Greetings from India! While I’m here mainly for work, that doesn’t mean I can’t have my tourist moments once in a while. This past weekend, I rounded up a couple of expat friends to hit Elephanta Island to see the famous Elephanta caves. It’s one of India’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, since it contains a rock art collection dedicated to Shiva, a principal diety of Hinduism. As popular a tourist destination as it is, I don’t see too many helpful guides on the internet on it, so I’ve decided to make my own. Without further ado, here are …
My Top Tips for Visiting Elephanta Island
1. Watch out for monkeys!
The monkeys are super adorable and in my eyes they can do no wrong. But, not everyone feels the same way. If you don’t wanna lose your belongings, make sure to hang on to them – tight. The monkeys on this island are notorious for having sticky fingers, their favourite items to snatch being snacks, phones, and hats.
2. Be prepared to pay up!
Are you a foreigner? You’re going to pay about 16 times more than an Indian citizen would pay.
Speaking of being a foreigner …
3. Add a 30 minute cushion to your itinerary
You’re going to get a ton of requests from friendly locals for photos. If you’re blonde with fair skin, even more so. Ask my friends Karoline from Brazil and Gaelle from France (pictured above) if you don’t believe me!
4. Plan to arrive early
If you’re arriving from Bombay, the best way to get there would be by taking the local train and cab to the ferry. Hop on a train line to CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) station, then take a 10 minute cab right to the Gateway of India. Ferry tickets are 180 rupees and the ride is about 45 minutes. The last ferry from Elephanta Island leaves at 5:30 p.m. – don’t miss it! You can expect to spend 2 – 3 hours on the island, depending on how many photos you’re taking and how often you’re stopping to shop at the market.
What UNESCO World Heritage Sites have you been to? Tell me all about them in the comments below!
If you’re an expat in India as well, you should definitely think about taking a yoga class. I’ve written some of my best tips for being a yoga newbie on this blog post. As always, you can see more photos from my travels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.