Elephanta Caves, Elephanta Island

3.9
#4 of 142 in Nature in Maharashtra
A World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves exposes the cave system named after a colossal elephant which was unearthed nearby. Located on island hills 7 km (4.3 mi) from the shore of mainland, the entire network consists of seven sculpted caves which date to the 5th and 8th centuries and feature sculptures, shrines, and a colossal bust of the three forms of Siva (Mahesa-murti). As you roam its natural halls, notice that the larger group of five caves have Hindu features dedicated to Lord Shiva, where other two contain rock-cut formations indicative of Buddhist craftsmanship. If you wish to learn more about the complex, on-site guides can help. Plan your Elephanta Caves visit and explore what else you can see and do in Elephanta Island using our Elephanta Island itinerary builder.
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Reviews
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1,293 reviews
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4.3
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  • August 16, 2017
    The journey to the island is an adventure in itself. One needs to take a ferry which leaves from the Gateway of India. There is a ferry leaving every half an hour starting from 9am in the morning. It ...  more »
  • August 15, 2017
    The boat trip to the Island from The Gateway to India was fine. The long line of old wooden boats take hundreds of tourists, one after the after. There's a culture of littering which is awful. The sea...  more »
  • August 15, 2017
    The caves in Elephanta caves have to be reached by boating from the gateway of India. We had a short train ride and walk to reach the caves. The sculptures and the architecture reminded me of Mamallap...  more »
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  • June 23, 2017
    The ferry ride is an important component of this worthy enough one day trip. The seagulls will give you a pleasant company. It may not be a very enjoyable experience to visit this place during summer afternoons, but if you do, don't neglect to keep yourself hydrated. Although there are cave networks in India that are much better than this, it still is a worthy enough visit.
  • April 6, 2017
    The main attraction is the ferry ride. Ferry ride, including return, costs Rs. 180/- for "luxury" and Rs. 150/- for smaller ferry. Ferry ride is from Gateway of India. The ride is about an hour and half hour long for one-way trip. Lot of seagulls and merchant vessels to see on the way. After you reach the island you can board a toy (mini) train for Rs. 10/-. There are a lot of stairs to climb to reach the caves. Many restaurants present in case you're hungry but I will suggest you to carry your own food. Toilets are present at entrance of stairs as well as the far side of island. The caves are beautiful to look at if you don't have very high expectations. Drinking water is also available at top of the stairs. Rs. 30 entry fee will be levied at top as entry fee. Last ferry from island leaves at 1730 hrs. Best time to visit is the winter season.
  • July 8, 2017
    The most amazing thing is the ferry ride. Will request you to go for luxury one. That way they call it. It's actually bigger boat and that's why will be safer. You must visit the Cannon kept at the top of island after visiting caves.
  • June 16, 2017
    The best place as one whole day package trip. It's great ride in sea where boat will be sailing through and cutting the sea. It will be dry for whole trip if you don't want to pay more money on water then carry water bottles. Eatables are available but better to carry your own. There will be small train kind of kiddo train to carry passenger for distance of 500mt.plan to travel one way through train and other way walk. The first boat will start from elephanta caves back to India gate is at 1130 and u will reach by 130 almost so plan your activities Total worth to watch such majestic historical place great art..
  • June 13, 2017
    Beautiful place. Many things to see. Best time to visit is after monsoon and before summer. If you like historical places. You will be amazed. Don't forget to take a walk above the caves and where the Seven step water fall starts.

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Where to stay in Elephanta Island

You cannot stay overnight on Elephanta Island, so most travelers opt to stay in Mumbai, one hour away by boat. Hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts in Mumbai can be very expensive compared to the rest of India, but shoestring travelers have a few budget options as well. When on the island, you may meet locals who give tours of the island, though it is not wise to stay at a home overnight. If you need a place to rest during your day trip to Elephanta Island, you can step into the Maharashtra Tourism Department Hotel for food and drink.
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