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Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

Mumbai | Elephanta caves - The iconic architecture of Ancient India | Show on map

Quick Info

Visit Duration: 9 Hours

Timings: Tuesday to Sunday 9:30am -5:30pm

Entry type: Paid

Entry Details: Rs. 40 per head

summary

The Elephanta Caves are a collection of cave temples located on the Elephanta Island, which is situated in Mumbai Harbor, India. The caves date back to the 5th to 8th centuries CE and were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The caves are carved out of solid rock and feature impressive sculptures and carvings dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The main cave, also known as the Shiva Cave, contains a large statue of Shiva in his three-headed form, also known as Trimurti.

The statue stands at 6 meters tall and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Indian sculpture. The other caves, including the cave of Nataraja and the cave of the Ardhanarishvara, are also dedicated to various aspects of Shiva and contain impressive carvings and sculptures of the deity and his various manifestations.

The Elephanta Caves were likely used for religious purposes by Hindu monks and were visited by travelers and pilgrims throughout the centuries. Today, the caves are a popular tourist attraction and are easily accessible from Mumbai via a short ferry ride. Visitors can explore the caves and learn about the rich history and culture of the region.

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Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

Highlights of Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai, India. The highlights of Elephanta Caves include:

  1.  Main Cave: The main cave is the most impressive cave on the island and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It contains many beautiful sculptures and carvings, including a massive 18-foot-tall sculpture of Lord Shiva in his three-headed form.
  2. Trimurti Sculpture: The Trimurti sculpture, also located in the main cave, is a stunning depiction of the three forms of Lord Shiva - the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer. It is considered one of the finest examples of Indian rock-cut sculpture.
  3.  Caves: There are seven caves on the island, each with its unique features and sculptures. The second cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva's consort, Parvati, and has beautiful carvings of her and other deities.
  4.  Location: The Elephanta Caves are located on a beautiful island in Mumbai Harbor, offering stunning views of the surrounding area.
  5.  History: The caves were created between the 5th and 8th centuries AD by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, who were followers of the Shaiva sect of Hinduism.

The Elephanta Caves are a good weekend destination for anyone interested in Indian history, culture, and architecture.

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Elephanta Caves, Mumbai Overview

The Elephanta Caves are a collection of cave temples located on the Elephanta Island, which is situated in Mumbai Harbor, India. The caves date back to the 5th to 8th centuries CE and were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The caves are carved out of solid rock and feature impressive sculptures and carvings dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The main cave, also known as the Shiva Cave, contains a large statue of Shiva in his three-headed form, also known as Trimurti.

The statue stands at 6 meters tall and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Indian sculpture. The other caves, including the cave of Nataraja and the cave of the Ardhanarishvara, are also dedicated to various aspects of Shiva and contain impressive carvings and sculptures of the deity and his various manifestations.

The Elephanta Caves were likely used for religious purposes by Hindu monks and were visited by travelers and pilgrims throughout the centuries. Today, the caves are a popular tourist attraction and are easily accessible from Mumbai via a short ferry ride. Visitors can explore the caves and learn about the rich history and culture of the region.

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Points Of Interest for Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

Elephanta Caves are a collection of rock-cut temples that were carved out of solid basalt rock in the 5th to 8th centuries. The points of interest of Elephanta Caves are:

  1. Shiva Temple: The most prominent attraction of the Elephanta Caves is the Shiva Temple. It is a magnificent structure that stands at the entrance of the cave complex. The temple has three entrances and is adorned with intricately carved sculptures of Hindu deities.
  2. Cave Architecture: The caves are a remarkable example of ancient Indian rock-cut architecture. The caves are divided into five main sections, each with its unique sculptures and carvings.
  3. Sculptures: The Elephanta Caves are known for their exquisite sculptures, which depict Hindu gods and goddesses in various poses. The most famous sculpture is the three-faced Shiva, also known as the Maheshmurti.
  4.  Trimurti: One of the most significant sculptures in the Elephanta Caves is the Trimurti, which depicts the three forms of Shiva - the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer.
  5. Cave Paintings: Although most of the cave paintings have faded, some still remain visible. These paintings are said to be from the 5th to 8th centuries and depict various scenes from Hindu mythology. 6. Cannon: There is an old cannon located near the entrance of the caves that was used during the Portuguese
  6. Nataraja sculpture: The Nataraja sculpture is another remarkable work of art at the Elephanta Caves. It is a depiction of Lord Shiva as the Lord of Dance. The sculpture is intricately carved and is a must-see for any visitor.
  7.  Location and views: The Elephanta Caves are located on a picturesque island, which offers breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea. The island is also home to several species of birds and monkeys, which makes for a unique wildlife experience.
  8. Historical significance: The Elephanta Caves are a significant historical site and offer a glimpse into the ancient Indian civilization. The caves were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and have since become a popular tourist destination.
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Best time to visit Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

The best time to visit Elephanta Caves is during the winter months, between November and February, when the weather is pleasant and cool. During this time, the temperature ranges from 15°C to 30°C, making it an ideal time to explore the caves without the discomfort of excessive heat or humidity. Additionally, this period is also considered the peak tourist season, and the caves are more accessible and convenient to explore.

However, if you prefer to avoid the crowds, you can consider visiting during the monsoon season (June to September), when the island is lush and green, and the surrounding seascape is breathtaking. However, note that the island may be closed to visitors during heavy rainfall or rough seas. It is advisable to avoid visiting the caves during summer (March to May) when the temperature can soar as high as 35°C, and the humidity can be uncomfortable.

 

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Notes on Elephanta caves

Free to ask

Q: What are Elephanta Caves?

A: Elephanta Caves are a collection of rock-cut temples and caves located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai, India. They are known for their intricate carvings, sculptures, and ancient architecture.

Q: How old are the Elephanta Caves?

A: The Elephanta Caves date back to the 5th and 6th centuries AD, during the rule of the Maurya Dynasty in India.

Q: How do I get to the Elephanta Caves?

A: The Elephanta Caves can only be reached by boat from the Gateway of India in Mumbai. There are several ferry services available, and the journey takes about an hour.

Q: Is there an entrance fee to the Elephanta Caves?

A: Yes, there is an entrance fee to enter the Elephanta Caves. The fee varies depending on your nationality, and there may be additional fees for cameras and other equipment.

Q: What should I wear to visit the Elephanta Caves?

A: It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes and shoes as there is a fair amount of walking and climbing involved. Modest clothing is also advisable, as the site is a religious monument.

Q: Are there guides available at the Elephanta Caves?

A: Yes, there are guides available at the site who can provide information on the history and

significance of the Elephanta Caves.

Q: What are some of the highlights of the Elephanta Caves?

A: Some of the highlights of the Elephanta Caves include the impressive carvings of Lord Shiva, the Trimurti sculpture, and the Nataraja sculpture.

Q: Can I take photographs at the Elephanta Caves?

A: Yes, photography is allowed at the Elephanta Caves, but there may be additional fees for

cameras and other equipment.

Q: Is food available at the Elephanta Caves?

A: Yes, there are several food and drink stalls available at the site. However, it is recommended to bring your own water and snacks as well.

Q: Are there any accommodations available on Elephanta Island?

A: No, there are no accommodations available on Elephanta Island. Visitors typically make a day trip from Mumbai to visit the Elephanta Caves.

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