Private Tour: Kanheri Caves, Elephanta Caves or Karla and Bhaja Caves from Mumbai
Kanheri Caves (lunch not included):Duration: 5 hours
After a 1-hour drive, reach the Kanheri Caves, located deep within the green forests of Sanjay Ghandi National Park, one of Asia’s major national parks. Dating back from the 1st century BC to the 10th century, these cave systems offer a window into the lifestyle of an ancient Buddhist settlement. As you explore the caves, your guide will point out which areas were meant for living, studying and meditation, and which areas were designed as worship halls. Marvel at the system of canals and cisterns and learn how they provided water to the caves’ inhabitants.
Elephanta Caves (lunch included):Duration: 6 hours
In the morning, you’ll head to the Gateway of India in Mumbai to board a ferry to Elephanta Island. This 1-hour cruise will afford you picturesque seaside views. With your guide, explore all seven caves on the island, some of which are so small and hidden that they’re often easily missed. Enter the main cave, an impressive sprawling structure with high ceilings and towering support beams, columns and pillars. On each wall, admire the complex and astoundingly detailed reliefs and carvings depicting narratives of the goddess Shiva.
Karla Caves and Bhaja Caves (lunch included): Duration: 7 hours
After a 1.5-hour drive, reach the Bhaja Caves, a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating all the way back to 200 BC! Discover several excavations including ancient viharas (Buddhist monasteries) and chaitya-grihas (Buddhist assemblies or prayer halls), considered to depict the earliest architecture of their kind. Admire the highly decorated facade, which presents a true replica of a 2nd-century wooden structure, and the series of unique reliefs depicting Indian mythology, including stories of the sun god Surya.
At the Karla Caves, walk up the 500 steps of gradual incline to reach the entrance, where you’ll stand in awe of the Ekvira Mata Mandir, a temple dedicated to Hindu goddess Ekvira. Marvel at the vastness of its shrines and prayer halls, with their notable arched entrances and vaulted interiors featuring carved animals and images of Buddhist goddesses.
Return DetailsReturns to original departure point
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
- Due to uneven surfaces, this tour is not recommended for those with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair; comfortable walking shoes are recommended
- During the monsoon period from June 15th to September 15th, the tour of the Elephanta Caves will be subject to favorable weather conditions; if it is raining in Mumbai on the day of the tour or the tide is high, the trip to the Elephanta Caves will be cancelled and you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
- This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.View Less
The guide was very knowledgeable, not just about the caves but other aspects of Indian history, and he made it all come alive with what was almost a stage performance!
He was also quite solicitous of our welfare, as it was VERY hot. He made sure we had plenty of sitting and resting in the shade.
The trip through the National Park was also very interesting.
We did the Elephanta Caves tour. The caves are impressive and well worth the trip.
Nitin was an amazing tour guide!!! He was extremely knowledgeable and we learned so much because of him. He also took extra time to point out good photography spots and poses and even took several of our photographs. This extra touch made it even more fun and meaningful. We were extremely happy with his service.
The caves themselves were a sight to see. We were really glad we went and had a chance to view these detailed carvings from so many years ago.
Sargum and Jeff
You must go- it is awesome and not given the attention it deserves. Its an easy day trip from Mumbai and not to be missed. Our guide was a lovely, intelligent and informative young woman.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and my guide made all the difference.