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!

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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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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Ferry returning to Mumbai from Elephanta. The Elephanta Island in the backdrop.

How to reach Elephanta Caves

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

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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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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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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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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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