Elephanta Caves | Elephanta Island Caves | Apollo Bunder | Article by Radhika Mohan

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No trip to Mumbai can be complete without a visit to the Elephanta Caves, declared a world heritage site by UNESCO!

Take a trip back in time. A boat trip from Gateway of India will land you at Maharashtra's pride.

The Elephanta Caves nestle on island hills about 11km away from Apollo Bunder. The caves get their name from the gigantic elephant which was once found on the island.

These rock-cut caves are dedicated to Shiva, and date back to early 5th Century, standing testimony to the master craftsmanship of the period.

Seven caves have been excavated till date. The main chamber has two lateral chambers attached, across over 60000 square feet. The fluted pillars crafted out of rock, stand on square bases. The chief attractions within the caves are the Shivling, the Ardhnarishwar and the Trimurti.

The impressive Mahesamurti cave is worth visiting to view the marvelous works of art. The cave walls are heavily carved and depict mythological legends, whilst dark niches exhibit some amazing relief work. The caves are guarded by dvarapalas or guards.

Visit these caves anytime between Novembers to March. Avoid visiting the caves during monsoons, for the sea is choppy and the ferry ride can be rough. The island too is slushy and slippery during the monsoon months.

The caves are open to visitors from 9am -5pm on all days except Mondays. It is best to take a day excursion to the caves. The entrance fee is Rs. 250. Children under 15 years are allowed free entry.

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Elephanta Caves nestle on island hills about 11km away from Apollo Bunder, Mumbai. For more Information about Elephanta Caves : Click Here

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