elephanta caves in india

The elephanta caves and a cave temple are situated on an island near Mumbai harbor. Garbhapuri was its name. Later the Portuguese called it Elephanta for the huge sculpture of an elephant. The cave is accessible by 10Km. boat-ride from the Gateway of India. It is believed to have been built by the Rashtrakuta kings between 757-973 AD. In the shrine of Elephanta the image of Shiva as Maheshwara is placed so as to view from the three entrances as the lord emerging from eternal darkness. The image of huge dwarapalas and their attendants can be seen at the four entrances of the Garbhagriha. The Trimurti statue showing the three aspects of Shiva as creator, preserver and destroyer is placed at a height of 5.54 meters. The walls of the Elephanta is ornamented with the images and illustrations of various moods of Shiva. The Elephanta resembles the caves at Ellora.

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