A lovely getaway from Bombay, known for its temples carved into the rock.
To escape the frenzy, chaos and oppression that can cause a city like Mumbai (Bombay), it is valuable to afford an escape, a break over « nature » on the island of Elephanta (island or « Gharapuri « World Heritage of UNESCO) but also » cultural « to discover the remains of temples and for a day. So we will not on this island to indulge in beach activities or sunbathe by the way. She is one of many islands of the Bay of Mumbai, located 10 km from the shores of the city.
See you at the Gates of India, this triumphal arch erected at the request of the British, to board a ferry. 160 rupees to the latest news, or € 2.15 round trip.
Definitely, India remains the cheapest country I have visited so far …
Gates of india
We made friends with an Indian family on the boat. They are very curious and excited to talk with French. The Elephanta Caves is a place where the Indians found a family picnic on weekends..
1 hour cruise later, here we are at the Elephanta Island. To reach the foot of the caves, you can either walk or take the train …
Then it was almost 40 minutes ahead of stairs in the arid heat. The path is strewn with stalls, small vendors selling local crafts and other tourist trinkets, but also premieres. Convenient to buy souvenirs and small gifts when returning. Although we walk under blue tarps to protect the heat vendors, I choke a little. This is why I recommend to come early in the morning and avoid the month of May The monsoon arrives and I have suffered …
Otherwise, you can always carry you in a chair:
The monkeys in freedom are present from this path. There will be much more on the site. Be careful as they approach tourists to steal food. There was one who hid behind me to steal me my water bottle I was holding in my hand. It feels weird …
To visit the caves, admission is charged 250 rupees. This historic site built in the fifth century is home to 5,000 m² of caves that are home to Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva essentially, sculptures carved in the rock, tombs, caves and prayer halls. The island was discovered by the Portuguese.
It’s cool (… happiness is in the cave …), we are left in semi-darkness sometimes, the site emits a certain serenity and we shell sacred and mysterious. I loved the carved caves. Photos are allowed but not feet. You need a permission but can be negotiated
Unfortunately, one of us dying warm literal sense and we have not been able to visit everything, to my regret.
♦ Informations ♦
In Mumbai, take the ferry in the morning at the Gateway of India. About 1 crossing. Rs 160 round trip is € 2.15.
The price of the ferry does not include the arrival of tax on the island or the ticket for the caves. It is about 10 rupees tax.
Access to cellars: 250 rupees (€ 3.36). Possibility to have a guide (to be negotiated)
About 10 rupees train.
(The Indians do not pay this price.)
There is something to eat on site
It is named Elephanta because the first thing they saw the Portuguese explorers who discovered it in the seventeenth century was an elephant sculpture carved into the rock. The area of the island is 4 km2. There are three villages on the island: Shentbandar, Morabandar and Rajbandar. Rajbandar is the largest of them.
To do: exotic, very touristy but we found mostly Indian families few Westerners, beautiful historic site, very affordable shopping, the train will please the children. A getaway to tourists who want to get out of the stress of Mumbai. I recommend arriving as early as possible to visit to avoid the sweltering heat of the island ..
♦ Elephanta island ♦
Gates of India
Indian families are often take photos in front of gates of India
Taj Mahal Palace, 5 star hotel
Arrival on the island … like an acquaintance!
(Eiffel Tower, lol!)
I sweat to death ……
♦ Elephanta caves ♦
There are about fifty pictures of me in India … Indian asked me 5 times a day on average to pose with their families, their children or alone with a person. When I asked why so many requests, a young man thought I looked like a movie star … After a week I ended up claiming 20 rupees for each request, although it was the laugh 🙂
Elephanta Caves are a network of caves carved in the early sixth century located on the Elephanta Island, an island in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai, India. Essentially dedicated to Shiva
Pillars of the mandapa (The main cave, also called Cave of Shiva, is a pillared hall (mandapa) of a forty meters wide, it has been carved directly into the rock.)
Back in town…
Our taxi awaits us ……