Here I am, getting ready to take another welcome trip to the land I call Home, and I’ve realised that I haven’t even shown you any pictures from my last trip! It was a pretty good one too, with a few days spent outside Bombay, during which these pictures were taken.
Hariharehswar is about half a day’s drive South of Mumbai city, and along with nearby Shrivardhan it forms a nice place to get away to. The reason most people will go is because of a temple there, but my greatest memory of the trip will have to be the beaches.
Now, beach culture is not a big thing in India the way it is in the West. Being a country with a distinct hangover of Victorian morality tends to make sunbathing and bikini-clad beachcombers a bit of a no-no; sure, you’ll get to see tons of them naked goras romping around Goa, but in the rest of the place, even cosmopolitan Mumbai, beaches usually involve fully-clothed people hanging out, splashing water on each other, and eating a lot of snack foods. Harihareshwar, meanwhile, is in the middle of nowhere and is surrounded by fairly conservative villages, so I don’t think they’ve even seen a bikini except on TV*. It didn’t matter, really, because nobody in our group knew how to swim anyway, and the beaches themselves were huge
*(It seemed like every house big or small had a satellite dish)
Looking through the hundreds of pictures from that trip, I note that we didn’t end up taking many that showed the sheer scale of the shores. Mostly I think we just gave up, because you can’t really take a picture that properly represents it. I’m talking relatively untouched, mutiple kilometre long stretches fifty metres wide here. The sand is dark and ranges from smooth to coarse. This beach, for instance, an unnamed and almost empty stretch (there were no snack food vendors, but there was one cow) had sand that I’m sure, given enough wading, would blast years of dead skin off you. There was this other one that was literally fenced off by a near-impenetrable three storey high jungle and studded with millions of little shells. All told we may have actually stopped and looked around four of the dozen or so beaches we passed on the way.
Best. Beaches. Ever. (even without the freedom to run around naked, but give it time. Maybe in 20 years all this morality will finally be behind us and ‘Indecency’ will reign supreme, as it should)
It makes me very sad to realise that I don’t live in a little hut just off the frame.
PS A big thank you to Kiran and Swarupa for the use of their Minolta Dimage 8 megapixel prosumer thing with its gorgeous large lens, which all of these pictures were taken with.