Elephanta is an island off the Mumbai (Bombay) coast. So the first point is to get to Mumbai city. This is one of the most connected cities in India.

A large number of daily flights are operated to Mumbai (BOM) from the rest of the main cities in India. So are the international connections to Mumbai.

Once in Mumbai head for the Gateway of India. This is prime landmark of Mumbai. It is from this point the ferry to Elephanta Island operate.

Though heavily crowded during the peak hours, Mumbai has an excellent suburban local rail network. From wherever you are in Mumbai, catch a local train to Churchgate or CST.

Both are terminal stations, so it is a bit easy to get out and get in. By the way CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) railway station itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ferry point Elephanta

Ferry point Elephanta

Ferry to Elephanta at the Gateway of India (seen on left). Seen in the backdrop is the Taj Mahal Hotel. Partially seen on the left is the Gateway of India

Everything about Elephanta!

Cannon Hill

A trail up to the hilltop takes you to an old military post overlooking the harbor.Two cannons were placed here to protect the harbour from pirates.

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Elephants Island Map

Elephanta Cave 6 and Cave 7

Cave 6 and 7 are located in the eastern hill in Elephanta Island. It's not very frequented by visitors compared to the rest of the caves.

Ardhanari image at Elephanta

Mythical Themes at Elephanta

The choice of the themes in Elephanta's panels is an interesting mix... anything from love to contemplation to violence to performing arts to yoga. In Elephanta you'll see some of the highest watermarks of medieval India's sculptural art.

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Entrance to the cave 3 in Elephanta

Elephanta Caves

The name, Elephanta was given by the Portuguese as there was a large elephant sculpture in the island, when it was held by them as a naval outpost.Otherwise this island was known as Gharapuri.

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Elephanta Cave 4

This cave has a large open verandah with a massive unsupported rock formation overhanging above.There is a beautiful doorjamb carved around the entrance to the main shrine at the center.

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The Thirumurthy image at Elephanta Caves

Mahesh Murthi at Elephanta

Despite the noisy crowd you may encounter inside main cave in Elephanta , this image of Lord Shiva with his closed eyelids and in a deep contemplating attitude would be the most satisfying piece of art you would ever see in India.Rather this is the highest watermark of medieval Indian art tradition.

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Entrance to the cave 3 in Elephanta

Elephanta Cave 3

This a large cave complex, probably second only to the main Cave.The facade is impressive with a row of large cussion capital pillars.