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DAY TRIPS AROUND MUMBAI Tips (54)

Elephanta Island

Elephanta Island is located about 10km north-east of the Gateway of India and is reached by taking a ferry from the Gateway. The island is home to some marvellous cave temples which are thought to have been created between the 5th and 8th centuries and are today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island, originally known as Gharapuri (Place of Caves), derives its name from a massive stone statue of an elephant that is now displayed in the Victoria Gardens in Mumbai. The island was named Elephanta by the Portuguese who found the statue.

There are three rock-cut temples caves on the island of which the main large one is of particular interest as it's dedicated to Shiva. This is the first cave you'll come to on your right after passing through the ticket booth. It dates from the mid 7th century and comprises of a pillared hall in which a small shrine with four entrances are flanked with huge guardians either side. The halls main sculpture is located in the central panel of the back wall. It features a huge triple-headed Shiva statue known as Mahesamurti. The three faces represent Shiva in his different manifestations - Preserver, Creator and Destroyer. The hall also features further incarnations of Shiva. The island makes for a good half-day trip from Mumbai. More info and photo's can be found on my Elephanta Island page below.

Open: 9am-5pm Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays. Admission: Rs250 for foreigners.

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Willettsworld
Dec 16, 2007

Elephanta Island

The island about 10kms from the south east coast of Mumbai and be reached by ferry from the Gateway of India. Elephanta Island was named by the 17th century Portuguese after the sculpture of an elephant head on the island by the landing area. The sculpture has now been relocated to Victoria Gardens (now Mumbai’s Zoo) In earlier times the island was called Gharapuri “The Place of Caves”. The island is well known for the cave temples and elephant caves which are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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keeweechic
Dec 20, 2006

Bandstand

Bandstand in Bandra is a great place to visit. Great views of the Arabian Sea are abundant. Barista and Cafe Coffee Day are both great places to grab a coffee or cold drink before a strole down Bandstand. It is most busy at night and is a relaxing place to sit or walk and take great pictures. Just a short distance from Hill road.

sr33109
Sep 06, 2006

Trekking to Peth fort - Near Karjat Mumbai

Hi friends,

My wife & I had been on a trek to Peth fort near Karjat. Here is an account of the same.

The climb up to Peth village was very easy & we enjoyed every moment of the same, clicking beautiful sceneries of plains & other mountain ranges at regular intervals. There were one or two waterfalls also on the way. We took rest for few minutes at a plateau top enjoying the landscape around. As soon as we started again we saw a caterpillar & we immediately clicked its snap & also took a short movie of this creature...............

Detailed account of the trek can be read on
http://jetalronaktraveldiary.blogspot.com/2006/07/peth-fort-kotaligad-trekking-9-th-july.html

Caterpillar movie can be viewed by clicking here ]
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2770908358896086272

Photos of the same can be viewed at
http://in.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/shahronakm1978/album?.dir=5cacscd&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//in.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos

Some Useful Information

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Ideal Season – June to March (Best during monsoons)
Time – 1 Day (2 days if you want to stay overnight in the cave)
Level – Moderate
Nearest railway station – Karjat.
Reaching base – Ambivli village from Karjat by rickshaw (28 Kms / 1 Hr)
Height – 472 Mtrs.
Where to eat – Hotel Kotaligad (Tel. 02148 224944 – Gopal Savant)

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shahronakm
Aug 04, 2006
 
 
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See some of the unknown beaches of maharastra

The coast of maharashtra is beautiful and largely untouched, occupied mainly by the local fishermen. There are many relatively unknown beaches. One can drive there - longer since you have to go all around - or just take a ferry across and take up the local autorickshaw (3 wheelers / Tuk tuks). Here are some I recommend:
Ahwas:
Take a ferry to Mandhwa and take the local transport. I found one spot to stay there but there are others. Saldanha Farms owned by Mr Saldanha who is mumbai based (Tel # 02141237605- responder may not be able to speak English). Farm has cute cottages but is a bit away from the beach. The beach itself is clean and hardly anyone there. Some parts are rocky and you need to find the clear spots if you wish to swim out into the ocean.
Kashid:
Has been discovered lately and getting crowded but it is such a good beach that I still recommend it. Best is to drive via Alibhag
Kolad:
Situated on a lake this is a really beautiful spots. A bit difficult to reach since the last kilometer stretch is poor driving. Still and deep lake. Row on the lake and see all the birds. Have a swim the water is gorgeous. Two potential places to stay - Doctor's farm and Sai farm. Both advertise in the local tabloid.

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vanand
Jul 12, 2006

Early Damage

Unfortunately most of the sculptures were apparently damaged by the Portuguese during the 16th century when they were used as target practice. Some were even destroyed completely. Hard to believe that anyone could wilfully destroy such treasures. In later years, some have also been damaged through carelessness by those visiting the caves.

Location : Elephanta Island

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keeweechic
May 06, 2006

Triple-headed Shiva

At the end of the north south axis of the caves is an enormous image of Sadasiva (a manifestation of Shiva). Standing 20ft high, the image has three heads (known as Trimurthy or triple-headed) of Shiva. The one facing right depicts him as the Creator (facing right), the centre one as the Protector and other one (facing left) as the Destroyer with serpents for hair. This sculpture was preserved by the British who had the foresight to build a wall to hide it from damage and the elements.

Location : Elephanta Island

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keeweechic
May 06, 2006

The Linga

At the western end is a sanctuary of Linga which denotes the fundamental nature of creative power, in which lord Shiva is revered as the Lord of Fertility and procreation, hence the phallic-like form. The sanctum is guarded by gigantic figures of ‘dvarapalas’ or guardians. There are no doors.

Location : Elephanta Island

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keeweechic
May 06, 2006
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Ancient Creators

Unfortunately not much is known about the not much is known of the creators and artists who designed and carved these caves but the sculptures in the caves are believed to have been created somewhere between 450 and 750 A.D. With there being three openings into the caves, there is plenty of natural light.

Location : Elephanta Island

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keeweechic
May 06, 2006

Inside the Caves

The roof of the cave or temple is supported by 20 large pillars which appear to be holding up the roof. This was deliberately carved out in this fashion. The temple plan is symmetrical and has important focal points. Near the doorways there are panels which celebrate Shiva’s accomplishments. One story tells of Shiva bringing the Ganges River down to Earth.

Location : Elephanta Island

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keeweechic
May 06, 2006

Entry to the Caves

The caves are dedicated to Shiva. Entry into the solid basalt rock caves (or Shiva Temple) is by the northern entrance. Stairs lead into a large hall. The carvings in on the walls of the caves show Shiva in various shapes and in different moods. A guide will help explain all the detail to you which you would normally miss. My guide was very informative but a one on one tour had be very exhausting mentally when so much history and detail is gone into. However I would not have realised a lot had it not been explained.

Location : Elephanta Island

keeweechic's Profile Photo
keeweechic
May 06, 2006

The Caves

The carving of the caves was created through a slow and painstaking process of rock removal. They are spread out of an area of about 60,000 sqft and were created as a dedication to Shiva. The temple caves are made up of a main chamber, courtyards and several secondary shrines. Above the halls and chambers is a mass of solid natural rock.

Location : Elephanta Island

keeweechic's Profile Photo
keeweechic
May 06, 2006

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