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Elephanta Caves

Gharapuri, Maharashtra 400094, India
| +91 22 2204 4040
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300-Year-Old Hindu Caves and Carvings Gharapuri  India
Elephanta Caves Gharapuri  India
Woman Returning Home With Water Gharapuri  India
Elephanta Island Gharapuri  India
300-Year-Old Hindu Caves and Carvings Gharapuri  India
Elephanta Caves Gharapuri  India
Woman Returning Home With Water Gharapuri  India
Elephanta Island Gharapuri  India

Elephanta Caves

Set sail from Mumbai for one of Chelsea's favorite experiences from her trip. "Take the hour-and-a-half ferry ride to the Elephanta Caves, west of the city. You can shop for spices and bangle sets on the carts in Gharapuri, the village at the ferry port, then walk up the 200 or so steps to explore the caverns where Shiva and other Hindu gods and goddesses are carved into stone." 

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AFAR Contributor
over 4 years ago

Elephanta Caves

The rock-cut temples of Elephanta Island, located 10 kilometers (six miles) east of Mumbai, are a marvel. Constructed around the 8th to 9th century C.E., this UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of a labyrinth of huge chambers sculpted out of solid rock. Inside are magnificent stone carvings, including a six-meter-high (20-foot-high) statue of Trimurti, a three-headed image of the Hindu god Shiva. Catch a morning ferry from the Gateway of India—it takes about an hour—and wear comfortable shoes.

AFAR Staff
over 6 years ago

300-Year-Old Hindu Caves and Carvings

When visiting Mumbai, a must-see is Elephanta Island. For just a few dollars, take a ferry from the Gateway of India to the island. The ferry ride takes about an hour and is an experience as well. Mumbai from the water is impressive.

Once you land on the island, hire a local, again for just a few dollars, to show you around the island and give you the history. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, these 4th century rock-cut stone caves are a tribute to Lord Shiva. Five shrines are carved out of solid basalt rock showing Shiva in various situations. They are really incredible and beautiful. Plan to spend a little time on the island walking about, watching the monkeys steal tourists water bottles and shopping the little stalls along the 150 stairs you need to climb to get from the ferry dock to the caves.
over 6 years ago

Woman Returning Home With Water

Upon descending the endless flight of stairs, racing to catch the last boat back to Mumbai central, I had to stop and take a picture of this woman who was leisurely walking back up the steps. I found this strange until I realized that the island indeed had a handful of permanent residents. I wondered what it was like having the island overrun by tourists during the day and nearly empty at night. As I paused to notice her she turned around and asked me to take her picture. I snapped a few shots and then she smiled, turned and continued walking up the steps. With only a few minutes left until departure I had no choice but to keep running down to the departing boat.
AFAR Traveler
over 6 years ago

Elephanta Island

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a short ferry ride from Mumbai and the Gateway to India. Elephanta Island is famous for its caves, which were carved out of rock somewhere from the 6th to 8th century. The intricate interior carvings to depict religious scenes featuring the god Shiva.