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15 travelers at this place

  • Day38

    Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, India. Cave 1

    December 8, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    We visited these ancient caves on a cruise excursion with a lovely guide.

    The caves are cut right into solid rock much like Petra in Jordan and also sometime in the early centuries, believed to be about 500AD. Unfortunately almost all of the beautifully carved figures are damaged by persons unknown (although Portugal and Britain are both candidates it seems...).

    Never to mind, ruins are ruins and one can still see just what was achieved here. The main cave is a temple primarily dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and has entrances on 3 sides of its more or less square layout some 40m side to side and 6m high. In effect they dug out a horizontal slice of rock 6m high leaving only columns and a few wall to support the rock and hill above. There is a shrine room inside with 4 walls and a doorway on each side. Inside is the shrine itself, looking like a dome. All there because the surrounding rock was removed. Steps, wall, carvings, figures ... none had anything added, just carved away. There are some signs of a few restorations - ironically, some of these restorations are already in need of repair even though not yet 50 years old.
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  • Day30

    Elephanta Caves & Mumbai

    February 13, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Feeling a bit better today so decided to head out and tackle the three (3!!) world heritage sites in Mumbai. After some breakfast at a western style cafe with tasty food and glacial service, we headed for the Gateway to India at the entrance to Mumbai harbour and caught a ferry across to Elephanta Caves.

    Here there were more Hindu rock art caves, pretty similar to what we'd just seen at Ellora and Ajanta, and sadly these were by far the least impressive. Only five caves here, and really only the first cave has something interesting in it - a huge three-headed statue of Shiva known as the Trimurti. It was quite interesting looking at the three-faced head sculpture and reading the Wikipedia article, learning about it. Apparently it represents the three aspects of Shiva, the chief god of Hindus.

    One side was slightly feminine, wearing jewellery and holding a lotus leaf, representing fertility. The centre face was serene and holding a shield, showing protection. While the third face looked furious and held a sword, representing destruction. It was probably the best single carving we'd seen in any of the three cave sites, but there was very little else here besides aggro monkeys and souvenir stands, so we beat a hasty retreat.

    Sailed back across the harbour in the early afternoon and started wandering. The two sites in Mumbai are the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Buildings, as well as a separate listing for the huge Chhatrapatti Shivastri Terminus railway station.

    Mumbai is actually probably my favourite Indian city, as the buildings are quite interesting. You can really see how important it was during the colonial era, as there's heaps of old buildings like that around. These days they're occupied by government offices, law courts, post offices and so on, but they're dotted around and very interesting to see. More trees here than elsewhere too, plus a large park in the centre of town called the Maidan. It was actually mostly green and of course had about 10 different cricket matches happening.

    Last stop as evening approached was the main railway station. Dating from the 19th century and formerly known as Victoria Terminus, it was renamed after independence for an Indian king of yesteryear. The building itself is magnificent, with Gothic flourishes, sculptures and incredible details all over the front and interior. I'd hoped to do the building tour which ran frequently in the afternoon (and which Shandos had done the day prior), but alas we were just too late. Oh well.

    Back to the nearby hotel where we went to the western-style cafe across the road for dinner. I managed a chicken burger for dinner even though it was way too spicy, but didn't feel up to a beer. Realised I hadn't had a single beer since arriving in India!
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  • Day13

    Elephanta Caves

    November 30, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Our first target in Mumbai was highly recommended to us by Ani and his father: the Elephanta Caves. The caves feature stone carvings dating to the 6th and 7th centuries BC, and are on an island roughly an hour's ferry from the Gateway of India.

    On the walk there from our hotel, we stopped by the Oval Maidan - a huge park where hundreds of people were playing cricket. We don't know how everyone kept everything straight, since there were probably 20 cricket games going on with fields that actually overlapped. Occasionally you would hear shouts to pay attention to the flying balls... Nearby was the Rajabai Clock Tower, which was modeled after Big Ben.

    The ferry took us through the harbor, where we saw lots of empty freighters waiting for cargo. The island that we arrived at was a lush jungle, and we had a lot of work to do to get to the caves... hundreds of steps worth of climbing, with endless hawkers on each side of us the whole way. It's worth pointing out that despite this being nearly winter, it was nearly 90 degrees today!!

    It took us maybe half an hour to finally reach the main cave, a huge hall carved out of a stone mountain supported by rows of giant columns. Within the hall were lots of stone sculptures carved into the cave walls. The sculptures were very large - some were probably 15 feet tall, some 20 feet - and depicted various Hindu religious events, mostly revolving around the God Shiva, the Destroyer. There was one of Shiva killing a demon, one of him marrying Parvati, one of Shiva being half man/half woman, and so forth. The largest of the carvings was simply one giant head - or actually, it was the head of a 3-headed god, a combo of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

    After the main cave, which was enormous and contained maybe a dozen such large carvings, there were four smaller caves that were much less decorative, but no less old.

    Unfortunately, many of the sculptures were damaged or even partially destroyed. They are very old and totally in the open, so it's not too surprising. But fortunately, the government seems to have taken an interest in maintaining these caves with reinforced concrete, which Tina noticed because of a few areas of exposed rebar.

    Also on the island was a large cannon, built there for defense purposes by the Portuguese. From the hill, you have a good view of much of the harbor, so seemed like a sensible choice for artillery placement. It's no longer functional, both ends have been filled in.

    We grabbed a quick lunch at the island and were heading back to catch the return ferry when the trouble began. We bought a soda for refreshment purposes and, apparently, the monkeys on the island really like bottles. We're not sure if they're after the bottles themselves or are just crazed sugar fiends. Either way, a monkey came up to Tina and tried to grab the bottle. Tina yelled at it, it growled back, Tina kicked in its general direction. A local woman and man joined in on the yelling/threatening it with a large stick and it retreated. Ok, safe. A few meters later, a different monkey was more aggressive in pursuing the bottle... so Tina kicked it in the face. TAKE THAT! There was much growling, but it too retreated. We were making good time down the trail, with the docks in sight, and we thought we could make it... and then at the last minute, a monkey ran up from behind, grabbed the bottle before either of us could react, and bolted to the side and up a branch. And growled at us for good measure. Alright, monkey, you win this round. Enjoy the 7up.
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  • Day10

    Elephanta Island & Mumbai Tour

    February 1, 2018 in India ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

    After a hearty breakfast we left with Anil at nine o’clock. The traffic wasn’t too bad and soon we were driving along a new bridge, 4.9km long that got us onto the peninsula proper. Here the traffic was more heavy, though no tuktuk, these are replaced by i10 black and yellow taxis. We eventually arrived at the Gateway of India, where we needed the loo. What better place than the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, grand lobby and memorial to those killed in the terrorist attack of 2008.
    Out on the quay we boarded a boat (10 rupees extra to go up top) for a leisurely trip across the Arabian Sea out to Elephanta Island, named by the Portuguese for an elephant rock, now in the zoo. On the way we passed the old HMS Hermes, some other Indian navy vessels, coal ship unloading and a tanker preparing to leave. Arriving at the island, which has a ship breaking yard and is opposite a nuclear power station and oil refinery, almost lost in the haze, we met our local guide and travelled by train the 1.5km to the end of the pier and start of 120 steps up to the cave temple of Shiva. The temple is carved from the solid rock, pillars walls and statues. For preservation purposes the temple is only used one day a year, though there is evidence that Portuguese used the statues for target practice. Our guide was very thorough in his explanations. He is a local lad and lives on the island whose population is 1200. His English is self taught from speaking with tourists. It seemed pretty quiet. By now it was getting pretty warm, so we were glad to get back on the boat, with a cooling breeze.
    Arriving back at the Gateway to India, our guide, Philip, was delayed in traffic so we had time to grab a tea and snack spinach and sweet corn toasted sandwich.
    The traffic being so heavy we opted for a drive through the main interesting parts of the city, mainly constructed in victorian times, including mini Big Ben designed by George Gilbert Scott, Victoria Station facade, hanging gardens, which cover water tanks and passed the silent garden, where Parsi, of whom there are 72,000, ‘bury’ their dead by exposing them to the elements and birds. Last call was the largest laundry in Asia, where washing is done by hand and dried out in the sun. It was right next to the railway, so no idea what happened in steam age, nor in monsoon.
    We then headed back to our airport hotel for a swim and dinner before preparing for a very early departure.
    We were really pleased to have visited this vast buzzing metropolis. So many historical and contrasting aspects where what you see does not always reflect what’s really going on, e.g the amazing laundry operations which collect wash and deliver in three days with little error - this is also the case with the huge lunch delivery service run by a similar caste. The trains reputedly run every 3mins on time and through the night.
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  • Day18

    Elephanta Island

    October 5, 2016 in India ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Diese Insel liegt ungefähr eine Stunde mit dem Boot vor der Küste Mumbais. Zum Glück gab es nicht so viel Wellengang sodass wir alle mit fitten Magen angekommen sind:)
    Elefanten gibt es, obwohl man es beim Namen erwartet könnte, aber leider keine 🙁🐘 sie heißt nur so weil die Portugiesen, als sie die Insel gefunden haben eine große Statue von einem Elefanten vorgefunden haben, welche von Einheimischen aufgestellt wurde. Also soviel zum Namen. Diese Statue gibt es aber auch schon länger nicht mehr 😕 naja aber die Höhlen mit den riesigen Statuen war schon schön. Die 3 Gottheiten Brama, Vishnu und Shiva wurden in vielen Statuen abgebildet und kleine Geschichten erzählt. Leider wurden viele der Statuen von den Portugiesen oder Engländern zerstört sodass die Hindus sie nicht mehr anbeten können 😠! Es gab ungefähr 5 Höhlen die sich alle im Berg befunden haben. Es war eine schön Kleien Tour nur hat sich leider kurz vor Ende unser Tourguide Jiji verletzt da er eien Treppenstufe übersehen hat. Das Außenband ist durch 🤕 das Wetter war dann auch wieder doof und es ging zurück zum Festland.

    Schade schade, ich hätte gerne bei besserem Wetter mehr von Mumbai gesehen!
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  • Day4

    Mumbai „Elephanta Caves“

    January 9, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌫 26 °C

    Wir sind zum „Gate of India”* gewandert. Dort liegt auch das weltberühmte Hotel „The Taj Mahal”*. Von dort sind wir mit einer kleinen Fähre nach „Elephant Island” gefahren. Dort haben wir die „Elephanta Caves“* besichtigt. Es ist ein „World Monument“. Entry for Indian = 40 Rs, for Foreigner = 600 Rs. Das Besondere ist sicherlich, dass die Caves auf einer Insel liegen. Auch wenn wir schon gewaltigere Monumente in Höhlen gesehen haben, war das durchaus beeindruckend.

    *Das India Gate, offiziell „All India War Memorial“, ist 1921 von Lutyens entworfen worden. Der 42 m hohe Bogen ähnelt dem Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Es erinnert an die 90.000 indischen Soldaten, die im Ersten Weltkrieg für Großbritannien ihr Leben ließen. Eingemeißelt sind die Namen von 3.000 indischen und britischen Soldaten, die an der Nordwestgrenze und 1919 im Krieg in Afghanistan starben. Auch die Toten im Krieg zwischen Indien und Pakistan im Jahre 1971 werden durch das Denkmal unter dem India Gate geehrt.

    *Das Taj Mahal Palace (heute The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, früher auch Taj Mahal Palace & Tower) ist ein Luxushotel in der indischen Stadt Mumbai. Es liegt im Stadtteil Colaba nahe dem Gateway of India und gehört zum Unternehmen Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. Es gehört zu den Leading Hotels of the World. Das Hotel wurde am 16. Dezember 1903 im Auftrag des parsischen Industriellen Jamshedji Tata, einem der einflussreichsten Unternehmer seiner Zeit, eröffnet. Die Pläne stammten vom britischen Architekten W. A. Chambers basierend auf den ersten Entwürfen der indischen Architekten Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya und D. N. Mirza. Das Baugrundstück liegt direkt an der östlichen Küstenlinie, genannt Apollo Bunder. Über die vielen Jahre wurde das Hotel zur Legende und beherbergte berühmte Persönlichkeiten wie Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Prince Charles, The Beatles, Bill Clinton und Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Bei den Terroranschlägen in Mumbai im November 2008 wurde auch das Taj Mahal Palace Hotel ein Ziel der Terroristen. Durch ein von ihnen gelegtes Feuer wurde das Hotel beschädigt. Im Hotel wurden mehrere Dutzend Geiseln von bewaffneten Männern festgehalten, die sich selbst als Gruppe der „Deccan Mujahideen“ bezeichnen. Nach Angaben von Augenzeugen wurden die Geiseln gezielt nach ihrer amerikanischen oder britischen Staatsangehörigkeit ausgewählt. Am 15. August 2010 wurde das Hotel wiedereröffnet. Mit dem The Taj Mahal Hotel hat das Taj Mahal Palace ein Schwesterhotel in Neu-Delhi bekommen, das ebenfalls von der Hotelkette Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces betrieben wird.

    *Die Elephanta-Höhlen auf der Insel Elephanta an der Westküste Indiens dienen der Verehrung Shivas. Die aus dem Fels herausgehauenen Shiva-Skulpturen im Inneren der Höhlen gehören zu den bedeutendsten Werken hinduistischer Bildhauerei überhaupt. Die Höhlen sind seit 1987 von der UNESCO als Weltkulturerbe anerkannt.

    Editiert am 01.05.2019
    Text von Wolfgang
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  • Day4


    January 9, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌫 26 °C

    Bei der Rückfahrt von der Insel zum „Gate of India” wurde sehr deutlich, dass die ganze Metropolregion Mumbai unter einer gigantischen Smogglocke hängt. Kein Wunder bei dieser schieren Maße von Menschen unter unglaublichen Lebensbedingungen. Bei dieser Feinstaubbelastung würden wir in Deutschland garantiert den Notstand ausrufen. Aber hier geht das Leben einfach weiter. Auf dem Rückweg haben wir noch im „Taj Mahal Tower” gegessen. Wenn man schon einmal in Mumbai ist, muss man einfach in diesem Hotel gewesen sein. Es wirkt von innen aber eher wie ein modernes Fünfsternehotel.

    Das Gebiet Indiens ist mindestens seit der bronzezeitlichen Indus-Hochkultur zivilisiert. Der indische Staat ist mit über 1,3 Milliarden Einwohnern (2016) nach der Volksrepublik China (fast 1,4 Mrd.) das zweitbevölkerungsreichste Land der Erde und somit die bevölkerungsreichste Demokratie der Welt. Bei gleichbleibend hohem Bevölkerungswachstum könnte Indien schon im Jahr 2020 China überholen. Durch fortschreitende Modernisierung, Bildung, Wohlstand und Verstädterung sinkt die Geburtenrate jedoch seit längerem. Hauptstadt Indiens ist Neu-Delhi, Teil der Metropole Delhi; weitere Ballungsräume sind auch Mumbai, Kalkutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad und Pune. Die indische Gesellschaft wird trotz verfassungsmäßiger Religionsfreiheit vom religiösen hierarchischen Kastensystem bestimmt. Die mit Abstand größte Religionsgruppe sind die Hindus, gefolgt von Muslimen, Christen und den historisch aus Indien stammenden Sikhs, Buddhisten und Jaina. Laut Index der menschlichen Entwicklung (HDI) erreicht Indien den Status „mittlere menschliche Entwicklung“ und Platz 131 von 187 weltweit (2016, im Vergleich erreicht die VR China Platz 90). Wirtschaftlich gilt Indien als Schwellenland und gehört zu den O5- und BRICS-Staaten und der Gruppe der zwanzig wichtigsten Industrie- und Schwellenländer (G20). Indien ist trotz seines noch niedrigen Pro-Kopf-Einkommens bereits die drittgrößte bzw. sechstgrößte Wirtschaftsmacht der Welt (kaufkraftbereinigt bzw. nominell) und war 2015 erstmals die am schnellsten wachsende Volkswirtschaft der G20-Gruppe.

    Editiert am 01.05.2019
    Text von Wolfgang
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  • Day56


    March 10, 2016 in India ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    אי ליד מומבאי עם מערות חצובות בסלע

You might also know this place by the following names:

Ghārāpuri, Gharapuri

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