Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves
4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Elephanta Caves are situated on Elephanta Island about 7 kms from Mumbai’s mainland shore. The caves can be reached by an approx. 1-hour boat ride from Gateway of India.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Gian Carlo De Guzman Benitez
    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates21 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    MUMBAI in APRIL 2023
    Mumbai is very crowded especially on the weekends and holidays. Traffic is the main issue in Mumbai. For an instance, a 26 km road that can be drived in 20 to 30 mins in other foreigh cities, in Mumbai it will be a minimum of 60 mins. If you want to visit tourist spots, you have to arrive there early. The climate in April is really hot, city is crowded and too muich traffic.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 24, 2023
  • gailchuks
    Mumbai, India24 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Elephanta the eternal protectors
    Elephanta caves is a trip that all of us who live in mumbai should explore at least once in our lives. Not for the faint hearted because the last leg entails climbing over 200 steps. When you enter the caves it is all worth it. The sculptures are massive and gaze eternally out of the their niches towards Mumbai, supremely benevelont.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written August 24, 2023
  • Andrew
    Tiberias, Israel101 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome experience!
    An absolute awesome and exciting experience! Well worth the boat ride and steep, but manageable steps up to the caves. Peaceful and relaxing walking around and everyone very helpful. Everyone must experience this place!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 29, 2023
  • himang p
    Brampton, Canada19 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awe Inspiring & Iconic caves
    Awe inspiring monolithic cave structure with exquisite carving of Hindu Gods. This 6th century creation with intricate placing of pillars and geometrically well thought out to align with Sun makes you appreciate the artistry of hand tools, knowledge of astronomy of that period. Even though invaders destroyed the base of pillars, cave did not collapse due to monolithic construction of cave ! Hiring a local guide ($10-$15) is highly recommended to understand the history, methods, reasoning and logic of various stone cut sculptures. Guide also takes ur pics at various points ! Couple of hours are enough and it’s better to take morning ride to have uncrowded space at site. It’s a little steep hike with 120 steps and humble locals has set up snacks / souvenirs shops around it. The boats are mediocre and ride is slow as it takes an hour one way. Wish they get better and faster boats.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 16, 2023
  • Fran-Svk
    India198 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Like it
    Fortunately, we went there, and it was very nice trip. Firstly excellent ancient construction 'work', i like it. Secondly along the staircase one can buy some little gifts ;) Just cant understand that such famous tourist spot has not proper internet coverage, so entrance tickets must pay in cash... and again, fee for Indians is 40,-, for foreigners 600,- perfect, "like" it.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 24, 2023
  • bekoubetts
    London, United Kingdom1,034 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The journey is better than the destination.
    Two hundred and sixty rupees gets you a return boat trip from Mumbai. It’s about a 70 min trip each-way. What a lovely way to see Mumbai harbour and the dozens of commercial vessels on route. When you disembark, you’ll be harassed immediately by folk claiming to be tour guides. You don’t need a guide at all. But they are persistent. A different kind of persistence on the island from the usual Indian approach. Less cordial. More full on. You’ll pay the officials some ridiculous fee to progress. I think it was something like 15 rupees. Once you’re ’in’ you have a choice of walking the length of the pier or talking the model train. I took the train there. It was around 25 rupees. The train journey is around 300 - 400 meters. It terminates at the base of the steps you’ll need to climb to get to the entrance of the caves. Believe it or not, but you’ll be offered to be carried up the stairs on a rudimentary wooden chair. Looked a bit colonial to me. It’s quite ridiculous and unless you have mobility and / or imperialist issues, totally unnecessary. Again, the chaos offering the service are pests. The climb up is leisurely. There’s hawkers and some restaurants on both sides of the stairs. The restaurants looked ok to me but I wasn’t hungry. Once you get to the top of the stairs you’ll pop out at the kiosk to pay entry into the caves. I wasn’t too impressed by the caves. I think I’d seen enough stunning sights on my travels and felt a bit let down. However, I enjoyed the troupes of monkey and I saw a wonderful lizard who was a good two feet in length. The mangrove swamps and the jungle delighted me. As did the boat trip.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written December 2, 2023
  • Cedric N
    Mumbai, India626 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site
    Had been to this ancient rock cut caves near Mumbai a long back ago. It is located at Elephanta Island. These caves are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is famous for the rock cut sculpture of the Trimurti. There are 5 rock cut caves on the western hill that are visited by tourists. There are 2 rock cut caves on the eastern hill that are unexplored by tourists. One can get views of the surrounding area and the other side of the Island. Beware of monkeys that roam around in the vicinity. One can trek up the hill for 15 mins to get a good view and see 2 large British era cannons. Earlier, the entrance fees were Rs. 10 per Indian and Rs. 300 per foreigner. But, now, it is Rs. 40 per Indian and Rs. 600 per foreigner. There are restaurants nearby. There are small shops lined on the steps. One can walk or ride a toy train to reach the foothill. It takes an hour to reach the island by ferry from the Gateway of India. These caves are an ideal place for families as well as history lovers. It is a must visit and should not be missed.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 2, 2024
  • Maxim H
    Birmingham, United Kingdom16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Tour with Avinesh
    Avinesh (+91 98693 16041) is a dedicated tour guide who lives on the island and has an intimate knowledge of the caves. The caves are stunning and rich in history. Would recommend booking g Avinesh as a guide.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 3, 2024
  • Daydream66879483621
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    AVENISH is the Man!
    AVENISH is The Man! His father was a tour guide & he is the Best Tour Guide in Mumbai (+91) 98693 16041 He is professional & very informative! The Island was amazing & we were very blessed to have him with us! 10 Stars out of 5. Thank you AVI!! We’ll reach keep in touch!
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled on business
    Written February 4, 2024
  • glycerine
    77 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    How to get there
    This review is more a how-to guide on how to get to the caves and the charges along the way. First off is the boat ride from the Gate of India which costs INR 260 return for double decker ones which are much more pleasant to ride on than the cheaper alternative. Once you're on the boat, it will cost another INR 10 to sit on the upper deck. A bunch of seagulls will flock around the boat as it departs and you soon understand why as people on the boat start feeding them snacks. Chips will set you back INR 10 for a small pack. When you arrive at the island, you can choose to walk the length of the jetty or take a train ride for INR 20 return. By this time, some local guides would have introduced themselves to you. We randomly went with Chandra Kant, an elderly gentleman who did a good job taking us around. He charged us INR 1000 for the effort, but we happily tipped him more at the end. If you're keen to link up with him, this is his number: +919870473673 When you reach the entrance, you first need to pay another INR 10 as some form of tourist tax. Then there is another INR 600 you need to pay as the entrance ticket. A visit to the toilet will set you back INR 5. I hope this gives you a good idea of the charges involved in visiting the island. Remember that you need cash for all of this. Overall it was a nice day trip and as some reviews have mentioned, the journey there is very much part of the adventure :)
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 14, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
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Ketaki K
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
The caves themselves do not take more than an hour to see, unless you visit the caves 6 and 7. The information provided about the things to do/see/expect at the caves is not consistent and not enough. I would recommend buying an information book for Rs.150 or get a guide at the cave directly, which offer way less rate than if you book one at the bottom/ferry terminal.

The ferry service itself sucks. It takes easily from 1 hr 15 mins to 1 hr 30 mins to get there. So expect to spend 4 to 5 hours if you are visiting only the caves 1 to 4, and more hours if you are planning to visit caves 6 and 7.
The ferries are not maintained well, and different ferries may charge different rates depending on the deck you choose to be on. So beaware of the fake rates and get it confirmed before you hop on a ferry from gateway of India.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sullyns
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Do not buy a tour!! Purchase a boat ticket behind the Gate to India for 205 rupees and pay an extra 10 rupees on the boat to sit on the top deck. The market stretches all the way up the hill, it is very enjoyable to look, barter and buy. We ate at a restaurant at the top of the hill on the left before entering the park, the food was excellent and also great value with the best view of any restaurant we saw. Locals pay 40 rupees but foreigners pay 600 this is still good value you only need 4 hours including the boat ride each way.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aigoual
Norwich, Uk168 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
I caught the ferry to Elephanta Island (or Gharapuri) for R1.50 return – about a 1-hour journey, with great views looking back at the Gateway of India, though passing a huge complex of oil rigs/platforms and military vessels. It was an extremely hot day, and a long walk to the village where one commenced the very long climb up steps to the Elephanta Caves, negotiating market stalls on either side (some with attractive goods, others with tat), which there was little time to stop and admire. There was an alternative in the shape of a little tourist train, but I preferred the exercise, and felt smug to have arrived at the village before the train did!

The island is a World Heritage Site, built on to hills, and consists of 7 caves, carved out of the rock, dating from the 3rd Century BC. The carvings are Brahmanical and mainly devoted to the worship of the Hindu god, Lord Shiva. The stonework in the smaller caves is sadly quite damaged, but is amazingly well-preserved in the huge main cave, portraying Shiva (the destroyer of evil) Parvati (his wife), Ganesha (their elephant-god son), and Vishnu (the preserver god) among others. The boat trip back as the Gateway gradually comes into view, is most enjoyable.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

shan
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I had an overtly high expectation from an UNESCO world heritage site, but i am ashamed to admit that the locals from that area have turned it into a cheap business unit and a garbage dump . you don't wanna peak outside the set path that leads to the caves or you will be surprised to see the amount of waste they dump there. The caves are still standing cause of Rock solid ancient architecture but the modern day pathetic maintenance will lead it to its ruins soon.
There is 0 maintenance involved and the guards have turned into guides with little to no knowledge about the caves or that area. i wish they stopped the tourists from eating spitting and having a free run at a 2000 yr old historic site.
caves are no doubt beautiful and have the architecture to give you goosebumps whilst thinking bout the amount of unprecedented hard work and perplexing technology our ancestors might have put in to build the caves.
hope the local government will at-least electrify and maintain the site in near future to save it for coming generations .
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Libby in Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH1,230 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This is a good trip for about 2 to 3 hours. You take a ferry from The Gate of India pier over to the island. You pay about $25 per person for the trip.The ride each way is an hour and costs 10 rupees per person each way. When you get to the island, don’t take the train. It doesn’t take you to the top of the hill as some websites suggest. You walk for about a mile and then pay to enter the park and then you pay 600 rupees per person to enter the UNESCO site.

You walk up a long path with a number of stairs past vendors on either side of the walkway to get to the caves. It is covered, but be mindful of all the monkeys around.

Some consider the 6th Century cave temple to be masterpieces of Indian sculpture. It was okay.The entire cave site can be seen in an hour. The first cave is the best.

We enjoyed the ride over and the people watching as much as anything.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deepak S
Dubbo, Australia12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
An hour long ferry ride from the Gateway of India will take joy to this island that hosts the UNESCO world heritage site. Its 7 th century set of temple mainly of lord Shiva. The temple were carved out of the mountain and host some lovely sculpture work ; though a lot of these carvings have deteriorated over the centuries. The main carving of trimurty (three idols) of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh is a well known Hinduism and cultural icon. After landing at the ferry site, a gentle climb with paved steps takes you up to the heritage shore. Totally 7 caves, our of which only 4 are accessible; others have become destabilised and are closed to visitors. Gives in idea about the well developed engineering skills of the time. The path leading up to the cave site is lined up with souvenir shops and food stalls, and is a bit narrow. Probably may benefit from some improvement like widening and landscaping and move the shops a bit away. Any one who is not used to lots of people around may feel a bit claustrophobic. But absolutely worth a visit.
Another thing I noted : the ferry ride though very enjoyable could be more comfortable as it looked to be in need of maintenance. Broken seats, no safety drill or life jackets. It's almost 11 km long journey in the ocean and some attention to safety may help ; but this is something that is unfortunately typical of the subcontinent. But for foreigners, a unique experience and the site is a great opportunity to sample one of the oldest civilisation in the history of mankind.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sudip Basak
5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
As it was holiday time, there was a big crowd. You have to stand in a long and meandering queue (like the body of a serpent), before you are allowed to board the boat. You won't find the start of the line, believe me. The best thing would be to just go into the line from the middle. And try to take place at the front, or else you will have to wait an hour or two before boarding the boat. Once you do get in the boat , you have a nice and peaceful and serene boat ride for an hour. You can watch seagulls flying pretty close to you or quietly floating on the water. After that, you come to your actual destination. However, the climb is sheer vertical. It is very cramped and the possibility of a fall (from the stairs) is very real. It is very exhaustive also. After reaching the top, you don’t feel it is worth it to come all this way to see some broken sculptures made out of the mountains. Simply not worth it.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leonid
West Bloomfield, MI5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is must to visit place. Round trip ferry 205 per person. Entrance fee 1600 and it all worth it. No need to pay a guide 4000, read online, and just walk this place is amazing and clean. Bring cash for shopping and pay only 1/3 of asking price.But if you come on the 9:00 am ferry, I highly recommend it, you can bargain price to the 1/4 of asking price.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Payal G
Mumbai, India1,095 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
Mismanaged is the first word that comes to mind followed closely by sad. Recent years have seen lot of administrative focus on maintaining and presenting our heritage. However, found this absolutely missing on revisiting Elephanta after more than a decade.

First and the most important advice is to avoid going there on any public holidays. The steps leading to the caves have absolutely been covered up in tarpaulin sheets and shops line both the sides - resulting in a severely cramped space where people joustle for taking a step. It is creating a situation for a stampede. The lack of air is worse in the holiday crowd given Mumbai's muggy weather.

There are 2 separate charges one for entering the island and the other for the caves - one wonders why they can't be collected at the same time instead of lining up twice. The toy train is a sham in such crowds. It is faster to walk up rather than pushing in the scramble to get on like on a fast local train.

After all this trouble once one makes it to the main caves more disappointment awaits. For a UNESCO heritage site from which the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation derives it's logo there is absolutely no information provided about the caves and the features one must look for. Probably for the benefit of the sham guides pestering people to take their services. The caves are poorly maintained with the overpowering stink of bat droppings. There is no lighting inside. Nor is any information on the sculptures available.

With a return journey of atleast 3 hours on the ferry and another 2 on the island, one must keep atleast 5 hours in hand when planning a trip.

Contrary to many reviews there are lot of eateries around the steps with proper food and water available. The souvenirs are very pricey and cheaper in Mumbai.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane Lapworth
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
I hadn't really done a lot of research about this place before we went, more of a last minute trip once we'd arrived in Mumbai. This ended up being my favourite day of our whole trip! The caves were amazing and the statue carvings are incredible! I would highly recommend using a tour guide as there are no explanations or information boards once you go in. We got the ferry from The Gateway of India and were met by Chandrakant at the other side. I wasn't looking for a tour guide, but I immediately got a good vibe from him and took his offer of showing us around. It only cost £14 for both me and my partner and it was worth every penny. He took us through the crowds and past the busy shops, then he enthusiastically explained all the history of the caves. He also helped us jump the queue for buying tickets which was great. After that, he walked us to his village on the island, a really unique experience which was only 10 minutes away. He made us tea and we chatted about all sorts of things! We also met his daughter. Later, he walked us back to the main area and showed us a great place to eat! I cannot recommend this tour enough. A real authentic and once in a lifetime experience. I've even put his number on (with his permission) in case you want to book him too!

Chandrakant
+919870473673

Have fun!
Written October 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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