Deep within the walls of Elephanta

This is a silent cave, built by the Vakatakas and located off the Mumbai coast,which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Strange but true, its one of its kind and truly magnificent. It has an aura of suspense and a shroud of the unknown envelopes this cave.

Within its walls are one of the greatest treasures of art history. All the cave walls depict a story from Shiva's exploits. These mythologies include:

Andhakasuravada murthi
Kalyanasundara murthi

This cave has a lot to contribute not only to the iconography of Shiva but also to cave architecture during those ages. Its very evident that they were still experimenting with cave architecture and attempting to give full justice to the canons of architecture for the garba griha. In this cave we see the garbha griha has 4 entrances each in a cardinal direction.
The striking features of this dark place is a square linga enshrined in a garbha griha, with life size dwarapalas on all side which are damaged but beautiful.

Elephants is one of very few cave temples that depict Lord Shiva to the fullest. The other Shiva temple during the same period is Kailasanatha temple at Ellora.

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