Sunday, 17 August 2008

17 August 2008: Elephanta Island

Elephanta Island is about a one-hour boat trip from the Gateway of India. Luckily, the initial swell calmed down and our boat navigated its way through massive tankers, oil rigs, and past the naval dockyard complete with aircraft carrier. No young children throwing up on this journey, just urinating directly on the deck instead.

The island is famous for its cave temples carved into the basalt rock. The main temple houses a giant statue of Sadhashiva, a three faced Shiva representing the destroyer, creator and preserver of the universe. The temples are over 1,200 years old.

The island is also home to some impressive defences. The aptly named Cannon Hill is home to twin cannons. The cannons were made in Britain and had the seal of King Edward VII on them. (Edward VII was Emperor of India from 1901 to 1910). This group of men asked us to take a photo of them posing on the cannon.

On our return to Mumbai we had an impressive view of the Gateway of India from the sea, before stopping for dinner at a very fine delicatessen. No food poisoning this time, just gout. I had a cheese fondue and Jen opted for the traditional roast chicken dinner.

Just in case you were wondering where the cows were, here are some on the side of a fashionable Colaba street.