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!

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 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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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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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.

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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Gangadhara and Parvathi

Gangadhara at Elephanta

Gangadhara, roughly translates the 'Bearer of the Ganges'.A complex sequence of events led to bringing the heavenly river Ganga (Ganges) to Earth.

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