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. Noted art historian Percy Brown described as "the creation of a genius".

Jawaharlal Nehru, first prime minister of India wrote in his book 'The Discovery of India ', "It is not some secret doctrine or esoteric knowledge that has kept India vital and going through these long ages, but a tender humanity, a varied and tolerant culture and a deep understanding of life and its mysterious ways. Her abundant vitality flows out from age to age in her magnificent literature and art, though we have only a small part of it with us and much lies hidden or has been destroyed by nature or man's vandalism. The Trimurti in the Elephanta caves might well be the many-faced statue of India itself, powerful, with compelling eyes, full of deep knowledge and understanding, looking down upon us."

Maheshmurthi of Elephanta Caves

The star attraction of Elephanta Cave temple is the iconic image of the three headed Shiva called Mahesh , the great Lord.

This image carved on the cave wall is arguably the highest watermark in medieval of sculptural art medieval India achieved.

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.

GALLERY

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.

GALLERY

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.

GALLERY

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.

GALLERY

A ferocious form of Lord Shiva slaying the demon, Andhaka.

Anhdakasura Vadha at Elephanta

The ferocious expression of Shiva in the Andhakasura Vadha panel stands in stark contrast with the aspects depicted in other panels.

GALLERY

Ferry point Elephanta

Ferry to Elephanta

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

GALLERY

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.

GALLERY