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

There are two types of boats/launches : The Luxury Type and Economy Type. The former cost Rs150 while the later cost Rs120 for return ticket. If you have bought the Luxury ticket, you can return by either services based on the your choice. They collect Rs10 inside the boat to sit on the upper deck. It’s worth this ‘premium’ as you can get a good panoramic view, the crowd and noise is relatively less.

The ferry timings to Elephanta : The ferry travel time is about an hour. The first boat leaves from the Gateway of India for Elephanta at 9 am. The last one for elephanta leaves at 2pm. And typically there is one leaving for Elephanta every 30 minutes, between 9 am and 2 pm. Also note, Elephanta Caves are closed on Mondays. So is the ferry service to Elephanta.

Similarly, the ferry schedules from Elephanta are like this: the first return boat leaves Elephanta by 12 noon. The last one at 5.30 pm. And you'll find a return boat every 30 minutes in between.

If you are looking for a fastest whirlwind trip to Elephanta catch the first boat to Elephanta at 9am, you'll reach the island by 10 am, another 30 minutes to reach the caves (10.30am). About an hour or so later you can return to catch the earliest return boat. Weather you make a quick return or not, take the first boat, you'll enjoy the ambient at the caves, sans the thick crowd that keep arriving by the subsequent boats!

Another advantage of going early, you can leisurely explore the other attractions in Elephanta like the Cannon Hill and those minor caves.

Or if you are late for the day, catch the last boat by 2pm, arrive at Elephanta by 3pm, another 30 min trek to the caves site. You'll have another 1 hour or so to spend at the caves. Decent at least by 5pm so that you'll not miss the last boat back to Mumbai!

BTW , the boat ride per se is not spectacular , expect that you'll get a fine view of the Mumbai Harbor and the Gateway of India with a the Taj Mahal Hotel adjacent to it. You may also pass a few massive tanker ships moored and the Butcher's Island with a whitewashed fort on it. See also How to Reach Elephanta.

Elephanta Ferry Ticket

The ferry tickets to Elephanta is sold at a kiosk near the ferry point adjacent to the Gateway of India

The luxury boat ticket for adult cost Rs150. This also includes a guide fee at the caves. The ordinary boat ticket costs Rs130, without the guide fee.

Everything about Elephanta!

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

Facade of Elephanta Cave 2

Elephanta Cave 2

This is an unfinished cave, located near Cave 1, that is the main attraction in Elephanta.Follow the paved trail from the courtyard of the main cave (Cave 1), you can spot cave 2 on your right, slightly up on the hillside.

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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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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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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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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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Marriage of Shiva and Parvati

Kalyana Sundara at Elephanta

The circumstances leading the marriage of Shiva and Parvati is a significant episode in the Hindu mythology.After the death of his first wife Sati, Shiva withdrew into an ascetic lifestyle, deep meditation and austerities.

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The demon king Ravana lifts Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva

Ravana Shaking Kailasa at Elephanta

Ravana, the demon king of Lanka is a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva.Portrayed in this panel is a very popular episode of Ravana lifting the mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva.

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