Discover Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves are a collection of ancient cave temples predominantly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, which are located on an epynomous island about 10km off the east coast of Mumbai (Bombay) in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Due to its special location, the only way to reach the caves is taking a boat ride departing from the "Gateway of India" across Mumbai Harbour. Elephanta consists of a group of five Hindu caves and a few Buddhist stupa mounds that date back to the 2nd century BCE and a smaller group of two Buddhist caves with water tanks. The caves' entire architecture is hewn from solid basalt rock, which contain a lot of intricate stone carvings and sculptures that show syncretism of ideas, iconography, and mythologies in Hindu and Buddhism. The main cave (or the Great Cave) was once a commonly-visited Hindu place of worship until the Portuguese arrived. The ancient artworks now are mostly defaced or ruined, though they've been through a restoration in the 1970s. The caves was recognized a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and have become a popular tourist site for those who are travelling in Mumbai.