Trimurti @ Elephanta Caves https://flic.kr/p/FdfdJP

The City of Caves, Gharapuri (Elephanta)

Travel Log of our trip to “The Elephanta Caves” near Mumbai (Bombay) India. 9 April, 2016.

Siddhesh S. Mangela

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The Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri (literally “the city of caves”) in Mumbai Harbour….
reference — Wikipedia

Finding the Right Way

Churchgate Railway Station(Mumbai), after having refreshments we left the station for the “gateway of India”.

After asking around and feeling misdirected.we still kept walking and managed to find a person who came with a breakthrough, ‘The Right Way’. he told us to cross the cricket ground.

From Left: Western Railway Headquarters, Rajabai Clock Tower

We saw lot of interesting things on the way which made me feel a spiritual itch which glided my finger to focus and hit the shutter button. Thanks to my friends(and Travel Buddies) for being comfortable with my sudden and weird moves.

From Left: Statue of Baron Sydenham of Combe (Governor of Bombay), Phillips Antiques

After asking around few more times we finally saw a beacon of hope, well actually I don’t know if a it’s part of “The Right Way” but i was happy to see ‘Leopold Cafe’.

“Click”

Leopold Cafe

we roamed around ‘The Hotel Taj’ for while and then finally had our first glimpse of the gateway itself.

The Gateway Of India, Mumbai

Ferry Boat

The next task began as we reached gateway. It was a troubling one and we had to deal with unnecessary rudeness of ticket sellers but managed to get tickets and boarded the ferry boat. There we go, Next Stop ‘Gharapuri. We tried to get a seat on top of the boat, but the management won’t let us. So ditching the crowded bench ,I stood taking photographs more than i assumed my Seat. Ashu and Sushant also helped.

Curious?

Boats; we saw boats, lot of them

and Seagulls; up close, cruising around.

After an hour of boat trip we reached our destination ‘Gharapuri Islands’ home of ‘Elephanta Caves’.

First Glance, the island

The Island

On arrival we had to jump from boat to boat to reach the stone platform of the port. It felt like ‘First Person’ variation of ‘Super Mario Bros’ with added virtual reality support. 1Up!

Upon landing we had to pay the gram-panchayat(Village Authorities) tax after that we Chose to ditch the mini-train and decided to resume the journey on foot.

Welcome !

Isolated island (landmass) ,humid air, sub-tropical sunshine and wilderness.

‘ Oh !! what is that ?….

“the Sweet Smell of Adventure.” ’

Left: Baby Monkey With Mother, a Monkey Sipping Frooti (a mango Flavored beverage from India)

And our walk began towards a pilgrimage; an ancient, historic site; The Awesome “Elephanta Caves”.

we walked up the stairway from between local shops under a half measure tarpaulin (tadpatri) roof which was radiating an enormous blue tint.

Left: Human Escalator, Blue tint of stairway

Still there were more stairs to go but we finally reached the main gate of Elephanta caves.

Attractions

After Paying some government approved charges… Enter the mortals into the gates of Heaven.

Gates: Main Cave

We were welcomed by Gods and Sages who presented themselves with different gestures,postures and facial expressions. The Camera can only provide the visual pleasure but the essence and the energy is out of its bounds. May be if you can concentrate well enough, you can feel that energy. The Whole place felt so fresh despite of being Ancient. It was, you can say ‘The Experience of a Lifetime’. These things changes you in a good way.

the sensation i felt was not calming at all. instead it was full of activity and energy, may be a different kind of Nirvana.

After Exploring the caves from edge to edge, it was time to see the main attraction “Trimurti”.

The Grand Trimurti (a sculpture of “Bramha”, “Vishnu” and “Shiva” portayed as a single entity)

We humans Share a common ancestor with Monkeys, That’s why you should never mess with them. They ain’t scared of you.

We continued our sweaty but energetic journey after taking some pit stops. And saw many interesting creatures; animals and humans both.

From Left: A woman Photographing Monkey, Cute little donkey, a pretending yogi
Tourists
Temple Of Shiva

“Should We go to ‘Cannon Hill’ ”, I asked. “Let’s go”, was the response that i received.

Cannon Hill is actually on the other side of the mountain, the Sea facing side.

“Wonderful Arabian Sea”.

It was a long route and the afternoon heat made us sweat out the precious body water. so we refueled our bodies with tasty ‘Jaljeera Lemonade’ and resumed our journey up hill.

a Giant Cannon was placed on Metal and concrete frame, we rested our feet under a tree nearby.

Sitting on the ground there looking at the sea, a completely different experience than the caves. the energy of surrounding felt mild and soothing, a complete Zen.I wish we had spent some more time there, you know just sitting and staring at the sea. there were two more cannons to see but we skipped them

The Main Cannon

So long, Elephanta

After climbing down the stairs we stopped for lunch at ‘Elephanta Port Canteen & Beer Bar’. The restaurant was good with a fine view of dock. rotis were not available so We settled on chapatis and ‘Chicken Makhani’. But before that we flourished our lost body fluids with a single bottle of ‘Kingfisher Buzz’, a low alcohol, flavored drink, that we shared.

Then it was time to head back.

on the return ferry, With the count of 3, 10 Rupee notes; we were allowed to seat on the roof compartment.

Tourists on the top bunk of Ferry Boat

the top bunk was very calm and crowd-less. then our old friends Seagulls showed up, along came friends island crows(maybe they are not friends) to say goodbye .

Gulls

And our Journey ended with indelible, sweet memories of Elephanta.

Fin….

Special Thanks to

Sushant Kamble and Ashutosh Patil

view “A Trip to Elephanta” album on Google Photos.

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Thank you.

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Siddhesh S. Mangela

a Photography Enthusiast and an explorer, working as a Front end Dev/Designer for livelihood. https://siddheshmangela.com/