The Elephanta Caves rank among the popular tourist attractions in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The caves are situated in the Gharapuri Island, located off the coastline of Mumbai. The caves were renamed as the Elephanta Caves due to their shape of the elephant. The Elephanta Caves Mumbai has been included in the list of the World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.
Thousands of tourists from many parts of India and the world visit the Elephanta Caves Mumbai in Maharashtra. There are 7 caves in total which are dedicated to Lord Shiva. They were made in the period between the 7th and 12th century AD. The caves are fine specimens of the antique Hindu culture and tradition and are famous for their rock cut statues. The caves are surrounded by sprawling vegetation. The caves consist of spiritual themes which depict the various forms of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is signified as Andhakasuravadha, signifying the demon of darkness, Kalyanasundara-the gentle loving god, Ardhanarishwara which means the togetherness of Shiva and Shakti, Nataraja-Shiva who is the intergalactic dancer and as Ravana anugraha who is the killer of enemies.
The most famous statue in the Elephanta Caves Mumbai is the statue of Trimurti Sadasiva form of Lord Shiva. The statue rises up to a height of 20 feet and is imprinted as a three headed-Shiva. The right face signifies Shiva as a young person with sensuous lips which means life and vitality. The right half of the face looks like that of Lord Brahma, the creator of Uma or Vamadeva, the female form of Shiva. The left half-face face of the sculpture is that of a young man who is has facial hair and displays anger. It signifies Shiva as Aghora Bhairava, the killer, whose anger can put the whole world in flames. The central face is in a meditative pose as a Yogi which means Shiva praying for the protection of humankind.
History of Attraction
The historians have dated the Elephanta Caves Mumbai and believe to fit to the period of 5th-8th century. The caves are of historical position and can be traced to the defeat of the Mauryan Rulers reining the Konkan kingdom by the ruler Pulakesi belonging to the Badami Chalukya dynasty in the battle of 635 AD. Some historians right that the caves belong to the Konkan Mauryans. Others claim that the caves belong to the Kalachuris.
Architecture of Elephanta Caves Mumbai
The whole compound is built on an area of 60,000 sq feet and includes seven caves that date back to AD 600. Cave 1 excites the most. It is popular due to the beautiful and perfect sculptures. The caves are devoted to Hindu divinities and you can see Buddhist caves as well. Elephanta Caves Mumbai showcases the Indian art with its faultless expressions and the huge respites in the caves.
How to reach Elephanta Caves Mumbai
To reach the Elephanta Caves, you have to take a ferry from the Gateway of India. Numerous ferries are available throughout the day to reach the Elephanta Caves. It takes almost 45 actions to reach the caves from Mumbai. You can buy tickets from the Gateway of India. The two-way ticket costs Rs. 150 per mature and Rs. 90 for children below 7 years. If you want the upper deck, Rs. 10 extra will have to be paid. There are two types of ferries, deluxe and budget.