Elephanta Island

Elephanta Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

Mumbai: Private Day Tour with Elephanta Caves

1. Mumbai: Private Day Tour with Elephanta Caves

Explore Mumbai's most stunning locations and tourist attractions in this eight-hour tour with an English speaking guide. Start the day with a pickup and head towards the gateway of India for the ferry to Elephanta Caves. Enjoy the must-see destination for history lovers.  After an-hour ferry ride climb 120 steps to the plateau where the caves can be entered. There are seven major excavations in the area, and you'll be able to explore the history behind the artifacts and structures found inside. Explore the hall which is supported by huge pillars and this masterpiece of 6th-century architecture.  Discover 3 caves and learn about India's religious history. Each cave has a unique feature: one is a large Hindu Cave, the other is a Buddhist cave, and the final one is a cave dedicated to the God Shiva with a massive three-headed Shiva sculpture. After the Elephanta Caves, go back to explore Mumbai, starting with the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Gate Way of India.  Head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and see the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Train Station. Continue towards Crawford Market, a British era market that has been standing for over a century and a great place to see an array of spices.  Visit Mahatma Gandhi's residence (Mani Bhavan) and head to Malabar Hill to witness the Banganga water tank and take a breathtaking view of the Queen's Necklace below at Kamala Nehru Park. On your way back see another spectacular panorama along the marine drive and visit a temple in Mumbai. Before ending the tour take a train ride with the Mumbai train and experience what the locals call the lifeline of Mumbai. Your guide shows you Dhobighat, a colorful landmark outdoor laundry where hundreds of workers wash and dry huge quantities of clothing. Your tour will end by driving back to your hotel by taking all the extraordinary memories along with you.

From Mumbai: Full-Day Elephanta Caves Tour

2. From Mumbai: Full-Day Elephanta Caves Tour

After hotel pick-up, explore the Gateway of India, a prime landmark of Mumbai. Opposite to the Gateway stands the Royal Taj Mahal Hotel. Board the ferry to reach Elephanta Island, and listen to an introduction to Hinduism. Hop off the boat and explore Elephanta Cave, a kilometers' stroll from the wharf. Ride a toy train from the jetty to the base of the hill. Trek the 120 steps to the caves. Step into an enormous hall upheld by a large pillar and see the vast Mahesamurti statue. The whole cave complex is around 60,000 square feet and is made out of natural rock. Capture excellent pictures with the Arabian Sea in the backdrop, and head out of the caves to see the beautiful Elephant-shaped rock structure.  After completing your Elephanta tour, head back to the ferry at 1:30 PM to travel back to India's Gate. On reaching the harbor, the chauffeur will drive you back to your hotel.

Mumbai: Ancient Elephanta Caves Tour w/ Ride of Toy Train

3. Mumbai: Ancient Elephanta Caves Tour w/ Ride of Toy Train

After you are done with your breakfast, your chauffuer will pick you up at 08:30 from your hotel to kick start your trip to the Gateway of India followed by the grand Elephanta Caves. The famous monument, the main tourist attraction in Mumbai, the Gateway of India is decked with four turrets and its yellow basalt stone structure has delicate latticework carved in it. The structure exhibits the amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim architectures. To the opposite of this grand monument, stands the rich and famous Royal Taj Mahal Hotel. This hotel is a witness of priceless memories of this glorious city. The Taj Towers located near the hotel is another appealing building for its wonderful architecture. From the Gateway of India, you will be taken by a ferry boat to the Elephanta Island. The ferry boat is a type of luxury boat which ferries you around the harbor and you will reach the lovely Elephanta Islands after a journey spanning nearly one hour and fifteen minutes.  Now that you have reached the Elephanta Islands, some light will be thrown upon the whereabouts of what you can expect to find here. After you reach the island, you will have the option of walking by foot or taking a toy train to the main attractions of the place. Elephanta Island is a serene and spellbinding land blanketed in calmness and peace. The island is covered with lush green trees and monkeys dot the place. It is advised that you do not carry food while strolling around to prevent troubles caused by the monkeys. You will have to walk approximately 120 steep steps to get to the entrance of the temple after you get down from the toy train. Take the pony services offered if you do not want to toil climbing up to the temple. Spread over an area of nearly 60,000 square feet, the magnificent Elephanta Cave complex is comprised of massive rock carved temples, dating back to the 5th-century. These temples are sworn in the name of Lord Shiva, in particular. You will notice skillfully chiseled corridors and chambers as you walk through the temples. Treading past each bend, you will also find intensely sculpted art forms. Various images are depicted in the engraved rock surfaces, fluted pillars, dedicated, skillful stone work and structures chiseled out of the huge rocks. Catch a glimpse of the magnanimous Shivalingam, situated at the western end of the temple. At the eastern wing of the main temple, you will find the secondary shrine. As you approach the main hall, you will find that the hall is completely adorned with carved panels that speak of legends from Shiva Purana. Spread across the entire complex, are an array of sculptures representing many of Lord Shiva's manifestations like Kalyanasundara, Gangadhara, Ardhanariswara, Uma Maheswara, Nataraja, Yogiswara, Andhakaasuravadamoorthy and Ravanaanugrahamurthy. These intricate and splendid carvings are testimony of the high level of skill and excellence that ancient India showcased in art and craft. You will also be taken to the handicraft markets, which stock a spellbinding collection of the exquisite and invaluable art, and craft that prevailed in ancient India. After you have completed touring the outstanding and exemplary Elephanta Island, you will be ferried back to the Gateway of India at 13:30. From the harbor, your appointed chauffuer will drop you back to your hotel, marking the end of the memorable tour.

Mumbai: Private 2-Day City and Elephanta Island Tour

4. Mumbai: Private 2-Day City and Elephanta Island Tour

Get a unique glimpse of the City of Dreams, Mumbai, on a two-day tour of its top attractions. Learn about the city's history and culture, and take a trip to Elephanta Island to discover the famous caves. End your tour after returning from the Elephanta Caves, or take the option of an Indian cookery class. Meet your local guide at your hotel or other place of your choosing in Mumbai, and begin your tour of the city in an air-conditioned vehicle. Head first to Churchgate Railway Station, and watch Mumbai's famed lunch box carriers, the Dabbawallas, in action. Afterwards, continue your tour of the highlights of Mumbai with your professional guide. See the Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, before stopping to marvel at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, otherwise known as Victoria Terminus, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, visit other notable sites like the Municipal Building, Marine Drive, Nariman point, Chowpatty Beach, the Hanging Gardens, and Mani Bhavan, before soaking up tradition at Mumbai's largest human-powered washing machine, the Dhobi Ghat. Take the opportunity to see the washers, or dhobis, carrying out their famous laundry service. Day one ends with a trip to the Dharavi slums. Prepare yourself to see Mumbai's less glamorous side, but also appreciate the energy and vibrancy of the area and its inhabitants. The next day, cruise on a ferry to Elephanta Island after being picked up by your guide. Alight after one hour, and take a fun and quirky toy train ride halfway to the Elephanta Caves, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the rock art in the caves, and bring your camera to snap photos of the sculpted images of Kalyansundara, Gangadhara, and Ardhanriswara. Finally, spend some time in Elephanta Island village with your guide, before returning on the ferry and ending the tour back at your hotel, or heading to your cooking class if you choose this option.

Full-Day Tour of Elephanta Caves & Prince of Wales Museum

5. Full-Day Tour of Elephanta Caves & Prince of Wales Museum

Explore the Elephanta Caves and the Prince of Wales Museum on this private full-day tour from Mumbai. Set out on an exciting hour-long sea voyage to Elephanta Island. Admire impressive views of the Arabian Sea and the skyline of Mumbai along the way. After arriving on the island, venture with your guide into the ancient, man-made Elephanta Caves. The cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls, and porticoes arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture. The pillars and reliefs in the main cave are gigantic in scale. Around the perimeter of the cave are sculptured compartments with images from Hindu mythology which represent some of the most impressive temple carving in all of India. After exploring the caves, return to Mumbai and visit one of India's finest museums ̶ the historic Prince of Wales Museum. Browse the museum's impressive collection of Indian art, sculpture, Mughal jewelry, Tibetan armors, and a priceless collection of miniature paintings. At the end of your visit, settle comfortably in your private vehicle on the way back to your Mumbai hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Elephanta Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Elephanta Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Elephanta Island

We had different guides for the Elephant Caves and the city tour. Both were very competent and were not only able to tell us many exciting details, but also to answer all of our questions. I heartily recommend this tour.

Hotel collection and drop off made this trip easy. Our guide on Elephanta Island was very informative and as he lived locally was able to give us additional information about life on the island.

It was an amazing experience! Harish was an amazing guide for the caves while Rameez and Fahad really went out of their way to make my day unforgetable. Thank you!!

Pickup went really well. Nice guide on the island. Informational information about Hindu temples. recommendable

We had the best tour guide ever who was very attentive to details. I can recommend this your to anyone