Most visitors and tourists who visit Mumbai surely visit Marine drive and Gateway of India and return. But few adventurous ones take the trouble to visit the Elephanta Island also. It’s an island that is about over an hour’s ride by boats from the India Gate.
Many who visit the Island find some ancient caves with sculptors dating back to times about two thousand earlier. They are well preserved now and attract thousand of tourists each day. The ride itself from Gateway of India to Elephanta is quite interesting. It gives not only an opportunity to get away from the crowds and noise of a great metropolis but also a short trip out in the sea to experience the winds and the waves.
There are hundreds of diesel powered boats lined up at Gateway of India to take you there and people will approach you themselves inviting you to take the ride. Rates are down to earth cheap and worth a beautiful visit to the island. Do not forget to take your water bottle and some eatables as it gets quite hot and humid and restaurants’ at the island are not as reasonable as on the mainland in the city.
The ride itself is quite well organized and interesting as you get to see the Mumbai Port and ships of various sizes and kinds berthed around. As you near the island you get an opportunity to see from a distance inverted cup like structure of Bhabha Atomic Research centre at Trombay which is right opposite the jetty of Elephanta Island. The only thing that I dislike most is the quality of the sea water all around Mumbai. It is dirty. Seems all the filth of a city of over 10 million people is freely allowed to flow in the sea making it yellowish in color. Plastic bottles, polythene bags and all kinds of rubbish you can see floating in the sea.
On the island itself things are neat. The caves are interesting; as you climb a flight of stairs, though climb is little tiring. Most people visit the caves and a little beautiful Museum that is there. But as there is no sign board to direct to the Gun at the top of the hill most people miss it. You got to ask the people about the Gun. They will direct you to a small little unpaved trail leading to the top of the hill. It will take around ten minutes climb. If you are old and infirm I advise you to avoid it.
Once on the top you will notice the Gun. It’s quite big. It reminded me the movie Guns of Navarone. Ofcourse, in the movie there were two guns, while it is one and the size is little smaller then what is shown in the film. But it is quite interesting to see it here on the island and the view all around is also great.