Mumbai is a metropolitan city that has a rich and varied cultural background. Mumbai is overflowing with architectural wonders and magnificent monuments and also has grown exponentially in all spheres of industries over the years. So, Mumbai is the perfect mélange of the old and the new. Elephanta Caves, Mumbai is a specimen of the rock-cut art and exemplifies the Indian style of architecture from the times of medieval era of India. As Hindu beliefs, these caves were built by Pandavas. It is considered as one of the most prominent UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Elephanta Island Mumbai was natively known as Gharapurichi Leni. Elephants Caves are a gift from the past to us and part of our rich culture and heritage. These caves are situated on the Gharapuri or Elephanta Island which is located at a distance of 11 km from the city of Mumbai. Elephanta Island also gives an amazing view of the Mumbai skyline. The history of Elephanta Island has no solid proofs and is just based on various inferences that are drawn from postulations and speculations.
The collection of the Elephanta Caves Temples dates back to the 5th to 8th centuries and most of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The entire complex of the caves is constructed on an area of around 60,000 square feet and contains seven caves. The Hindu place was the main cave that worships under the Portuguese rule. This cave has an open portico, pillared Mandapa, and an aisle, and. The main cave has a statue of Shiva-Parvati on Kailash, Ravana lifting Kailash Mountain, a depiction of Shiva’s Wedding, a depiction of Shiva performing the Taandav, the Shiva Linga, Shiva slaying Andhaka, Yogishvara and so many more. The stonework is carved on the walls and several deities make an appearance here.
Elephant Cave, Mumbai consists of two groups of alcoves on the site. A first site is a large group of 5 Hindu Caves and another site is a smaller group of 2 Buddhist Caves. The Hindu Caves include the stone sculptures that represent the Shaiva Hindu sect. These Hindu Caves are an expression of art and several important imageries are sculpted here such as three-headed Shiva or “Trimurti”, “Ardh Nareshwar” is the representation form of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the same body, and “Gangadhar” is the manifestation form of the River Ganga as she descends to the earth. Moreover, the east wing shrine of the Elephanta Caves has carvings on Ganesha, Matrikas, Kartikeya, and Dvarapala upon its surface whereas the west wing has Nataraja and Yogishvara adorning the caves.
To reach there, the tourists take a ferry ride from the Gateway of India. The ferry ride is a joy ride in its own right and the riders through the water of the Arabian Sea.
Elephanta Caves Mumbai Timings are between 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM and open on all days of the week except Monday.
Elephanta Caves Entry Fees: INR 40 for Indians while INR 600 for foreigners.
Elephanta Caves Ferry Timings: 9:00 A.M (first boat) and 2:00 P.M (last boat)
Elephanta Caves Ferry Cost: INR 130 to 150 as per the type of ride the travelers choose.