Maharashtra has a broad mountain range which runs parallel to its 840 km long coastline. The Sahyadri range has some eminent peaks which are not only famous tourist spots but also important historically, with many being forts and homes to the renowned kings of the present day Maharashtra. No doubt this mountain range also has some beautiful caves which are carved mainly with magnanimous sculptures of Lord Shiva and benevolent ones of Buddha, which were made by the kings of the olden times.
I started my journey of exploring this magnificent history with the Elephanta caves, near Mumbai some months back. You start off from Gateway of India and reach there by a ferry, which takes about 1.15 hours. Many of you must have already been to these caves, especially if you happen to live nearby. However, every experience is different and so was mine. I went to these caves all alone as no else I asked was willing to join me. It was a great experience nevertheless.
Elephanta caves are called Gharapuri natively, meaning‘the city of caves’. On reaching the island, you climb several steps to reach the caves – which are numbered from one to seven. There are stalls selling handmade items, beads, books on the caves and idols of Indian Gods lined up on the stairs. There are a lot of tourists as these caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
These caves have been handed over time and again from one ruler to another. The Portuguese have severely destroyed these caves. Though their beauty still doesn’t fail to strike you.