Ferry to Elephanta Caves, a centuries-old collection of rock-carved caves with sculptural masterpieces including temples, deity statues and friezes. Labyrinthine caves spread across the pretty Elephanta Island. Elephanta Caves, originally called Gharapuri, dates back to the 5th century. Portuguese explorers provided the name Elephanta after discovering a large stone resembling an elephant.
Discover seven caves on the island. The main temple is a captivating set of courtyards and halls dominated by imposing pillars and exquisite carvings. Here you’ll find sculptures of the many manifestations celebrating the Hindu god Lord Shiva. Check out the 23-foot-tall (7-meter) Sadashiva statue, which portrays Shiva as creator, protector and destroyer. Other Shiva statues include the Yogishvara (Lord of Yoga) and Nataraja (Lord of Dance).
Follow lighted paths leading to the other smaller caves. Although less elaborate than the Shiva-dedicated cave, they display fine examples of latticework and showcase the talents of ancient artists. Follow the trail to Cannon Point, a vista at the summit of the island. From here, enjoy uninterrupted views over the island and across the bay to Mumbai’s southern peninsula.
Don’t miss the small museum next to the ticket office, which provides an overview of the caves and their history. There’s also a photography exhibit of other Indian cave temples, including Ajanta and Ellora.
The caves are on an island about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from Mumbai’s city center. Boats depart from the Gateway of India pier about every 30 minutes, with a 1-hour journey time. Pay the extra fee to sit on the boat’s upper deck for impressive views of Mumbai’s harbor. Admire landmarks such as the Gateway to India and the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. On a clear day, return on the last boat and marvel as the sun drifts down over the city’s rooftops.
Elephanta Caves is open from Tuesday to Sunday and charges an admission fee. Hire an English-speaking guide at the island’s dock. It’s a short walk from the dock to the caves’ entrance or you can pay to ride the toy train. Find more information on the caves’ official website.
Make the most of your visit to Elephanta Caves. Here is a list of the most popular things to do:
Wondering what there is to do at this much-loved attraction? We suggest purchasing a Private Full day Mumbai city and Elephanta Caves with lunch.
Have a look at our Mumbai things to do page to find more activities while you're here.
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Situated in Karal, this hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Elephanta Caves, Wonder Park, and Belapur Mango Garden. DY Patil Stadium and Kharghar Hills are also within 12 mi (20 km).
The service is brilliant! All are wonderful staff. Would highly recommend this hotel.
Located in Central Suburbs, this guesthouse is within 6 mi (10 km) of Bandra Kurla Complex, U.S. Consulate General, and KidZania Mumbai. MMRDA Grounds and University of Mumbai are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Friendly and helpful staff. Easy access to facilities. Close to Tata memorial hospital.
Located in Masjid Bandar, this hostel is within a 15-minute walk of Mohammed Ali Road and Crawford Market. St. Thomas Cathedral and Flora Fountain are also within 2 mi (3 km). Mumbai Masjid Station is 5 minutes by foot and Mumbai Sandhurst Road Station is 18 minutes.
We chose the Mogul Palace because of location, but overall I wish we would have chosen to stay a bit outside. The area is very crowded and felt a little unsafe. Staff was fine, but rooms could have been cleaner.
I book hotel for my family through hotel. Com. I intimate them one month prior and again a day before check in. But at time of check in they denied. And ask to pay as per their charges. I can't explain that situation in words. I came from 700 km distance and with family I hv no option. They cheated ...