>>>If you want to see some...
>>>If you want to see some pictures, click at the very top of the yellow column to your left on the word 'pictures'. I think/hope that you will enjoy seeing them!
<<<<You absolutely must keep checking on travel package prices and airfares before setting your sights too low. In order to do this you must be sure to start planning a trip with plenty, I will repeat, 'with plenty of time before you plan on departing'. Keep in mind that air fares go up greatly as the time of the planned trip approaches and that there are cut off dates, and places do fill up. My stay (first stay) in India was actually as a bonus. I had been planning my trip to UAE and the cost just kept on seeming like too much, then on one phone call to the airline they stated that the price would be lower if I were willing to stop off on the way going over, and that the price would even be lower if I would be willing to stop on the way back. Stop-off and they weren't going to charge me extra, well, that appealed to me. Almost always there are extra fees if the trip is broken up with a stop off, and this time they were going to allow stop-overs, and they even insisted. Well, that's how I came to spend my first week in India. When I applied for all of the visas which I needed for the trip, I noticed there was only a very slight extra fee for a multi- entry visa, and knowing that another trip might be possible within the allowed six months, and also seeing that there were many more things to see and to experience, I purchased a multientry visa, and even then started a list of the things to see and to do on my next visit. I enjoyed many things about this evolving location. I did a good job of planning the hotel, of learning about transportation methods, and discovering cultural regulations. I enjoyed the weather because I was somewhat prepared for the monsooning. Watching the in and out of the tide was enjoyable because I like the sea, and the water level varies a lot between high and low tides. The people whom I met were friendly, and answered many questions about their country. I had a lovely shopping trip at a place suggested by a taxi driver and a fun dress- up time with relatives back home in California as they tried on the different outfits which I brought back for them. On another day I visited the 'zoo' and was so happy to see the tigers that I almost forgot to talk pictures, almost.
BE PREPARED at the airport with regards to Immigration, Baggage Claim and Customs
Indian law requires that you declare certain electronic equipment such as large tape recorders, computers and video cameras. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency or travelers checks you can bring with you, but you need to declare any money over a certain amount. Check on your immigration card (given on plane) for details.
There are 2 banks just before you exit customs. It is advisable to change at least US$200 here. Ensure that you get at least Rs200 in Rs10 notes. Change virtually does not exist in India and you will need a big supply of small money for porters, etc. Ideally you want most of the balance in large notes (Rs500) to make it easier to carry.
As you go down the corridor, you will see a booth for booking accommodation. The attendants will help you to find a room, and should call the hotel and ask them to collect you. If you are stranded, or the booth is unattended, you might take a pre-paid local taxi to one of the hotels in Mumbai. It is best to know where you are going before leaving the building. Outside, you may find van drivers offering to take you to a local hotel, but these hotels are generally quite run-down and especially expensive for the unwary
Party at Maratha Mandir Cinema at 11 AM
Maratha Mandir is part of Mumbai's film history, where some of the industry's greatest hits have been screened. In this theatre, the 1995 hit film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge has been running successfully for ten long years!
Twenty-four-year old Nathu Ghorpade, a porter at Mumbai Central station, does not subscribe to the view that his city is one of the costliest in the world. Over the past few years, he, along with his friends, has, at least once a week, been spending four hours in air-conditioned comfort, munching popcorn and watching a hit movie for just Rs 14 (till recently it was Rs 9).
If you don't believe this, refer to the Guinness Book of World Records. Yash Chopra's hit film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) arrived at Mumbai's Maratha Mandir theatre in October 1995 as a morning show and is still running to packed week-end houses and semi-packed week days.
See some of the unknown beaches of maharastra
The coast of maharashtra is beautiful and largely untouched, occupied mainly by the local fishermen. There are many relatively unknown beaches. One can drive there - longer since you have to go all around - or just take a ferry across and take up the local autorickshaw (3 wheelers / Tuk tuks). Here are some I recommend:
Take a ferry to Mandhwa and take the local transport. I found one spot to stay there but there are others. Saldanha Farms owned by Mr Saldanha who is mumbai based (Tel # 02141237605- responder may not be able to speak English). Farm has cute cottages but is a bit away from the beach. The beach itself is clean and hardly anyone there. Some parts are rocky and you need to find the clear spots if you wish to swim out into the ocean.
Has been discovered lately and getting crowded but it is such a good beach that I still recommend it. Best is to drive via Alibhag
Situated on a lake this is a really beautiful spots. A bit difficult to reach since the last kilometer stretch is poor driving. Still and deep lake. Row on the lake and see all the birds. Have a swim the water is gorgeous. Two potential places to stay - Doctor's farm and Sai farm. Both advertise in the local tabloid.
At the western end is a sanctuary of Linga which denotes the fundamental nature of creative power, in which lord Shiva is revered as the Lord of Fertility and procreation, hence the phallic-like form. The sanctum is guarded by gigantic figures of ‘dvarapalas’ or guardians. There are no doors.
Location : Elephanta Island