Elephanta Island Caves, Mumbai

Gharapuri or the Elephants Caves is an important tourist attraction in Mumbai. These ancient caves are amongst the most popular caves in India and are located about 7kms from the city of Mumbai and can only be reached by a ferry. There are about seven rock-cut caves that have been tastefully carved and dates back to the 6th and the 7th centuries A.D. Amongst all, Cave No.1 is of major interest to the visitors here as it has exquisite sculptures of Shiva in different forms. The main attraction in the cave is the Mahesh-murti which depicts Lord Shiva in three forms: the aghora, turbulent and fearsome; tatpurusha, benign and meditative; and vamadeva, mild pleasing and lovable. Andhakasuravada murti; cosmic dance of Nataraja; Kalyanasundara murti; Gangadhara murti; Ravana shaking Kailasa and Siva as Lakulisa, Saptamatrikas near the eastern opening are also worth noting here.

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