Elephanta Caves also known as Gharpurichi Leni is located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The entire cave temple complex area is approximately 60000 square feet and consists of a central hall, two lateral ones, several subsidiary shrines and courtyards. Also, the temple complex has three routes. The entire place carved out of solid natural rock with intricately carved sculptures of idols. Among the low hills, a number of caves excavated between the 5th and 8th centuries and filled with a profusion of majestic sculpture.
The architecture of Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple
There mainly seven caves where the true excellence of ancient Indian architecture can be examined. Elephanta Caves have some highly prepared rocks; However, there also some hard untreated rocks. The most prominent manifestation of sculpted caves seen in the two major groups of caves here.
History of Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple
No one really knows for sure who created these cave temples, which king or dynasty chose to leave their imprint in stone on this island. The Portuguese named the island Elephanta after the figure of an elephant that stood at the door of the caves. At the same time, it was Portuguese soldiers who vandalised the caves and defaced many of the sculptures.
The Elephanta caves dedicated to the many aspects of Shiva. They have some of the most powerful depictions of the many moods of this complex deity. There are a number of smaller shrines around the main cella and the panels of sculptures along the walls illustrate many episodes from the life of the god, like his marriage to Parvati, fighting the demon Andhaka and his bringing Ganga to earth. From the docks, a flight of stairs leads to the entrance of the cave which has a columned verandah with figures of dwarapalas, or doorkeepers, at two ends.