Chhatrapati Shivaji, Culture, Elephanta Caves, Filipina travels to India, Forts, Hindu, how to travel to India as a woman, india, Maharashtra, monkey, Mother of Language, mother of legends, Parvati Hill, pinay in India, Pinay in Mumbai, Pinay in Pune, Rich Culture, Shaniwar Wada Fort, squirrel, St. Mary's Anglican Church, St. Xavier's College, travel, visit asia, visit india, vivid history, where to go in Mumbai, where to go in Puna
How hard is it to visit India for a Pinay? Easy peasy for me. I applied my e-visa online thru https://visatoindia.org.in and got it after two days. Unfortunately there are no direct flights from Philippines to India, so I had to take a long-agonizing-connecting flight. Skyscanner’ s site skyhttp://skyscanner.com.ph made it all easy for me. Five days later, I was already paying my travel tax in NAIA terminal 1 (don’t ask me why the sudden flight).
Aside from my passport, I was carrying certain documents I thought was necessary too such as my e-tickets, my friend’s (Indian local) sponsorship letter, his passport page, his address page on passport, my e-visa… It was not enough that I have a return ticket tho’. Since I was an OFW, I was still questioned wether I was to return to the country or not. Good thing I registered for a convention in Manila the day after my return ticket is scheduled. I justified to the officer that I am coming back for the said convention and showed him the proof of my registration. Thankfully, he let me push through. It would be best if you have your peso changed to dollars before you reach India coz they won’t change your peso currency in the correct equivalent when you get there and money exchange in India Airport are the worst in the whole country.
There wasn’t much que in Mumbai Immigrations (maybe because I arrived around 11:30pm) there were only a few non-Indian passport holders that came with me. I was the third in line and I was surprised I met some pinays too who’s also heading to Pune as I am. The immigration officer checked if I know my name and birthday (just making sure I’m the right person), asked for my e-visa, where I’ll be staying and what I’ll be doing. I mentioned some tourist destinations in my bucket list. So Okay, he was pleased I’m a legit tourist. Smile for the camera!
So much for the travel logs now. Mumbai is a big City and I just want to enjoy this British colonized place! Welcome to a right-hand-drive country, now where is that rickshaw.
The train ride was absolutely one of the highlights of my travel. No, I wasn’t searching for Latika and the Jai-ho flash mob dancers of Bollywood, but I must admit I was kinda hoping to see some filming (Sharukh Khan please!). The train stations were a melting pot of cultural heritage in India.The People, the bindi, the sarees (cultural dress), the chappals (Indian sandals), the language, the vendors and the food! The train itself was a heck of an experience too.
Mark Daulat, an artist (check out his works!), told me there are a lot of Forts scattered around the provinces of India, tracing back to the ancient times of Rajas and Sultans. I grew up from a country with rich hispanic influence, however it was devastated by the World War II thus I no longer see magnificent structures from the ancient world, just like this one (only a few remains). I was just in awe being here, I feel like I have lived for centuries!
India is a home to atleast 9 recognized religion having Hinduism as the largest practiced (about 79.8% according to the lates census of 2011). 14.2% follow Islam and only 6% belong to Christianity, Sikkhism,and Buddhism). Us being Christians, Mark brought me in this old Anglican Church. Of the few Christian Churches here in India, he wanted me to spend my 1st Sunday in India here. What’s so special? Its their old PIPE ORGAN! Me, being a fan of old Christian Hymns ofcourse loved the euphoric experienc while he, on the other hand, came to enjoy the free chai at the end of the service.
We were supposed to visit Karla Caves in Pune but we missed the train and had to wait 2-hours for the next one. Unfortunately, the train trip to the place (Loonavla) got cancelled that time, so we decided to head to Parvati Hill instead.
Ladies, don’t follow my bad example, sorry for this. Don’t wear shorts, even if you have your boyfriend as a knight-in-shining-armour to protect you. Most people in Mumbai are liberated, they know English well, and have been to other countries themselves. But still better to be safe right? On the plane returning to the Philippines, I’ve read on the news that a foreigner wearing skirt got raped in Goa, in-front of her boyfriend
news link👉 https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/woman-allegedly-gang-raped-in-front-of-boyfriend-in-south-goa-two-arrested-one-missing/story-V8Kr04gy5nDr9IkCLJy4XP.html
Moving on to the happy news. The Elephanta Caves is now maintained very well, so I’ve heard. The price for foreigners 500 rupees, the price for locals, 30rupees. Guards are apprehending litterers (yay!). Absolutely no video capture of the caves and no flying of drones not only in Elephanta Caves but in the whole of India (not happy about it but well, I get to enjoy this anyway, no stress!)
I’ve been seeing the statue of Shivaji all over Pune, and Mumbai. At first I thought he was some god or something. Turns out he was a real life warrior during his time and he’s the most prominent hero among the Maharashtrans. Here is one Statue of Shivaji at the Gateway of India in South Mumbai. Majestic isn’t it?
Let the pictures do the talking now.
I filmed some cute little squirrels too! I wish I could take one of the rascals home. They can’t sit still in the picture tho, but do watch out in my youtube page for their feature.
I admire this country for embracing their own culture that it made India so colorful. Not only because of their colorful clothes, their colorful spices, their colorful gods, their colorful festivals, but also because, it is the cradle of human race, it is the birthplace of human speech. This country has one of the richest and most vivid history and heritage in the world. No wonder India is such a photographer’s haven. Take me back!!