Once known as Puri or Gharapuri, Elephanta island was the proud capital of a powerful coastal kingdom. It was named Elephanta by the Portuguese, who took possession of it several centuries later, and found a monolithic stone elephant at the place they first landed.
Today Elephanta is a World Heritage Site, showcasing legends of Lord Shiva carved in rock cave temples. The cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture, and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The island is about an hour's boat ride from the Gateway Of India.
Every year, in February, the Elephanta Dance Festival is held. Renowned dancers and musicians perform outside the caves, beneath a star-studded sky, to an appreciative audience. Special launch services and catering arrangements are provided for visitors.
All days of the week EXCEPT Monday. Starts at the Gateway of India at 9:00 a.m. Group sizes vary from 2-6 people. Not offered June to September.
Costs and Booking:
- INR 1500 per person for 7-10 persons
- INR 1750 per person for 5-6 persons
- INR 2100 per person for 3-4 persons
- INR 2650 per person for 2 persons
- INR 4200 for a solo traveller
Boat tickets, knowledgeable lady guide, illustrated handouts, and bottled water. You are required to arrive at the starting point of the tour using either local transport or hired taxi. No charge for children below 12, but you need to pay for their tickets. Prior reservation is mandatory and payment to be made in cash before the tour.
Entrance to the Elephanta caves are excluded.