A Boat Ride to Elephanta Islands

Air, earth and water.
Three most important basic necessities that mankind needs to survive. Besides, if in mood, these can give immense pleasure to us. So, after taking you to pleasant journeys through the air (parasailing) and the earth (the metro), now it is turn to turn to waters.

Let me take you to a boat ride to Elephanta Islands.

The Elephanta Island is the site of the magnificent Elephanta caves, one of the principal tourist attractions of the Mumbai city containing beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. It also has traces of early Buddhist culture and is now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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The boat rides or ferries start from Gateway of India. To reach there we can take a cab from either of VT station or Churchgate as the case maybe or from other parts of the city. We took an early local train to Churchgate, then a cab to Gateway of India to reach there by 8:30 in the morning. The idea is to reach the island as early as possible since last ferry back from Elephanta is at around 4:00 PM.
While buying the tickets at Gateway, you are guided by them as which gate you should head for, to take the ferry. At the gate after a substantial no. of passengers are gathered, they start boarding. Normally the wait is not more than 5-10 minutes.

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Once they start boarding, the mad rush to get the best-view seat starts. My suggestion – try to get the experience of both options; one way upper deck (by paying Rs 10/- extra) & one way lower deck. Some light snacks are also available on board.

Someone like me who till now had not boarded a ferry in her life in India there was something more amusing at this point. Generally there are 4-5 boats attached to one another and the passengers are asked to go to the farthest one. That makes you jump and hop from one boat to another and you need to be careful. Though they help you but I heard some accidents have happened in the past which I don’t want to describe here. FYI, I was in my Levi’s.
But once you are in the boat, the ride is absolutely amazing. Even if you are not interested in caves, let me assure you, the best part of the entire trip is the ferry rides to & fro Elephanta island.
A chugging ferry ride leaving the Taj and the Gateway of India, surpassing the fishing boats, large ships and oil tankers, small islands, enjoying the cool breeze and the surroundings.. you are going to enjoy every bit of it.

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So, if you happen to be in Mumbai, don’t forget to keep this ride in your agenda.

Some points –
Time – The ferry rides start from 9:00 AM (from Gateway of India) till 4 PM (from ELephanta islands). It takes 45 minutes to reach the Elephanta Island.
The rides are closed during monsoon from June to September.
Ticket – The cost of return ticket is Rs 200/- per person.
Restrooms- Use this facility at the Gateway itself, there is no toilet on the island.
Ladies- Be careful if you have not boarded a ferry in your life & are in sarees.

For some more details & pictures see here.

My next post – Elephanta caves after I come back from next sojourn. Stay glued. :)

7 Comments

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Air, water and earth – so you have now your posts on the three basic elements. This post of yours have provided some good hints about from where to board the boat for elephanta caves and also about when one can visit them.

    I think Maharashtra as a state is not that well covered by Ghumakkars. So it will be interesting to read more and know more from you.

    Looking forward to know more about the Elephanta caves.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Manish,
    Yes, right now I am based in Mumbai so will be more than happy to cover the surroundings. Have done some explorations, yet to write about them.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Informative.

    Think cave experiences along with ferry would’ve made it complete and richer :-)

    Pat

  • Ram Dhall says:

    I haven’t visited the Elephanta caves for over two decades and am sure that many things might have changed. The caves are a sheer beauty and are instilled with a rich history. Would eagerly look forward to your account on the caves.

    Recently I visited the Manoribel Resort, off Manori. The ferry travel to the other shore though very short, is enchanting. To me the place looked like, a miniaturised Goa, embedded in Mumbai (though the culture is absolutely different, being a part of the city). May be sometimes you would talk about this small place.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Patrick,
    Yes, I agree with you. Sorry for replying late, I wasn’t in town.

    Ram,
    Yes, the things have definitely changed in terms of commercialization and poor maintenance of the caves. :)
    Only natural light sifts thru some places, else inside the caves there is no light. The sculptures are in quite bad shape as well.
    Haven’t been to Manori yet, it is on my list.

    Sorry for replying late, I wasn’t in town.

  • Elephanta caves says:

    Oh its an amazing view, while you return from the caves in Evening. With romantic breeze and your DATE, what more you want, in such a low cost ride.
    http://www.travelindia360.net/elephanta-caves-in-mumbai.html

  • ranbir says:

    Is it a safe journey in boat in a sea ?

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