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Located at the eastern side of Mumbai nearby the Mumbai harbor famous island in the region, Elephanta Island is one of the several islands as famous landmark. . Being one of the major tourist attractions in the region this island is easily accessible by various sources of transportation. The cave temples in this island make it one of the popular destinations in the region. Elephanta Caves are worth viewing that have been carved out of the rocks and remain wonderful attractions to view here.
Having been named Gharapuri in the ancient era, Elephanta Island is derived from its 16th century Portuguese explorer ilha do Elefante. They named it so upon finding monolithic basalt elephant sculpture just at the entrance area. Once upon a time this island had even remained capital of one of the powerful regional kingdoms. Geographically, this island locates at 18.95°N 72.93°E. Total 16 km2 area of this island is managed by the Raigad district’s jurisdiction and in Maharashtra state it remains famous destination for tourism. As this island is thickly wooded with palm, mango, and tamarind trees it remains major natural attraction. This island has total three villages. These villages are as follows:-
- Shentbandar Village
- Morabandar Village
- Rajbandar Village
Rajbandar had once remained the capital of local kingdom. Shentbandar village is known for the caves and stalls while Morabandar is famous for owning thick forestry area. As there is no permission for the tourists to stay overnight hardly is there any hotel accommodation available there.
As Mumbai is located at a distance of approximately 10 km from the Elephanta Island it is easily accessible from the metropolitan city by ferry service. There is daily boat service from Mumbai’s Gateway of India till this Island. Boat journey takes approximately an hour for which one can buy tickets at the Gateway. First of the ferries leaves the Gateway at 9 am and the last one at 2 pm. First return ferry leaves the island at 12:30pm while the last one at 5:30pm by which all tourists are supposed to return back.
Once boats land on island travellers choose the walkways that go to the caves in the island. The narrow-gauge toy train operating from boat area on the dock until the steps base which leads to cave base is approximately 600 meters journey to enjoy.
Best Time to Visit Elephanta Island
Choose to travel to Elephanta Island during the wintertime which best suits to explore nature here. One can also choose to travel here on the onset of summer period hence anytime between October to May remains ultimate option for stay. As these are the months when this region observes excellent climatic condition one can enjoy great time here.
How to Reach Elephanta Island
Elephanta Island by Air: Nearest airport connecting to Elephanta Island through air is Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai at a distance of just 15 km from this island. This airport connects to the region with almost all parts of the country and world.
Nearest Airport: Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai