The first striking statue that hits your eye is that of a disabled god, the pelvic region is missing its vital organ, and you cannot but help imagine what it would have looked like in its entirety when you enter the main complex of the Elephanta caves. This historical site is like broken but beautiful poetry on rocks….
Little research and you would know that Portuguese soldiers damaged the caves believed to be as old as 6th AD. However locals believe that these carefully sculptured caves are not the handiwork of men but of demigods themselves – the Pandavas, who are the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
I have been wanting to visit the Elephants caves for a long time, because 1. I like caves 2. I love gawking at ancient sculptures (because I don’t get them and yet appreciate their beauty) 3. it’s on an Island! 4. So the only way to get there is by a boat/ferry which takes one hour. 5. It’s a world heritage site.
The only reason I did not visit it up until now was because of people giving me misinformation about how the caves are closed during the monsoon season and every time I felt like was visiting happened to be during the rains. This time I decided to research myself and found out that the caves are only closed Mondays and are otherwise open throughout the year except for when the boat guys decide to cancel on taking trips due to rough weather. Which means that if happens to be a nice sunny day in the middle of the monsoon season in Mumbai, you can go see Elephanta! (And there are a lot of sunny days in between the rains, just that you can never guess when the clouds will go dark again).
Agreed that the caves are obviously not in the best of condition and are in slight disrepair but it only makes them more mystifying. Some of the rock cuts are gorgeous! And summer is definitely not the best time to visit because it is damn hot, otherwise, the caves are gold.