Elephanta Island Things to Do

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

Best Rated Things to Do in Elephanta Island

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    Visit the Elephanta Caves!!!

    by aadil Updated May 15, 2005

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    Nataraja Shiva.

    Well, the only thing you come here for is to visit the caves, so just do that!!! HAHAHA!!! It is a great experience to see the wonderful carvings in hard stone made using only hand tools and just hewn out of one single piece of rocky mountain!!! It is marvellous to see the different forms and so many different panels depicting the various stories of Lord Shiva especially the main central trimurti (triheaded structure) which is not damaged by the trigger happy Portuguese soldiers who damaged all the other statues and panels in the cave complex except this one as it was hidden behind a stone wall that protected it from their merciless slaughter and destruction of this fine artwork!!! There is a stone lingam (the phallus - the symbol of Lord Shiva) in the temple in the main cave and it is surrounded by eight doorkeepers. There are a lot of pillars in the cave complex and a couple of them are also damaged but now repaired. There are a lot of panels which depict the stories of Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati as well as some of the other gods and goddesses as well. There are two other cave complexes as well but not much in them as in the main cave. If you go up the hill there is an old artillery cannon that is on display. There are a lot of monkeys around this island so if you like taking pictures of them then just give them something to eat and they will jump at the opportunity to give you some good poses for interesting pictures!!! HAHAHA!!! Don't encourage them too much or else they will try to snatch everything away from you even if you don't want to give it to them!!!

    The picture is of the first panel to your right as you enter the caves called the Nataraja Shiva where he is depicted doing the cosmic dance. It is one of the famous poses of Shiva. The panel has been badly damaged due to the trigger happy Portuguese soldiers who used it for target practice when they discovered the caves in 1534!!!

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    Ardhanarishvara --Elephanta Island

    by mehulraj Written May 2, 2012

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    Ardhanarishvara --Elephanta Island

    Ardhanarishvara --Elephanta Island

    The sculpture's left is female and the right is male. Ardhanarishvara` is a combination of three words 'Ardha=Half ', 'Nari=Woman ' and 'Ishwara=God'

    Right side is of male with flat masculine chest and Left side is of female with earrings and round bosom and a narrow feminine waist, a curvier body and round hip than the male part. Actually its a combined form or Lord Shiva and Parvati..And the story behind this form of shiva goes like this, A demon named Andhaka wanted Parvati to be his wife, Vishnu rescued her and brought her to his abode. And the this demon Andhaka followed her and to get rid of him Parvati shows him her Ardanarishvara form. Seeing the half-male, half-female form, the demon lost interest in her,fed up and left. Apart of this story there are lot of other interesting stories too..I have just put one which was little interesting to me.

    And as this Ardhanarishvara form of Lord shiva and Parvati worshiped in India and thats the reason at some part of india we can see "eunuch" or "hermaphrodite," are respected as people consider them as Ardhanarishvara form of Lord shiva and Parvati..Strange right?????????

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    Ravana lifting Kailash Mountain

    by mehulraj Written May 3, 2012

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    Ravana lifting Kailash Mountain

    Ravana lifting Kailash Mountain

    There are two stories behind this sculpture.

    1)------>>>> Once Demon Ravana after defeating his own brother Kubera was overflying Mt.Kailash and Nandi ( Bull--Keeper of Lord Shiva ) asked Ravana to move away from Mt.Kailash and not to disturb boss Shiva and Parvati.Ravana did not listen to Nandi and tried to shake Mt.Kailash. This frightened Parvati wife of Lord shiva but Lord shiva did not loose his cool and pinned down Mt.Kailash with just his toes. Ultimately Ravana asked for mercy and Shiva released him and Ravana became a great devotee of Shiva.

    Other version is Ravana's mother was great devotee of Lord Shiva and wanted to go to pilgrimage to Mt.Kailash instead her son Ravana thought of bringing Mt.Kailash to his mother and attempted to life in vain.

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    Main attraction Trimurti Sculpture..

    by mehulraj Written May 2, 2012

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    Main attraction Trimurti Sculpture..
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    Main attraction Trimurti Sculpture..

    This sculpture is the main attraction of Elephanta Island and this for of Lord Shiva is shown everywhere to represent Elephanta Island. This sculpture is called " Trimuti ". And " Tri " means three ( 3 ) and "Murti" means sculpture its that simple.

    Its actually three different form of shiva shown in single sculpture and all three faces shows different expression and got different meaning. Actually Lord Shiva performs five actions - creation, preservation, destruction, concealing grace, and revealing grace out of which three shown here. These there different Gods are " Brahma ", " Vishnu " and " Bhairava ".

    On the right side we can see " Brahma " creator of this world and living things on earth.
    left side face is or " Bhairava " form of shiva who brings destruction to world or decides ending life on earth. and central face shows "Vishnu" who preserves or creates balance on earth.

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    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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    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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    Gangadhara Shiva--Elephanta Island

    by mehulraj Written May 3, 2012

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    Gangadhara Shiva

    Gangadhara Shiva--Elephanta Island

    There is a story behind this Sculpture too. Why Ganga (River Ganga) got entangled to Lord shiva's Hair ( Jata )..Its believed in Hindu religion that if ash's of a persons dead body put in to Ganga river then all his sins will be dissolved and person will get " Moksha " i.e ticket for heaven.

    There was a king name " Bhagirat "his ancestors were burned down due to some curse. To remove this curse he wanted to bring the river Ganges to earth. But it was not easy as he had to get approval from Boss of god i.e " Indra " and River Ganga itself..Bhagirata performed very severe austerities and finally got approval but that was not easy. Ganga goddess agreed his request but warned that earth would not withstand the force with which she would descend.

    And Bhagirat performed severe austerities to pleasing Lord Shiva. Lord shiva agreed to catch ganga in his hair to reduce its force to reduce her force before descending on earth.

    On this sculpture we can she Bhagirat kneeling( Pleasing ) Lord shiva.

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    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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    Linga..

    by pollon Written Mar 18, 2005

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    Linga

    Elephanta is one of the numberless temples of Siva and architecturally is a cave. I have read that the ferry ride, considered like a passage across water, the steps leading upwards to the site, considered like a mountain to be climbed and the cave itself to enter are three "journeys" which must be taken in order to approach the temple and give a worshiper the sense of duty and preparation to be in the home of Siva.
    Columns divide in equal rows and aisles the area which has three entrances: north, west and east.
    On the west side finds a square sanctuary, in my pic, detached from the walls and inside it is a monolithic Linga.

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    Siva & Parvati..

    by pollon Written Mar 18, 2005

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    Yogi

    Deeply carved panels show scenes of Siva and Parvati: the two seated on the top of a mountain gambling, Siva and Parvati on a mountain with the demon figure of Kailasa beneath. Entering the north portico you see Siva as an ascetic (Yogi) and then Siva dancing. On the west portico a destructive Siva slaying the demon Andhaka, then a marriage scene of Siva and Parvati. On the center south wall one of the most famous if not the most famous scene: the three-faces of Siva (Eternal Siva), and also Siva beneath a river goddess and next to Parvati who is Ganges, then a half-female image of Siva.

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    stilll Siva..

    by pollon Written Mar 18, 2005

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    Siva

    I think I was particularly lucky as when we entered the caves a man explained he was a guide payed by the government and if we were interested in a guided tour for free, he was there till 14.00. We accepted and his descriptions were catchy and interesting as the one of Ravana Lifting Kailasa: the demon king Ravana felt insulted that Siva and Parvati were making love on Kailasa mountain so he lifted the mountain, but Siva pinned Ravana under it and was kept there for a thousand years.

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  • mehulraj's Profile Photo

    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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    Shiva slaying Andhaka--Elephanta Island

    by mehulraj Written May 3, 2012

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    Shiva slaying Andhaka--Elephanta Island

    Shiva slaying Andhaka--Elephanta Island

    Shiva slaying demon called " Andhaka " and andhaka means " Blind one " and its believed that he was son of lord Shiva but was born blind. And Shiva gave his son to another demon to raise him and ultimately he raised same as demon.

    And he once he tries to woo Parvati, Lord Shiva's wife which was actually his mother..So here " Andhaka " might not meant for blind but may refers to inability to differentiate between right and wrong. And finally Lord Shiva kills him and on sculpture we can see Andhaka submitting under Shiva’s feet

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    The entrance

    by SirRichard Written Mar 24, 2003

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    Entrance of the main cave

    As you arrive in the boat, you walk a few hundred metres, climb some steps, and there you have the ticket boxes. There are also local guides offered at the entrance for those who want detailed explanations, as there are no signs with history… at the caves.

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    Cannon--Elephanta Island

    by mehulraj Written May 2, 2012

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    Cannon--Elephanta Island
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    Cannon--Elephanta Island

    Another Tourist attraction after visiting these caves. There are two Cannon on hill installed little apart. Path to these place is in little worst condition. At the start there are few steps to climb and after that small trail leads to this hill which you can see in third picture. And there is no railing for support and which makes this path little dangerous if a person slips or fall.

    And these both Cannon worst maintained, its barrel is completely filled with dirt and plastic bottles and storage space which is just beneath it is now storage place for all kind of crap that tourist throw here irresponsibly.. Its support is totally rusted and in few years it will fall I am sure of that..

    This place is worth visiting for these two Cannon and view from top is really good.

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