Elephanta caves is a place where you will find only caves and glory of Lord Shiva, there are mainly seven caves you will find the real beauty of ancient architectures.
You will firstly see Shiva Lingam in Main cave and in which there are two openings or door. These doors are guarded by keepers of this temple they are not real it’s their statues. You will find fresh flowers on Shiva Lingam that clearly refers that someone is regularly worshipping Lord Shiva. Noticeable thing is that their gate keepers’ statues are broken at places.
Second cave is located to the south-east from the main Cave. It opens towards east, with a temple in its northern end. There are four pillars in the cave and they are majorly damaged. All these damages happened during rainy season due to soaking of water. Only some parts of statues are remaining and artwork is about to diminish.
Third cave is south to second cave the entrance of cave you will find eight columns. The pillars look really in good condition but its statues of door-keepers of temple are damaged to some part pillars outside of the room have been saved but statues of door-keepers of temple are partly saved.
Thing to do in Elephanta Caves
You can take photo with ious angles for capturing natural environment. There are a lot of monkeys around island you should be aware about them as they are very naughty.They like to receive food by people but they do not like it when kids tease them by throwing stones or making weird noises. Always try to keep with a group or crowd, especially when you have some packed food with you.You are advised to explore cave without tourist guide in this way you will feel better experience with happiness. It is recommended to use map, when you are roaming on Elephanta Island you can also use official audio guide of ministry of tourism incredible India or GPS in your smart phone. Always try to watch all caves without any one left. You can also analyse the ancient India archaeological by visiting the place.
Places to see Elephanta Caves
Main Attraction Trimurti: The main attraction of Elephanta Island is Trimurti statue and of Lord Shiva which is shown everywhere as the icon of Elephanta Island. This statue is called "Trimuti" where “Tri” means three and "Murti" means statue simply. This statue shows actually three different form of Lord Shiva in single. Different expressions are reflecting from statue’s all three faces and they got different meaning. These three different Gods are “Brahma ", " Vishnu " and " Bhairava ". On the right side we can see “Brahma “it is believed that he is creator of this world and living things on earth. Left side face is of “Bhairava “form of shiva who is responsible for destruction to world or decides ending life on earth. And central face represents "Vishnu" who creates balance on earth.
Cannon: After Visiting Elephanta Caves you should visit canon situated at Elephanta Island. There are two canons established on a walking distance from caves, they are in little worst condition after climbing a few steps to canon way path becomes very narrow and slips which leads to hill. It is advised to walk on path attentively because there is no railing for support which makes this path little dangerous if a person slips or fall.
Archaeological Museum: Behind ticket counter of Elephanta caves there is a small Archaeological Museum. You can see ancient things related to Elephanta Island in this three room tiny museum which look like a small hut from outside. This place is opened in 1999 with help of UNESCO and Reliance Industries.
There are so many statues of lord shiva on island that looks like he is presented in each stone. Elephanta Island is place where you will see amazing things every moment
Food and shopping in Elephanta Caves
Food: There are not so many restaurants present at island on the way to the entrance of the caves you find some restaurants that have some local food offering. Local women sell snacks and fresh corn on the jetty. Wild berries are famous local food sold by locals you should not miss to eat the delicious one. If you are interested for Indian food, MTDC resort offers a fine spread at a reasonable cost.
Shopping: In the way of Elephanta Island you will find small shops on both sides. You can purchase hand made things such as sculptures made from Marble, Paintings of Lord Shiva and Ganesh. Make sure to purchase of something unique to the Island and the craft skills of the local people.
How to reach Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves By Air: As Mumbai is the major city, in Maharashtra, India; you may easily catch a flight for Mumbai. From any airport you can take respective domestic or international flight from here you can hire a taxi or can chose a local bus to reach to the Gateway of India. Elephanta Caves By Train: Mumbai is a metro city which is well connected train route across India. You may get down at CST, Bandra or Lokmanya Nagar Junctions. From here you can walk to the Gateway of India as this is at a walking distance of fifteen to twenty minutes. Elephanta Caves By Bus: Mumbai is business hub of India it is well connected from major cities of Maharashtra and India by road. Once you reach Mumbai you need to reach the Gateway of India. From Gateway of India you can have a boat or ferry ride facilities to reach Elephanta Caves. Elephanta Caves By Taxi: From any part of Mumbai you can hire a taxi to reach Gateway of India.
Distance of Elephanta Caves from major cities:
Nasik 184.5Km, Daman 195.7Km, Mahabaleshwar 273.5 Km, Shirdi 278 Km, Panchgani 254.6Km