Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves are basically a complex of sculpted caves that are situated on Elephanta Islands. This island is located at about 10 km far from east of Mumbai in Maharashtra.  Elephanta islands are situated in the Arabian Sea and have two caves which include a large group of five Hindu caves and a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves are rock cut constructed caves and the sculptures represent the Shaiva, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is cave 1 which is the most impressive amongst all of them. The rock cut architecture of these caves is dated back to the 5th and 8th centuries and the original builder’s identity is still unknown. The caves were also painted in the history but nothing other than the traces are left right now.

This island was called Gharapuri and it was a Hindu worship and holy place until the year 1534 when the Portuguese took over and started calling the island Elephanta. The reason they started calling this island Elephanta is because of the enormous elephant statue at the entrance to this place.

A day trip to Elephanta Caves would be a perfect getaway. If you are already in Mumbai it is going to be very easy for you to get to Elephanta Caves. However Mumbai is easily accessible by road, air and rail ways. After reaching Mumbai, here is how to reach Elephanta Caves step by step: –

1. Take the local train and reach the churchgate Station. It is best to be there early morning like 8 o’clock.
2. Take a taxi from there to The Gateway of India.
3. Book your ferry tickets to Elephanta Island. The counter is near the entrance of the Gateway of India. If you want to sit on the top deck, you will have to pay another Rs.10, which is totally worth it.
4. You will reach Elephanta Island after about an hour.
5. There you can explore around the place. Do trek up to Cannon Hill which is really a great place to be.
6. You can catch the ferry back to the Gateway whenever you are done. But make sure that you know the Timing of Elephanta Caves.

Elephanta Caves’ timing: 9 AM to 5 PM

The place is closed on Mondays and the Entrance fee for Indian citizens and visitors from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, Afghanistan, Thailand and Myanmar are Rs. 10 per head and for others it is Rs. 250 per head. Also the entry for children up to 15 years of age is free. You can visit Elephanta Caves anytime of the year but best time to visit Elephanta caves is between November and March.



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