A Trip To Elephanta Island, Mumbai

Elephanta Island, an island at Mumbai Harbour, is a major tourist attraction in Mumbai. Also known as Gharapuri Island, it is the house of the famous Elephanta Caves, that have been carved out of rock. The path to the caves is littered with shops selling artefacts and souvenirs like jewellery, showpieces, toys, etc.

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How to reach

You reach Elephanta Island by taking a ferry from Gateway of India in Mumbai. The ferry ride costs Rs 180 and its timings are from 8am to 4pm. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the island. The ferry ride is very scenic and beautiful. You also get to see sea gulls in the winter.

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Caves

Elephanta caves is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. This has helped a lot in the preservation of this ancient heritage structure. The statues in the caves are damaged as the Portuguese used to do target training with them. The Trimurti is the only statue that is undamaged. In spite of this, developmental pressures and normal wear and tear are a constant threat to this heritage site.

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Trimurti

Nevertheless, the caves are beautiful and mesmerizing. The caves are divided into 2 parts – the Hindu Caves consisting of 5 caves, and the Buddhist Caves consisting of 2 caves. The Hindu caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The caves remain closed on Mondays and the monsoon.

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Photography

Little did I know that Elephanta Island is an amazing place for bird and macro photography also. I found so many new birds there viz. Purple Sunbird, Straited Heron, Little Egret, Yellow Throated Sparrow, Red Whiskered Bulbul, and so on. It is great for macro photography also; some of the bugs I found there include, Red Silk Cotton Bug, Cicada, and so on.

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Yellow Throated Sparrow

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Cicada Mold

I have made a vlog of my time at Elephanta Island. You can watch it right down below

Food

In olden days, we did not get food on the island and had to carry huge tiffins for our trip. But now-a-days, you can find many restaurants here offering dosas, pav bhaji, and such Indian street food delicacies. Beware of the monkeys; they are cute but also can steal your food. One of them ran away with my water bottle.

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The Cannon At The Top

Ahead of the caves, if you are up for a short trek, you will find two old cannons at the top. The walk can be a little difficult. You can skip this if you want, because there’s not much to see at the top except for those cannons and a view of the sea and harbour.

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I went for this trip with DCP Expeditions. They organise amazing photo tours all around India and abroad as well.

They can be found with these links: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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20 thoughts on “A Trip To Elephanta Island, Mumbai

  1. Michelle says:

    Loved learning more about Mumbai which I know very little of thank you! The statues look amazing – the damage they’ve gone through makes them that more attractive – it just goes to show – we think these beautiful attractions will always be there but we’re fortunate if we get to see them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicole says:

    Sounds like a great place to visit. Shame the statues are damaged but it’s good they are trying to preserve them and you can still go and see them. I love monkeys but I think they are an issue in a lot of places with stealing things!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sonikatravels says:

      Thank you Nicole. Yes measures are being taken to preserve the statues. A monkey stole my water bottle. But they are an important part of the place. In fact, we have intruded their home.

      Like

  3. neha says:

    Wow this an amazing place. Was not aware of this place. Thanks for making us aware about this place. Elephant caves looks like a must to see place. Will plan to travel there sometimes. Your pictures are also amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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