Caves are situated in Raigad district.Originally known as
Gharapuri Caves. Ancient caves situated on a small island
between Mumbai & Uran. All the caves belong to Shaivite
Hindu sect portraying stories of Shiva & Parvati. The
huge sculpture of Trimurti depicting three different facial
expressions of Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh is considered unique
in the history of sculptures.
km north east of Apollo Bunder, lies the island of Elephanta,
the glorious abode of Lord Shiva. The island is famous for
its great cave shrine, excavated in the sixth century, dating
back to the period, when the island was known as Gharapuri,
the Fortress City. With the arrival of the Portuguese, the
island was renamed Elephanta, after the huge carved elephant,
they found at the place where they landed.
The cave temple, which is the pride of Elephanta, sprawled
over an area of approximately 5000 square metres, is reached
by climbing a flight of more than 100 steps, to the top of
a hill. Inside the temple, is a large pillared hall with rows
of columns, that appear to hold up the roof of the cave. Cross
beams complete the illusion of a ceiling.
is immediately drawn to the series of marvellous sculptured
panels, nine in all, which are set like tableaux on the walls.
Little is known about the architects and sculptors, who worked
on this gem of ancient architecture. What is almost tangible
is their intense faith, which seems to create an energy field
in the cave premises.
Each of the panel captures the volatility
of Shiva's essentially paradoxic nature, and the magical interplay
of light and shade, only intensifies the overall effect. The
plan of the temple is symmetrical, with the important focal
points worked out in a geometrical mandala - the mystic design
that represents an energy field.
Sea: 10-15 km away from Gateway of india.