Elephanta Caves are located on an Island which is originally called as Gharapuri or Famous as Elephanta Island. It is approx. 6.8 miles or 11 KM from Gateway of India which is on east of the city of Mumbai. It is believed that, these caves belong to period between 5th and 8th centuries and the original builder is yet to be confirmed. There are total of seven caves of which 5 are hindu caves and two are buddhist caves. All the caves looks like they are carved in to the hill which mostly consist of basalt rock. Hindu caves consist Rock cut stone sculptures which represent Lord Shiva.
The main cave (Cave 1, or the Great Cave) was a Hindu place of worship until Portuguese rule began in 1534, after which the caves suffered severe damage. This cave was renovated in the 1970s after years of neglect, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 to preserve the artwork. It is currently maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Ferry services are available from Gateway of India to the Elephanta Caves Island. The cost for ferry is Rs. 180 Per head for up and down. It is almost one hour journey to the Island from the Gateway of India on Sea. After reaching the island, you will be dropped near the ferry dock where a train will be available. You can take the train for Rs. 10 for up and down or if you choose to walk, you can. It will be around 1 and half to 2 KM till the entry gate of the caves from where the Steps start. The entry ticket for the island is Rs. 5 per head. If you proceed further from there, you will start climbing the hill. The Steps are moulded on the Rock and in fact the Steps are big in height. There are around 1000 steps. There will be lots of small shops either side of steps selling different kinds of items including food and liquor.
Once you reach on the top of the hill, the main entry gate where you need to take the entry ticket to actual cave.