Elephanta island

India is dotted with many splendid and striking cave sites. From the aesthetically pleasing cave sites in Ajanta to the spiritually soothing caves of Tabo to the historically invigorating caves of Bhimbetka or the natural splendor of the Borra caves, the vision they provide is enticing and beguiling. The many beautiful cave sites of India bear a witness to its diversity.

Ajanta and Ellora

Kailash Temple, Ellora, Photo by Kunal Mukherjee, CC BY-SA 2.0

Around 5th century BCE Buddhism was gaining importance as a faith in the Indian subcontinent. During that period of time, many wandering monks found residence in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora. These caves bear a testimony of their teachings through the many exalted and illustrious sculptures and paintings. These caves were used as assembly or prayer halls and called ‘chaitya-griha’. Despite being famous for the Buddhist caves, this site also has Jain caves and Hindu temples like the Kailasanatha temple. The Kailasanath temple is a monolithic rock-cut temple meant to house the great lord Shiva. This marker of religious and aesthetic beauty lies in the district of Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra. To know more about these caves and it’s nearby attraction read this article for tourist places to visit in Aurangabad.

Elephanta Caves

Photo by Ashwin Kumar, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Elephanta island is a short ferry ride away from the bustling city of Mumbai. In this serene and aloof setting, we find a network of caves dedicated to the Shiva cult. The cave showcases three aspects of Shiva that are the essence of the Hindu mythology: creator, destroyer and preserver. He is shown in his many avatars, like that of the nimble Nataraja or the ferocious Mahadeva. The island has a network of caves with the most important one being the grand cave 1. This is a site that can and should be frequented by the many residents of the city when in need of a break from the hectic city life. To know more tourist places in and around Mumbai, check this article.

Click to read more