Historical Epoch – The Elephanta Caves

Posted on January 29, 2017 by

Situated right in the heart of Elephanta Island of Maharashtra, Elephanta Caves are described as a string of sculpted caves with two significant groups. Group one showcases Hindu caves while the other caves host a few Buddhist caves. Hindu caves have rock cut sculptures dedicated to Lord Shiva.These caves were discovered somewhere between 5th and 8th centuries. However, the identity of real builders of these sculptures has not been established yet.

How to Reach

Elephanta Caves are situated on an Island in Maharashtra’s Mumbai Coast. This is why one must first reach Mumbai. Mumbai is one of the most well-connected cities of India. Daily flights from all other major cities of India are available regularly. Even international flights are regular.

Once you are in Mumbai. Go to Gateway of India. From here you can get ferries to Elephanta Caves. However, these ferries are crowded during peak hours and are not operational during Monsoons.

elephanta caves

Places to visit

Main Cave Shrine

One of the most visited places in Elephanta caves is Main Cave Shrine. This cave has been dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Linga, the symbol of Lord Shiva, and Yoni, the symbol of Goddess Parvathi, has been depicted in this cave as a mark of supreme unity.


Trimurti and Gangadhara

Trimurti is one of the most sculptures in Elephanta Caves. Tourists from around the globe visit this place regularly to take a glimpse of Gupta Chalukyan masterpiece art.

East Wing

Another most popular place to visit in Elephanta Caves is East Wing that gives access to a 55 ft. long courtyard. The circular pedestal in the courtyard is considered as the mount of Lord Shiva—Nandi.

West Wing

To reach West Wing cave one must go through the main cave. Despite being a popular site in Elephanta Caves, it is now in a semi-ruined state. West Wing hosts a chapel and a cistern, which many believe is Buddhist.

Shiva Slaying Adhaka

One of the main reasons why this Shiva Slaying Adhaka is famous is that it depicts Virabhadra or Bhairava form of Lord Shiva. It is one of its kind places here because there are very rare works on this furious form of Lord Shiva.

Shiva Cave

The main cave of Elephanta Caves is also known as Shiva Cave. It covers an area of around 27 sq. m. Shiva Cave also has a hall that in colloquial language is known as Mandapa.


Things to Do

Visit Archaeological Museum

Started in the year 1999, Archaeological Museum is one of best places in Elephanta Island where you can spend some quality time. The museum boasts pictures of all the sculptures of Elephanta Caves with information.

Enjoy a ride in Boat Jetty

This is a fun ride that lasts just a little more than a kilometer. It is a train with vibrant colors and sound, which does not look like made for transportation. However, if you are on the Island we recommend you to try the ride.


Best places to Eat

Elephanta Island is not famous only for its caves but also for its variety of Indian delicacies. Some of the best places to eat in this Island are:

Bhagat Tarachand

It is a reasonably priced restaurant in Elephanta Island that serves Indian vegetarian food only.

AER—Bar and Lounge

If you are tired of whole days sightseeing then AER—Bar and Lounge is the best place to unwind and rejuvenate with a variety of food and drinks.

Farzi Café, Kamala Mills

It is a great place for people who love party hard late night. The food is delicious here. Drinks are also good.

Places to stay

One may find the lot of guest houses, resorts and budget hotels in case you are eager for an overnight stay.The Elephanta Island is a serene and picturesque island with the perfect expressions of archaic Indian art associated with the cult of Lord Shiva. You must head to this place once in a lifetime. The Elephanta Island is a serene and picturesque island with the perfect expressions of archaic Indian art associated with the cult of Lord Shiva. You must head to this place once in a lifetime.

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