Sunday, February 13, 2011

Elephanta Caves

It is probably one of the most touristy destinations in or around Bombay, but as we discovered to our delight, Elephanta caves can be a very nice day outing. An early morning trip to Gateway of India on Saturday morning, followed by a nice ferry ride in the Mumbai Harbour, and finally the caves themselves (which seemed to be in much better condition than I remember them). Lunch at the delightful MTDC Chalukya restaurant near the caves themselves and then the ride back home.

Part of the Elephanta caves popularity is due to the ferry ride from Gateway of India to the island itself. In February, when the sun is not too hot and the sea winds are still somewhat chilly, it was nice to experience the clean air and the ever-present breeze, sitting on the top deck of the launch. The ferry charges Rs. 130 for a to-and-fro ticket to the island and you do not have to come back by the same boat – so you can spend as much time as you want on the island. It costs Rs. 10 more to sit on the upper deck once you are on the ferry (which I am sure is not an MTDC charge). But you get a great view of the Taj Palace hotel and Gateway of India from there.

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