Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
A World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves exposes the cave system named after a colossal elephant which was unearthed nearby. Located on island hills 7 km (4.3 mi) from the shore of mainland, the entire network consists of seven sculpted caves which date to the 5th and 8th centuries and feature sculptures, shrines, and a colossal bust of the three forms of Siva (Mahesa-murti). As you roam its natural halls, notice that the larger group of five caves have Hindu features dedicated to Lord Shiva, where other two contain rock-cut formations indicative of Buddhist craftsmanship. If you wish to learn more about the complex, on-site guides can help. Plan to see Elephanta Caves and other attractions that appeal to you using our Mumbai sightseeing planner .
Elephanta Caves Reviews
I really really enjoyed my trip to Elephanta Island but you do need to be able bodied or fairly fit to climb up the 126 steps to the caves or perhaps have friends who can support you. There were many ... more »
The boat ride to the island is a good experience. The caves are amazing, they have entry fees at multiple spots starting from the boat ride, should rather have a collective fee. Overall a good experie... more »
The ride to the caves and back on ferry was fantastic. The caves and not well preserved except cave no1. Rest is not worth seeing however all have history with them. The carvings are beautiful. The size of the cave and stone work will bring the wow out of you. Food is awesome at MTDC resort on top of the climb just opp the ticket counter. The staff is good and view is breathtaking. Food was awesome. You can book room here only for the day. Will take 3 hrs for the visit but ideal time will be 5 hrs. Worth it. The path to the hills have many shops selling many artifacts. All the pricey but are treat to the eye.
It's about an hour's ferry ride from Gateway of India. Getting on board is quite orderly and the ferries ply the route every half hour or so. Try not to go on weekends as the locals head out to the island for an outing or an escape from the city. Arriving at Elephanta island there's a mini train that takes passengers right up to the start of the ascending hike to the caves. It's not expensive and in the hot afternoon I would definitely recommend the train as it's about a kilometre walk. At the start of the climb there are sedan chairs, if you want to feel like royalty or your legs simply won't comply with the thought of climbing up to the caves, hoisted by 4 men for a fee. Apparently the fee, either one-way or return is negotiable. There are vendors on both sides of the climb but they don't hassle you when you say 'no'. The caves is quite a sight. How it was carved out of the rock is truly amazing! Seeing is believing! Do beware of the monkeys as they are pretty brazen and aggressive when it comes to snatching food, drinks and personal items. Elephanta Caves is a UNESCO Heritage Site which I feel is a must-see/must-do when you're in Mumbai! Highly Recommended!
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