Photograph courtesy: Ronald Woan/Creative Commons

Photograph courtesy: Ronald Woan/Creative Commons

Mumbai is surrounded by some cool getaways which make for wonderful picnic spots. One such spot is Elephanta Caves. A delight for history buffs and mythology enthusiasts, Elephanta Caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are located on the Elephanta island and hold special significance for Shiva devotees on account of the ancient sculptures here. The rock-cut architecture here takes you back to an era of brilliant architecture.

The best way to get to Elephanta island is from the Gateway of India, a prime tourist attraction in Mumbai. You can reach the Gateway of India directly by road, or by taking a cab from prominent railway stations like Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on the Central and harbour lines and Churchgate on the Western Line.

Three-headed bust of Mahesa-murti in Cave 1 of Elephanta island

Three-headed bust of Mahesa-murti in Cave 1 of Elephanta island

Once you get to the Gateway of India, there are several ferries (run by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corp) available to take you to Elephanta. The journey from Gateway of India to Elephant usually takes around 1 hour. You can take two types of ferries (or launches) from the Gateway of India to reach Elephanta island – Economy or Deluxe. The Deluxe ferry costs Rs.150 per person for Adults and Rs. 90 for children (3 to 7 years) which includes a return journey. Upper deck views come at an additional Rs 10. Economy ferry tickets come at Rs 130 per person for adults. Tickets for the launch are available at the Gateway of India. Starting 9 am, a ferry leaves the gateway of India every 10 minutes on all days.