Monkey Business

Background ~ World traveler, professional photographer, and LOWA boot lover, Andrew Hettinger is off on a photo safari. This is the third in a series of posts from the field. Visit A. Hettinger Photography by clicking here.

The Bonnett Macaques Monkeys can be very aggressive.

Or, not. :)
We wait, in Mumbai, for the last two members of our team to arrive. So, we used our free time to visit a very special temple.

Andy Hettinger, Lowa Field Ambassador, and Pro Photographer @ Elephanta Caves
Located off Mumbai's eastern shore is Elephanta Island, housing 6th century AD cave temples, hand-chiseled into the cliffs, high above the water.

These massive caves - about 130 feet across - are supported by two dozen gigantic pillars. To visit the caves, on a cliff, on this tiny island in the Arabian Sea, there's a lot of steps involved. But we ascend the steps as comfortably as possible in 98 degree heat.

Relaxing at the Elephanta Cave entrance.
As we traveled up and down the steps, we were accompanied by many Bonnett Macaques monkeys, hopeful a visitor might offer some food.

The monkeys can become very aggressive, when competing for food. So, this is not recommended -- unless you're ok with medical treatment from a village that might have electricity a few hours per day.

This one seemed a little cranky that wouldn't share our lunch.
As we cruised back on the Arabian Sea, I gazed at the skyline of Mumbai, realizing my initial impression wasn't too far off...

Mumbai Skyline
There is a ton of deconstruction going on in this city. And, some and reconstruction, as well.

Taj Mahal Palace and Gateway to Mumbai
But, I was happy I could see beyond that skyline, and thrilled to gaining a better understanding of the amazing people and historical culture below it.

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