Elephanta Island, about 10 km off the eastern coast of Bombay, boasts a series of caves carved out of the rock between the fifth and eight century A.D. The name (which has not been changed back yet to its ancient name of Gharapuri, Fortress City), was given by the Portuguese because they found a large stone elephant near the shore, which, alas, is now in Bombay's Victoria Gardens.
One gets to the island on a ferry that departs from the Gateway of India. Then there is a nice walk on a long pier and then up a beautiful stone stairway. Elephanta is more ``touristy'' than the more distant buddhist Kanheri caves, so there are several food and drink vendors at the foothill, and the stairs are lined with handicrafts for sale. One can even hire a palanquin to be carried up the stairs!
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