Elephanta Island Things to Do

  • Toy train or Transportation.
    Toy train or Transportation.
    by mehulraj
  • Is it Impossible to walk??????
    Is it Impossible to walk??????
    by mehulraj
  • Toy train or Transportation.
    Toy train or Transportation.
    by mehulraj

Most Recent Things to Do in Elephanta Island

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    From/To Boat jetty to near to footstep of Hill

    by mehulraj Updated May 1, 2012

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    Toy train or Transportation.
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    From/To Boat jetty to Island

    So colorful and bright in color....Is it really meant for transportation where we need to walk just for about 1Kms. Does it serves it purpose??? Is it really worth riding on this train????

    Fun to watch this train and young people on it. When we arrived at boat jetty this so called train was returning and by the time we reached on other end it did not even started!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are young and healthy and can walk then please do walk as at home if you need to walk 1Kms I dont think you will waste gas for it.

    Engine of this train great contributor for noise and air pollution and apart from it from start to end whole train track is soaked in leaking oil from this engine which ultimately goes into sea during rain and retuns back to us circulating in eco-system.

    Fare is just 10/-Rs for going and coming back...not expensive but not worth waiting for this train and contributing for pollution( ha ha ha )..

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    The Main Temple

    by MalenaN Written Oct 2, 2010

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    Shiva Shrine
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    The main temple on Elephanta Island is the cave worth seeing on the island. It is a temple dedicated to Shiva with halls of pillars, shrines and courtyards. On the walls are beautiful stone carvings.

    When you enter the cave you will see a 6 metre tall statue of Sadhashiva in front of you. Sadhashiva is a three faced Shiva where Shiva is the destroyer (the face to the left), the creator (the face to the right) and the preserver of universe (the calm central face). In the main hall there is a Shiva Shrine. It has four doors with big statues - doorkeepers - outside.

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    Walking around and up to Cannon Hill

    by MalenaN Written Oct 1, 2010

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    One of the cannons on Cannon Hill

    There is a footpath going around the island (which I didn’t take) and there are three villages on the island. After seeing the caves I decided to walk up to Cannon Hill. Halfway up there was a stall selling snacks and drinks so I stopped to buy a Coke. As the rain started to pour down I stayed there for a while before continuing. On Cannon Hill there are two cannons and some ruins of buildings. And from the top there is a fine view.

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    Arriving

    by MalenaN Updated Aug 21, 2010

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    Pillars in the main cave

    It takes about an hour to go by boat to Elephanta Island from Mumbai. When you arrive to the island the boat stops at the end of a long pier. After the pier you will walk past souvenir stalls and food stalls, and have about 120 steps to climb to the entrance where you pay the admission. Admission for foreigners in June 2010 was Rs 250. The caves are open Tuesday - Sunday between 9 - 17.
    Just after the small office where you pay the admission there is a small museum where it can be good to begin the tour.

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    Main Cave - Mandapa

    by MM212 Updated Nov 16, 2009

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    Mandapa
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    The central area in the Main Cave is referred to as Mandapa, which is essentially a hypostyle hall in Hindu Temples. It is a large columned hall preceding the main sanctuary. Here it contains numerous square columns supporting the flat ceiling. Each column has a cylindrical carved capital, and some also have little elephants above the corners of the square base. The Mandapa is surrounded by porches on three sides, two of which lead to inner courtyards and shrines beyond.

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    Gharapuri Island

    by MM212 Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Elephanta Island

    Known locally as Gharapuri, i.e. "Place of Caves", the island was not named Elephanta until the Portuguese took possession of it in 1534 AD. Upon discovering a large monolithic stone elephant statue on the island, the Portuguese called it Elephanta. Centuries later, this statue collapsed, but was reassembled by the British and moved to Victoria Gardens in Bombay/Mumbai. The island is located in the Bombay Harbour about 10km northwest of the Gateway of India.

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    To feed the monkeys or not...

    by MM212 Updated Mar 8, 2009

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    A huge sign by the ticket office warns the visitor against feeding the monkeys. The island is filled with them and they roam the archeological area freely. The sign says the monkeys could attack you. Nevertheless, I saw numerous tourists feeding the monkeys and approaching them. I preferred only to photograph them.

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    The Main Cave (No. 1)

    by MM212 Updated Mar 6, 2009

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    Entrance of the Main Cave

    Officially assigned the number 1, the Main Cave is the reason one travels all the way to Elephanta Island. It is the largest and most elaborately decorated cave temple on Elephanta Island and is dedicated to the god Shiva. It is also the first cave one encounters upon arrival to the archeological site. Like the other caves on the site, the Main Cave was probably carved between 450 AD and 750 AD, originally as a Buddhist temple and continued as a Hindu temple when Buddhism declined. Therefore, much of the carvings here probably date from the later period as they are more exclusively Hindu in character. The stunning carvings are described in more detail further down on this page.

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    Main Cave - East Shiva Shrine

    by MM212 Updated Mar 6, 2009

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    The sanctuary and the two lion statues
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    The East Courtyard in the Main Cave leads to another Shiva Shrine. The steps up to the portico were flanked by two lion statues, which are now placed inside the portico on either side of the entrance of the sanctuary itself. Two dvarapalas (guards) protect the sanctuary, which is the holiest place here. Visitors must remove footwear before entering the sanctuary. Two additional columned porticos can be found on either end of this area, the one on the right hand side contains some badly damaged sculptures.

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    Main Cave - East Courtyard

    by MM212 Updated Mar 6, 2009

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    East Courtyard
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    The East Courtyard in the Main Cave is an open space linking the Mandapa to a separate section containing another Shiva shrine. The open air courtyard contains a round pedestal called the Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva.

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    Main Cave - Ravananugrah Murti

    by MM212 Updated Mar 6, 2009

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    To the left of the Main Cave's entrance is a porch leading into another (East) courtyard. The porch is flanked by two carved panels. The left hand side one, when looking onto the courtyard, is of Ravananugrah Murti, the demon Ravana shaking and uprooting Mount Kailasa, Shiva's domicile in the Himalayas. Shiva is shown returning the mountain to its place with his toe and trapping Ravena underneath. This panel is rather badly damaged, so it was hard to discern the images of the sculpture.

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    Main Cave - Shiva Shrine

    by MM212 Updated Mar 6, 2009

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    Shiva Shrine in the back
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    As one enters the cave temple, to one's right is the Shiva Shrine, an enclosed chamber with an entrance on each of its sides. This is considered the holiest place in the temple containing the Linga (symbol representing Shiva) and thus one must not walk in wearing shoes. Each entrance is guarded by large statues of dvarapalas (guards) on either side.

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    Main Cave - Gangadhara-Shiva

    by MM212 Updated Mar 6, 2009

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    To the right of Mahesh Murti is a detailed panel depicting Gangadhara Shiva, the Descent of the Ganges. Shiva is shown bearing in his head the goddess Ganga, who represents the holy River Ganges, hence the name Gangadhara Shiva. To his left is the goddess Parvati, his companion/wife, who is slightly jealous of Ganga. This panel describes how Shiva released the holy River Ganges to Earth.

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    Uma Mahesvara Murti

    by MM212 Written Mar 6, 2009

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    To the right of the porch leading to the East Courtyard is a rather badly damaged panel depicting, Uma Mahesvara Murti, a Shiva-Parvati domestic scene. The sculpture shows Shiva and Parvati playing a game of dice in their home in Kailasa Mountain.

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    Main Cave - Kalyanasundara Murti

    by MM212 Written Mar 6, 2009

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    Marriage of Shiva and Parvati

    By the west courtyard, opposite the panel showing Shiva the Destroyer of the Demon, is a more festive panel, the Kalyanasundara Murti depicting the marriage of Shiva and Parvati. The goddess Parvati is being gently pushed by her father towards her husband-to-be.

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