Anjuna.


     

Little crabs lurking  in every part of the Kartharli beach but always quick to dodge down into their sand pits whenever there are feet stepping about their premises. The one to the left I imagine to be a female while the one to the right looks more like a male, or wouldn't you think so? Give him a punch bag and he´ll end up butchering the likes of Mohammed Ali!




Indians love to be photographed, so here is another example where some happy big city tourists  line up around Carina and me. It´s always smiling faces and friendly chatter, questions about where we come from and what are our names and how are we enjoying our stay...




In southern India thalie is part of the standard menu of every local canteen and luncheon and always comes vegetarian. On this occasion in the fishing town of Malvin it wasn´t all that spicy while everywhere we went in Tamil nadu thalies were consistently fiery with chili and laden with fresh coriander for that distinct south Indian flavoring which some tourists find hard to cope with but which Carina and I have over the years learned to love.




In Arambol as in most parts of Goa there are many great places to eat with highly skilled local chefs preparing your dinner. To a price totally unimaginable for anyone living here in Sweden, we could splurge in treats like these tiger prawns and other delicacies. Service is usually very generous and friendly, even at less pricey jaunts.




Arambol´s headland looks quite volcanic, littered as it is with metamorphic rocks and jagged, lava like formations. As in most parts of Goa, nowadays there are masses of tourists coming from Israel, mostly young people dressed in hippy attire or something similar to that.