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“Not a bad day out in Mumbai”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves
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$61.00*
and up
Private Elephanta Caves Tour
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Not a bad day out in Mumbai”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

Watch out for the thieving macaques. Caves were a good day out with a boat trip from Gateway of India involved. Lots of arts and crafts too.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Meera L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Not a bad day out in Mumbai”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

A boat trip away from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island is an interesting experience for the family. With carvings of Vishnu in the ancient caves, Indian history comes alive. Lots of arts and crafts sellers around. Just beware of the macaques who will steal anything off you that is worth eating. Potato crisps from my young son's arm was snatched by the monkey who accidentally also scratched him. He swelled up and required hospital treatment.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Meera L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
118 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Very disappointing indeed”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

After the long slog to get to the caves on the first boat at 9am (1 hour boat ride, 15 minute walk along the jetty plus hard climb up the steps of the hill, lined with annoying stall owners selling tat) and on entering the first cave, my immediate thought was "is that it?" because the carvings are in a very bad state, and those that aren't missing limbs or heads aren't very spectacular. On to
caves 2, 3 and 4 which as far as I could see were just holes in the hill side. I didn't even bother walking on to cave 5 because a monsoon deluge started at that point. Instead, I walked back to the boat at around 11am and several touts tried to get me to take a private boat back because, they claimed, the first boat back was 12:30, asking a ridiculous price of 3000 INR. Actually, the regular boat left at 12 on the dot as promised. The return journey was very rough - many people got wet from the breaking waves and I felt very sea sick. I was glad I had a rain coat because it was also cold. By the end of the longer journey back (1.5 hours) I was praying for it to end. The faces of everyone on the boat - looking glum and not saying anything - said it all.

If after reading that, you do decide to come here, bring a flashlight because the caves are dark, bring a jacket because the wind on the boat gets cold, and bring good shoes because the steps get very slippery on the way down if it rains.

Also, word of warning about buying souvenirs on the island - someone on my boat bought an elephant inside a honeycombed shell and he wasn't on the boat for 5 minutes before the thing broke into pieces in his hands. He ended up chucking it in the sea.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank MisterGulliver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Small but lovely”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

Elephanta is a gorgeous place to visit, the stone carvings are magnificent. There was a free tour being offered, with the exception that you tip as much as you feel necessary upon tour completion. From the roof of the main temple, you get a view of the sea, but its impeded by trees, we found a way to climb to the top of the hill completely and had a beautiful view from up top. Mind your belongings though, the monkeys like to grab, and be aware the as a tourist you're getting charge 5 times as much, but its okay, I still liked it.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Natalie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
49 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Quite the disappointment”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

I'm from Bombay which is why I always felt a little ashamed when I couldn't give anyone an opinion on Elephanta Caves when asked. I decided to rectify it by visiting Elephanta Caves, which I did yesterday. The boat ride from Gateway of India to Elephanta Islands takes about 45 minutes to an hour and costs Rs 150 for the round trip (so please don't pay anymore and there's no need to pre-book tickets, which can be bought right before you hop on the boat).

The boat ride is fun at the start, with the wind blowing in your hair but after a while it gets boring. Once you reach Elephanta Islands, everyone tries selling you trinkets (as they do at any tourist place). The island has tons of unruly monkey that will grab anything you have in your hands, especially if it looks edible, so you need to watch out for them.

There are just 4 large caves, one main one with a few sculptures (most of them are damaged) while the other caves don't necessarily have any sculptures inside. Entry to the caves costs locals Rs 10 and foreigners Rs 250 per person. I don't particularly think it's worth it.

Kanheri Caves at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali on the other hand are a far better bet and definitely worth a visit. If you had to choose between the two, I'd say visit Kanheri Caves for the caves and the walk through the hills and waterfalls surrounding them.

The journey to Elephanta Islands is more fun than an actual visit to it. If you're looking for a long boat ride then you may enjoy a visit to Elephanta Caves. If you're looking to learn about history/culture through the sculptures inside caves, then you're bound to be disappointed.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank hazel_c719
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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