Elephanta Island

Ancient Hindu myths and stories are filled with images of horrible monsters, demons and fierce animals. The god Shiva has eight arms and is sometimes depicted as half man, half woman. Parvati, Shiva’s wife rides on a tiger. Dwarves, monkeys and other animals wait on Shiva.

Fun Facts About Elephanta Island for Kids

  • Researchers believe the cave rooms were built between 400 and 800 A.D.
  • The rooms are carved into solid basalt rock. Columns and pillars support the caves.
  • Hindus came here to worship.
  • A large statue of an elephant guarded the island. This elephant now sits in the Victoria Garden Zoo.
  • The Portuguese invaded and conquered this area in 1547. Portuguese soldiers damaged the caves and used the statues and reliefs for target practice.
  • The caves and reliefs were originally painted. Writing on the cave walls probably gave important clues about the caves. Portuguese soldiers removed the writing.
  • Because the writing was removed, we do not know who built the statues. Local people believe that the gods built the caves.
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