The Elephanta Caves are located in the western part of India on Elephanta Island. The island encompasses various ancient archaeological remains that are direct testimonies and proof of the cultural past. These remains are evidence of the occupation of the 2nd century BC.
The rock-cut Elephant Caves Mumbai was constructed back in the 5-6th centuries AD. The cave temples are dated back to the 5-7th centuries, and most are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Let us learn more about the Elephanta Caves.
History and Architecture of Elephanta Caves:
The Elephanta Caves History needs solid proof based on the inferences drawn due to the postulations and speculations. Many people believe that the Pandavas constructed the Elephanta Caves, but many people also give the same credit to the Banasura. Local traditions show that the caves were not built by any human beings.
As mentioned, the caves date back to the 8th century AD, but excavations of the Kshatrapa coins are dated back to the 4th century AD, which has been unearthed.
Other historians who were researching near the place where the Elephanta caves are located attributed that the caves to the Kalachuris have some connection to the Konkan Mauryas. Such notions are derived from the speculations that this place was dedicated to the Pashupata Sahivismsect, the sect of the Kalachuris, and the Konkan Mauryas.
Things to do at Elephanta Caves,
The grand cave is the biggest complex and has been restored and preserved as much as possible. Near the North Entrance, you can find the statues of Shiva in the Yogishvara and Nataraja Forms. And inside the cave, you can find several carvings and sculptures associated with Hindu Mythologies.
The Trimurti is amongst the primary attractions of the cave. This place is the south wall which faces the entrance. The Shivalinga is the enormous mandapa hall located near the west. You can also find sculptures of the Gangadhara and Ardhanarishvara on the walls.
Other than the caves of the Mumbai Elephanta, you can visit the small archaeological museum. It is located near the ticket counter. In the museum, you can find several items associated with Elephanta Caves Location. You can also learn about the information on the rock-cut cave temples of India.
Elephanta Caves Timings:
For the Elephanta cave timings, tourists can visit the location throughout the year except on Mondays. It will take you about an hour through the Elephanta Caves ferry and reach the location from Mumbai.
You will return the tickets from Gateway of India itself. The first Ferry will leave the India Gateway at 9 Am, and the last Ferry leaves at 2 am. The last Ferry will come back from Elephanta Island.
The Elephanta Cave’s timings and costs are determined by the type of boat you choose. The cost of the Ferry is between Rs. 100-200. The boat will leave the jetty in half an hour.
As for the fee for visiting the Elephanta Caves, you will have to pay Rs. 40 per head for visitors from India and SAARC countries. For other foreign people, the fee is about Rs. 600. Other than the entry charges, an extra Rs. 10 is levied for entering the village. To use the video cameras, you will have to pay an extra Rs. 25. The photography in this place is free. You will have to be knowledgeable about the Elephanta Caves ferry timings since if you miss the boats, you will have to wait for a whole day.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit the place is between October and March. It is when the temperature is mild, and the sky is also clear. Moreover, if you visit Mumbai in February, you can also visit the Elephanta Island Festival. This is a two-day cultural festival where you can experience regional dances and music.
Visiting Elephanta caves during monsoon will provide you with a fascinating experience. However, remember that the ferry services may only be available when it is raining, or the sea waves are appropriate for the short cruise. So the best time to visit is during winter, between November and February.
How to reach?
Elephanta Caves are located on the Arabian Sea, and you must take the Ferry to reach the island. You can also go to the Gateway of India jetty from anywhere within the city.
You can find several state-run buses and trains that run at regular intervals throughout the day. The Elephanta caves’ nearest station is the Churchgate.
One can also hire a cab from the car rental companies and reach the Gateway Of India and Elephanta Caves Mumbai.
Important information to know before visiting,
- Plan your visit and keep in mind the ferry timings.
- Carry plenty of water.
- Beware of monkeys.
- Keep water and food items in a bag.
- Remember to apply sunscreen.
- Carry your sunglasses and hat.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
Places to visit nearby
There are many places to visit nearby the Elephanta cave’s location, such as:
- Gateway of India
- The Asiatic Library.
- Churchgate area.
- Flora fountain.
- Marine drive