Explore Mumbai and visit the natural wonder that is the Elephanta Caves. Stretching 9 nautical miles across the sea from the Gateway of India is Elephanta, also known as 'Gharapuri.' Visit this green island for one of the wonders of the 7th century: the painstakingly hewn rock-cut cave temple dedicated to Shiva. The Maheshamurti panel, in which Shiva is shown as a creator, protector and destroyer, is a sight that should be enjoyed at least once in a lifetime. Spend the second half of the tour with a visit to the Hanging Garden, Prince of Wales Museum, Marine drive, Mani Bhavan, and Victoria Terminus.
See India's natural wonders on this tour of private tour of Mumbai. Meet the tour guide at the designated hotel lobby in Mumbai at 8am. Embark on a journey with up to 8 people, and visit the Gateway of India, built to welcome King George V and Queen Mary into India. Leave from Gateway Of India to visit the Elephanta Caves by ferry. The first boat departs at 9am and this journey, which gives a good panoramic view, takes 1 hour.
The walk from the jetty to cave temple is less than a mile away, though there is also a small toy train from the jetty to the base of the hill. Climb the 120 steps to the plateau where the caves are located to reach a small site museum. The museum resembles more of an old house with terracotta roof, but is a great precursor to the Elephanta caves. If time and energy remains after visiting the main caves, trek up the the Cannon Hill. There is a old cannon post overlooking the harbor where you can see few un-excavated Buddhist sites, dating back to 2nd century BC, of Shiva with his consort Parvathi.
There is only one panel in Elephanta Caves where the lower portions of the images are not damaged, and it depicts the marriage of Shiva and Parvathi. The Nataraja Panel is located at the entry point of the main cave, opposite of the Mahayogi Shiva at Elephanta. After passing the three panels (Gangadhara at Elephanta, Mahesh Murthi at Elephanta and Ardhanarishvara at Elephanta), which are located in the deep wall of the cave, see the most dynamic and expressive of all the panels of Elephanta.
Board the boat at 12:30 for an hour-long journey back to the Gateway of India. After lunch at 2:30pm on direct payment 'proceed to Mumbai University, whose British heritage building was built in 1857. See the Hanging Gardens, built on top of water tanks near the Tower of Silence (Parsi burial place), as well as Mani Bhavan- a hallowed memorial to Gandhiji. Hear about his stay here and the activities he participated in. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum, which is one of the premier art and history museums in India. Drive past Marine drive and Chowpatty beach, as well as Bombay High Court, which is a Beautiful British Heritage Building, and Victoria Terminus Train Station (CST), a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The journey ends at 5:30pm with a relaxing drive back to accommodations in Mumbai.