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. Alternatively this aspect of Shiva is called Yogeshwara (Lord of Yogis).

The lower portion of this image is seriously damaged. The petals of lotus are not easily recognizable, but the stem of the lotus is prominent. On a philosophical ground the lotus springs from the abyss of primeval water. Even one can spot the traces of Nagas (celestial creatures) holding the stem of the lotus.

Though both the arms are damaged, the expansive chest and the head with matted hair is largely undamaged. The sculpture captures the calm and composed expression of a yogi brilliantly. Though partially damaged, the face still retains the aura. The beaded neck ornament and the matted hair that falls gracefully over the shoulders add to charm of the composition.

Above the Mahayogi image on either side are flying celestial attendants and other gods from the Hindu pantheon. On the upper corner to your left is the image of Brahma (the creator god in Hindu trinity) sitting on a swan. Next to Brahma is Indra, the king of Gods, sitting on the elephant called Airawath.
On your right somewhere on the middle on the panel is Vishnu, the preserver god of the trinity, sitting on the eagle Garuda. Though traceable, all the subsidiary images mentioned above are in a badly damaged state.

Mahayogi Image of Elephanta

This rare posture of Shiva depicts Shiva as the master of yogic tradition.

This rare posture of Shiva depicts Shiva as the master of yogic tradition.

Everything about Elephanta!

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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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 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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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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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.

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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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.