It was a long planned trip for us. As I am a lover of historical places, the planning was started since the day I heard about Elephanta Caves.
Our plan was to start our journey by 9 AM, but, unfortunately, three of us were late enough. So, we started around 11.30 AM instead.
As we are staying in Thane, we booked a cab till Gateway of India. For me, it was the first time I was seeing Gateway of India and Hotel Taj. So definitely, I was very excited. As it was Sunday, it was too crowded. We spent almost an hour there, clicked some photographs and headed towards the ferry. You will find many photographers holding cameras asking for photographs near Gateway of India. At first, we were ignoring them, but later on we thought we need good photographs of three of us together to keep this memory, and we were convinced. They charge ₹30 per copy of photograph.
The ferry journey was just beautiful, but a bit boring after an hour as we started seeing only the blue sea everywhere and only few ships and boats floating on it. The cruise was of double-deck. To get seated on the upper deck one has to pay ₹ 10 extra, normally the ticket cost is ₹225. You will find people standing near the ferry area with tickets for sale, not such ticket counters are there. We were mesmerized by the beauty of the blue Arabian Sea.
After around 2 hours of journey on the sea, finally we reached to our destination, The Elephanta Island or Gharapuri. After getting down from the cruise, we took a tiny toy train to reach at the cave stairs in 5 minutes. The stairs are quite high and made of stone, some can find very hard to climb the stairs. Many small stalls are there at both the sides of the stairs. They are selling a variety of stones, seashells, various ornaments, showpieces made by curving stones and many more.
The cave was just amazing. A collection of cave temples, predominantly dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. The temple is made of rock cut stone sculptures, that show syncretism of Hindu and Buddhist ideas and iconography. It took an hour or a little more to visit the entire cave, and we started our return journey by 5.30 PM by the last ferry.
The return ferry has been just beautiful. Sun was setting down, which transformed the sea colour into gold and sometime pink and every minute it was turning into a different colour. Seagulls were flying and coming along with our ferry. The waves were getting wilder. The sea breeze was just so perfect at that moment. Overall, the return journey was everything. We were enjoying everything about it.
It was the trip I’ll remember always. Three of us may get parted in time, but this memory will remain forever with us.
Special thanks to Samartha Kolaki & Madhukshara Chakraborty
Written by Jaggayasenee Chakraborty
Photos by Jaggayasenee Chakraborty