Other Notable Caves Overview

Ranked 10 of 10 sightseeing in Elephanta Caves

The second excavation is to the south-east of the main or Great Cave. The front part of this cave is devastated and there are only fragments of some columns. The portico has a depth of about 35 ft and a length of about 85 ft. It is inclusive of a chapel at the northern end, which is shaped irregularly and is supported by two semi-columns and eight-cornered columns. There are three chambers at the back of the portico and the central chamber comprises a water channel and an altar, though the Linga is lost. Some traces of sculpture are there on the shrine door like a fat figure, boy, broken animal figures, alligators but the door-keepers of the shrine are now in fragments.

The Sitabai’s Temple is a large hall that is situated across the top of the ravine from Cave 1. The portico comprises two pilasters and four pillars. The hall contains three chambers at the back, a central shrine and rest rooms for priests. The central shrine’s door has a frieze and pilasters with the threshold having lion figures at the end. The shrine comprised of a water channel, altar and a hole in the middle where the statue of Goddess Parvathi may have been worshipped.

A small Hindu excavation with a veranda is situated along the face of the eastern hill, to the north of the cave of Sitabai. The excavation was probably three cells that were abandoned due to a flaw in the rock. A dry pond is situated towards the east of the hill that comprised Buddhist cisterns and large artificial boulders, along the banks. A mound resembling a Buddhist stupa is situated at the end of the main hill’s north spur.

To the south of the cave, another dilapidated cave is situated that has suffered water damage. The portico comprises a room or chapel in each end with pillars in front and two of them have cells at the back. At the back of the portico, the central door leads to a damaged shrine. At each side, there are door-keepers at the door that lean on dwarfs and have flying figures over their head. The shrine with a low altar, holding a Linga, has a depth of about 19 ft and a width of about 18 ft. A cavern is situated to the south of this cave that may be used as a cistern.

A tiger sculpture is situated above these caves and it was worshipped as Vaghesheri, the tiger Goddess. This sculpture can also be considered as the guardian of the north entrance of Cave 1. At the top of the hill, a Linga is found near a small pond. Other sculptures were also found nearby such as a mother suckling a child and stone, with a moon and sun.

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Photos of Other Notable Caves

Other notable caves, Elephanta Caves

Photo by

Mrudul Raut

Elephanta Caves
Other notable caves, Elephanta Caves

Photo by

Sameer Ghadge

Elephanta Cave3