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“Surprise Surprise!!!!”
Review of Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves
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US$45.00*
and up
Mumbai Elephanta Caves Private Half-Day Tour
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Elephanta Caves are situated on Elephanta Island about 7 kms from Mumbai’s mainland shore. The caves can be reached by an approx. 1-hour boat ride from Gateway of India.
Reviewed 4 September 2013

I am not sure what was I expecting but the caves were really a pleasant surprise to me. The boat ride till the island was okayish n I wouldn't recommend it to solo female travellers. By once you reach there, it really is very safe and breathtaking. Since the archaeological guide works only until 2pm we hired a local guy as a guide. The info he gave was quite misleading so I strongly recommend hiring genuine guide or reading up in advance. But a must see if you are visiting Mumbai.I liked it the best in Mumbai.

Also if you are travelling during monsoon, the launches might not be in service. Check before you make plans.

Thank Dee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 September 2013

anybody loves to travel thru boat/ships can go to elephanta caves. It is small peaceful island near the busy mumbai city. just beware of the monkeys

Thank v b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

I loved the visit to the Caves. We arranged an acceptable price with a guide at the entrance. I had read a lot before going, and was glad to confirm that he was a knowledgeable one (you can get across anything in India!)

The Caves are off-visit on Mondays. The boat leaves from one of the gates of at the rear of Gateway of India. There is a boat every half an hour. Week days are less crowded than weekends.

For me, the trip was a journey back in time; to a time when faith, mysticism & art reigned supreme. Was the artists’ challenge of carving out gigantic statues a blessing? Probably so.

The island is surrounded by the Arabian Sea. To get to the caves, you will need to climb a steep street up (or take a train when you hop off the boat) and, after that, there are 120 steep steps (or so they say) to really get to the caves. There are palanquins to carry people (as if we still were in the Dark Ages!).

There is a tourist tax of Rs 10 for adults plus an entrance fee of Rs 250 for foreigners (at the time of this review).

I only visited the first 2 caves at the entrance as I was heading to Aurangabad later on.

Beware of the monkeys that roam around. They shouldn’t be fed nor bothered if one doesn’t want a scratch or an attack in retaliation.

There are many things for sale (stuff brought from Mumbai so they are sold at a double or triple price).

Tip: Take drinkable water with you from Mumbai itself.

Now a little bit about the honoured God of Elephanta Caves: Lord Shiva. His name means the auspicious one.

A Hindu deity, the Destroyer and Transformer in the Trimurti (Hindu Trinity). Shiva is the creator, the preserver, the destroyer, the concealer & the revealer, all at the same time. He is a god of ambiguity & paradox.

Shiva is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of lingam and depicted in many ways, but almost always with his wife Parvatti. They have two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya.

Shiva has a Trident in the right lower arm, with a crescent moon on his head. He has a third eye with which he burnt Desire to ashes. Ganges river (symbol of nectar of immortality) flows from his matted hair. Often shown sitting on a tiger skin meaning he has conquered lust, of which the tiger is a symbol. His neck is adorned with a serpent, representing wisdom and eternity. The cow is His means of transport and that’s why cows are sacred for Hinduism.

Destroyer and benefactor, ascetic, householder. Five is a sacred number for Him since one of his most important mantras has 5 syllables. Also, he has 5 faces and 5 are the organs of perception as well.

Many many more things could be said about this Divinity of course. But what called my attention was his worldly, earthly likes :)

Followers of Hinduism who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas.

6  Thank Betty P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2013

Watch out for the thieving macaques. Caves were a good day out with a boat trip from Gateway of India involved. Lots of arts and crafts too.

1  Thank Meera L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 August 2013

A boat trip away from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island is an interesting experience for the family. With carvings of Vishnu in the ancient caves, Indian history comes alive. Lots of arts and crafts sellers around. Just beware of the macaques who will steal anything off you that is worth eating. Potato crisps from my young son's arm was snatched by the monkey who accidentally also scratched him. He swelled up and required hospital treatment.

Thank Meera L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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