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Juhu Beach

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Juhu Beach is the beach stretch in the surburbs. It can be easily accessed from Andheri and Vile Parle railway stations on the Western line. Hotels like Sun N Sand, Novatel and Ramada Plaza Palm Grove are located next to the beach. The famous Iskcon temple is located a few metres inside but a walkable distance from the beach.

I started my journey by boarding a Best bus to Juhu Beach. There are plenty of Best buses to Juhu Beach. From Andheri station, 203 and 256 attract a huge crowd. The cost of the ticket is Rs 8. One can also travel by taxi, rickshaws and private vehicles.
I always prefer public means of transport while travelling so here I am in Best bus no 203, going to Juhu Beach. I left my home at around 5:15 pm hoping to get a glimpse of the sunset. Luckily I got the 203 bus in time, but I also got stuck in the traffic jam. At 6:10 pm, I was still on the way to Juhu. I wondered if I would get to see the sunset at all.
Sunset at Juhu Beach
Nevertheless I still went ahead with my plans and I got off at Juhu bus station on the way to Juhu beach and decided to walk to the beach.

I started walking as fast as I could, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sunset on my camera. Finally I was at the beach just in time.
Juhu beach can be accessed from various ends. The area where I had reached was usually less crowded so I decided to start surfing the shore from here.

Litter on the Beach
Hotel Novatel and Hotel Sun N Sand were the two hotels right next to the beach, with some private bungalows alongside.

As I stepped on the sand, I immediately rolled up my pants and took off my slippers and started walking towards the sea. The sand felt so nice and soothing under my feet. I was enjoying the view too simultaneously. I took a few photos of the sun setting in the sea with the rays of the sun popping out from the sunny clouds that surrounded it.
As the tide was low, the water level was far beyond the normal water level so I started walking close to the water, dipping my feet in the ice cold water as it came ashore. I felt really good as the water lashed against my feet. 
Beach Cleanup team

I started walking towards the Versova end. A little further I saw that the beach was flooded with litter which people had thrown in the sea. The sea does not calmly accept the rubbish that you put into it. It vomits the same out on the land, putting the dirt back on our doorsteps. So for a few metres, all that I saw as I walked on the shore were coconuts, garbage and garlands.

Luckily I saw a beach cleanup team nearby. Arriving in a vehicle, they approached this stretch to collect  the waste lying on the shore. As I moved past this, I saw that the beach ahead was clean, thanks to the beach cleanup unit. They had taken care of other people’s messes and made the beach a great place to spend the evening.
The beach was less crowded here so it was fun walking, amid the cool breeze. I walked long that day, but my body felt refreshed. The momentum kept me moving.

Back Flips
On the beach I saw a few boys trying their hand at somersaults and back flips. They had a trainer there who was helping the rookies. As they were attempting this on the sand, it was safe. There wasn’t any possibility of any of them getting hurt much as the sand is a natural cushion. As I walked, I saw many such tutors and students on the beach practicing back flips.

A little ahead were a group of boys playing football on the beach. Playing football on the beach is more tiring than playing on green grass. I have played on both and I personally feel beach football is more tiring.
On the shore, I saw a few stalls selling corn, candy floss, coconut water, bhel, etc. As I passed by, they asked me, “Sirji, kuch khaoge?” (Sir, do you want to eat something?) To which my answer was “Nahi” (No). Ahead I saw a vendor selling peanuts. I asked him to give me Rs 10 worth of peanuts, and he looked at me with astonishment. Looks like no one has ever bought peanuts worth Rs 10 from him. Good, he will remember me.

Football on the Beach
I started munching my peanuts and walking on the shore. I saw elderly couples and health conscious people jogging and doing light exercises on the beach.

I saw many dogs on the beach, not stray dogs but dogs of all shapes and sizes and colours who had come for their evening walks along with their masters or care takers. Soon my peanuts were over.
I decided to do a U-turn here and head to the crowded stretch of Juhu Beach.
People strolling on the Beach

I thought of getting myself some corn. Having bargained on the price for the biggest one, the hawker put it on the fire for it to roast and then sprinkled some lime juice on it and handed it over to me.
I noticed a few children in the distance. They were equipped with beach toys and were making forts and hills on the beach. It was lovely to see them use their imagination. Flashback — when I was a kid I used to do the same on the beach. I used to build forts with moats and make hills and then the water would come and destroy it. I used to also write my name in the sand, only to find it being erased  by the seawater.
I walked a little further munching on my corn and saw a few boys play cricket on the shore. I must admit I have never played cricket on the beach ever. Hopefully, someday in the future.

Children playing in the Sand

Away in the sea I saw a few boats. They were far away in the distance and I had to zoom in on my camera to see them clearly. I guess they were trying their hand at catching fish in the sea. As I looked up in the sky I could see planes take off every 15 minutes.
On my first flight to United Kingdom, I was sitting near the window seat. As the plane took off, I saw it cross over Juhu Beach. The view from the plane was amazing with the sea down below and the people looking like ants. That was the last sight of land. After that I got bored looking out of the window as all I could see was water, water and more water.
I noticed a few people dancing on the shore to the accompaniment of blaring music. As I neared them, I saw that they were students at the (ISKCON) temple. They were wearing saffron robes. Some were dancing, while some others sang and played the drums. I walked past and soon their voices began to sount faint over the swaying winds.
Cricket on the Beach

Finally I was at the main entrance of Juhu Beach. This side of the beach was full of people. Walking through the crowds now took much longer. I saw that some of the people were swimming in the water were drenched from head to toe. A few families were seated on the beach on a chaddar (bedsheet), enjoying home cooked food and watching the sun go down.
The beach was full of photographers who would click a photo of you for a price. One of them approached me and said, “Saab, Juhu beach aaye aur foto nahi liye, to baat nahi bani” (If you come to Juhu beach and don’t get a photo of yourself by the shore, you’re missing something). No sooner did he see my camera than he smiled and walked away.
Again I saw a few vendors selling candy floss, small samosas, novelty articles etc.

Plane in the sky

I saw a miniature parachute man flying up in the sky. The winds were so strong that he kept swaying in the wind.
There were a few tattoo artists on the beach too, offering both temporary and permanent tattoos. There weren’t many takers for the offer though.
There were a few games stalls here, like throwing a ring on an item. I tried my hand at this at Rs 20 for 10 tries, but failed.

Disciples in the ISKCON Temple

There were a few stalls selling pav bhaji, fast food and golas on the beach. These stalls were crowded with people.
After peanuts and corn, I had kala khatta (a drink which tastes like cola). The food items here are a little over priced but is ok. After having my kala khatta, and having shot some pictures, I headed home.
My evening at the beach was fun-filled. I had my evening walk, had my favourite snack (peanuts), saw children building castles in the sand, boys playing cricket and football and doing somersaults, and people enjoying their evening walks with pets. I guess this must be the scene here every day. But the beach was clean again thanks to the beach cleanup team. I disposed off my peanut wrapper and corn stick in a dustbin nearby.

FoodCourt at Juhu Beach
I enjoyed my evening at the sea, with water lashing against my feet and the chilly breeze blowing.
You too should head to the beach, I say.


shirin goel said...

Amazing the visit was worth…

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experince.And thanks to DNA directed me to worthful reading.. :)

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