Elephanta caves, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a series of sculpted caves located in the Mumbai harbour area. The caves are dated between 5th to 8th century built from basalt rock. These rock sculptures are dedicated to the Hindu God of Destruction, Shiva and is hence linked to the Shaivite sect of Hinduism.
In the absence of any inscription, the Elephanta caves have been classified as “of unknown date and attribution” and most of the information known about them is conjectural in nature. Experts have put the dates of these caves to be between 5th to 8th century AD. While some historians attribute the construction of the caves to the Konkan Mauryas, others refute this hypothesis by questioning the ability and resources of the small kingdom in question to carry out such a huge project. Another school of thought believes that the Chalukyas from Badami, who defeated the Konkan Mauryas, were the creators of the caves. The Rashtrakutas, who built the similar looking caves in Ellora are also in the list of probables. However, there is little evidence to support the attribution to any of the mentioned parties.
Apart from the two caves at the entrance, there are seven more caves inside. You can hire a guide to understand the history of the caves but do take care that they do not over charge you. Apart from this there are many articles that are sold there. Mostly, they are stuff that you can get in Mumbai at a must cheaper price, so do take care of what you pay for things you get there.
The best way to reach Elephanta Caves would be to take a ferry from Gateway of India.
|Ferry charges from Gateway of India||Timings||Onward: 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM Return: 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM|
|Fees||~Rs.150/person for return trip|
Once at the island, you can take a small train to the entrance.
There is a tourist tax as well as entrée fee for the caves.