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Monday, September 14, 2009

Welcome to the Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves are the great tourist attraction in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai, in the state of Maharastra, India. It is the site of the magnificent natural elephanta caves, containing beautiful carvings sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. It takes an hour by boat, just 10km away from Gateway of India, Mumbai to reach Elephanta. As one goes towards Elephanta, one passes the Mumbai harbour and the naval barges. The island of Elephanta has been a commercial, military and religions centre for centuries. The sculptures were created beginning in the period of Gupta Empire or after that period. This Elephanta island was designed a UNESCO world Heritage site in 1987 to preserve the artwork.

Island Elephanta :-
The island was the capital of the powerful coastal kingdom. Later the Portuguese took possession of the island. There they found the monolith of an elephant. The island was named Elephanta. As the worship of the figure of the Buddha began to be encouraged with rise of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism, a shrine was introduced to house Buddha’s image, replacing the cells at the centre of the back wall. The Monasteries of Ajanta lead us directly to Elephanta. It appears that the families of crafts men and sculptors, who worked on the Kailasa temple of Ellora and adjoining Buddhist caves at Ellora, were also employed at Elephanta.

After the Portuguese constructed a fort there, they hoisted their flag there towards off pirates. They hoisted their flag there towards off pirates. They used this fort and the sculpture for target practice and training, thereby damaging many sculptures. The British captured the island from the Portuguese. After that they tried to find out who built these caves, but failed. The British planned to take the monolith elephant to England but they could not lift it. It is now kept in the Bombay Museum. Hewn out of solid rock the caves attract more visitors each year than the entire city of Mumbai. No wonder, this place resonates with the spiritual energy of India. The cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture. While they ruled the island the Portuguese used the carvings of the Hindu gods for target practice this damaging them. However, nothing has disturbed the sublime beauty of this place for centuries.

The Origination :-
At the entrance to the caves is the famous Trimurti, the celebrated trinity of Elephanta: Lord Brahma the creator, Lord Vishnu the Preserver and lord Shiva the Destroyer. In fact, the cave was the creation of an unknown genius, a master architect. Having thoroughly absorbed and assimilated the magnificent contribution of his predecessors in the dual traditions of the independent freestanding sculpture and rock-cut architecture. He produced a monument introducing a completely new world of form quite distinct from any previous achievement.

Hindu Mythology
Elephanta is the place where the main events in the mythology of lord Shiva, are depicted. At Ellora though other gods appear on the panel with Shiva, at Elephanta there is nothing but Shiva in various forms. That is Hindu Mythology. Three gods govern their world: Brahma- the creator, Vishnu - the Preserver and Maheshwara - the Destroyer. Here we find lord Shiva practicing yoga, meditating with snakes coiled around his wife, Parvati. Panel sixth of the caves represents the wedding of Shiva with Parvati. Panel sixth of the caves represents the wedding of Shiva with Parvati with the rites being performed by Brahma and scores of other Gods attending the grand ceremony. The coming of Ganga from heaven to Earth is described in panel fifth of the caves. As the great force of Ganga might have destroyed the Earth, She lands in the hair locks of Shiva who then gently release her. The wise and righteous Lord before whom the forces of evil and ignorance flee and are terrified into submission is carved on the seventh panel. On the western end is the sanctuary of Lingam denoting the essence of creative power. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as the lord of fertility and procreation.

Information for Tourist :-
Elephanta caves are the great tourist attraction in Mumbai. It is situated in Arbian Sea, just 10km away from Gateway of India. It is visited by many domestic as well as foreign visitors. The timing of this island is 9 A. M. to 5 P.M. and closed weekday is Monday. Enterence fee for the SAARC visitors is Rs. 10/- per head and for other $ 5 means Rs. 250/- per head. No fees charged to the children below than 15 years.

Photo Gallery
Elephanta Caves wallpaper

Elephanta caves pictures

Elephanta Caves Photo

Elephanta Caves images

Elephanta Caves view

The Linga shrine in Elephanta Caves

Outside the cave

Ouside view of Elephanta Caves

Main deity of the Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, India

1 comment:

Travel Corporation India said...

The places of tourist interests are endless in Mumbai. A number of sites with historical importance, contemporary wonders, archaeological sites, religious places and natural wonders in the backdrop of modern day marvels is an experience of life time. The Gateway of India is the main attraction of Mumbai city. Built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in the year 1911, The other sites like the Mani Bhawan or the Gandhi memorial, Prince of Wales Museum, Marine Drive and Juhu gives the feeling of being in the commercial capital of India. Mumbai sightseeing places

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