You go, You see, You will Conquer – Elephanta Caves



Mumbai the land of Gold and the place where everyone comes to fulfill their dreams In this land of tradition, history and legends, lie the serene waters of the Arabian Sea and in the middle of the blue angel lies an island – a second tale in Mumbai. The Elephanta Caves is a totally different tale that has been woven in this Mumbai land. This lovely monumental cave is amongst the Hindu Caves in the area called Gharapuri. The Portuguese while ruling here gave the name Elephanta to this place .The cave exists since the 6th century AD.

It was mainly built for the Hindus who used to come here to complete their ritual of going round the cave. There were many idols of the Indian God Lord Shiva here in a place and it was found centuries back.

Today the Elephanta Caves tour is a major itinerary in the tourism of the city of Mumbai. Located near the metropolis the  Elephanta Caves is around 10km away from the historic landmark in the city, The Gateway of India. The place is famous for all its rock cut temples and the attraction is purely because of its ancientness.

Elephanta Caves

The place is named Elephanta after the statue that is located here where the entry to the island is. This statue is of an elephant and thus the name was derived.

As we reach the caves we see a lovely image of Lord Shiva. This is carved and is called the Sadashiva and is found in the axis of north south. This is around 20 feet high and there are three heads in the statue. So the idol is called a Trimurthy meaning the three headed one. It is a magnificent piece and showcases Indian art artistically. There is something intriguing about this image because it actually indicates the Shiva with five heads but only three faces are seen carved. The entry attracts the eye of any tourist and the northern entry is thus adorned with the lovely piece of Indian architecture.

Sadashiva

Then we have the images of Kalyansundara, Ardhanarishwara, Gangadhara, and also Uma Maheswara all representing Indian Gods in various forms. The sculpture of the Andhakaasuravadamoorthy and the Nataraja lie in the west of the entry from the northern side of Elephanta Caves. The eastern side has the images of the Ravanaanugrahamurthy and Yogiswara.

Ardhanarishwara Gangadhara Andhakaasuravadamoorthy Nataraja

Basically the caves have three entry points. These lead to the actual temple within the caves. These entries are from the east, west and the north. There are columns in the main arena and these divide the place into aisles and rows. There is a Linga in the monolithic form on the western side of this arena and it is within a square shaped area.

The beautiful work on the walls of the caves and the Trimurti depicting the Indian God in the roles of the preserver, destroyer and creator, is the ultimate in Indian sculpture works. A sculptured elephant from here is in the Bhau Daji Ladd Museum in Bycullah in Mumbai.

So just take the ferry from Gateway, and head for the Elephanta Caves

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