"The Elephanta Caves Really Rock!!!" Top 5 Page for this destination Elephanta Island by aadil

Elephanta Island Travel Guide: 130 reviews and 312 photos

Elephantine Rock!!!

The Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are one of the two sites in Mumbai city, the second one being the erstwhile VT or Victoria Terminus Building now rechristened the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus after the warrior king of Maharashtra State. This island is hardly an hour's boat ride from the Apollo Bunder (ferry port) with same day return tickets (you cannot stay overnight on the island) for luxury (Rs110) and semi luxury (Rs100) boats (motor launches) available from the ticket counters near the Gateway of India and it is near the mainland towards the east of the island city of Mumbai. There is not much else to see except the caves built roughly inbetween 600 - 635 A.D. Actually these are not caves but the whole structure has been hewn out of one single piece of rock from the mountainside and using just hand tools and not having any machine tools in that period speaks for itself about the master craftsmen. These caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva the deity who is known as the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. The central 'trimurti' (triheaded) sculpture which is the most famous of all the sculptures on this island as it is also the best preserved of the lot as it was detected only later on and not damaged by the Portuguese soldiers as were the rest of the sculptures which now do not have many faces, hands and feet thanks to their target practice using firearms!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful rock sculptures from the past hewn out of one piece of stone.
  • Cons:Not well preserved or maintained though it is a World Heritage Site.
  • In a nutshell:You have to see it to believe it is made of one single big stone!!!
  • Last visit to Elephanta Island: Apr 2005
  • Intro Updated May 12, 2005
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Reviews (23)

Comments (34)

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    May 9, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Great pages. Can't wait to visit!

  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2006 at 6:54 AM

    That's a must-see place!! Besides, I love visiting UNESCO sites! I would like to see the monkeys too, here we have them only in the zoo:) So sad that the soldiers ruined these beautiful carvings...

  • drolkar's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2006 at 1:50 AM

    You are so right... these caves do really rock ! You're also right that it's seriously time for me to think about that so-often-postponed trip to India... !! :) Greetings from both of us...

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2006 at 3:28 PM

    Interesting page, Aadil. I'd be enthralled by the plethora of ancient carving and art. My daughter would find the coke-drinking monkeys to be a riot, too. :)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2006 at 9:20 AM

    great page!

  • bkoon's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2006 at 5:27 AM

    You seriously can consider being a curator for all museums and of course Elephanta Caves. Great and accurate write-up on the caves. Great stuffs here. Bee :)

  • muddybok's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2006 at 8:40 AM

    Great tips and nice pics on Elephanta.

  • bpacker's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2006 at 2:06 AM

    Aadil, looks like this is the place for me. You know, I've been enthralled by Hindu mythological carvings since Angkor.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2006 at 11:42 AM

    Fantastic page, tips and place. Haha, monkeys! I've seen them only in Gibraltar and zoo. Wow! Great to see Chiara :-)))

  • TracyLB's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2006 at 6:16 PM

    Once when i was at the Batu Caves in Malaysia, i had a moneky grab my coke and run away with it!! And the caves sound very cool, wish we had more time in Mumbai...

aadil

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