Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

Date: 26th Jan 2018

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Fee: Rs 30. Separate charges for boat and toy train.

Timing:  9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Monday Holiday.

Food: Available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Gateway of India.

The UNESCO world heritage site is one of the popular tourist attraction in Mumbai. The seven caves dedicated predominantly to Lord Shiva is located on elephanta island. The rock cut sculptures represent a mix of Hindu and Buddhist images and symbols. The exact date of excavation of the caves was not known but its believed to have been carved around 4th and 7th century. Barring few sculptures most of them are damaged and defaced. The 20ft statue of Trimurti is the central attraction in the caves. The combined image of Trimurti and the gateway of India forms the logo for Maharastra Tourism Development corporation. Some of the other images found in these caves apart from Trimurti are Gangadhara, Arthanarishvara, Yogishvara, Ravana lifting Kailasha and many other. There is also a shiva linga in a smaller shrine inside the complex. The elephant statue that gave the name to the island is now in Victoria garden or Jijamata Udyan. Some of the art work is also moved to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.

The boat journey is around 1 hour then a few minutes of ride in toy train and 100 odd steps to be climbed to reach the famed caves of elephanta. Highly recommended to hire a guide in the island to get the detailed stories of the sculptures and the caves. Avoid getting bored during one hour boat ride by feeding chips to seagulls that fly around the boat.

Few pics from the island.

Try visiting the place as early as possible to avoid the heat and the crowd. 

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