Discover the wonders of Elephanta Caves on a half-day tour from Mumbai, led by a professional guide. The intricate rock carved temples of Elephanta Island are rich sculptural masterpieces and one of the oldest rock cut structures in the country, the Elephanta Caves are the perfect expressions of archaic Indian art associated to the cult of Lord Shiva. There are seven cave excavations in the Elephanta group and these are datable from circa 6th ' 7th centuries A.D. Among the cave excavations, the Cave 1 is the most impressive which represents the evolved Brahmanical rock-cut architecture.
8am - Pick-up from your Hotel or Airport in Mumbai (Pick-up / drop-off from Mumbai Sea Port not included)'and arrive at The Gateway of India from where you board your boat from the harbour and take an hour-long ferry ride. Enjoy the panoramic views as you approach Elephanta Island famous for The Elephanta Caves, UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular attraction in the vicinity of the large Mumbai metropolis. Not only is the island host to a bounty of nature in the form of lush plantations of palm, mango and tamarind trees, it is also home to ancient cave temples that have been carved out of rock and which have been declared a World Heritage Site.
These caves are replete with rock-cut temples that are as old as 5th century CE. The Elephanta island was so named by the Portuguese, after the statue of an elephant near the landing area of the island. The rock-hewn temples are consecrated to Shiva Mahadev and boast of intricately adorned sculptures.
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. Upon entering the caves, a massive hall supported by large pillars and a large 'Mahesamurti' statue will greet you. This remarkable, three-headed Shiva sculpture is the main attraction of this island. Other sculptures of Shiva, in the 'Shiva Nataraja' and 'Ardhanarishvara' forms, can also be seen here. The entire cave complex is about 60,000 sq. feet and is made out of natural rock.
There are seven cave excavations in the Elephanta group and these are datable from circa 6th ' 7th centuries A.D. Among the cave excavations, the Cave 1 is the most impressive which represents the evolved Brahmanical rock-cut architecture. The cave is also famous for the exquisite and vibrant sculptures.
12.30pm - After the tour board the boat for an hour-long journey back to the Gateway of India.
2pm - Arrive at Gateway of India and drive back to hotel or your desired location in Mumbai.