Elephanta Caves are located in Elephanta Island which is originally known as Gharapuri in the Arabian sea and approximately 10 to 11 km far from the Gateway of India. So, if you want to go there, first you have to reach Gateway of India in time. The Ferry-boat takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes time from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island. Ferry-boat charges Rs.140/- for an adult and Rs.90/- for a child for a return journey from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island and return. Ferry-boat starts at 9:00 am from Gateway of India and it is available through-out the day at an interval of 30 minutes (approx.). The last boat leaves Gateway of India at 2:00 pm. From Elephanta Island to Gateway of India, the first boat starts at 12:00 noon and the last boat timing is at 5:30 pm. So, plan your trip to Elephanta Island accordingly. Moreover, Gateway of India is very crowded on Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Once you are in the boat, you will have an option to travel on the top deck of the ferry-boat and you have to pay extra Rs.10/- per trip, if you choose so. There are amazing views of the Gateway of India, Hotel Taj-Palace and high buildings of the Mumbai city. Once you are middle of the journey, Sea view from the ferry-boat is amazing. You will see lots of ships/launch floating on the sea. Overall the surrounding is amazing. You can collect a number of good photographs of the surroundings on the sea.
Once you reach Elephanta Island, there is an option to ride a small distance by toy train offered by Maharashtra Tourism and if you choose, you have to pay Rs.10/- per head for one way journey. After getting down from the toy-train, the way is uphill and there are chains of local shops both-side of the way, shopkeepers are offering varieties of jewelries, many wood-works, various idols of Lord Ganesha & Lord Shiva made of marble-stones, some worship accessories like bells etc. and many more other things. There are also many local Indian food stalls and also a restaurant run by MTDC available on the way. There are also solar lights on the street. There is also a beer-bar just beside the entrance gate. Elephanta Caves entry fees for the Indian is Rs.10+5=15/- and for foreigner is Rs.250/-.
The main attractions of the Elephanta Caves are rock temples, caves, various rock sculptors and Shivalingam & Trimurti Sadashiva (three headed Lord Shiva). There are seven caves out of which five are Hindu Caves and two are Buddhist Caves. The name of the Elephanta caves given from the view of the caves which looks like an elephant. The Elephanta Caves is a a world heritage site approved by UNESCO and a very popular tourist destination, very peaceful place and is a must for visit.
Nearby places of tourist attraction:
You may also love to spend some time in front of the Gateway of India and take some photographs of Gateway of India.
On returning from Elephanta Cave, you may visit to NCPA - National Centre for the Performing Arts located at Nariman Point which is India's best known performance art institute for theatre, film, music and dance. It is better to contact them over phone number to enquire whether any performance is going on that day before you visit there. You may also check at website for the program schedule, if any. If you want visit inside the campus & roam around, you may also need to get permission from the respected authority.
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