A few years back, I finally had the chance to explore the “New York City” of India, MUMBAI! The city is filled with people, literally takes 2 hours just to drive 20 miles! Filled with an abundance of diversity, rich cultures, and the Indian Film Industry, Mumbai is a place to add onto your “Places to visit when in India” list. There was one place that really stuck with me from the trip, and I do wish to go back and learn more about it. Where? Well it’s called Elephanta Island!
Elephanta Island is a small island located a short distance from the Mumbai mainland, you have to take a ferry from the Gateway of India. It’s about a 10-15 ferry ride where you get to see Indian Navy ships, and ships used for importing and exporting goods. Near the Gateway of India you can also explore the new and old Taj Hotel’s, architecture worth checking out!
Once you reach the island, there is a small train that takes you to the middle of the island where you will see LOTS of Monkey’s and Cows. WARNING, the Cow’s will chase you for food, and the Monkey’s will steal your Pepsi/other belongings (speaking from experience). Also, when taking photographs of the locals, be careful because many of them request money after you take the picture. The island is beautiful, away from the industrial and busy Mumbai life covered with greenery and the old Shiva temple. The large 20 foot Sadhashiva is the largest attraction of the area. The statue has three heads which signify the creator, destroyer, and preserver of the universe. I have posted a picture of the statue that I took, it was before I got my DSLR, and we had gone on a cloudy and rainy day. All the caves have stone carvings telling a story from Vedic culture, and symbolizing truth. I recommend hiring a tour guide to learn more, we had not done that and I was extremely confused. Also, when entering the stone temples in each cave be sure to remove your shoes! The temples are guarded, so they will be kind enough to remind you. As for navigating around the caves, you can keep your shoes on! It’s not a well known tourist spot in the area, but I do recommend checking it out if you’re in the area!
In hope’s of Traveling soon,