Elephanta Island Travel Guide

  • Trimurthi
    Trimurthi
    by mehulraj
  • Main Cave at Elephanta Island
    Main Cave at Elephanta Island
    by mehulraj
  • East Wing Cave
    East Wing Cave
    by mehulraj

Elephanta Island Things to Do

  • Elephanta Island

    Elephanta Island Elephanta Island or also known as Gharapuri Island or place of caves is only accessible by ferries which operates from Gate way of India, Mumbai. This Island is about 11 Kms from Gate way of India and ferry ride roughly takes one hour and operates daily. But during rainy season i.e during June-August 1st week if sea is rough then...

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  • Cave No.5--Elephanta Island

    Cave No.5--Elephanta Island This cave on south of Cave No.4.This cave is one of the worst damaged cave on Elephanta Island. At some places its written that its construction might have been abandoned in between. But might have been damaged to accumulating water or damaged by earlier portuguese. This cave really in bad shape with just rubble all...

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  • Cave No.4--Elephanta Island

    Cave No.4--Elephanta Island Nothing much here no columns but cave has got three openings.

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  • Cave No.3--Elephanta Island

    Cave No.3This cave is south to Cave No.2 and with eight columns visible at the entrance. These pillar are really in good condition apart from it sculptures of door-keepers of shrine are damaged to some extent. A little further to the south there is cave No 3. in even worse condition, damaged by stagnant water. Pillars in the front of rooms have...

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  • Cave No. 2

    Cave No. 2 Cave No 2. is located to the south-east from the Great Cave. It is facing east, with a Shrine in its northern end.This cave got four pillars and is extensively damaged. All these damages happens during rainy season due to accumulation of water.Few traces of sculptures are remaining and artwork is almost nil.

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  • East Wing Cave

    East Wing Cave Here again one Lord Shiva Lingam shrine is available. This cave's sculptures are extensively damaged .

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Elephanta Island Restaurants

  • Local food

    There are lot of restaurants at foothill and some on top. There is no particular restaurant I want to talk about, they are all same in looks and probably same in quality of food too. I dont remember restaurant's name were we had our lunch, nothing special about it food was ok and reasonably priced but for anything like soft drink or flavoured milk...

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  • A food joint downhill

    Suggestion Folks> Try grabbing the food on your return. This makes the food even better after a long tiresome walk.> While coming down you can see few food joints on the left hand side which are protected by nets (to avoid monkeys) and can be a few options to fill your stomach. > Generally they serve the local Indian food along with...

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  • Food on Elephanta Island

    If you get hungry while on Elephanta Island there are a few options. You will find stalls selling snacks or corn-cobs (in June 2010 a corn-cob was 15 rupees). At the top of the stairway there is a restaurant and from the balcony of the restaurant there is a nice view. I didn’t eat here but only had a coffee (20 rupees). There is also a restaurant...

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Elephanta Island Nightlife

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    by aadil Written May 14, 2005

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    There is a two day (weekend) festival of Indian classical dance and music held every year in the month of February inside the Elephanta Caves complex and there are special boats to take you there in the evening and bring you back at night. This is the only time when it is possible to go there at night!!! There are performances by well known artists from the dance and music field and they are very reasonably priced at Rs300 for each day including the luxury boat ride which normally costs Rs110 per person. So for Rs190 it is a fantastic bargain to be under the stars and enjoy a night out with the "stars" of the dance and music fraternity. The tickets can be booked at the MTDC counters at the Gateway of India or at other specified centers too.

    Dress Code: You may wear anything that is comfortable to get onto the boats from the jetty and back on the boats when coming back as well as to climb up the many stone steps that lead to the caves. So wear comfortable shoes and no high heels!!! It may be a bit cool in the evenings in February so keep a shawl handy as it helps keep the mosquitoes away too!!!

    Related to:
    • Festivals
    • Music
    • Family Travel

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Elephanta Island Transportation

  • To Elephanta Island

    Boats to Elephanta Island leave from Gateway of India. They leave every half an hour during the day, except Mondays when the caves on Elephanta Island are closed. I bought my ticket just by the boat and a return ticket was Rs 120 (June 2010). Be aware of hawkers trying to sell you tours to the island. It took just over an hour to go to Elephanta...

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  • How to get to Elephanta Island and Back

    Elephanta Island is a popular day trip from Bombay for tourists and locals alike. Boats leave about every 15 minutes from Apollo Bunder, the dock by the Gateway of India and take an hour to get to the island. Some boats are a touch sturdier and faster than the others, and cost a touch more, but the difference is small. Once you arrive on the...

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  • Palanquins

    These guys are waiting for you at the bottom of the steps that lead you up from the jetty to the cave entrance. They're there beside wooden chairs known as palanquins in order to carry you up the steps as there are well over 100 steps to the top, if not, over 200. This, of course, doesn't come for free and I suppose you would have to negotiate a...

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Elephanta Island Shopping

  • Lots of option to choose

    From the foothill to top we can find small shops on both side of the path. Which leaves very less space for walking. From the foothill to top we can find small shops on both side of the path. Which leaves very less space for walking. And the sell lot of things hand made things such as sculptures made from Marble, Paintings of Lord Shiva and...

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  • Local Indian artefacts

    A visit to Elephanta Island affords the visitor a good opportunity to shop for souvenirs and Indian artefacts. The long (uphill) walk from the shore to the caves is lined with sellers of various artefacts from all over India. The selection is excellent and the items are of a good quality, while prices are not exorbitant (of course, bartering is...

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  • Souvenirs or tourist trap?

    Wherever there's a tourist attraction in India, there'll be people trying to sell you some king of souvenirs from stalls. Elephanta Island has its fair share of stalls as it's an extremely popular tourist destination. The stalls line both sides of the steps that take you up from the jetty to the cave entrance where the ticket counter is located and...

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Elephanta Island Local Customs

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    by MM212 Written Mar 6, 2009

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    Three local villages exist on Elephanta Island, which has a total of 1600 permanent population. One of those villages is located by the pier where the ferries from Bombay arrive. This colourful village (seen in the attached photographs) seems to depend somewhat on tourism, as it has a few shops and restaurants that cater to tourists. Otherwise, the local population lives on fishing and agriculture.

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Elephanta Island Warnings and Dangers

  • Monkeys!

    Elephanta Island is teeming with monkeys so watch yourself! Some of them are really cute (especially the babies) but others can be quite intimidating especially if you're carrying or eating food. I would recommend not to eat anything within the cave compound as you'll only ask for trouble. There are also some stray dogs around the compound but...

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  • Steps

    In order to reach the ticket counter by the entrance to the caves, you have to climb up a series of steps. These must number well over 100 if not over 200, so it's a bit of a climb up. However, there is an answer to this. There are some guys waiting at the bottom with wooden chairs known as palanquins and they literally carry you up the steps....

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  • Early Damage

    Make sure you wear mosquito repellent to the island especially in the warmer months. Inside the caves in particular those mozzies are rampant. You will spend all your time fending them off if you don’t.

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Elephanta Island Tourist Traps

  • Stalls on steps

    Wherever there's a tourist attraction in India, there'll be people trying to sell you some king of souvenirs from stalls. Elephanta Island has its fair share of stalls as it's an extremely popular tourist destination. The stalls line both sides of the steps that take you up from the jetty to the cave entrance where the ticket counter is located and...

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  • "Hello Madam, Photo"!!!

    "Hello madam, Photo!!!" This is the only English the lady with the pot of water placed on her head knows for foreign tourists to take a picture of her dressed in the traditional Maharashtrian saree!!! Not to be confused with this Italian madam (pollon@VT aka Chiara) who had her photo taken in front of the Nataraja Shiva doing the cosmic dance in...

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  • The tourist's train

    As you get down from the boat in Elephanta Island you have the chance to take a little train that gets you to the base of the stairs. Don't take it: it's very cheap (6 Rs) but it only goes for 200 metres (2 minutes), you can do that distance in a short walk, and is just a tourist trap...

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Elephanta Island What to Pack

  • Things to bring to Elephanta

    A few things I recommend bringing with you to Elephanta: 1- A good book to read on the hour-long ferry ride.2- A hat if you're sensitive to the sun.3- A bottle of water (although drink-sellers are abundant on the island).4- A snack or a packed lunch (again, a few restaurants are available on the island).5- A torch (flashlight) for a brighter look...

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  • Everything is highly overpriced here!!!

    Wear light cottons if in summer or slightly warm clothes in winter. Always wear closed shoes without high heels as there are a lot of uneven stone steps you have to climb to get to the top of the caves complex as well as get in and out of the boats at the jetty. Get all your photographic supplies because if you run out of anything usually it...

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  • Elephanta Island Hotels

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Elephanta Island Off The Beaten Path

  • exploring the cannons and hidden town

    We took a ferry for 120/- from the gateway of India at 9 am to the elephanta caves. We decided to explorer the island as the caves were too costly charging tourist 250/- rupees. We walked to the entrance skipping the tourist trap the small toy train. Then walked to the caves and instead of taking a left to the caves we took a right. After walking...

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  • You are off the beaten path when you...

    When you come to the Elephanta Caves you are already off the beaten path from the concrete jungle of the city of Mumbai into the sea and then in the jungle like atmosphere of the island here. There are a lot of bird watching opportunities and monkeys and squirrels too, so keep your eyes open and your cameras ready to shoot!!! So go enjoy your time...

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Elephanta Island Favorites

  • Shiva and Parvati Playing Chausar.

    This panel is showing Shiva and Parvati playing Chausar which is a game of dice and it seems Shiva won and Parvati lost so she is angry with him and turned her face away from him but Shiva seems to be telling her that it is only a game and that she should not take it so seriously and maybe next time she would win!!!

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  • Ravana Anugraha.

    This panel depicts the shaking of Mount Kailasa by Ravana and Shiva crushing him with his foot to teach him a lesson. Legend has it that when the powerful demon Ravana, drunk with pride, tried to uproot Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. He managed to lift the mountain and terrified the inhabitants but Shiva just pressed the toe of his left...

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  • Shiva Ardhanarisvara.

    This panel depicts Shiva as Ardhanarisvara the combination of the male and female form as the half man, half woman and it shows the two different forms on either side with the male on the left and the female on the right side. The fusion of the male and female symbolises the Divine Unity, in which all opposites are resolved. The swelling breast and...

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Explore Deeper into Elephanta Island
Main Cave Shiva Lingam
Things to Do
Wedding of Shiva--Elephanta Island
Things to Do
Yogishvara Shiva--Elephanta Island
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Shiva slaying Andhaka--Elephanta Island
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Gangadhara Shiva--Elephanta Island
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Ravana lifting Kailash Mountain
Things to Do
Ardhanarishvara --Elephanta Island
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Main attraction Trimurti Sculpture..
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Main Cave at Elephanta Island
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Cannon--Elephanta Island
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Archaeological Museum,Elephanta Island
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From/To Boat jetty to near to footstep of Hill
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The Main Temple
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Walking around and up to Cannon Hill
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Arriving
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Main Cave - Mandapa
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Gharapuri Island
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To feed the monkeys or not...
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The Main Cave (No. 1)
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Main Cave - East Shiva Shrine
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Main Cave - East Courtyard
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Main Cave - Ravananugrah Murti
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Main Cave - Shiva Shrine
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Main Cave - Gangadhara-Shiva
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Uma Mahesvara Murti
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Main Cave - Kalyanasundara Murti
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Main Cave - Andhakasura Vadh
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Main Cave - Mahesh Murti
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Main Cave - Natraj Shiva
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Main Cave - Mahayogi Shiva
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Main Cave - Shiva Shakti
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Cave No. 3
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Cave No. 5
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Cave No. 4
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Cave No. 2
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On the way up
Restaurants
Museum
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Other caves
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Shiva and Parvati playing dice
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Gangadhara
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Map of Elephanta Island

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