"Elephanta Island - Don't miss whilst in Mumbai!" Top 5 Page for this destination Elephanta Island by Willettsworld

Elephanta Island Travel Guide: 130 reviews and 312 photos

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.

  • Last visit to Elephanta Island: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 18, 2007
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Reviews (23)

Comments (3)

  • mary2u99's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Great tips and thanks for sharing. :-)

  • aadil's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2008 at 11:02 PM

    Good to see more pages on this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site island next to Mumbai city. Lovely pictures and tips too, thanks for sharing on VT.

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Thx for sharing this particular part of the world. Greetz from Belgium.

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