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!

The unfinished cave 5 in elephanta island

Elephanta Cave 5

Though it's an unfinished cave, a visit can give you good idea of the how the work in progress sites looked like during the excavation of caves.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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