The Ancients not only left their knowledge on the vast lands, but on Islands too. The Elephanta caves were such marvels, that located on an Island near Mumbai Harbour. Being one of the UNESCO World heritage Site in India, it houses various cave temples, chiefly dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Gharapuri was  one of the ancient names of this Island, which literally means ‘The City Of Caves.’ The temples feature Shiva in Three Forms, in which a Shiva with Three Faces, Nataraja and Yogiswara. The actually origin of these temples was unknown but the archeoligist say that the kings from the 2nd Century BC began renovating these temple as the Buddhist architecture began showing up on this Island which was originally named as ‘Elfente’ which later mispronounced by colonial Portuguese as Elephanta as they saw the Huge Statue of an Elephant at the entrance. As they established this Island as their army base, they intentionally damaged the sculptures and some temples.

World-heritages-sites-Elephanta Caves

Some British officials stopped them from being destroyed in 1909. And in 1970, the government of India began restoring the monuments and later it was regarded as a UNESCO world heritage site. The cave temple follows a mandala design. The Temple significantly emphasises the equality of Shiva and Shakti, and gives higher priority to feminine, where the Ardhanarishwara, the androgenus Lord, is shown bringing down the Ganga, directly emphasising the divine within humanity, receiving the inflow of consciousness.

Viswanath Dasari