Elephanta Island is also called Gharapuri Island or place of caves. It is one among a number of islands in Mumbai harbor, east of Mumbai. The island is specifically popular among tourists for its number of cave temples also called Elephanta caves, which have been carved out of rock. Elephanta name owes to the Portuguese, who captured the island from the Sultan of Gujarat in 1535AD and named it so for its huge sculpted elephant.
Elephanta caves have imposing examples of early rock- out architecture.
Not of the high tenor as the Ajanta or Ellora caves, the Elephanta cave
is a worth visit. The cave temple in Elephanta is dedicated to Lord
Shiva. The cave temple, situated some 75 meters above jetty level,
closely follows the pattern of the Dumar Lena cave in Ellora. This
temple was excavated sometime in the 8th century by the Rashtrakuta
kings who ruled the area between AD 757-973.
A veritable spiritual retreat the locale of the Elephanta cave temple
turns into virtual carnival during the weekends when day trippers from
Mumbai converge for merrymaking. Maharashtra Tourism organizes a
colorful festival of classical music and dance in the third week of
February each year. It is the time when the Elephanta Island has an
otherworldly look to it with sonorous music in the air and classical
Indian dance conjuring a surreal impression on the audience.
How to Reach Elephanta Island
Elephanta Island is about 10kms from Mumbai harbor. You have launches
leaving the Gateway of India every 30mins from 9am. It takes around one
and half hours to reach the Elephanta Island from Mumbai. There are
faster catamarans also available.
|Location||Raigarh dist., Maharashtra|
|Distance from Mumbai||10kms|
|Special Features||Elephanta caves|
|Best Time||Anytime of the year|