About Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
Situated on the island of Gharapuri (or Elephanta) in Mumbai Harbour, Elephanta Caves is a group of rock-cut shrines predominantly dedicated to Lord Shiva. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to 5th-7th century AD and represents some of India’s finest temple art. Travellers who wish to explore this site can book any of the hotels near Elephanta Caves, preferably the ones located in the vicinity of the Gateway of India as the ferries for the island operate from here. Booking hotels in Colaba and other nearby areas makes it easier for leisure travellers to visit other Mumbai attractions too.
Shopping and Dining around Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
There are a few shops near Elephanta Caves selling handicrafts but for a retail therapy, travellers can head to the mainland to enjoy shopping at Colaba Causeway (16 km) or Fashion Street (19 km).
Dining options are limited on the island with Elephanta Restaurant, Elephanta Point, MTDC Chalukya Restaurant and Rajmahal Restaurant being the only few places to eat. But those who choose to stay at Colaba hotels have a good number of restaurants and bars close by, for both wine and dine.
Places to Visit in and around Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
There are around five Hindu temples, two Buddhist caves and a few Buddhist stupa mounds on the Elephanta Island. The main shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and encompasses a 6-metre-tall statue of the Hindu God. There is also a small museum, where pictorial panels on the origin of the caves is displayed, and a Cannon Point to enjoy amazing views of the Mumbai skyline above the ocean.
It is also a must to visit the Gateway of India (15 km) – the starting point of the journey to the ‘City of Caves’. Other popular sites close to South Mumbai hotels near Elephanta Caves include Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (16 km), Marine Drive (18 km) and Hanging Gardens (21 km).
How to Reach Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
Firstly, reach the Gateway of India from anywhere in the city including transit hubs like Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (25 km) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (17 km). One can take a local train to Churchgate (2 km) or CST (5 km) and from thereon, walk the distance or take a taxi to reach the site faster. City buses and taxis are also widely available to the reach the gateway directly.
From the Gateway of India, ferries are available every half hour for the jetty on the northern end of Gharapuri island; the total time taken by the ferry is approximately an hour. The caves are merely a kilometre away from the jetty and can be walked to but one can also take the miniature train.