I had been to Mumbai (Bombay) a couple of times before but never as a tourist. This time i decided to make time for sight seeing. My friend from Mumbai agreed reluctantly to join along with his wife for a day trip to Elephanta caves.
I was stationed in povai at iit mumbai. I started at around 9 a.m. after breakfast. Took the auto-rickshaw (20 rs) to Kanjur Marg station. The ticket counter for the metro (local as it is called in mumbai) is on the over bridge from the road to the station. There was a long queue and only one operating counter. As i reached closer to the counter i found one more queue forming at the counter window. Apparently, this queue is for those who want to buy coupons. I got the return ticket to CST (VT). It cost 16 rs.  About an hour and half later i joined my friend and his wife at CST station. They had arrived from Dombivilli.

We walked out of the station and took the city bus (BEST) to Gate Way of India.  As we reach closer to the Gate Way of India to our left were ticket counters for boat ride to Elephanta Caves.  The fare was 130 rs to and fro. Elephanta caves are on an island.  The boat ride lasted an hour.  As soon as we got down we saw a mini-train to the village (Gharapur). We preferred to walk along the railway line.  There is a narrow road followed by steps  that go up the hill to Elephanta. On both sides of the steps there are a number of stalls selling a variety of decorative items. There are a few restaurants on the way selling both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian.  I had tea in one of them.

The walk up the steps leads to two ticket counters one followed by another. The first one issues a tax ticket costing 5 rs. The second one is sells the ticket to the caves.  There are 5 caves in all.  The very first cave is the main cave. It has the famous Trimurti sculpture. Trimurti meaning 3 headed: one each of  Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  Most advertisements of Elephanta carry this image. I guess this is also because it is  the least damaged of all the sculptures there. Apparently, the damage was done by the Portuguese who used the idols for shooting practice!! The Trimurti sculpture has remained intact because it was covered by a large wall and thereby was hidden from the Portuguese.

We hired a guide (150 rs) to show us around the caves.  The temple was built ~400 AD by a King who was a Shiva bhakta.

As the boat nears the land we had a beautiful view of the Gate Way of India and the Taj Hotel. Unfortunately, i had only the cell camera to take the snaps.

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One Response to “Elephanta”

  1. Nisargadatta Maharaj Mandir Mumbai « musings Says:

    […] Just another WordPress.com weblog « Weekend trip from Bangalore-Shivaganga Elephanta […]

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