Mumbai (Bombay), India
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 5¼ Hours
Meals not included
Drive to the Gateway of India and embark on a 1½-hour cruise by motorboat across Mumbai Harbor to Elephanta Island. Carved from rock, the temples of the island are believed to have been created between AD 450 and 750. The island was named by the Portuguese after the large stone elephant that was found near the point where they docked their ships.
After stepping ashore, a 125-step ascent brings you to the caves -- if you don't wish to climb, bearers are happy to carry you comfortably to the top in a palanquin or sedan chair. The island's caves and the carvings they contain are truly fascinating. Marvel at the impressive displays of early religious art, as sunlight fleetingly illuminates their magnificence. It was the worship of Shiva, one of the Hindu gods, that inspired these beautifully executed, elaborate works. That this deity was beloved is apparent from the powerful representations of love, strength and spiritual peace reflected in the carvings. The famous sculpture depicting the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu, is just one of the many fine works to be seen, as well as imposing circular columns, ornate sculptures and wall carvings, all painstakingly hewn from stone.
As your exploration of the intriguing caves concludes, retrace your journey across the harbor to return to the ship.
Please note: Tour does not operate on Mondays. The caves are particularly crowded on Sundays. There is a 125-step ascent to the caves -- bearers are happy to lift you to the top in a palanquin or sedan chair (at your own expense). Tour duration may vary due to the tides. Videography is prohibited inside the caves -- a camera fee is applicable for videography outside the caves (at your own expense).