Introducing Elephanta Island
In the middle of Mumbai Harbour, 9km northeast of the Gateway of India, the rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island (Indian/foreigner Rs 10/250;
The temples are thought to have been created between AD 450 and 750, when the island was known as Gharapuri (Place of Caves). The Portuguese renamed it Elephanta because of a large stone elephant near the shore, which collapsed in 1814 and was moved by the British to Mumbai’s Victoria Gardens.
The English-language guide service (free with deluxe boat tickets) is worthwhile, tours depart every hour on the half-hour from the ticket booth. If you prefer to explore independently, pick up Pramod Chandra’s A Guide to the Elephanta Caves from the stalls lining the stairway. There’s also a small museum on site, which has some informative pictorial panels on the origin of the caves.
Elephanta Island destination guides
Private Art and Architecture Tour: Mumbai Elephanta Caves and Prince of Wales Museum
Discover two of India’s impressive art and architectural wonders on this full-day private tour to the ancient Elephanta Caves and the Prince of Wales Museum. With your private guide, take a ferry from Mumbai to Elephanta Island to see the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Elephanta Caves, an impressive system of 5th-century caves against the beautiful backdrop of the Arabian Sea.