Elephanta Caves

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Elephanta Caves: Our most recommended tours and activities

Mumbai: Private Day Tour with Elephanta Caves

1. Mumbai: Private Day Tour with Elephanta Caves

Explore Mumbai's most stunning locations and tourist attractions in this eight-hour tour with an English speaking guide. Start the day with a pickup and head towards the gateway of India for the ferry to Elephanta Caves. Enjoy the must-see destination for history lovers.  After an-hour ferry ride climb 120 steps to the plateau where the caves can be entered. There are seven major excavations in the area, and you'll be able to explore the history behind the artifacts and structures found inside. Explore the hall which is supported by huge pillars and this masterpiece of 6th-century architecture.  Discover 3 caves and learn about India's religious history. Each cave has a unique feature: one is a large Hindu Cave, the other is a Buddhist cave, and the final one is a cave dedicated to the God Shiva with a massive three-headed Shiva sculpture. After the Elephanta Caves, go back to explore Mumbai, starting with the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Gate Way of India.  Head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and see the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Train Station. Continue towards Crawford Market, a British era market that has been standing for over a century and a great place to see an array of spices.  Visit Mahatma Gandhi's residence (Mani Bhavan) and head to Malabar Hill to witness the Banganga water tank and take a breathtaking view of the Queen's Necklace below at Kamala Nehru Park. On your way back see another spectacular panorama along the marine drive and visit a temple in Mumbai. Before ending the tour take a train ride with the Mumbai train and experience what the locals call the lifeline of Mumbai. Your guide shows you Dhobighat, a colorful landmark outdoor laundry where hundreds of workers wash and dry huge quantities of clothing. Your tour will end by driving back to your hotel by taking all the extraordinary memories along with you.

Elephanta Caves: Private Half-Day Tour from Mumbai

2. Elephanta Caves: Private Half-Day Tour from Mumbai

To start off your tour of Elephanta island, choose a pickup time that fits your schedule, though it’s best to get an early morning start. Take a beautiful, hour-long ferry ride across the bay from Mumbai to Elephanta Island, and begin your exploration of a labyrinth of caves, temples, and shrines with your own private guide. An elaborate system of man-made caves cut directly into solid basaltic mountains, the Elephanta Caves were used as sacred places of Hindu and Buddhist worship starting in the 5th to 7th century. Amble through the vast columns and arched colonnades, gazing at elaborately carved sacred shrines to deities.  The main cave, otherwise known as the Shiva Cave, contains numerous carvings depicting various aspects of Lord Shiva including his wedding, his slaying of Andhaka, and more. The most significant sculpture in the cave is the 20-foot-tall, three-headed Shiva, known as the Trimurti. Other wings of the caves have shrines dedicated to Shiva’s sons, Kartikeya and Ganesh, with similarly spectacular carved statues.  All the while, enjoy insightful commentary from a local guide, expert in the history of the Elephanta Caves, as well as Hinduism and Buddhism as a whole. After touring the magnificent island, you will be ferried back to the harbor. From there, your driver will drop you back at your hotel, marking the end of a memorable tour through over 1,500 years of history.

Elephanta Caves: Private Half-Day Tour from Mumbai

3. Elephanta Caves: Private Half-Day Tour from Mumbai

Start the day with an optional pickup from your hotel or meet your guide at the Gateway of India. First take the ferry to Elephanta Caves, which is a must-see destination for history buffs or archaeology aficionados. After an hour-long ferry ride, climb 120 steps to the plateau where these caves can be entered. Dive into the history behind the artifacts and structures found in seven major excavation sites. Enter the hall, a masterpiece of 6th-century architecture which is supported by huge pillars. Explore 3 caves and learn interesting facts about India's religious history. Each cave is has a unique feature: one is a large Hindu Cave, the other is a Buddhist cave, and the final cave is dedicated to the God Shiva, with an immense, three-headed Shiva sculpture. After the Elephanta Caves, you'll go back to Mumbai by ferry. If you've opted for the accommodation option, you will be dropped back off at your specified address.

Elephanta Cave Tour with Bollywood Tour

4. Elephanta Cave Tour with Bollywood Tour

This 8-hour tour takes you from Mumbai to the rock art of the Elephanta Caves of Elephanta Island. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the Gateway of India at Mumbai. From here, cruise by boat to reach the Elephanta Caves. On your arrival at the island you will proceed to the Elephanta Caves which contains a collection of rock art linked to the sect of Shiva. At Elephanta, Indian art found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly in the huge and high reliefs of the main cave. There are seven cave excavations in the Elephanta group, all carved from solid basalt rock and dating from approximately the 6th through to the 7th-Centuries AD. Among the cave excavations, Cave 1 is the most impressive, representing a superb example of evolved Brahmanical rock-cut architecture. The full-day tour showcases all aspects of Mumbai, from the city’s narrow geographical layout, its coastline, the neighborhoods that make up the city, the old heritage district, the old commercial and residential districts, the up-and-coming areas, and the movie studios of Bollywood. This is an ideal opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Mumbai, and to experience the phenomenon of Bollywood.

Other Sightseeing Options in Elephanta Caves

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What people are saying about Elephanta Caves

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 18 reviews

This was a really fun dual tour! It helped that the same company handled both tours because the Elephanta Caves are quite far from the Bollywood studio, with traffic. If we had had two separate tours, we would have been very late for the Bollywood tour coming from the Elephanta caves, but because it was the same company they were able to communicate every step of the way and make sure we didn't miss a thing! They also handled the entry to the Gateway of India & ferry transportation and handled the tour guides, drivers, and English-speaking escorts. The guide for the Elephanta Caves was local to the island and knowledgeable. Because our Bollywood tour was in the afternoon it didn't include the dance show, so if that's important to you check to make sure you are booking the right tour. However, we visited a live set and standing sets and had our own time in a recording studio. I recommend doing the Bollywood tour in a group with friends so you can feel comfortable making dramatic scenes.

Get your guide ran a faultless tour. Fantastic experience to travel from the picturesque dock near the Gateway to India and Hotel Taj. We were first promptly transported from our hotel by a nice young man who guided us to the ferry. The travel over on the large wooden ferry was a great way to interact with many Indian people who were lovely. On arrival at the Elephanta Island we were greeted by the guide who was fantastic. We caught a small train from the dock to the stairs area where some of our party were carried up the steep stairs on a seat carry system. He guided us thru the aspects of the main cave and it’s history. It’s amazing, but a little ruined by the Portuguese who used it as target practise. Many giant Indian deities carved in the walls. Had a brief shop at the market, which has great souvenirs on then returned back by ferry. Many ferry’s come and go so don’t panic about pissing one.

Elephanta island is absolutely worth a visit! The local guide Nitin pointed out the Hindu background perfectly and helped me to get the best pictures. The afternoon was fantastic with the visit of Siraf Jahangir studio with local guide Naren and expert on Bollywood movies who knows all the good sets and I was lucky to watch the filming of a dancing show.

My guide, Daiwat, is from Elephanta Island and was very knowledgeable. He knew all the tricks to make the trip to the island as easy as possible. At the cave he gave very thorough and interesting explanations of all the statues, structures, and significance of each. Daiwat also showed me all the best angles for photos! Overall excellent!

We had different guides for the Elephant Caves and the city tour. Both were very competent and were not only able to tell us many exciting details, but also to answer all of our questions. I heartily recommend this tour.