Elephanta island/caves

9:27:00 AM

Elephant caves is situated at an island just off the coast of Mumbai. (1 hour by boat from gateway of India)

SCHEDULE:
  • Reach gate way of India ( 8:30am)
  • Catch the ferry to island elephanta caves ( 9am – 10am)
  • Reach the island and sight seeing ( 10am – 2pm )
  • Catch a ferry back to Gateway of India ( 2pm – 3pm)
The trip to the island of elephanta caves can only be taken via a ferry. The first ferry to the island is at 9:00 am from Gateway of India, while the last one is at 3:00 pm-4:00 pm. The journey by the ferry is a long one that takes a bit over 1 hour and it gets really hot.

I would recommend you all to catch the first ferry at 9 am. There will be absolutely no queue for the ferry and well as the ferry will be empty you will be able to get seats on the upper deck and the choice of seats will be yours. They charge 10 Rs. for seats on upper deck. I would say it’s worth it as you get a good view.

The other benefit will be that the entire journey through the sea will be under a warm dim morning sun light and cool breeze from the Arabian Sea. It gets really hot as the day passes on.

GATEWAY OF INDIA

Gateway of India is a monument built during the British rule in the city of Mumbai. The structure is a basalt arch, 26 meters (85 feet) high. This is first place that you must reach in order to catch a ferry to the island of Elephanta Caves.

How to get there?

Take a local train from wherever you are in the city to Churchgate station or Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), from there you can depend on a cab ride to Gateway of India. Once you are at gateway of India, you will be mesmerized by the view of the Arabian Sea and the beautiful architectures of Taj Mahal palace hotel, Taj Mahal Tower and the Gateway of India. You will get many beautiful pictures here.

I would recommend you all to get here as stated above at 8:30am. It will not be hot and sunny which is very common in the city of Mumbai. Trust me you would not want to be in a bad mood because of the head before u can start your trip. 8:30 am will be a present time, cool and sunlight directly hitting the Taj hotel and illuminating the Gateway of India (You can see via ferry ).

Taj hotel from the ferry
Taj and Oberoi



Ferry to the Island of Elephanta:

You can find the ferry that will take you all the way to the island of elephanta just under east of the gateway of India monument towards the sea. The first ferry to the island will leave at 9 am and the last will be at 3 pm in the afternoon. Among all the ferries that begin at gateway of India, the once going to Elephanta caves is famous, so if you happen to not find the way to the ferry asking for directions is very helpful option.

Once you board the ferry to elephanta, cool breeze will be blowing from the Arabian Sea. I would not recommend travelling later on during the day as it will get sunny and humid and will spoil the fun.

As u move away from the harbor, you will be able to get a perfect snap of the Gateway and the Taj Mahal hotel. Also noticeable in the mornings are the various birds that fly over the sea during this time of the day. Since it cool you will see ducks and other species of birds over the waters.

                                                                  Snap of Gateway of India from the ferry

It will take almost 1 hour to reach the island. During this time you will get to see a wide variety of ships and other army vessels that are harbored at the coast all the way to the island. You will also get to see a pretty view of ducks on the water.

The Taj so far


Ferry ride fees: Rs.160/-
Once you get off the ferry you are on the island far from the city and its shore. Entry fee to the island is Rs.5/- There are stalls from where beautiful hats can be brought (like I am wearing one ;) and many handicraft stalls where you can take souvenirs’ home.
Island entry fee: Rs.5/-(adult), Rs.3/-(child)
Stalls to take souvenirs home
                                         
The cave is 15 minutes away by walk, I recommend taking the toy train to get to the caves. It’s worth the experience.

 Toy train fee: Rs.10/-

What to eat?
There are many restaurants up there, so u can eat whenever you’re hungry if you aren't carrying any snacks. There's even a hotel, where u can have lunch and rest, but u can't stay overnight.

Once you get off the toy train there will be stairs to climb to get to the caves. You will need to buy a ticket at the ticket counter. For locals it is Rs.10/- and foreigners it is Rs.250/-

This image is right at the entrance of the elephanta caves in Mumbai, India.

There are in all 7 caves.

The first cave is the biggest and will have most of the carvings of different gods that reflect the ancient religion.


                                                                   



Stairs to the fifth cave

Fifth cave reflects an incomplete work. So it's a small cave which can be just seen from out.
Sixth and the seventh caves are away from these caves and not that famous and are not generally visited.

That's the end. If you’re tired of walking, there's a huge banyan tree where you can rest for a while and click some more pictures.
                                       
Huge tree offering some shade on a sunny day

                                       
Thank you!

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