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Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves - Mumbai

Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a collection of cave temples predominantly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The Elephanta Caves natively known as Gharapuri Leni. The island, located in the lap of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves—the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Trimurti Sadasiva, is the main sculpture inside the Elephanta Caves. The image, 20 ft in height, is that of the three headed-Lord, representing Panchamukha (five headed) Shiva. The historical legacy of the place is another story altogether. This island was once the capital of a powerful local kingdom. Elephanta Caves are assumed to date back to time of the Silhara Kings. Elephanta Island has three small villages occupied by the ‘kolis’ (fishermen) and the farmers who have, despite the close proximity to the commercial capital of India, carried on with their traditional way of living. Gharapuri is a small village on the south side of the island. The Gharapuri has a tiny population of just about 1,200 residents who are mainly engaged in growing rice, fishing, and repairing boats.

Getting There
Elephanta Island is 10 km from Gateway of India
Small ferry boat service is available between Gateway of India and Elephanta Island.

Weekly Off for caves is Monday and the ferry service is closed during the monsoon season from June
to August.

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