Excursions

Elephanta Island and caves

10:54 AM

Today I give you more of a photo blog than anything from our day excursion to Elephanta island, which I mention in my previous post.
The Island is famous for one thing: Elephanta Caves, which contrary to name doesn’t mean it was populated by elephants, or dedicated to elephants, the caves are a temple complex dedicated to Shiva and contain many sculpture. The dating of these sculptures is unsure, it could have been carved as early as the late 5th century or as late as the 8th century, so they are pretty old, and bear the work of time, but some are still in good conditions, restoration work has been done to preserve the site, which is a UNESCO heritage site.
The name Elephanta Island comes from the Portuguese who upon landing on the Island found a big monolithic statue depicting an Elephant, the statue is no longer on the Island, they removed it from the site to take it home, the statue however is still in Mumbai, residing in the garden of the Jijamata Udyaan museum. To read more here is a good place to start. Now on to my pictures.

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The dock leading to the Island viewed from the boat.

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Monkeys are all over the Island
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Entrance to the main cave
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One of the easiest carving to photograph as it is near the entrance and still get enough light

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Visible inside this chamber is a huge Shiva Lingam
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Just to show the size of these sculptures

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As you can see by the crowd, this is a popular excursion to do on weekends

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A secondary cave, this one didn’t have much inside, and the pillars were all restorations, I even saw some Iron rods used in modern construction in some place.

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The little toy train going from the dock to the stairs leading up to the temple complex, I have no picture of the steps, I was too busy climbing them holding a toddler and then on the way down took time to play the tourist and look at all the souvenir stalls with my hubby and my cousin. Oh and by the way they were all fairly priced, I would have expected a bit more of a rip off considering the highly touristic nature of the site.

So here was our day in a few pictures.

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