It’s still early, and the morning haze has just lifted as our little wooden ferry cuts a quiet path through the calm, murky waters of Mumbai Harbour. We’re charting a steady course for Elephanta Island and its famous Hindu cave temples, slowly leaving behind the grand colonial façade of the Gateway of India and the great seething city beyond it. With little else to do for the next hour, I sit back, enjoy the warm breezes and chat with Shyamal, my frank, professional guide, who will soon take me through the exquisite carvings of Shiva, Parvati and Ganesha out on Elephanta.

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