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The Elephanta Festival

The two day long Elephanta festival is organized at a grand scale by MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) in February or March at the Elephanta caves located across Mumbai Harbor. This art oriented festival is dedicated to classical dance and music forms of India. This festival is the most preferred destination of the art and culture lovers.

The magnificent sculptures in the Elephanta caves make a magnificently beautiful sight which cannot be overlooked. The "Mahesh Murti" a sculpture of Lord Shiva is the central point of the caves and the core point of Elephanta festival celebrations. It is lit up marvelously at night and thus, makes the perfect backdrop for the events in the festival. Apart from the fun-filled art performance, there is a plethora of ethnic delicacies whose stalls can be found in the festival.

Significance of Elephanta Caves and Festival

Elephanta Festival is held every year to celebrate the grandeur of Indian classical art forms and is dedicated to the Elephanta caves. Elephanta caves, which are located at a distance of about 10km from Mumbai were created in 450 and 750 AD and were dedicated to Lord Shiva. These magnificent rock-cut temples make the perfect place for the divine celebration of art and culture and present a culturally and spiritually uplifting experience for the people.

It is believed that Lord Brahma's attempt of creating the human race went futile as he created only the male species. When he realized this, he sought the help of Lord Shiva, who kindly obliged Brahma Ji by taking the form of Ardhanarishvara, meaning half woman and half God respectively. This facilitated the way of proliferation and the emergence of human race. The sculptures in the Elephanta caves bring out the dichotomy where the contrasting gender elements of the God are lucidly expressed.

Reason of Celebrating Elephanta Festival

Elephanta festival is celebrated to keep alive the incredible Indian heritage of music, dance and art. But along with these, it also rivets focus on the world renowned Elephanta caves.

With the objective of commemorating the living heritage of Indian Dance and popularizing the Indian art forms, MTDC along with TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) organize this festival. It is celebrated with the aim of presenting a tribute to the Indian classical performers.

Tradition on Elephanta Festival

This festival features some of the Indian eminent artistes. The guests are given a traditional welcome with the catchy tunes performed by Koli fisher folk on an aesthetically erected stage decorated by bright light bulbs in the spectacularly illuminated Maheshmurti cave. There is a variety of ethnic and delicious foods that highlight the traditional cuisine of the locality. This festival brings back the golden and most-remembered moments of glorious Indian past through an extraordinary extravaganza of stunning dance performances and enchanting ragas.

One of the attractions of this festival is the Shehnai programme held at the gateway of India from where tourists can take ferries and boats to the Elephanta caves.

Information Essential for Tourist

Visitors who come to attend this festival get a tour to breath taking sculptures of Elephanta caves. The one hour boat ride from Gateway of India to the Elephanta caves is a part of this festival.

The excellent acoustics and open air stage enable guests to enjoy an evening filled with classical dance and music against the beautiful backdrop of the evening sky. Not only this, they also get a chance to be a part of live performances of many renowned classical artists.

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