Elephanta Island, Mumbai

Elephanta Island

Elephanta Island snapshot

Rank 17
Ranked 17 of 770,
Sightseeing
in Mumbai
Average Rating
5.7 / 7 1
62 Ratings & 33 Reviews

About Elephanta Island

58%
voted as clean
    • Entry: Paid
    • Timings - Opening & Closing: Monday - Friday: 9.00 AM - 5.00 PM , Saturday: 9.00 AM - 5.00 PM , Sunday: 9.00 AM - 5.00 PM , Public Holidays: 9.00 AM - 5.00 PM

Elephanta Island, formerly known as the Fortress city or Gharapuri, is located 11 km away from Colaba, Mumbai. It is the site of famous Elephanta Caves, which typify beautiful sculptures and carvings, encompassing a Lord Shiva temple. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves are visited by hundreds of tourists every year.

History suggests that Chalukyas occupied this island between 6th and 8th century AD. In the 16th century, when the island was taken over by Portuguese, it was rechristened as Elephanta. It is a popular belief that Portuguese built a fort on this island andused the caves for target practice. Another belief states that many of the sculptures inside the temple were destroyed because of the practice carried out by the Portuguese.

There are nine sculptured panels inside the large hall in the Lord Shiva temple, representing the Hindu God in different postures. The cross beams on the roof appears like a ceiling over the caves. As a matter of fact, tourists are not allowed to stay overnight on the island.

Visitors can reach the island or the caves only by boats. Luxury and ordinary boats leave from Apollo Bunder at the Gateway of India for Elephanta Island, every half an hour. The boats are available from Apollo Bunder between 9 am and 2 pm, while from the island, boats run from 1 pm to 5 pm to the mainland. Tickets are available at booths near the Gateway of India.

What travellers are saying about Elephanta Island

Experience scale
  • Excellent 5
  • Very Good 14
  • Good 12
  • Average 1
  • Below Average 0
  • Poor 0
  • Terrible 1
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time:  During Day
  • Length of visit:  More than 3hrs
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowed
  • Lockers/Storage

33 traveller reviews for Elephanta Island

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Mukesh somnath vispute

  • Tourist
  • Mukesh somnath vispute
  • 12 photos
  • 1 Review
  •  4 readers

"The stone elephant that gave the name Elephanta." new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a collection of cave temples predominantly dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, is about 10 km (6. 2 mi) east of the Gateway of India in the Mumbai Harbour and less than 2 km (1. 2 mi) west of Kahaleel Nehru Port.
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Arpita sukhwani

  • Tourist
  • Arpita sukhwani
  • 1 Review
  •  33 readers

"Elephanta caves is a historic site maintained by the government and worth seeing."

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Travelling to Elphanta caves through ferry is "one of a kind" experience. Upon reaching the place, you can see numerous vendors selling seasonal fruits, hats and water bottles. Though it is not advisable to water bottles, you can munch on chikkis or seasonal fruits which are fresh and would help vendors as well. Upon moving forward, you will find a train that will take you stairs but we love walked to the stairs because we wanted to make the most out of our trip. As we were moving we saw trees in saline water and the whole scene was mesmerizing. Climbing the stairs is really hard, and while climbing up you can actually see beautiful things on both sides which are handmade. You need to have great bargaining skills *Grins*. Upon reaching the top we hired a guide who told us every minute detail about the sculptures. Also, it astounding to see such intricacy in sculptures of that era. After completing the tour we went forward for a short work. I was amazed to see how mountains and sea blend together to make up for such scenic beauty. It was mesmerizing, indeed! It is advisable to be vigilant as you can get quick glance of monkeys eating kulfis.
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Sanjeev Gupta

  • Explorer
  • Sanjeev Gupta
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 388 photos
  • 54 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  8590 readers

"Beautiful rock-cut temples"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Sep 12, 2017
These are rock cut temples situated on a hillock on Gharapuri island. A ferry takes one hour to reach here from Gateway of India. Ferry charges Rs. 200 for a round trip. Choose the upper deck to avoid fumes from the engine. From the jetty, it is around 1 km walk to the start of the stairway. A mini train runs to cover this distance. The climb is a bit tough but is rewarding once one reaches the top. Shops selling trinkets line both sides of the stairway. A few restaurants are also there serving reasonable food.

The rock cut caves are adorned with beautiful sculptures of Lord Shiv.
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Ketan Mehta

  • Scout
  • Ketan Mehta
  • Lives in Pune
  • 6 photos
  • 32 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  15727 readers

"Visit only if you have spare time and interest in caves stuff"

  • 4.5/7
  • Posted Jun 30, 2016
We spent almost a day to visit this place. You will find many agents selling tickets at Gateway of India, better to purchase ticket from them to avoid long queues but make sure not to pay more than printed price. They are charging twice-thrice amount in ferry for food packets which was not acceptable. After 2hrs boat time you will see lot of food options there but not budget friendly of course and long market for stuff related to caves. Worth visiting if you have good stamina to walk.
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Shiva  Rao

  • Tourist
  • Shiva Rao
  • Lives in Udupi
  • 22 Reviews
  •  6 helpful votes
  •  11061 readers

"Different experience"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jun 30, 2016
To go to Elephanta Island, is experience in itself. One has to go by launch, and it is there for a specific time, so one has to be careful about it. The launch journey is enjoyable indeed.. To see SEA everywhere. After you reach, one can see Elephanta Caves also. To spend time there is fun with trees, caves etc around.
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  • 2 votes

Sai Charan

  • Tourist
  • Sai Charan
  • Lives in Puliyankudi
  • 1 Review
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1493 readers

"Great visit to the place"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Mar 30, 2016
This is an island located at 5 miles away from the Gateway of india, I visited this island in a package tour plan. This island is to be reached through boats from the Gateway of India and the view of the Taj Hotel and Gateway of India is awesome. The boat ride continues for 1hr and then a train ride continues for 10min and finally reaches the island. There is no entry ticket for this island but be careful with the local people they try to steal your pocket by pushing you to buy their products or watch their shows of monkeys and to reach temple approx. 150 steps have to be climbed and it is recommended to have human chariot for the one who cannot step up which cost 1000/- for up which is carried by four gents and 1200/- with return. The caves are awesomely carved and the god present here is lord Shiva with three heads which is carved on a mountain stone which is so big and it is the spectacular one in this trip to see and must visit point of attraction here and as of the name do not expect any Elephants here.
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  • 1 vote

Sinoy John

  • Scout
  • Sinoy John
  • 72 photos
  • 24 Reviews
  •  8 helpful votes
  •  11774 readers

"Beautiful place"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Jan 27, 2016
One hour boating to this island and one hour back. Will not advise to visit during hot sun. Beautiful place and have few shops for eat out. Try not to miss the last boat service back to Gateway of India. Lots of service to this island and agents around you to give the tickets.
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  • 1 vote

Sunanda Bommasani

  • Tourist
  • Sunanda Bommasani
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1687 readers

"Best place to enjoy"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Jan 20, 2016
Elephanta Caves is the best place where one can enjoy a lot. The main attraction of that Island is travelling by ferry from CST to Elephanta Island. In that ferry journey, one can enjoy the weather, cool winds of Arabian Sea and hot rays of sun. Mainly the thing we felt wonderful is the White Eagles coming along with ferry. After reaching Island we can see the architecture which describes the epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata to us. It is not only a place of entertainment, it is a place where spirituality and devotion exists.
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  • 1 vote

Sanu Pramanik

  • Tourist
  • Sanu Pramanik
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 2 photos
  • 5 Reviews
  •  1623 readers

"Good place to visit"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jan 10, 2016
The Elephant Island is a nice place to visit with family or friend. The Island is situated near the Gateway of India it is just 4/5 km from the Gateway of India. There are so many historical caves in this Island. It is a good place to see old Indian Heritage. Here you can also get restaurant to eat but the restaurant price is high. Farries are available at Gateway of India to take you to the Elephant Island. It is a good place to visit.
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Sonia Nagpal

  • Scout
  • Sonia Nagpal
  • Lives in Sirsa
  • 2 Reviews
  •  986 readers

"Actuality a new world"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Dec 24, 2015
This is actually a new world, we see a lot new things. Sitting in toy train was like being in a kids train, interesting place, tasty food especially the vendors selling nearby and antique items for shopping.
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