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Visit the Elephanta Caves in Mumbai

Elephanta Caves in Mumbai, Maharashtra

Take a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tourism in Mumbai

Rated 4.00/5 ( based on 206 reviews )

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Quick Information

Best time to visit
Nov - Feb
Ideal Duration
5-6 Days
Visa
On Arrival
Starting from
Rs. 3,500
  • Ideal for families
  • Ideal for friends
  • City Tour

Elephanta Caves in Mumbai (2020)

Elephanta Caves are a collection of cave temples located in Gharapuri or Elephanta Island in Mumbai.  A Hindu king from the Kalachuri dynasty built the Elephanta Caves. Situated at a distance of 10 km from Gateway of Mumbai, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was declared so in 1987 after the restoration of the caves in the 1970s. The temples are dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, and other than these Hindu caves, there are Buddhist stupas too here, dating back to the 2nd century BCE. It is one of the major attractions in Mumbai and one can take the ferry from Gateway of India to enjoy Elephanta Caves tour Mumbai.

History of Elephanta Caves

The ancient history of Elephanta Caves Island isn’t present in either Hindu or Buddhist records but according to Archaeological Survey of India and UNESCO, the cave temples came into being in the 5th and 6th century. The caves have rock cut stone sculptures but most of the artwork that is left today is damaged to quite an extent. The artwork is inspired by the mythology and ideas of ancient times, predominantly of the 6th century. Take the Elephanta Caves tour and look at this interesting artwork for yourself on your trip to Mumbai.

Earlier known as Gharapuri, the island came to be known as the Elephanta Island later by the Portuguese. They named it so to differentiate it from the other islands near Mumbai as they docked their boats here at the Elephanta Caves island.

Information About Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves comprise of five rock-cut caves located in the Western hill. There is a brick stupa in the Elephanta Caves which is found on the Eastern hill. While Stupa Hill ( two Buddhist mounds) is present in the Eastern hill, there are two more caves which are Cave 6 and Cave 7 which is located close to the already existing five caves of the Western Hill.  

What is the Significance of Trimurti in Elephanta Caves?

Trimurti in Elephanta Caves is seen as the most valuable sculptural asset of the place. It has been described as the masterpiece ever created in the history of Gupta and Chalukya empire. Trimurti is kept at the rear of the cave while it faces the entrance towards the north-south axis. Trimurti is otherwise known as Trimurti Sadashiva or Maheshmurti.

Things to Do at Elephanta Caves

There are a couple of things that one can enjoy on their tour of Elephanta Caves in Mumbai beginning with the ferry ride and continuing to visit the sculpture and Buddhist Stupa.

One can take the ferry from Gateway of India and begin the exciting Elephanta Cave tour. 

Once on the island, visit the two hills with their set of caves, separated by a walkway. 

Cave 1 is also the main cave here and there are a total of 7 caves. 

Witness the rock cut stone sculptures and artwork at the caves. Explore them all on your Mumbai trip. 

Enjoy the views of the Mumbai skyline from the Elephanta Island and take a complete tour of this interesting and historic tourist attraction of Mumbai.

Nearby Attractions to Elephanta Caves

One of the nearby attractions of Elephanta Caves in Mumbai is the Elephanta Island. It has an artificial lake which is used for storing rainwater. The Lake is also known by the name of  “Adiyogi Shiva Elephanta Lake”.

Close to the Elephant Island Lake, there is a garden. Although the garden in Elephanta Caves in Mumbai does not feature extravagant set-ups, the view of the Arabian Sea and Elephanta Cave Complex is absolutely stunning from here. Tourists come here to relax or enjoy a picnic.

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    FAQ's of Mumbai

    Read on to find out why our customers love us!

    How long is the ferry ride to Elephanta Caves?

    It takes around 1 hour to reach the island from Gateway of India via the ferry and it is available every half hour.

    Which is the closest local station for Elephanta Caves?

    The closest local station is Churchgate station from where one can hire a taxi or walk down to Gateway of India. One needs to further take a ferry to the Elephanta island.

    How long does it take to see Elephanta caves?

    It takes a duration of 1 hour to see Elephanta Caves in Mumbai. However, you can spend more time at your own will.

    On which day Elephanta Caves is closed?

    Elephanta Caves remains closed on Mondays. On other days, Elephanta Caves remains open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

    Who built Elephanta caves?

    A Hindu Kalachuri King built the Elephanta Caves in Mumbai.

    How many caves are in Elephanta caves?

    There are a total of 7 caves present in the Elephanta Caves. Five of them are located on the western hill while caves 6 and 7 are on the eastern hill.

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