India: Retreating to a hill station, 1920s style

 

matheran station

The taxi from Neral Junction, about 100 km from Mumbai, only takes us to a certain point up the hill, from where we can go no further by vehicle. The only option is by horse, man-drawn carriage or on foot.

We are heading for Matheran, a famous hill station, a popular place of holiday or weekend retreat for Mumbaikars. Continue reading

India: Mumbai, a city that defies definition

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Mumbai (until 1995: Bombay), capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. 18.4 million inhabitants (or well over 20 million if you count the wider metropolitan area). Soon the population of Mumbai will surpass that of the whole continent of Australia. Each day there are 700,000 cars that clog up the roads, breathing out fumes – air pollution in the city is now three times the allowed limit. Additionally, 7.5 million passengers attempt to board the insanely overcrowded commuter trains day in, day out. The city brings in more than 30% of the nation’s tax income. Rents in trendy Malabar Hill are well above those of Manhattan. Yet one in six Mumbaikars lives in a slum. Mumbai defies logic, it is beyond comprehension.

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