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Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves

The Basics

There are two groups of caves at the site: one featuring five caves dedicated to Hindu deities, and a second group with two Buddhist shrines. While there's a lot of debate about the true origins of the caves, there are elements of South Indian Badami Chalukya architecture as well as architectural styles from the Gupta Empire.

Many city tours come to the island, and going with a guide can help you make sense of the caves, as the signage here isn’t the greatest.

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Private Full-Day Mumbai City Tour with Elephanta Caves Excursion
Private Full-Day Mumbai City Tour with Elephanta Caves Excursion
star-4.5
$172.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Wonderful full day tour of Mumbai!
Wonderful experience seeing the highlights of Mumbai, including the impressive Elephanta Caves. Our guide was very knowledgeable, friendly, and easy-going. We all had a great time and enjoyed seeing as much of Mumbai as we could in the full-day tour. Would highly recommend for anyone visiting Mumbai for the first time!
Brian_C, Mar 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Mumbai

star-5
Mumbai and Elephanta caves
dominique_r, Nov 2019
Private Full-Day Mumbai City Tour with Elephanta Caves Excursion
Naina guided us through the wonderful sights and sounds of Mumbai, and the Elephanta caves, giving us an excellent overview with lots of interesting detail. really happy with Naina who was very well informed and knew the answer to any question we asked. spoke English really well. highly recommended.
star-5
Great Day
Jacqueline_F, Mar 2019
Private Full-Day Mumbai City Tour with Elephanta Caves Excursion
Ms. Nassem gave a great tour in the perfect amount of time. She was very knowledgeable of the city and the attractions. She was flexible for the changes we made on the fly. The driver was very attentive and the car was very clean. We would recommend this tour.
star-4
Good excursion
ALAN_R, Feb 2020
Elephanta Caves Mumbai Excursion
Overall a good excursion. A good contrast with a long day on the City tour on the previous day. Boat trip was fun, particularly being surrounded closely by a large flock of seagulls after food. Local guide for the caves not great - very difficult to understand and spent too much time on each section - consequently we didn't see everything. The two other visitors with us basically gave up listening to him as they couldn't understand him either. The Magical Mumbai guide was good.
star-5
Tour worth visiting
Teri_F, Feb 2020
Mumbai Elephanta Caves Private Half-Day Tour including Guide
Tour was very informative, the ferry ride was very calming and a different view of Mumbai from the water and the price was right. The guide on Elephanta was very professional and personal, taking pictures for us and showing us the best place to shop.
star-4
Good day
Ross_A, Feb 2020
Elephanta Caves Mumbai Excursion
Good trip to the elephanta island/caves. Would have preferred to have been able to spend a little more time on the island after the tour though, we didnt have any time to get food or souvenirs etc after the tour ended but it was a good trip overall.
star-4
Good Experience
Peter_T, Feb 2020
Mumbai Elephanta Caves Private Half-Day Tour including Guide
The caves are definitely worth a visit. The caves are beautiful and the guide was knowledgeable. Speaking of guides, I was expecting one guide to accompany my group, but instead you get passed between guides (one to get you on the ferry and the other on the island). Having a guide on the ferry (70 minute ride each way) to point out landmarks and tell you about the history of Mumbai would have made this a 5 star experience.
star-5
Driver's knowledge
Victoria_Q, May 2019
Mumbai Elephanta Caves Private Half-Day Tour including Guide
Guide has a very good knowledge of the Elephanta Caves. He also took us to his village to visit his home which was very interesting.
star-5
Amazing experience
david_m, Jun 2019
Delightful Elephanta Caves Excursion Mumbai (Guided Half Day Sightseeing Tour)
This is a "do not miss" experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it and cannot say enough positive things about my guide Vrushali. She was so knowledgeable and hospitable...she made the trip a great experience.
star-5
A wonderful day
Hillary_W, Dec 2018
Private Full-Day Mumbai City Tour with Elephanta Caves Excursion
Elephanta caves and Mumbai tour really came alive for us due to the Knowledge of, Naina Shah, our guide for the day. Naina’s knowledge which she readily shared was incredible, from the history of the carvings in the Hindu Temples, to the attractions in and around Mumbai. Without Naina we would not have seen, or understood all that is central to Mumbai and its history. A long day but well worth the experience!
star-5
Excellent tour
Bradley_S, Jan 2020
Elephanta Caves Tour
I found this tour excellent. The guide was extremely knowledgeable about Elephanta Island, and spoke English very well. He helped me to swiftly get my tickets and how to maneuver around the sites. He also helped me through the crowds to get a good seat on the return ferry. Living there he knew everyone, including which vendors and items were worth buying. The driver Dipen was also excellent. He spoke English very well and was a wealth of knowledge about the city and the country. I would highly recommend him as your driver. He knows his way around the city and was very helpful when making purchases. He was respectful and an excellent driver in Mumbai’s maddening traffic. I can’t recommend this company enough.
star-5
Caves, monkeys and good company
Alan_A, Oct 2019
Delightful Elephanta Caves Excursion Mumbai (Guided Half Day Sightseeing Tour)
I took a 9am ferry over with guide Sameer and was accompanied by 3*tourists with Reality Tours, this made it much more enjoyable sharing the experience with other English speaking tourists. Once on the island Sameer showed us the caves and gave very good account of the history, explaining other important Indian context such as the Diwali festival of lights coming up. Seen a few monkeys around the stairwell and had an enjoyable dinner with one of the families on the island. The boat trip is 1hr each way to Mumbai which is cumbersome but other than that a great tour
star-5
Elephanta Island
steverusty957, Feb 2020
Mumbai Elephanta Caves Private Half-Day Tour including Guide
It was wonderful hearing about the history and stories of the caves, statues. Even better was the lunch with a village family. A truly authentic experience. Absolute highlight

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Elephanta Caves are a must-visit for those with an interest in history, art, or religion.

  • Bring water, sun protection, and comfortable shoes.

  • Beware of naughty monkeys, particularly on the stairs leading up to the attraction.

  • This attraction is not suitable for those with compromised mobility, and accessing it requires climbing lots of steps.

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How to Get There

Elephanta Island is located in the Mumbai Harbour, about 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) northeast of the Gateway of India monument, from which boats to the attraction depart. Once on the island, travelers can take a miniature train up to a tall, steep set of stairs that lead up to the monument.

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When to Get There

The caves are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30am to 5:30pm. It's best to get there first thing in the morning to beat crowds and hot temperatures, but if you come in the evening, try to get on the last boat of the day, when things have quieted down. Note that visiting during monsoon season may make for a choppier boat ride to the island and back.

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Monkey Business

You may see lots of monkeys while on the island (and all over India, in general, especially in rural areas). On Elephanta Island, you’re most likely to encounter them on the stairs leading up to the monument, and they can be aggressive and carry disease. Do not feed them, and keep an eye on any possessions you may have, from food to the eyeglasses on your head, as they are known to pickpocket the inattentive.

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