Elephanta Festival in Mumbai(Last Updated 05 Aug, 2021)
Organized by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), Elephant Festival is one of the renowned and celebrated festivals in Mumbai. It is held at Elephanta Island in Mumbai, right next to Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and promotes tourism and culture. Initially called Gharapuri, meaning ‘peaceful living place of Lord Shiva’, the name ‘Elephanta caves’ was given by the Portuguese after they found a carved elephant in the Elephanta Island. Located around 10 km from Mumbai harbour, a ferry takes you to experience the wonderful Elephanta festival.
Significance of Elephanta festival
Bringing the whole country together and giving them a platform to showcase their talent is what makes Elephant Festival a unique experience. It commemorated the heritage of dance, art, and sculpture in India. Set in the backdrop of enormous pillars and sculptured ornaments on the walls of the temple, the festival is dedicated to the diverse classical music and dance forms of India.
When and Where it is Celebrated?
Elephanta Festival is celebrated in February every year on Elephanta islands in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Duration of the festival
The festival goes on for 2 consecutive days.
Highlights and Attractions of the Elephanta Festival
If you wish to visit this festival, here are some of the attractions you will see -
- Classical dances, plays, skits, and instrumental and vocal performances are held.
- The seating for the audiences is under an open sky. This adds to the ambience of a cultural festival.
- In the evenings, live music and folk dances are organized.
- Local fishermen (Koli) perform folk dances.
- Many known artists entertained the audiences with great performances.
- You can also visit the Gateway of India for a Shehnai program during the festival.
- Maheshmurti cave is well-decorated and lit with bright lights. Here you can dive into the deliciousness of traditional food and make Elephanta festival memorable.
Timings of the festival
7 pm - 10 pm
Where to Stay
You can find a budget, mid-range, or luxury hotels in Mumbai according to your budget and preferences. Here are some of the best Hotels near Elephanta island you can stay at -
- The Oberoi Mumbai, 12.3 km from the island
- The Taj Mahal Palace, 11.3 km from the island
- Abode Bombay, 11.3 km from the island
- Residency Hotel Fort, 10.7 km from the island
- ITC Grand Central Mumbai, A Luxury Collection Hotel, 10.6 m from the island
How to Reach Elephanta Island for Festival
To reach the Elephanta Island, take a boat from the Gateway of India. It will take you to the island in about one-and-a-half hour. And during the festival, special launch services are provided for the guests.
Other places to explore near Elephanta Island
If you wish to explore the island before the festival starts, here are places to explore near Elephanta Island.
- Elephanta Caves
- Cannon Hill
- Elephanta Garden
- Goan Devi Nhava
- Mahadev Temple