We had two gaps in the rain during our weekend away, each lasting for about two hours. In one of those gaps, we walked from our hotel to the car park on the way back home.
These respites from the monsoon weather gave us a small insight into good old days of Matheran, when the hill was filled with handsome British and Parsi bungalows and the place was litter and tourist free. Hailing from the UK, I am always fascinated by places that are clearly influenced by the British. In Matheran, I imagine elegant Victorian or Edwardian ladies in the latest fashions, escaping the unbearable heat of the city. There would have been parasols, carriage rides, High Tea, parties on the verandah and walks in the country. The men would have smoked cigars together in drawing rooms while the ladies fanned themselves and played cards. Simply delightful!
Unfortunately - as with so many old places in and around Bombay, things have been left to decline and rot. I was dismayed to see so many of the old bungalows falling into dereliction. Now, these historic buildings merely provide homes to the hundreds of feral monkeys to be found in Matheran.
|A sadly mouldy, rotting bungalow|
Whilst the paths were generally well maintained - I was also disheartened to see (that as usual) the main viewpoints were filled with rubbish. Water bottles, sweet wrappers and meal containers carelessly flung over fences and on to steep inclines that would make it impossible to clean up (if indeed, the desire to clean up existed).
Come on India, why do you have to do this? Why can't you respect your beautiful old architecture and open spaces?
|Many of these gateposts to be found in Matheran - a sign of more beautiful times|
|A fine old bungalow with a big verandah up front - closed up and decaying|
|Matheran high street - buildings falling apart in the background|
|TV repair men on Matheran high street!|
|Every where we walked - dogs accompanied us! |
Pre-rain mist preventing good visibility
|This is the view if you were to look up from the rubbish. So sad to see this trash in the foreground|
|Beautiful Art Deco detailing|
|Imagining finer times - partying on that beautiful terrace|
|The monkeys are happy though - they live in the lap of luxury!|
|More grandiose but decaying Art Deco gate posts|
|This one is about to completely tumble over.|