On Sunday 26th November 2017, the group of Friends of New Acropolis took a day trip to Elephanta Caves to explore the Art, history and Mythology of these rock-cut caves close to Mumbai.
A boat ride, a toy train, a series of steps finally led to the Great Cave at Elephanta. The Great Cave mainly consists of Shiva reliefs dating back it said to 5th to 8th century AD. While some believe that these caves were built by the Pandavas themselves, there is also mythology that links it to the Mahabharata under the name of Gharapuri (which the original name of this region before it was called Elephanta). The cave is a single monolith, carved from hard basalt rock of the mountain!
The group witnessed the large relief in rock in the cave. While the imposing Trimurti of Shiva is a work of art, the suggested symbolism of three aspects of Shiva – the destroyer, the preserver and the creator and its implication to each human beings life, gave it a wholesome dimension. The group also saw the Natraja, the Andhakasuravadha Murthi (Shiva slaying the demon king Andhaka), the Gangadhaara (The celestial Ganges coming down through Shiva) and the very interesting Ardhnareshwari.