Elephanta has a small site museum. The museum resembles more of an old house with terracotta roof. It’s a good precursor to the Elephanta caves.

The first hall contains a series of narrations of the attractions in Elephanta.The next hall exhibits a large number of black & white photographs of other cave temples rock cut architectures in India. Surprisingly a large number of them are in Maharastra.

The prominent examples include Ajanta and Ellora.The hall beyond it exhibits heritage attractions region wise in India. From a tourists’ perspective, this is an informative exhibition with large maps and lots of details.There is no additional entry fee to be paid for this museum.

The museum is located right after the ticket counter where you buy entry ticket for Elephanta caves. The temptation is to head straight to the caves skipping this otherwise humble looking museum.

A short visit to the museum (about 30 minutes) is an excellent precursor, especially if you are visiting Elephanta without the aid of a guide.

Elephanta Museum

The site museum is great precursor with generous narrations of the themes in the the caves.

The prominent examples include Ajanta and Ellora.The hall beyond it exhibits heritage attractions region wise in India. From a tourists’ perspective, this is an informative exhibition with large maps and lots of details.There is no additional entry fee to be paid for this museum.

Everything about Elephanta!

Elephants Island Map

Elephanta Map

The Elephanta Island Map (Gharapuri).Popular attractions are marked (Cave 1 to Cave 5) and the Cannon Hill.

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The pier that connects the Elephanta Island with the ferry point.

Access to Elephanta

Elephanta is an island off the Mumbai (Bombay) coast.So the first point is to get to Mumbai city.

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Mahayogi Shiva of Elephanta

Mahayogi Shiva at Elephanta

Mahayogi Shiva is located as you enter the main cave, opposite to the panel of Nataraja at Elephanta .This is an unusual posture of Shiva portrayed as sitting on a lotus flower in meditating attitude.

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View from Elephanta Island

History of Elephanta

The most convincing of the theories on its origin tell Elephanta caves were executed during the period 450 to 750 AD. Incidentally, this period also marks the decline of Buddhism in India and the revival of the Brahmanical traditions.

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Ferry point Elephanta

Ferry to Elephanta

Elephanta Ferry (launch) services operate from the Gateway of India ferry point also called the Apollo Bandar.

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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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Nataraja at Elephanta Caves

Nataraja at Elephanta

Nataraja Panel is located at the entry point of the main cave, opposite to the Mahayogi Shiva at Elephanta.After the three panels (Gangadhara at Elephanta , Mahesh Murthy at Elephanta and Ardhanarishvara at Elephanta ) which are located in the deep wall of the cave, this is the most dynamic of all t...

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