Mumbai: Quick getaways to try over Republic Day weekend

Jan 12, 2018, 13:32 IST | Shunashir Sen

We list six quick getaways from the city over the long Republic Day weekend, with something for everyone to choose from


Luxury Sail away
Few things in life (in our books at least) are as fancy as sitting on a sailing boat, heading out into the sea, and watching the sun go down. It reminds us of James Bond movies, where the hero, dressed in his trademark tuxedo, is serenading some woman or the other. So, if you too want to feel as glamorous, take a trip from off the Gateway of India into the Arabian Sea. Sail past lighthouses from a bygone era and catch some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. And if you’re lucky, you might also spot some dolphins frolicking around in the water.
On: January 27 and 28
Starting point:Gateway of India, Colaba
Call: 9930086252
Cost: Rs 1,899


Flag off the weekend
This one’s a true-blue Republic Day event, complete with a flag-hoisting ceremony. It will take some effort to pull off, though, since the flag will be hoisted on the top of Mount Kalsubai, which is the highest peak in Maharashtra, towering over the other hills in the range at a height of 5,400 feet. Small steps built into the incline do make the climb easier than it would have been otherwise. But nevertheless, it’s one thing sitting on a sailing boat and heading out into the sea, and another to make your way to the top of a bona fide mountain, steps or no steps.
From: January 25 to 26
Starting point: Pritam Hotel, Dadar West
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Cost: Rs 1,000

Scuba Diving

Wild escape
Sea it to believe it
The sea off the Konkan coastline houses a number of different types of fish, such as barracudas and groupers. Learn what it’s like to occupy their habitat with a scuba-diving course for beginners, meant even for those who don’t know how to swim. A professional diver will accompany you as you travel down to the depths of the Arabian Sea, where you can experience coral reefs and sealife from close quarters. The event also includes treks to the nearby Sindhudurg and Vijaydurg forts, apart from vegetarian food from the region.
On: January 25 to 28
Starting point: Pritam Hotel, Dadar West
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Cost: Rs 4,500


Go back in time
The Fort area is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. The fort itself was built in as far back as 1715 by the British, to ward off invading Marathas. But then its walls were brought down around 1862, which suddenly changed everything. A small English settlement grew into a mercantile hub. Indo-Saracenic, Gothic and neoclassical structures came up to give the area its unique architectural blend of styles. Gradually, it became the bustling precinct that it looks like in the modern era. Take an open-air bus ride around Fort to find out more about the precinct’s heritage, and learn how British India’s “first city” evolved over the years.
On: January 26, 7 am to 9 am
Starting point: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, MG Road, Fort
Call: 9930086252
Cost: Rs 1,499


Spend a night with the stars
We’ve all watched movies in a closed theatre. But here’s a chance to watch one under the stars, at a camping site just off Gorai beach. The selected film is Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, one of the most poignant portrayals of life in India through a foreigner’s eyes. If, however, music floats your boat more than movies, there will also be an indie gig that precedes the screenings, featuring upcoming artiste Bryan Rodrigues. Plus, since it’s a camping event, expect bonfires, long walks and, of course, a barbecue (for what is a great camping experience without one?).
On: January 25 to 26
At: Chowk Dongri, Bhayandar West, near Pali Beach Resort, Uttan
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Cost: Rs 2,200


Fun Ride a new wave
Surfing has always looked like something we’d like to try our hand at (or should that be feet?). The idea of riding a wave before it crashes on the beach does seem like fun. But while we haven’t taken the initiative yet, you can seize the opportunity to get a beginner’s lesson in the sport. The organisers are inviting people of all ages to try out surfing for the first time. The three-day event also includes camping, bonfires, movie nights and games. So all in all, this weekend getaway has something for everyone.
On: January 26, 9 am to January 28, 3 pm
At: Manipal, Karnataka (nearest airport: Mangalore)
Call: 9833157583
Cost: Rs 10,500 (including sessions, food and stay for two nights)

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