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!

Shiva-Parvati of Elephanta

Shiva-Parvathi at Elephanta

In this panel Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva is portrayed in a affectionate but somewhat upset mood.Her head is turned away from Shiva.The theme revolves around a game of dice the couple played.

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Ardhanari view from Parvati side

Ardhanarishvara at Elephanta

Ardhanarishvara, literally translates into the god (Siva) half female.For its artistic excellence , this image is arguably the second best image, after the three headed Mahesh Murthy (also sometimes referred as Trimurthy ) at Elephanta.

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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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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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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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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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