We take you on a half-day tour of the ancient and majestic Elephanta caves. Meet your private tour guide in your hotel lobby and head to the Gateway of India from where your tour begins. Get onboard a ferry, and enjoy the hour-long cruise to the jetty of the magnificent caves. A toy-train joy ride awaits you on the other side of the ferry ride. The train ride concludes at the point from where we must climb 120 steps to reach the 7th century rock-cut cave temples. An important cultural and historical site, the Elephanta Caves, was formerly known as the Garphuri islands. It was the Portuguese who renamed them ‘Elephanta Islands’ after finding a large stone elephant, near the landing site. Legend has it that Prince Pukkesin II of the Chalukya dynasty build the Shiva Shrine, on this 60,000 square feet complex cut out of solid rock. Several intriguing sculptures of Lord Shiva, in various forms and poses, are carved around the entire vicinity, with those of Lord Shiva as a Yogi, seated on a lotus, Shiva as Nataraja, the lord of dance, and Shiva bringing the water of the Holy Ganges to the earth being the most prominent ones. After marvelling at the numerous avatars of Shiva at this UNESCO World Heritage site, we head back to the jetty and ride the ferry back to Gateway. Your tour concludes when you are driven back to your hotel.
P.S.: To reach to the top of the caves you must climb 120 steps, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Not suitable for elderly travellers.