Also found in: Wikipedia.


(ĕlĭfăn`tə), island, c.2 sq mi (5.2 sq km), in Mumbai harbor, Maharashtra state, W India. It is noted for six Brahmanic caves, carved (8th cent.) from solid rock some 250 ft (76 m) above sea level. The Great Cave, the largest (130 ft/40 m long), contains gigantic pillars supporting its roof and colossal statuary, most notably the famous three-headed bust of the Hindu god Shiva. The caves are much visited by Hindu pilgrims, especially since they were restored in the 1970s. The statue of an elephant, now removed to Mumbai city, gives the island its English name. The Indian name is Gharapuri.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an island in the Arabian Sea, 8 km from Bombay. An ancient city located on Elephanta Island was destroyed by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The island is famous for its Brahmanic temple caves dating to the eighth century. The largest of these outstanding monuments of early medieval Indian art is a many-columned hall with a giant three-headed bust of Siva (about 6 m in height) and numerous reliefs.


Burgess, J. The Rock-Temples of Elephanta or Gharapurt. Bombay, 1871.
Chandra, P. A Guide to the Elephanta Caves. Bombay, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A strong southeasterly wind on the Malabar coast of southwest India in September and October, at the end of the southwest monsoon, bringing thundersqualls and heavy rain. Also known as elephant; elephanter.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in classic literature ?
As well might those tablets stand in the cave of Elephanta as here.
He would not deign to examine even the masterpieces of Elephanta, or the mysterious hypogea, concealed south-east from the docks, or those fine remains of Buddhist architecture, the Kanherian grottoes of the island of Salcette.
Most of all, it is a love of India, though, if I must be honest, which is what makes this book great, the novel only glosses over, if not totally skips, the many parts of India, particularly Bombay (now Mumbai), that are easy to love, like the Stupas at Elephanta Caves, the tiger and lion safari at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, or the 16th-century Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount.
I spent an hour posing with locals as we headed by boat to the cave temples of Elephanta Island, a Unesco heritage site.
* UberBOAT will be available from Mumbai's coastal routes, Gateway of India, Elephanta Islands and Mandwa Jetty.
It also has sites like the Gateway of India monument and cave temples at Elephanta Island.
Back in Mumbai, a boat ride crossing the waters of the Sea of Oman brought me to Elephanta Island.
Summary: New Delhi [India] June 30(ANI): After Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), now Mumbai's Victorian and Art Deco buildings in the Fort area have been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The other on the outskirts of Mumbai is the picturesque Elephanta Caves in adjoining Raigad district, with beautiful rock cut images of Lord Shiva and a few Buddhist mounds, making it a global tourist attraction.
You can, in the space of a few days, take a boat trip to Elephanta island, with its ancient cave temples, explore the sets of Bollywood, try historic Iranian recipes in a historic Parsi cafe, or cycle through the city in the early morning as it slowly wakes up from a heavy sleep.
Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), an independent society providing ship classification and certification, said it has successfully assisted public electricity distribution utility, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), in the marine cable installation works for the electrification project of Gharapuri Island (popularly known as Elephanta Island), in Mumbai, India.