TOP EXPERIENCE: THE ELEPHANTA CAVES AND THE CITY OF MUMBAI
Sightseen, Culture & local gems , Less than 1 hour walking, 50
The ideal excursion for those who wish to embark on a journey into the heart of the Hindu religion and explore the places that are fundamental for an understand of this fascinating city, complete with a visit to the caves on the island of Elephanta.
- Gateway of India (photo stop)
- Elephanta Caves
- Panoramic drive by bus: Prince of Wales Museum, Jehangir Art Gallery, University of Mumbai, High Court Building, Rajabai Clock Tower, Marina Drive, Chowpatty Beach, Hanging Gardens, Parsi Towers of Silence, Chatrapati Shivaji, Asiatic Society Library
- Dhobi Ghat (photo stop)
- Mani Bhavan Museum
- We leave the port by coach and head to the Gateway of India where we board a motor boat for Elephanta island.
- When we reach the island, we take a 5 minute train ride or, if the train is not running, a 20 minute walk to a point below the caves from where 120 steps lead us to the entrance of the caves.
- The caves, which date back to the 8thcentury AD, contain incredible sculptures depicting scenes from Indian mythology. Our guide illustrates the hidden story behind every sculpture, the most impressive of which is without doubt the one depicting the trilogy of Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver) and Shiva (The Destroyer).
- At the end of the visit our boat takes us back to the Gateway of India, where we proceed to the restaurant.
- After lunch, we set off to explore Mumbai's most important sites. Walking through the city, we'll see the Prince of Wales Museum with its enormous dome which is said to have been inspired by the Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur, and the Jehangir Art Gallery. We then pass by the University of Mumbai and the Supreme Court Building and head for the Rajabai Clock Tower, designed by a British architect and modelled on Big Ben in London. A short distance from Chowpatty beach we stop to admire Marina Drive, also known as the "Queen's Necklace", a long coastal road that earned its nickname because at night its street lights look like a pearl necklace. Our visit proceeds past the Jain Temple and the Hanging Gardens up to Dhobi Ghat: an enormous open-air washhouse where there is an incessant flurry of washing by hand, a custom that is still popular among locals despite the advent of modern washing machines. We stop briefly in this area to take photos, a perfect opportunity to take a picture of the Parsi Towers of Silence, a sacred place for the Parsi community and therefore inaccessible to other people.
- The next stop is the Mani Bhavan museum, once the residence of the "Father of the Nation" Mahatma Ghandi who lived in Mumbai from 1917 to 1934.
- Finally, before returning to the port, we pass Chatrapati Shivaji, the old railway station and the city's most imposing Gothic building, and the Asiatic Society Library.
Good to know
- There is only one train to the Elephanta caves; in the unlikely event that it is not running we have to walk for 20-25 minutes before we can climb the 120 steps to the entrance to the caves. The same applies on the way back. Comfortable shoes with rubber soles are therefore recommended.
- Places on this excursion are limited. We recommend booking early.
- You need to be physically fit to take part in this excursion.
- This excursion is not recommended for guests with mobility problems.