Exploring Elephanta Caves
The Elephanta Caves is one of the famous tourist places in Mumbai, made with multifariousancient stones this place is around an hour far ferry ride from Gateway of India (Mumbai). It was chosen as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. With all great views it also a good escape from the busycrowd of the city.
Knowing About Its History
From where this temple cave originated is still vague right from the 7thcentury, however it earlier the island was known as Gharapuri. Soon after that the Portuguese re titled it as Elephanta Caves when the fellow people discovered a big stone elephant close to the place where they landed. Later on the stone sculptor broke down in 1814 and later moved to Victoria Gardens.
Just before when this beautiful caves were made, Bombay (Mumbai was earlier called as Bombay) was under the golden age of the Guptas, as they were very fond of art. At that time Sanskrit Language was also revived and also fines writers like Kalidasa and others helped encourage a renaissance under the patronage of Hindu religious liberal court. And Shaivism (Worship of Lord Shiva) enthused in sculpting the building of the temple.
Many of the priceless sculptures were damaged and ruined by the carless Portuguese, who also while playing target practice used Hindu gods. Also there has been news of sabotage and carelessness by this-age visitors, if you are going to this place, take extra care to shun and damages to the sculptors.
Things to See
The joy ferry ride gives a nice introduction to the Hinduism which the guides knowledge us about on board. The best is watching the sunset on Mumbai on the return journey, so make sure you come back it’s the beginning of dusk while returning.
The Island is always calm and pleasing for eyes. Its greenery and monkeys scurrying about, it is advised not to get any food while visiting the island in order to avoid nuisance by the monkeys.
The entrance of the caves is through the chief northern entrance leading to a huge beautiful hall, with huge pillars for supporting where the gigantic Mahesamurti statue is accommodated. The outstanding sculpture portrays Lord Shiva in original three headed form – 1st as a Creator which is on the right side, 2nd as a Destroyer which is the left side with serpents as hair, and 3rd as a Protector which is the front side which has a crowned face.
Talking about other sculptures which are on side section and neighboring the doorways in the cave are shown celebrating Lord Shiva’s deeds. The significance of this tone work is in the balance, elegance, and message of peace. (In spite of the sculptors numerous actions).
One of the many statutes demonstrates Lord Shiva taking down the Holy Ganges River to Mother Earth, allowing dropping through his entwined hair. He is also illustrated as Yogisvara (lord of the Yogis) who is seated on lotus and also as Natraja who is the numerous armed cosmic dancers.
There’s a remarkable dance festival hosted in Elephanta Cavesin every February by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).