The 'City of Caves', on an island in the Sea of Oman close to Bombay, contains a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave.
The Elephanta Caves are located in Western India on Elephanta Island (otherwise known as the Island of Gharapuri), which features two hillocks separated by a narrow valley. The small island is dotted with numerous ancient archaeological remains that are the sole testimonies to its rich cultural past. These archaeological remains reveal evidence of occupation from as early as the 2nd century BC. The rock-cut Elephanta Caves were constructed about the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD. The most important among the caves is the great Cave 1, which measures 39 meters from the front entrance to the back. In the plan, this cave in the western hill closely resembles Dumar Lena cave at Ellora, in India.
TA UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is a specimen of rock-cut art and architecture from the times of medieval India. The architecture of the caves dates back to the 5th and 8th centuries, but the story of their origin is still a mystery. The caves are an expression of art and a number of important imageries are sculpted here, which include 'Trimurti' or three-headed Shiva, 'Gangadhar' which is a manifestation of the river Ganga as she descends to the earth and 'Ardhnareshwar', which is a representation of Shiva and Parvati in the same body. In addition to being an important heritage site, the Elephanta Caves are also an unlikely trekking destination.
Best Time To Visit Elephanta caves. Winter months from November to February are the best time to visit the caves. Avoid peak monsoon season (June to August ) as the sea becomes unpredictable and ferry schedules get disrupted.
Visit Duration: Normally, you should budget 4 to 5 hours as a time taken to visit Elephanta Caves. However, at ixigo Trip Planner, we recommended you to budget 4 to 5 hours visit duration based on the feedback we have received from travelers who have visited this monument.
opening and closing time
All days of the week except Monday-9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
SAARC, Myanmar, Thailand citizens: INR 10.
Foreigners: INR 250.
Children (under 15 years): Free
Village entry fee: INR 10.
Photography Charges: Free.
Videography Charges: INR 25.
The Elephanta Island is a quiet and picturesque island with green foliage and harmless primates scampering about. One of the main places to see on this island would be the Elephanta Caves. Upon entering the caves, a massive hall supported by large pillars and a large ‘Mahesamurti’ statue will greet you. This remarkable, three-headed Shiva sculpture is the main attraction of this island. Other sculptures of Shiva, in the ‘Shiva Nataraja’ and ‘Ardhanarishvara’ forms, can also be seen here. The entire cave complex is about 60,000 sq. feet and is made out of natural rock.
If you are looking to capture beautiful pictures with the Arabian Sea in the background, head out of the caves and you will come upon the beautiful Elephant-shaped rock structure. Those wishing to laze around and soak in nature can spend the evening exploring the island with a guide or walk up the Cannon Hill or just relax on the beach.
Near By Attraction
Trimurti And Gangadhara
Main Cave Shrine
Shiva Slaying Andhaka
Mumbai is a major railway junction and trains from all parts of India connected with Mumbai. If you are coming from any express trains to Mumbai you may get down at CST, Bandra or Lokmanya Nagar Junctions. From these stations, you can reach CST or Churchgate by local trains. In fact from anywhere in Mumbai, you may catch a local train to CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) or Churchgate. It is a 25-30 minutes walkable distance from the CST and Churchgate railway station or 10 minutes distance if you catch a taxi, to reach the Gateway of India. From the Gateway of India, you, of course, can get ferry or boat facilities.
Application Availability Which Saves Some Money
Zomato, Swiggy(best service for delicious food)
Uber, Ola(best service available for a cab up to 24/7 hours)
Interesting facts about The Elephanta Caves
1 The Guarding Statue-The huge stone-made Elephant statue was believed to be the guarding entity of the island. It was also believed that the statue would punish a person if he tries to cause harm to the island. The statue was eventually shifted to the Victoria Garden Zoo where it is visited by the tourists till now.
2 Huge Area-The Elephanta caves cover a huge area of land mass. The caves cover 60000 square feet. The whole complex consists of the main chamber, two laterally built chambers, several courtyards, and adjoining shrines.