Answers from Our Experts (1)
The Elephanta Caves are located on Elephanta Island, approximately 10 kilometres off the coast of Mumbai. They are best reached by boat, with the ideal way to see them being to hire a private chartered yacht. These luxury boats can take you to the caves and also show you some other great sights in Mumbai Harbour such as Marine Drive and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
If a private yacht is a little out of your budget, you can also take a ferry to Elephanta Island from the Gateway of India. It is best to go on a weekday as there will be less of a crowd. From the Gateway of India, the ferry ride to the island will take about one hour, and gives you a pleasant view of Mumbai Harbour.
Once you get to the island you can either walk up to the caves yourself, which will take about 15 minutes and includes quite a few steps. Alternatively you can take a small train part of the way, and there are even people who will be willing to carry you up the stairs in a wooden carriage if you don't want to walk.
Once you are at the caves, it is best to just take your time and wander through them. They are spectacular, with intricate carvings and some interesting history. You may want to hire a guide to learn more about the meaning behind the caves, but just be sure that they are properly accredited.