A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is an example of rock-cut craftsmanship and engineering from the hours of middle age India. The caverns are situated on the Elephanta or Gharapuri island which is arranged a ways off of approx 11 km from the city of Mumbai. Elephanta Caves owes it to various religious texts, spiritual philosophy, and Hindu mythology. There are five Hindu caves and two Buddhist caves situated, the Hindu caves consist of Shaiva Hindu sect, and several important imageries are sculpted here 'Trimurti' or three-headed Shiva, 'Gangadhar' which is a manifestation of the river Ganga as she descends to the earth, and 'Ardhnareshwar', which is a representation of Shiva and Parvati in the same body.
Elephanta Caves were worked by Pandavas, in any case, some additionally credit something very similar to Banasura, the evil spirit fan of Shiva. Neighborhood custom directs that the caverns were not worked by the hands of men by any means. History specialists date the Elephanta Caves back to the late fifth - eighth century AD yet unearthings of Kshatrapa coins dated to the fourth century AD have likewise been uncovered here. The Portuguese named the Island as ‘Elephanta Island’. The Elephanta Caves got highlighted in UNESCO's rundown of World Heritage Sites in 1987 and turned into a much more well-known vacation location after that.
Elephanta Caves Ferry
Elephanta Caves are situated on an island, one needs to take a ferry to the islands which compensate for a drive around by its own doing. The primary ferry departs from the Gateway of India.
- Timing: 9:00 A.M to 2:00 P.M
The entire complex of the Elephanta Caves is based on an area of 60,000 square feet and it has seven caves. It has a pillared mandapa, open porticoes, and a walkway. The principal cave has a sculpture of Ravana lifting Kailash mountain, Shiva-Parvati on Kailash, Ardhanarishvara ,Trimurti which is the three types of Lord Shiva, Gangadhara which is a course of the Ganges, a portrayal of Shiva's wedding, Shiva killing Andhaka, Shiva playing out the Taandav, Yogishvara, and the Shiva Linga. The east wing hallowed place of the Elephanta Caves has carvings on Kartikeya, Matrikas, Ganesha, and Dvarapala upon its surface, while the west wing has Yogishvara and Nataraja embellishing the caverns.
Best time to visit: October to March & November to February
You can attend the Elephanta Island festival. It’s a two-day cultural festival featuring regional music and dance programs.
How To Reach Elephanta caves
From any point in Mumbai, catch a local train to Churchgate or CST station. From there you can either walk to the Gateway of India or hire a taxi. Alternatively, you can reach the Gateway of India directly through the local bus. On reaching the Gateway of India, you have to hire a ferry to the Elephanta Caves.
Nearest Station CR- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
- Nearest Station WR- Churchgate
Bus Number- There are two city buses, 111 and 112 that depart from Mumbai CST and Ahilyabai Holkar Chowk respectively, and drop you at the Gateway of India. To get to Elephanta Island, further board the ferry from the Gateway of India jetty.
- A-112 From Ahilyabai Holkar Chowk
- A-107 From Hutatma Chowk or Mumbai Vidhyapeeth
- 123 From Ahilyabai Holkar Chowk
- A137 From Ahilyabai Holkar Chowk
- A139 From Hutatma Chowk or Mumbai Vidhyapeeth
Amazing Facts About Elephanta Caves
- One of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Gharapuri Island’ the previous name for the Island.
- A complex that occupies 60,000 square feet.
- The whole Elephanta Island features Seven Island.
- Elephanta’s famous celebration of dance in month of february.
Dated November 14, 2022