Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
About Elephanta Caves
Just 11 kilometers off the east coast of Mumbai with impressive buildings and which seems have no traces of ancient history, exists an island that has never been corrupted by the changing time. There is a city which mesmerizes you and then off the coast that is still in reminiscing. In the island of Elephanta is made of two hills: eastern and western. Among them there exists around seven caves and one out of them is the Elephanta caves. This island covers about 4 sq. miles to 6 sq. miles depending upon the tides.
The cave and the island got its name from a huge elephant sculpture in the island. This statue of elephant is now Jijamata Udyaan zoo Mumbai. The origin of this cave is under a lot of debate and still remains a mystery. A lot of carving here, which are mainly of lord Shiva are in ruined state. Many historians hold Portuguese for wrecking the caves. At the south entrance, there is a colossal carving of Mahesa-murti, a look at it will calm your mind to the extent, you never even thought. Towards the east is ardhanarisvara, which represents the combined energies of male and female. Another is Nataraja means Shiva in his dance avatar. There are many Shiva sculptures which are awe inspiring.
Except Mahesa-murti rest all are in ruined state. The rest of the sculptors were supposedly used during target practice by the Portuguese. It is also believed that it was the Portuguese who destroyed all the inscriptions which might have revealed their origin. As of the available evidence, the art historians have concluded that this ancient monument existed from somewhere between 5th century and 8th century.
Rs. 10 (Indians) and Rs. 250 (foreigners).
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (all days except Tuesday).
The Elephanta Caves, Taluka Uran, Raigad, Mumbai, Maharashtra.