Elephanta Caves - A short distance from Mumbai, the caves of Elephanta store rich sculptural content. Explore them on your trip.

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Elephanta Caves

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Maharashtra Cities
- Aurangabad
- Mumbai
Maharashtra Attractions
- Ajanta Caves
- Victoria Terminus
- Ellora Caves
Location - Mumbai

Best Time To Visit - October to April

All those who love history, would certainly keep Elephanta Caves in their top travel priority list. Elephanta Caves is indeed a treasure trove of India. Antiquity reverberates in its every stone. The Elephanta island is located 10 km away from the Gateway of India at Mumbai. These caves house some of the most ancient rock cut temples dating back to some 5th century CE. It were the Portuguese who gave the name Elephanta Island, seeing the statue of an elephant on the island. The rock cut temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and have rich sculptural content. The caves are spread over an vast area of 60,000 sq. feet. The island of Elephanta was originally known as Gharapuri The Caves in the Making
Elephanta CavesThe rock cut temples of Elephanata were created by carving out rock and creating columns, the internal images and spacing. The whole of the temple was built through a process of rock removal. Some of the surfaces are very much finished while others are rough. Above the temple is the mass of natural rock. Elephanta is an epitome of Hindu cave culture.

Caves of Elephanta
There are a total of seven caves of Elephanata of which the most notable is the Mahesa-murti cave. The size of the cave is very impressive, where the main body of 27 metres square supported by rows of six columns each. A huge size image of Lord Shiva can be found here, holding something very much resembling the rose bud. There is a main temple that consists of a large pillared mandapa and a refreshing square shrine. A number of images related to Lord Shiva can be found in the great Mandala. The carvings of these caves combines the graceful forms of South Indian Hindu sculpture with the exactness and poise of Buddhist Gupta Arts.

Feather to the Cap
The caves of Elephanta have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The caves are frequently visited by a large number of inbound and outbound tourists. The monuments are now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Large number of visitors come to Elephanta Island in February to enjoy the Elephanta dance festival. The festival has become a major tourist attraction.

You can also enjoy a ferry ride. A total of 75 minute journey that would give you immense pleasure.

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