Although technically not in Mumbai, but in Uran taluk of Raigad district, this group of seven caves is the most famous and most visited of all despite being located on an island accessed only by the means of sea.
These caves locally known as 'Gharapuri leni' are a total of 5 Shaivite Hindu and 2 Buddhist caves of which cave number 1 is the largest and most impressive for its massive rockcut Trimurti sculpture. It is not clear as to exactly when was the construction of these caves undertaken and under which dynasty, although it is believed that the caves could be possible work of Konkan Mauryas, Kalachauris or the Rashtrakuta dynasty which puts its creation time period somewhere between 6th century to 8th century.
These caves were declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987 to preserve its sculptural art which deteriorated during the Portuguese rule of Mumbai.
These caves are best accessed by approximately a 45 minutes ferry ride from Gateway of India in southern Mumbai's Colaba. After reaching Elephanta jetty, one can either take a toy train ride or walk till the base of the caves and then climb several steps to reach the caves.
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