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Elephanta Caves

Raigad ,CST

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Nine nautical miles across the sea from theGateway of India lies Elephanta Caves, also known as 'Gharapuri'. Visit thisgreen island for the wonders of the 7th century, the pains taking.17 hewnrock-cut cave temple, dedicated to Shiva. The Maheshmurti panel, in which Shivais known as a creator protector and destroyer, is a sight that should beenjoyed at least once in a lifetime. Regular excursions toElephanta start every day from the Gateway of India. Though the ascent to reachthe cave is difficult to climb, ‘doli’ is always ready to pick up you. Launchservice is also there from Alibag and Uran of Raigad district.

This cave temple is openfrom three sides, so light enters through different angles. In the play ofentering light and shade we feel that all stone-statues are alive and movinglight comes from many directions and corners and changes at every moment. Thisis the main attraction of noteworthy experience here. In the cave temple thereis roomy auditorium. Rows of pillars are in the auditorium. There are ninecarved pictures on the wall. All the pillars must have been made simple so thatthe carved pictures can attract tourists’ attention. The caves are nowdesignated as a World Heritage Site and visited by hundreds of tourists bothfor their art, historical and science value.

The Portuguese renamed thisisland Elephenta after a large stone elephant found near the shore. (theElephenta sculpture collapsed in 1814, when the British relocated it to theVictoria Gardens now Mumbai’s zoo, where it still stands.) Once a year the MIDCarranges a two-day Festival of dance and music here. The Elephanta caves are agreat tourist attraction in the vicinity of the large Mumbai meteropolis.

The Elephenta island islocated 10 kms away from the Gateway of India at Mumbai. This rock cut templewas created by carving out rock, and creating the columns, the internal spacesand the images. The entire Temple is akin to a huge sculpture. The entirecomplex was created through a process of rock removal. The entire cave templecomplex covers an area of about 60000 square feet and it consists of a mainchamber and two lateral ones, courtyards and several subsidiary shrines. Thecolossal 20 feet high image of three headed Shiva, Trimurthy is a magnificent one,considered to be a masterpiece of indian art. It has stood there for more thana thousand years.

  • Accommodation :
    Chalukya Restaurant run by MTDC.

  • Getting There :
    The Elephanta Caves can be reached by Ferry from the Gateway of India, Mumbai.

  • By Air:
    Nearest airport is Mumbai 20 kms. upto Gateway of India, and 9 nautical miles across the sea.

  • By Rail :
    Nearest railhead are Churchgate (W.R.) & Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST, C.R.)

  • By Road :

  • Places to see nearby :

    Gateway Of India , Taj Hotel

  • Map : Elephanta Cave

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