Elephanta Caves
courtesy - www.mumbaiphotos.com
Hewn out of solid rock, the Elephanta Caves date back to 600 AD, and attract more visitors each year than the entire city of Mumbai. No wonder: this place resonates with the spiritual energy of India. The cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture, and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. It is situated on Gharapuri Island in Mumbai's harbour, about an hour's boatride from the Gateway Of India. At the entrance to the caves is the famous Trimurti, the celebrated trinity of Elephanta : there's Lord Brahma the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva the Destroyer Unfortunately, many of the sculptures inside have been damaged by iconoclastic Portuguese rulers who took potshots at Hindu Gods with their rifles. And yet somehow, nothing has disturbed the sublime beauty of this place for centuries.