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Elephanta Caves

Explore a maze of ancient rock-cut cave temples, spot intricately carved statues of Hindu gods and enjoy striking sunsets over Mumbai’s city center.

Ferry to Elephanta Caves, a centuries-old collection of rock-carved caves with sculptural masterpieces including temples, deity statues and friezes. Labyrinthine caves spread across the pretty Elephanta Island. Elephanta Caves, originally called Gharapuri, dates back to the 5th century. Portuguese explorers provided the name Elephanta after discovering a large stone resembling an elephant.

Discover seven caves on the island. The main temple is a captivating set of courtyards and halls dominated by imposing pillars and exquisite carvings. Here you’ll find sculptures of the many manifestations celebrating the Hindu god Lord Shiva. Check out the 23-foot-tall (7-meter) Sadashiva statue, which portrays Shiva as creator, protector and destroyer. Other Shiva statues include the Yogishvara (Lord of Yoga) and Nataraja (Lord of Dance).

Follow lighted paths leading to the other smaller caves. Although less elaborate than the Shiva-dedicated cave, they display fine examples of latticework and showcase the talents of ancient artists. Follow the trail to Cannon Point, a vista at the summit of the island. From here, enjoy uninterrupted views over the island and across the bay to Mumbai’s southern peninsula.

Don’t miss the small museum next to the ticket office, which provides an overview of the caves and their history. There’s also a photography exhibit of other Indian cave temples, including Ajanta and Ellora.

The caves are on an island about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from Mumbai’s city center. Boats depart from the Gateway of India pier about every 30 minutes, with a 1-hour journey time. Pay the extra fee to sit on the boat’s upper deck for impressive views of Mumbai’s harbor. Admire landmarks such as the Gateway to India and the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. On a clear day, return on the last boat and marvel as the sun drifts down over the city’s rooftops.

Elephanta Caves is open from Tuesday to Sunday and charges an admission fee. Hire an English-speaking guide at the island’s dock. It’s a short walk from the dock to the caves’ entrance or you can pay to ride the toy train. Find more information on the caves’ official website.

Popular Activities at Elephanta Caves

Make the most of your visit to Elephanta Caves. Here is a list of the most popular things to do:

Wondering what there is to do at this much-loved attraction? We suggest purchasing a Private Full day Mumbai city and Elephanta Caves with lunch.

Have a look at our Mumbai things to do page to find more activities while you're here.


Guide to Exploring Elephanta Caves


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Hotel Rajvikas Residency
Hotel Rajvikas Residency

Hotel Rajvikas Residency

Sonari Post-JNPT Township, Karal Phatta, Raigad District, Uran, Karal, Maharashtra
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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    Royal Park Hotel ¥4,488
    Royal Park Hotel

    Royal Park Hotel

    Opp. Dockyard Road Railway Station, P.D Mello Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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      Park Villa Comforts
      Park Villa Comforts

      Park Villa Comforts

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        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Central Suburbs, this guesthouse is within 6 mi (10 km) of Bandra Kurla Complex, U.S. Consulate General, and KidZania Mumbai. MMRDA Grounds and University of Mumbai are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        ITC Grand Central, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mumbai ¥11,143
        ITC Grand Central, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mumbai

        ITC Grand Central, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mumbai

        287, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Parel, this luxury hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Tata Memorial Hospital and within 3 mi (5 km) of Mohammed Ali Road and Haji Ali Dargah. Crawford Market and Bandra Kurla Complex are also within 6 mi (10 km). Mumbai Currey Road Station is 11 minutes by foot and Mumbai Parel Station is 17 minutes.

          goStops Mumbai
          goStops Mumbai

          goStops Mumbai

          A Rawal house, 46 P D'Mello Road, Oppo Pujara Petrol Pump, Masjid Bunder, Mumbai, Maharashtra
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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            Hotel Mogul Palace ¥3,250
            Hotel Mogul Palace

            Hotel Mogul Palace

            20, Dontad Cross Lane, Off Yusuf Mehar Ali Road, Mumbai, Maharshtra
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Masjid Bandar, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mohammed Ali Road and Crawford Market. Chor Bazaar and St George Hospital are also within 1 mi (2 km). Mumbai Masjid Station is 6 minutes by foot and Mumbai Sandhurst Road Station is 14 minutes.

              Hotel Rajdoot ¥4,488
              Hotel Rajdoot

              Hotel Rajdoot

              Barrister Nath Pai Marg, J.B.Road, Cotton Green West, Sewri, Mumbai, Maharashtra
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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                Pals Hotel ¥3,867
                Pals Hotel

                Pals Hotel

                Barrister Nath Pai Road, Kalachowki, Next to Union Bank of India, Mumbai, Maharashtra
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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