Elephanta Island is located at a 1 hour ferry ride from Mumbai.

Salmon Rushdie in his novel "The Moor's Last Sigh" describe Mumbai as "Bombay (Mumbai) was central, had been so from the moment of its creation: the bastard child of a Portuguese-English wedding, and yet the most Indian of Indian cities. In Bombay all Indias met and merged. In Bombay, too, all-India met what-what-not-India, what came across the black water to flow into our veins. Everything north of Bombay was North India, everything south of it was South. To the east lay India’s east and to the west, the world’s West. Bombay was central; all rivers flowed into its human sea. It was an ocean of stories; we were its narrators, and everybody talked at once."

Geographically, the present day Mumbai's origin was an archipelago formed by seven swampy islands formed. Over the past 400 or so years of its history, these islands were joined and consolidated into the current landmass constitutes Mumbai.

In 1534 the Portuguese acquired the islands through a treaty with the local ruler.

In 1661 these islands came to the British Crown as dowry of the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal.

The Crown later leased it to the East India Company, who saw value of its location as a natural harbor in Arabian Sea.

By 18th century it became a major shipbuilding yard on the western coast of Indian peninsula. The trading and industrial opportunities brought very many business communities to this otherwise islands in inhabited by local fishermen folks.

That migration lured by the business opportunities gave Mumbai its multicultural genesis.

Though the archipelago is merged largely, you can still see a number of islands off the Mumbai coast. Many of them are out of bounds on security grounds ( like the Middle Ground Coastal Battery , the Oyster Rock, the Butcher Island ). Elephanta Island is a very important heritage destinations with the Elephanta Caves which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Apart from the Gateway of India , the major attractions in Mumbai include the 1903 built Taj Mahal Hotel , the aircraft carrier converted Museum Ship Vikrant , National Gallery of Modern Art , Prince of Wales Museum later renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the Jehangir Art Gallery on MG Road, the Flora Fountain in the Fort Area , the Horniman Circle, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus ( the erstwhile Victoria Terminus ) , Marine Drive , Chowpatty Beach, Haji Ali’s Mosque, Mahalakshmi Temple, Juhu Beach and so to name a few prime attractions.

If you stretch a bit more , the attractions around Mumbai include Elephanta Caves , the Kanheri Caves and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park near to Kanheri.

A great number of long distance trains in India radiates from Mumbai. So are the international and domestic air connections . That makes Mumbai an ideal gateway point for India.

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Elephanta-Location-Map

Elephanta is located 9 nautical miles off Mumbai city.

Elephanta is located 9 nautical miles off Mumbai city.

Everything about Mumbai!

Elephanta Island is located at a 1 hour ferry ride from Mumbai.

Caves in Elephanta

Elephanta in a Nutshell

What is Elephanta?Elephanta Caves is UNESCO World Heritage site is a fine specimen of rock cut architecture and art of medieval India.

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Kanheri Caves and Sanjay Gandhi National Park Rail Route Map

How to reach Kanheri Caves

Kanheri Caves are located inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, north of Mumbai.It's about 1 hour train ride from the Churchgate station on the Harbour line of the the Mumbai Rail Network.

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Ambernath

Ambarnath

The Shiva temple at Ambarnath is one of its kind in this region.This temple is a fine example of the Vesara style that was predominant in the central parts of India.

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Taj Mahal Hotel as seen on the way back from Elephanta Caves

Taj Mahal Hotel

Built  a hundred years ago, the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai has many interesting facets.This was built by a prominent industrialist Jamshedji Tata, as he was barred from entering a 'Whites Only' Watson's Hotel in Mumbai.

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Mumbai Suburban Rail connections to reach Elephanta.

Mumbai Rail Network

Mumbai has a crowded by very efficient local train network.The local train rail network covers the whole city and beyond.

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Kanheri Caves

Kanheri Caves

Kanheri caves in Mumbai is often compared with other caves in the region such as Ajanta and Ellora Caves.And often the conclusion is that it is not spectacular as Ajanta and Ellora Caves!

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Mumbai Suburban Rail Map : The suburban train route is like this :
Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) – Masjid Bunder – Sandhurst Road – Byculla – Chinchpokli – Currey Road – Parel – Dadar – Matunga – Sion – Kurla – Vidyavihar – Ghatkopar – Vikhroli – Kanjurmarg – Bhandup – Nahur – Mulund – Thane – Kalwa – Mumbra – Diwa – Kopar – Dombivli – Thakurli – Kalyan – Vitthalwadi – Ulhasnagar – Ambernath – Badlapur – Vangani – Shelu – Neral – Bhivpuri Road – Karjat – Palasdari – Kelavli – Dolavli – Lowjee – Khopoli.

How to reach Ambernath

Ambarnath is a small industrial town in Thane district of Maharashtra.It is located about 60 km ( 37miles ) east of Mumbai on the Mumbai-Pune route.