Protected as a Unesco World Heritage Site, the Elephanta Caves are among Mumbai’s most astounding temple sites, home to one of India’s most precious collections of Hindu temple art.
In Elephanta Island’s labyrinthine network of subterranean caves, highly prized statues of Shiva and other deities, shrines, pillars, courtyards and halls are carved out of rock in high relief.
Elephanta’s collection of cave-temples date back to around AD 600, and were named for the elephant statue that once stood near the shore. The statue now stands in Mumbai’s Victoria Gardens.
Tours are essential to get the most from a visit to the island, revealing the stories and history of the island’s carvings and artworks. The highlight is the temple to Shiva with its towering statue of the three-faced deity, surrounding by latticework screens, carved pillars and winding corridors.
This fabulous market is Mumbai’s largest, and also goes by the name of Mahatma Jyobita Phule. With its turrets and gables, it looks more like a medieval fort than a municipal market, and for visitors it’s every bit as exotic.
The market buildings were built in the 1860s and named for the city’s first Municipal Commissioner. The exterior frieze was designed by the father of Rudyard Kipling, and the interior is lit by a lofty skylight.
Come here to people-watch as locals load up on household goods and everyday items like fresh produce and flowers.
Guided walks are the best way to visit the market, ideally avoiding the meat section and targeting the fruit, vegetables and pets.
You’re in the right place if you’re feeling peckish, as the market also hosts street stalls and food vendors. Rose-flavored milk drinks are a popular choice, along with fresh seasonal fruit like mangoes and apples.
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