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Elephanta Caves are the historical attraction located in the Arabian sea. These world famous ancient caves are present in the east direction from Mumbai city. Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra and also known as the economic capital of India. This city is also considered as one of the most crowded cities from all over the world. The distance between these Elephanta Caves and the iconic Gateway Of India is 10 Kms.
These caves are the combination of Hinduism and Buddhist caves. These caves are present on the Island which is known as “Elephanta” or “Gharapuri” island. That is why these caves are also known as “Gharapuri Caves”. This ultimate tourist place is one of the most visited tourist places in Mumbai.
Elephanta Caves Timings 2024
The caves remain open on all weekdays except Monday. Elephanta Caves timings may affect during public holidays, festival season and rainy season (due to high tides).
Visit Duration: It takes around 2:30-3 hours to explore all the tourist attractions of Elephanta.
Elephanta Caves Ferry Timings / Boat Timings 2023
Elephanta caves ferry timings are very much convenient for the visitors. These timings may fluctuate during the rainy season. The first ferryboat is at 9:00 AM from the Gateway Of India. Ferryboat takes an hour to reach Elephanta Caves from Gateway Of India. The last boat leaves the Gateway at around 2:00 PM. Similarly, the first boat for return from the Elephanta is at 12 noon and the last boat is at 5:30 PM. This ride cost Rs. 120 to 150 for per person to reach this wonderful place. We suggest our readers go early. So they can explore the other tourist attractions of this place.
Elephanta Caves Entry Fees / Ticket Price 2023
|Ticket Price / Entry Fees
|Rs.10 per person
|Rs.250 per person
|Children (under 15 years)
|Village entry fee
|Rs.10 per person
|Rs.25 per person
Elephanta Caves Map Location
How To Reach Elephanta Caves?
- By Road: Tourist can reach Gateway of India from the other parts of Mumbai city by private or public transport.
- By Railway: The nearest railway station is Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminals (CST) junction. From CST you will get the auto/taxi to reach Gateway. It takes around 10 minutes to reach Gateway.
- By Air: The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminals. Tourist can hire the auto/taxi from the airport to Gateway of India.
From Gateway of India tourist needs to take a ticket of ferryboat to reach Elephanta Caves. Around 1 hour is required to reach these caves from the Gateway of India.
Best Time To Visit Elephanta Caves
The best time to visit Elephanta Caves is during the winter season, from November to February, as the weather is pleasant with low humidity and cool temperatures. This is the peak tourist season, so it is advisable to book in advance to avoid any inconvenience. The monsoon season, from June to September, should be avoided as the heavy rains can make it difficult to visit the caves.
However, if you do visit during the monsoon season, the surrounding lush greenery is a sight to behold. The summer season, from March to May, can be quite hot and humid, so it may not be the best time to visit, but if you do visit during this time, it is recommended to carry plenty of water and wear light, comfortable clothing.
Elephanta Caves History Information
These are total 7 caves which are the combination of two religions. Out of 7, 5 caves were based on the Hinduism and the other 2 caves were based on Buddhism. These 5 caves are devoted to Lord Shiva. We can see the ancient statues of Lord Shiva in those caves. While we can see the some Buddhism architecture in other two caves.
No one knows the correct built date of these caves. But many historians say that this was built in 5th – 8th century. Archaeological Survey Of India found some 4th-century coins during their studies. According to historical estimates, Badami Chalukya II (609-642) had defeated Konkan Kans Maurya in the battle of Naval. This war happened here in 635 AD.
Since then, Elephanta has become known as “Puri” and “Purika”, and since then it has been the capital of Konkan Maurya. The Chalukyas who defeated Kalchuris and Kokan Maurya also believe that it has been built in the middle of the 7th century. These caves were under the rule of Rashtrakute rulers during the 7-8 century. The trinity of Elephanta (the three faces of Shiva) reflects the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. Natraj and Ardhanarishwar statues show the character of the Rashtrakutas.
After Rashtrakutas, it was under the rule of “Chalukyas”. The last ruler was the Sultanate of Gujarat. Sultanate of Gujarat had surrendered to Portugal in 1534. Portuguese had given the name of “Elephanta”. Since then these caves were known as Elephanta Caves.
Portuguese had seen the number of devotees increasing because of the Lord Shiva statue. During Portuguese rule, local people came here to celebrate lord Shiva festival. But Portuguese didn’t want this. That is why they destroyed the many parts of these ancient caves. Local Marathi people still called it as Gharapuri caves. During the 1970s decade, the main cave was restored by the Indian government. In the year 1987, UNESCO announced this site as one of the WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
Near By Attractions
- Gateway Of India: The iconic Gateway Of India is the historical monument built during the British Raj in India. After hundreds of years, it is still standing tall at the distance of 10 Kms from these caves. Before coming to Elephanta we suggest you to this place.
- Hotel Taj: This beautiful hotel runs by the TATA group. Tourist can reach there by just walking from the Gateway.
- Karnala Bird Sanctuary: A quiet and peaceful place situated at the distance of 52 Kilometers from Mumbai city. This small forestry is the natural habitat for more than 147 species of bird. It is well known for some rare and migratory bird species. Perfect place to spend a day with your family and friends. Karnala fort is another attraction present in the sanctuary premises.