You might have heard people exclaiming that your visit to Mumbai is never complete without visiting the Elephanta village and seeing the Elephanta caves. But, has anyone told you why Elephanta caves need to be an integral part of your Mumbai visit? As a traveller, it is important to have some basic knowledge about the place you are going to visit, especially when you are to visit a historical place like the Elephanta caves. Let us give you some useful information about the place that makes it one of the hottest tourist destinations of Mumbai.
The Architecture – One of the most striking features of the Elephanta caves is its architecture. The temple, chamber, corridors and the idols are all carved out of rocks. These are one of the finest examples of rock-cut sculptors you can get all over the world. The entire 60,000 square feet complex was carved out of basalt rocks, some of which are highly finished. The mass of natural rock sitting above the temple is quite interesting to see.
20-Feet Tall Trimurti – The 20-feel colossal Trimurti is considered a masterpiece of Indian sculptor art. This magnificent statue represents three-headed lord Shiva and hence is revered as Trimurti. It is said that the statue is actually a representation of the Panchmukh Shiva but only with the visible representation of three out of five heads of the deity. When you enter the temple from its north side entrance, the statue catches your attention within a fraction of a second.
Diverse Shiva Depiction – Trimurti is the biggest and the most renowned statue of Lord Shiva in the caves. At most of the temples, you can find Shiva in the form of lingam. And, this makes Elephanta a unique place as you can find the various quintessential depiction of Lord Shiva here. Shiva has been depicted as Yogishwara, the lord of Yogis. This form of Shiva has been represented sitting over a lotus flower. Another representation is of Nataraja, the cosmic dancer with many hands. In addition to these, you can find lord Shiva represented in various other forms including Kalyanasundaram, Ardhnarishvara, Gangadhara, Andhakaasurvadhmurti, Ravanugrahammurti and Uma Maheshwara.
Blend of Two Religions – People tend to believe Elephanta caves to be rock cut temple dedicated to the Hindu religion unless they visit the place themselves. Though the majority of the sculptors represent Hindu Gods and Goddesses, there are a number of caves dedicated to Buddhism. So, the Elephanta caves are actually a combination of Hindu and Buddhist religion. And, this uniqueness is a thing you can rarely find somewhere else.
The Depiction of Stories – The statues of Elephanta caves are not simply some statues placed there for being worshipped. If you try to recognise and understand the depiction of the statues, you will get to know many mythological stories. The story of the pride-breaking of Ravana, the Shiva’s teaching about the equality of genders as Ardhnarishvara, the story of river Ganga emerging on the earth are all represented through sculptors in the Elephanta caves. So, this is a great place to learn a lot about Hindu mythological stories and beliefs.
If you have slightest of interest towards history or mythology, you’ll love to visit the Elephanta caves. So, plan your next vacation to Mumbai and book Chandigarh to Mumbai flights in advance to get the tickets at the most affordable rates. And, don’t forget to recommend your friends to visit the Elephanta caves once you have visited the place yourself.