Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

19 Reviews

Gharapuri, Maharashtra 400094 +91 22 2204 4040

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  • Local restaurant and accommodation
    Local restaurant and accommodation
    by ranger49
  • Boat to Elephanta Island
    Boat to Elephanta Island
    by Sambawalk
  • The Elephanta Caves
    The Elephanta Caves
    by Sambawalk
  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    ELEPHANTA CAVES

    by lynnehamman Updated Apr 8, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No visit to Mumbai would be complete without a visit to Elephanta Caves. An hour boat-ride will take you to the Island.
    Elephanta Island is one of a number of islands east of Mumbai. It's popular attraction is the famous Elephanta Caves and temple, carved out of a rockface. Inside the caves are magnificent stone carved statues of Hindu deities.
    The present name Elephanta, was given by 17th century Portuguese explorers, after seeing a monolithic basalt sculpture of an elephant found here near the entrance. They decided to take it back to Portugal, but ended up dropping it into the sea because of its great weight. After retrieval fom its watery grave, this sculpture was moved to the Victoria and Albert Museum in Mumbai, by the British.
    There is a steep climb upto the cave complex. The steps are lined with hawkers selling religious and other artifacts, and also foodstalls for refreshment.
    If the walk up the steep steps is a difficulty- one can hire 'bearers'who sit you in a chair attatched to poles, and they will have you at the caves in a very short while. The fee is about R100
    The ferry ride takes about an hour from the wharf near the Gateway to India, and gives a great oppurtunity to view another perspective of Mumbai and its Gateway.

    Rock scupltures at Elephanta Pillars- Entrance to Caves On the ferry to Elephanta
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    Elephanta Caves

    by SirRichard Written Dec 23, 2003

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    A nice visit for a morning in Mumbai is a trip to the Elephanta Island (see transportation for ferry details), hinduist caves carved on rock. Entrance 10 $. Ferry 85 Rs.

    At the entrance there are a lot of souvenir shops.

    The Shiva Tromuri (3 faces) statue, at the bottom of the main cave, is the main attraction.

    The Shiva Statue

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    Elephanta caves

    by pollon Updated Mar 2, 2005

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    Maybe I should have put it under off the beaten path as you need an hour boatride to reach Elephanta Caves but they are so well-known and I read so much visited that I thought it deserved a must see place...
    Down the Gateway of India is the peer from where leave the ferries to the Gharapuri Island. And after the hour boatride, a walk up to the top of the stairs crowded with stalls of beautiful handcrafts and you reach the Elephanta Caves, charming spot of Hindu Gods and Goddesses stone sculptures.

    The fare costs 80 Rs. the ordinary and 100 Rs. the luxury, then a fee of 5 Rs. when you enter the island.

    The entrance is 250 Rs. for foreigners, 10 Rs. for Indians.

    But you can get bothered with a whole page I built about these caves...

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  • goutammitra's Profile Photo

    Elephanta Caves of Bombay- 2.

    by goutammitra Updated Mar 21, 2007

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    There are three entrances to the main temple in the complex- from the north, east and west. The main gallery is divided by columns into equal rows and aisles. To the west, and outside this area, is a square sanctuary containing a monolithic Linga.

    The huge, high-relief works in the main cave, on both sides of the three entrances and on the south wall, are characteristic of the cult of Siva and considered to be among the most perfect expressions of Indian art of their time. The most well-known is the six metre high Trimurti, showing Siva in the three roles of creator, preserver and destroyer. This sculpture is supposed to be one of the centerpieces of the Indian sculptural tradition. Other panels include representations of Siva as Ardhanarisvara (part female), Kalyana-sundara and Nataraja.

    Known as Gharapuri since the time of the Konkani Mauryas, the island's present name is due to a sculpture of an elephant found here. This piece was moved to the Bhau Daji Ladd museum near the Jijamata Udyan in Bycullah, where it can still be seen.

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  • goutammitra's Profile Photo

    Elephanta Caves of Bombay!

    by goutammitra Updated Mar 21, 2007

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    The cave temples to Siva, on the island of Elephanta, in the Bombay harbour, contain some of the most magnificent sculptures in the Deccan. The dating of the caves seems to be controversial. They were probably finished some time between 450 and 750 AD. The complex is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Access from Mumbai is by boats leaving from the Gateway of India. The 10 Km journey takes a little less than an hour each way. The boat service may be suspended during the monsoon. Tickets and timings for the boats are available at the Gateway. From the landing stage on Elephanta Island there are stairs that lead to the cave. Tickets are available at the top, near the entrance to the caves. There is a good view of the city across the harbour from the terrace of the Tourism Department's hotel next to the cave complex.

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    Archaelogical Survey of India Museum

    by radz Written Jan 29, 2004

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    Elephenta caves is 1hr launch ride from Gateway of India.
    This pic inside of Museum.Before entering to see Caves,have a look at Museum here.
    They displayed pic from all caves,including Ajantha,Eellora,and
    Elephenta caves pics with details.Its all about caves,Elephenta caves are giant caves
    ,with most impressive sculpture all inside the caves.
    Its all about diffrent sculpture of Lord Shiva.
    The pic shows details of Sadashiva,this is main most striking Shiva is Maheshmurthi,with 6m high,and three headed Shiva,dipicting him in his 3 aspects as Creator,Destroyer&Preserver.This inside the hall,count get enough light
    so the pic came very dark :(.
    Caves sides can see massive sculptured panels ,showing Hindu mythology.

    Better get one guide, he will explain,if we see ourselfs we may miss many details:).
    After getting down from boat ride,you have walk 1/2 km to caves,train (look like toy train from distance :)))runs,Rs4,it will take u near to Caves.
    But again one has take steps to reach top of the caves.So better take water bottle:).
    There are few hotels are there,usully it took half day trip from Mumbai,have to pack something to eat.Hotels all looking dirty heheheh,i coun"t eat anything there :(.Bottled drinks ok.

    Photo ,At Museum
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  • radz's Profile Photo

    Elephanta Caves. (4th-9th Century AD)

    by radz Written Jan 29, 2004

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    At,Elephenta caves one can see seven magnificent rock cut caves.
    This pic main hall,western side you can see,Lingam shrine ,inside 1m Lingam,four sideguarded by dwarapalas(doorkeepers),they too very big.Lingam is symbol of Lord Shiva.
    This hall can see diffrent form of Shiva,one is Ardhanariswara,is 5m hight,and
    Brama figure too.
    Timing: 9a.m -5.30 pm.
    Entrance fee Rs 10.
    For Foreigners US$5(Rs 250)
    Every Monday its closed.

    How to go,plz chek my transport tips.

    Elephenta caves
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  • rjogadiya's Profile Photo

    Elephanta Caves island near Mumbai

    by rjogadiya Written Aug 3, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Elephanta Caves are a great tourist attraction around Mumbai. The Elephanta island is located 10 km away from the Gateway of India at Mumbai. These caves house rock cut temples dating back to the 5th century CE during the Mauryan rule.

    The Elephanta island was so named by the Portuguese, after the statue of an elephant near the landing area of the island. These rock cut temples dedicated to Shiva Mahadeva are rich in sculptural content.

    The Creator, the Protector and the Destroyer
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  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Elephanta Island, Part II

    by atufft Written May 2, 2007

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    This UNESCO World Heritage Site was probably finished some time between 450 and 750 AD, but some archeological remains found on the island are much older than this. The remarkable rock cut cave temples are devoted to the Hindu God Siva.

    There are three entrances to the main temple in the complex- from the north, east and west. The main gallery is divided by columns into equal rows and aisles. To the west, and outside this area, is a square sanctuary containing a monolithic Linga. The huge, high-relief works in the main cave, on both sides of the three entrances and on the south wall, are characteristic of the cult of Siva and considered to be among the most perfect expressions of Indian art of their time. The most well-known is the six metre high Trimurti, showing Siva in the three roles of creator, preserver and destroyer. This sculpture is supposed to be one of the centerpieces of the Indian sculptural tradition. Other panels include representations of Siva as Ardhanarisvara (part female), Kalyana-sundara and Nataraja.

    Known as Gharapuri since the time of the Konkani Mauryas, the island's present name is due to a sculpture of an elephant found here. This piece was moved to the Bhau Daji Ladd museum near the Jijamata Udyan in Bycullah, where it can still be seen.

    Rock Cut Elephanta Island Temple Elephanta Island Temple Interior Rock Cut Artwork in Elephanta Island Monkeys on Elephanta Island
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    The Three Faces of Shiva.....

    by kenmerk Written Dec 30, 2004

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    The centerpiece of the caves is this three headed depiction of Shiva. To the left is the creator (Brahma), in the middle is the preserver (Vishnu) and on the right, holding the snake, is the destroyer (Shiva).

    All these elements of Hinduism sorta serve to balance each other out.... (You cant have a creator without a destroyer, now can you ??)

    The Three Faces of Shiva...

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  • ranger49's Profile Photo

    Elephanta Caves

    by ranger49 Updated Jan 15, 2010

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    The Elephanta Caves designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, are believed to have been created over 1500 years ago and are both an important ancient monument and a revered shrine of the Hindu religion. The mighty figures carved in to the 6 rock caves depict Shiva, most important of Hindu deities, the goddess Parvati his wife, and the quises assumed by Shiva in the form of half man,half woman. The complex story of battles between good and evil in which they were involved are represented in different sections of the Temple.

    It was unfortunate that the special lighting which apparently illuminates the temple was not working. The redoubtable Parsi guide we had met the day before did her best to find out if they could be switched on. A good deal of commotion and shouting followed to no avail and it waas very diificult to see the bas-relief decoration forwhich the caves are so famous. Nor was flash photography allowed in the caves and the few people who went ahead anyway were soon reprimanded by custodians.
    In spite of these minor disappointments it was a worthwhile visit providing another insight into the richness and diversity of Indian history and culture .

    Local restaurant and accommodation

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  • mili_143's Profile Photo

    elephanta caves

    by mili_143 Written Jul 19, 2007

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    One of the most must see site of mumbai.. They charge 500/- rs for non indians and 20/- rs for indians (huge diff) any way for reaching here you have to take a launch from gate way of india which will charge you 50/- rs for return fare. Its worth to see.

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  • WStat's Profile Photo

    See the ELEPHANTA-CAVES !

    by WStat Written Aug 31, 2006

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    Only a 20 minutes ride by boat from the India-Gate (Naruman-Point), are the Elephanta Caves, a place you should include in your itinerary. The Elephanta Caves are characterised by rock temples carved out of two hills that emerge from the centre of the island. It is said that the Portuguese named this island after the stone elephant they found here. At Elephanta you can see the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, which belongs to the sixth century, and a massive three-headed sculpture representing Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.
    In the first cave youll find a giganteous "lingam", as shown in picture #1 !

    The Siva -Cave Lingam Here you`ll find the boats to E.Caves!
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  • Skibbe's Profile Photo

    Elephanta Caves

    by Skibbe Written Jan 31, 2006

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    These caves on Elephanta Island date back to the fifth century. They are filled with Hindu carvings, some of them very large. Unfortunately, Portugese soldiers used the caves for target practice and did a lot of damage.

    You catch a ferry at the Gateway of India to get there. Buy a ticket at one of the nearby booths (dodge the touts). The ferry ride is one of the best parts of visiting here as it gives good views of the city and the island is a nice break from noisy Mumbai.

    I hired a guide when I arrived for 200 rupees and he was helpful.

    The island Entrance to cave Carving of a god (I think Shiva) Another carving
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  • GK2005's Profile Photo

    Exciting Elephanta Caves

    by GK2005 Written Apr 4, 2004

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    Elephanta Caves in the island of Gharapuri just about an hour's ride by boat from the Gateway of India, is one of the most visited sites in Bombay. Even though its not very well maintained for such a archaelogically beautiful site, it still mesmerizes people with its stunning sculptures which have withstood the test of time.

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