With refreshing new looks, Victoria 2.0 Electric Carriage (E-Buggy) can be seen now at (Gateway of India, Marine Drive & Nariman Point) in Mumbai is back to make feel nostalgic about the almost century-old ‘Tonga’ or ‘Horse Baggi’, a horse-drawn carriage that ended its journey in June 2015 for the betterment of animal welfare (Horse) life.
Here are details about the Eco-Friendly battery-operated electronic version victoria ride that can be seen at Nariman point and other areas of South Mumbai, Minus the Horse..
Updates (March 2021): The Lovely new eco-friendly ride is operational now. Details on timings & cost etc, below.
New Victoria Electronic Buggy, South Mumbai Pride
As planned to throw open to public on 1st September and by the time this article the vehicle should be on the prominade of South Mumbai. 40 new White & Red colour combo Victoria 2.0 for joyride of promenade and historic structures should be seen now. With almost same look and feel of the old Tonga that were running once at Nariman point, The new version is by a company called ‘UBO Ridez’ and is eco-friendly as it is 100% electronic operated with maximum speed of 20 KMPH.
This Hi-Tech joyride takes you around the south Mumbai heritages and structures as a mini Mumbai Darshan with a GPS enabled Audio speakers which detects the location & details the historic information accordingly.
Additional option of bluetooth within those speakers allows you some personal music too if required. Unlike old classic ‘Indian Horse Baggi’, UBO Ridez do not care or worry about the traffic around and goes smoothly at safe minimal speed of 20 Kilometres Per Hour in environment friendly way.
Owner Mr. Ketan Kadam plans to add more of such E-Buggy around South Mumbai areas that will take you on ride till Dadar and Mahim in second phase of the success. For a start, 40 such joyride e-buggy which has been trial and tested at Byculla Zoo & Borivali National Park before sometime.
I really don’t know if the LED lights decoration will be there or not on this electronic carriage as we use to see 4 years back. Hello owner, you comments and details please if you reading this.
Ride Charges & Timings
TIMINGS: 4:00 Pm to 2:00 AM (late Night).
Although not confirmed what exactly they charging as of day it started, But as per information and details there will be 2 type of rides Short & Long. Short ride will be like from Gateway of India to Radio Club which may cost about Rs.300 for group of 6 people which is the capacity of the e-buggy carriage.
For longer rides, Like from Nariman point to Marine Drive famous Pizza by the Bay it may cost a group of 6 People about Rs.500. So rides from Nariman point to Girgaum Chowpatty will be a fun long joyride along the coast with cool breeze and beautiful view in this brand new E-Tonga.
The final order by High Court on June 2015 towards Animal welfare (‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act’) also hit hard on the age old Tonga Wala’s who lost their employments. The promise of giving alternate employments may or may not have gone according to the needs, But here is the good news again.
As detailed, with 40 Victoria 2.0 rides and more added gradually to Mumbai roads, More such routes & heritages be covered and as soon (we will update as soon details received). Sure we will miss those foot tap sound of horse tonga, But for Animal welfare this much given up is nothing.
By now, Many of hose 130 to 150 Tonga drivers may have took up alternative jobs or for those who love and wants to get back may sure get opportunity to ride the E-Buggy at Nariman point promenade which is a positive part of this innovative idea.
Historics of Victoria Horse Carriage in Mumbai
Almost nearing 100 years old now, Various versions of Tonga in Mumbai were the only commuting options on the island city that had non-concrete roads and less of cementing structures. ‘Bail Gadi’ (Cow Cart) and ‘Ghoda Gadi’ (Horse Carriage) seen all over streets were the only options to travel around the small city then. Suburbans like Andheri and Borivali were tiny village at outskirt of South Mumbai, All ruled by Britishers.
Victoria rides came far before the luxurious cars and rail trams which use to run in Fort, CSMT (Formerly ‘Victoria terminus’) and areas of Colaba. Old classic bollywood movie like ‘Victoria No. 203’ was a story of diamonds that kept hidden inside a lamp of this beautiful looking Horse Tonga. Want to see that tonga, Checkout this YouTube video called ‘Dekha Meina Dekha‘.
Famous classic black and white era songs like ‘Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan‘ also showcased some scenes on the old classic victoria rides of Mumbai (Formerly called ‘Bombay’). Remember ‘Dhanno’ horse tonga that Basanti use to ride in Sholay movie ? .. and Then that song ‘Bambai Shehar ki Tujhe Sair kara Doon‘ from film ‘Piya Ka Ghar’ which had that line ‘TumTum mein Baithegi ya Palkon Pe Bitha Doon’, Yes in Mumbai this Tonga horse carriage was also called ‘TumTum’. And many such movies and scenes, but let enjoy this new version 2.0 e-buggy for now.