03/10/2021 By RuneLite
Dramatic skies, fishing boats bobbing in the surf, rain-washed sunsets and splendid vistas of the Arabian Sea; Mumbai has several spots to enjoy a meal with a view or seaside staycay in the monsoon. In Colaba, the Sea Lounge on the first floor of the old palace wing of Taj Mahal Palace (tajhotels.com) is an institution that offers colonial charm, Art Deco interiors, live piano music and the customary coffee, cream and chocolate dessert—Café Viennoise. No reservations for the romantic tables for two by the window; reach early to grab a seat. For other captivating views of the Queen’s Necklace, make your way to Eau Bar at The Oberoi Mumbai (oberoihotels.com) or Dome, the rooftop bar at Intercontinental Marine Drive (ihg.com). At Juhu sea face, drop by at Soho House (sohohouse.com) for a sundowner, sip a cocktail at JW Marriott’s sea-facing bar Reflections or nosh on dimsums, sushi and more in the alfresco section of their Asian eatery, Dashanzi (marriott.com).
Raft the mighty Siang in Arunachal Pradesh
Siang Rafting Arunachal
Originating in Tibet as Yarlung Tsangpo, the Siang dashes down a series of gorges through Arunachal, before joining the Yamne, Lohit and Dibang to flow as the mighty Brahmaputra. The sheer volume of water it carries expands even more during the rains. The full rafting stretch from Tuting to Pasighat is a weeklong 180km run from Purung, the launch site. The treacherous Upper Siang is expedition-level with Class 4-6 rapids; the 2-day Lower Siang is more doable with Class 3-4 rapids—Hairy Hari, Moing Madness, Karko Killer, Geku Wave and Begging Rollercoaster. Paddle past Boleng and Komsing’s hanging bridge to Pangin amid bewitching landscapes, forested hills, jagged rock formations and the Rottung and Big Pongging rapids, ending at Ranaghat Bridge. Prepare to get wet, whether in the heavy rains or in the rapids. Stay overnight on sand embankments and grassy campsites as you try local rod fishing. From Abor Country River Camp at Pasighat, visit Adi Padum villages and help transplant rice in paddy fields. Abor Country Travels & Expeditions (aborcountrytravels.com) organises Siang Rush rafting festival and customised trips in the region.Getting there: Fly to Dibrugarh and drive 158kms to Pasighat.
Wet weather farming and fishing in Maharashtra
Modelled after machaans erected in fields to protect crops, Maachli Farmstay (maachli.in) in Parule is the place for a hands-on farm experience in the rains. Tucked away in a picturesque village on the Konkan coast, the farm is accessed by a short walk through dense foliage and a footbridge across a stream. Settle in any of their four village-themed cottages with thatched conical roofs and enjoy their interactive kitchen—learn how farm-fresh organic fare is prepared on a mud stove and served in earthen pots, areca fronds and patravali (leaf plates). Milk a cow, draw water from the well or learn to use a laath, the traditional way to tap water from the stream for irrigation. Too much work? Dangle your legs in the cool stream for a natural fish spa. Visit a potters’ village, the local avath (village society) or take a plantation tour. Take a short walk to the Bandheshvaray temple of the gurakhi (shepherd) community or hike to the ancient seaside devrai (sacred grove) of Dungeshwar, a god of the local Kolis. For something a little more challenging, try the two-and-a-half-hour sunset trek in the rain to the beach through coconut groves, mango orchards, forests and hills. Getting there: Kudal, 20km north of Sawantwadi on the Mumbai-Goa highway is the nearest railway station and access point, from where the farm is 22km away via SH-119.