Elephanta Caves

 
 
elephant_caves.jpgIntroduction

"About ten kilometers north east of Apollo Bunder lies the island of Elephanta, the glorious abode of Lord Shiva. An epitome of Hindu cave culture, Elephanta consists of seven caves of which the most notable is the Mahesa-murti cave. It has a very impressive size with a main body of 27 meters square supported by rows of six columns each. The main temple consists of a large pillared mandapa (hall) and a freestanding square shrine at the west end of the hall. The pillars and reliefs in the cave are gigantic in scale. Set in various niches are a number of large reliefs depicting different aspects of Shaivaite iconography. Around the perimeter of the cave are sculptured compartments in this cave with images from the Hindu mythology. They depict Lord Shiva as Andhakasuravadha, impaling the demon of darkness, as Kalyanasundara-the gentle loving god, as Ardhanarishwara, Shiva and Shakti, male and female, Nataraja-Shiva as the cosmic dancer and as Ravana anugraha -the destroyer of enemies."

Tourist information

Open from 09 hours to 17 hours (except Mondays). Entry fee for those above 12 years - Rs. 5.00. Free entry on Fridays.

Best time to visit

November to March is the ideal time to visit the island.

Access

Located on a small island of Mumbai in Maharashtra, Elephanta can be reached by regular ferries that leave from Mumbai's Gateway of India harbour throughout the year, except during the monsoon season.

Maharashtra Tourist Attractions

 
 
 
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