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Elephanta Island

Elephanta Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

Mumbai: Private City Tour with Elephanta Caves

1. Mumbai: Private City 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 Excursion (Guided Half Day Sightseeing Tour)

3. Elephanta Caves Excursion (Guided Half Day Sightseeing Tour)

Get the insight into UNESCO-listed caves and rock art, believed to date from the 500bc, Buddhist sculptures and relief carvings, paintings and inscriptions, date them between 5th and 9th century, and attribute them to various Hindu dynasties. Enjoy a boat ride across Mumbai Harbor, ride a toy train and experience the intricately carved Cave Temples. Explore the main Shiva Cave with its huge sculptures of Shiva and Hindu mythologies and Buddhist caves popularly known as the Elephanta Caves deeply nestled among the soothing surroundings of the Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor in chaotic Mumbai City. "1. From the Gateway of India, we will ride a ferry to the Elephanta island and enjoy this one hour ride which offers you picturesque seaside views. 2. Explore seven major excavations in the area showcasing huge sculptures of Shiva, Hindu mythologies and Buddhist caves. 3. Explore the 3 caves - the large Hindu cave, Buddhist cave and the main Shiva cave 4. Take toy train ride and at the plateau admire the complex and astoundingly detailed reliefs and carvings depicting narratives of the goddess Shiva. 5. You will also enjoy the local's favorite snacks (complimentary) during the tour."

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.

Mumbai: Private City Tour with Elephanta Caves Tour

5. Mumbai: Private City Tour with Elephanta Caves Tour

Embark on a captivating journey through the bustling metropolis of Mumbai on our City Sightseeing Tour. Experience iconic landmarks, uncover hidden gems, and witness the rich tapestry of its culture and history. Our tour begins with a visit to the monumental Gateway of India and the grandeur of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Explore the vibrant atmosphere of Colaba Causeway Street and witness the unique spectacle of an open-air laundry at Dhobi Ghat. Discover the majestic Oval Cricket Ground and Bombay High Court building. Catch a glimpse of Mumbai University and the local Big Ben of India. Experience the charm of Marine Drive and capture panoramic views from Malabar Hill. Stroll through Hanging Gardens and Kamla Nehru Park, and catch sight of notable landmarks like David Sassoon Docks, Indian Post Office Headquarters, and Reserve Bank of India. Visit the serene Jain Temple and pass by the Maharashtra Police Headquarters, Nariman Point, Churchgate Railway Station, and the State Parliament. Join us on this Half Day City Sightseeing Tour and explore the vibrant city of Mumbai, leaving you with lasting memories of its iconic landmarks and vibrant atmosphere. Embark on an unforgettable journey to Elephanta Island, starting with a convenient pickup time of your choice. Cruise across the bay on a scenic ferry ride, arriving at the ancient Elephanta Caves. These man-made wonders, carved into solid mountains, served as sacred sites for Hindu and Buddhist worship from the 5th to 7th century. Your private guide will lead you through the labyrinthine complex, showcasing intricately carved shrines and temples. Marvel at the main attraction, the Shiva Cave, adorned with depictions of Lord Shiva's stories and the iconic 20-foot-tall Trimurti sculpture. Explore other wings with shrines dedicated to Shiva's sons, Kartikeya and Ganesh, each with stunning carved statues. Throughout the tour, your knowledgeable local guide will provide insights into the history of the caves, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Conclude your journey with a return ferry ride and having experienced a captivating tour spanning over 1,500 years of history with it's rich culture.

Mumbai: Private 2-Day City and Elephanta Island Tour

6. Mumbai: Private 2-Day City and Elephanta Island Tour

Get a unique glimpse of the City of Dreams, Mumbai, on a two-day tour of its top attractions. Learn about the city's history and culture, and take a trip to Elephanta Island to discover the famous caves. End your tour after returning from the Elephanta Caves, or take the option of an Indian cookery class. Meet your local guide at your hotel or other place of your choosing in Mumbai, and begin your tour of the city in an air-conditioned vehicle. Head first to Churchgate Railway Station, and watch Mumbai's famed lunch box carriers, the Dabbawallas, in action. Afterwards, continue your tour of the highlights of Mumbai with your professional guide. See the Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, before stopping to marvel at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, otherwise known as Victoria Terminus, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, visit other notable sites like the Municipal Building, Marine Drive, Nariman point, Chowpatty Beach, the Hanging Gardens, and Mani Bhavan, before soaking up tradition at Mumbai's largest human-powered washing machine, the Dhobi Ghat. Take the opportunity to see the washers, or dhobis, carrying out their famous laundry service. Day one ends with a trip to the Dharavi slums. Prepare yourself to see Mumbai's less glamorous side, but also appreciate the energy and vibrancy of the area and its inhabitants. The next day, cruise on a ferry to Elephanta Island after being picked up by your guide. Alight after one hour, and take a fun and quirky toy train ride halfway to the Elephanta Caves, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the rock art in the caves, and bring your camera to snap photos of the sculpted images of Kalyansundara, Gangadhara, and Ardhanriswara. Finally, spend some time in Elephanta Island village with your guide, before returning on the ferry and ending the tour back at your hotel, or heading to your cooking class if you choose this option.

Mumbai: Ancient Elephanta Caves Tour w/ Ride of Toy Train

7. Mumbai: Ancient Elephanta Caves Tour w/ Ride of Toy Train

After you are done with your breakfast, your chauffuer will pick you up at 08:30 from your hotel to kick start your trip to the Gateway of India followed by the grand Elephanta Caves. The famous monument, the main tourist attraction in Mumbai, the Gateway of India is decked with four turrets and its yellow basalt stone structure has delicate latticework carved in it. The structure exhibits the amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim architectures. To the opposite of this grand monument, stands the rich and famous Royal Taj Mahal Hotel. This hotel is a witness of priceless memories of this glorious city. The Taj Towers located near the hotel is another appealing building for its wonderful architecture. From the Gateway of India, you will be taken by a ferry boat to the Elephanta Island. The ferry boat is a type of luxury boat which ferries you around the harbor and you will reach the lovely Elephanta Islands after a journey spanning nearly one hour and fifteen minutes.  Now that you have reached the Elephanta Islands, some light will be thrown upon the whereabouts of what you can expect to find here. After you reach the island, you will have the option of walking by foot or taking a toy train to the main attractions of the place. Elephanta Island is a serene and spellbinding land blanketed in calmness and peace. The island is covered with lush green trees and monkeys dot the place. It is advised that you do not carry food while strolling around to prevent troubles caused by the monkeys. You will have to walk approximately 120 steep steps to get to the entrance of the temple after you get down from the toy train. Take the pony services offered if you do not want to toil climbing up to the temple. Spread over an area of nearly 60,000 square feet, the magnificent Elephanta Cave complex is comprised of massive rock carved temples, dating back to the 5th-century. These temples are sworn in the name of Lord Shiva, in particular. You will notice skillfully chiseled corridors and chambers as you walk through the temples. Treading past each bend, you will also find intensely sculpted art forms. Various images are depicted in the engraved rock surfaces, fluted pillars, dedicated, skillful stone work and structures chiseled out of the huge rocks. Catch a glimpse of the magnanimous Shivalingam, situated at the western end of the temple. At the eastern wing of the main temple, you will find the secondary shrine. As you approach the main hall, you will find that the hall is completely adorned with carved panels that speak of legends from Shiva Purana. Spread across the entire complex, are an array of sculptures representing many of Lord Shiva's manifestations like Kalyanasundara, Gangadhara, Ardhanariswara, Uma Maheswara, Nataraja, Yogiswara, Andhakaasuravadamoorthy and Ravanaanugrahamurthy. These intricate and splendid carvings are testimony of the high level of skill and excellence that ancient India showcased in art and craft. You will also be taken to the handicraft markets, which stock a spellbinding collection of the exquisite and invaluable art, and craft that prevailed in ancient India. After you have completed touring the outstanding and exemplary Elephanta Island, you will be ferried back to the Gateway of India at 13:30. From the harbor, your appointed chauffuer will drop you back to your hotel, marking the end of the memorable tour.

Elephanta Caves Guided Tour with Transfers all inclusive

8. Elephanta Caves Guided Tour with Transfers all inclusive

Ticket and Admission: Your tour package covers the cost of entry tickets to the Elephanta Caves. This allows you to explore the historic caves and marvel at their intricate sculptures and architecture without any additional expenses. Pick-up and Drop-off: We provide convenient pick-up and drop-off services from your designated location. Whether you're staying at a hotel or a specific meeting point, our transportation ensures a hassle-free journey to and from the Elephanta Caves site. By including these key features in the package, we aim to make your Elephanta Caves tour not only culturally enriching but also seamless and comfortable from start to finish. Our commitment to offering comprehensive inclusions underscores our dedication to providing you with excellent value for your investment in this remarkable experience.

Mumbai: Guided Elephanta Island and Caves Tour

9. Mumbai: Guided Elephanta Island and Caves Tour

The Elephanta Caves Tour is a Unesco World Heritage Site located on Elephanta Island, just a short ferry ride away from Mumbai, India. The caves are known for their intricate rock-cut sculptures and temples, which date back to the 5th to 8th centuries AD. The best is to Take a Guided Elephanta Caves Tour who is born and rise up on that Island. To start your Elephanta Caves tour, We need to take a ferry from the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The ferry ride takes about an hour each way and offers stunning views of the Mumbai skyline as well as the Arabian Sea. Once you reach Elephanta Island, you’ll need to walk up a series of stairs to reach the cave complex. There are two main groups of caves, known as the Hindu Caves and the Buddhist Caves. The Hindu Caves are the most famous and contain a number of impressive sculptures and shrines dedicated to various Hindu deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. As you explore the caves, be sure to take note of the intricate carvings and sculptures, which include depictions of mythological scenes, gods and goddesses, and animals such as elephants and lions. The most famous sculpture in the Elephanta Caves is the three-headed bust of Shiva, which is located in the main cave. Overall, a tour of the Elephanta Caves is a must-see experience for anyone interested in Indian history and culture, as well as for those who simply want to take in the beauty of this unique and awe-inspiring site. Highlights of Elephanta Caves Tour Explore the caves of Elephanta Island, a Unesco World Heritage site Reach Gateway of India to begin the historical tour of Elephanta Caves. From Mumbai Harbour, you will be taken to the caves on a ferry boat via the Arabian Sea. Explore 7 major caves with carvings, paintings, and inscriptions of Shiva, Buddha, and Hindu mythology. The major 3 caves are The large Hindu Cave, Buddhist Cave, & Shiva Cave. Learn about the history of the depictions from the professional tour guide. Enjoy the toy train ride taking you around the caves and admire the detailed carvings and structures. Get an insight into the history of the caves See the beautiful carvings of Gods inside the cave An English-speaking guide

Mumbai: Elephanta Caves Private Tour with Ferry Ride

10. Mumbai: Elephanta Caves Private Tour with Ferry Ride

Meet at the Gateway of India, a monument near the waterfront. Next, take a ferry across the Arabian Sea and admire the view of the Mumbai skyline on the way. After a short while, get off the boat on Elephanta Island to begin exploring the UNESCO World Heritage cave complex that is there. Ride around the island on a toy train, which runs along the pier. Sit back and relax as you travel along on this miniature railroad vehicle. Take in the view of the island along the way. Afterward, get off the train when it stops. Then, go on a short walk to the famous ancient cave complex. Follow your guide up a short series of stairs and arrive at the cave complex, famous for its intricately crafted sculptures and temples, which date back to the 5th century. Visit 3 caves, including a Hindu cavern, a Buddhist cave, and the Shiva Cave, which is the main cave in the complex. Walk past huge sculptures of deities on the way into the Shiva Cave, which depict the main aspects of Shiva, including the destroyer, the preserver, and the creator. Roam around the caves and learn fascinating facts about the rocky temples from your guide, and ask questions if you are curious. Finally, get back on the ferry. Enjoy the scenery on the way back to Mumbai. Get off the ferry and then make your own way back to your accommodation.

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What people are saying about Elephanta Island

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 39 reviews

We enjoyed our trip to the Elephant Caves and temple. Meet downtown, hop on a public ferryboat that our guide Ronit bought tickets for, ride about an hour on the water, then about 90 minutes on the island. Ronit handed us over to another guide, Manuch, who lives on the island and did that part of the tour. There's a lot about Hindu gods, so to make sense of all the statues in the temple, you might want to do a quick review of the Wikipedia page on Hinduism before you go! :-) It's a climb up uneven stone stairs to the top, but not too arduous. Buy a bottle of water at the bottom before you go up. Pro tip: wear your good rubber-soled shoes, because the trip down can be tricky, as the well-worn stone steps can be slippery (one of us took a bad fall and had a painful flight home afterwards). Bring enough cash for shopping at the numerous vendor stalls that line the steps.

Indian immigration delayed all people getting off the ship so we were 2 hours late leaving. The guide accommodated this by changing the tour time - there was a bit of a communication problem in saying where the board was where we should meet. We were told we had to go to the gate of India but actually the board was well before the check point - wasn’t a problem because the guide came and found us and all things ran smoothly with good commentary there after - a very good informative tour at excellent value for money. Thank you

Very good value for money the driver was on time and communicated beforehand to confirm where he would pick us up. He took us to Elephanta island where we had a local guide to show us the caves. He was wonderful and a brilliant guide. We then went back to Mumbai and had a break for lunch we then did the city tour and had another local guide who was also very good and knowledgeable. In general it was a very good tour and great value for money and we covered a lot which was great because we only had 1 day

the tour of Elephanta island was amazing and the guide Daivat Vishnu was brilliant. he was so knowledgeable and was so entertaining with stories and information. we would highly recommend Daivat to anyone.

Lovely day out, saw lots & were well looked after. Thank you