Organized by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), the Elephanta Festival is quite famously celebrated all over Mumbai. The Elephanta Festival is mostly to promote tourism and cultural heritage of Mumbai. It is a 2 day festival of dance and music occurring usually around the month of February. The Elephanta Festival is held on Elephanta Island which is right beside Elephanta cave, the heritage site. Elephanta Island was initially called Gharapuri, which means that it is a peaceful living space for Lord Shiva. One can reach the Elephanta Island by launch and ferry from Mumbai Harbour as it is only 10 kilometres from the mainland. The Elephanta festival is celebrated to encourage and showcase the wonderful prowess of dance and music.
Duration of the festival
During the month of February of each year, you’ll find the city of Mumbai geared up for this festival.
Highlights/Important Rituals of the Festival
- The main highlight of the Elephanta Festival is the illuminated Maheshmurti, i.e. Shiva idol. It is located in the main cave and is lit up at night to provide an excellent and magnificent background to the entire Elephanta Festival setting.
- Elephanta Festival features a week long performance of dancers, musicians, dramatists, etc.
- Elephanta Festival traditionally starts with a live dance performance by none other than the local fishermen called Koli.
- The Elephanta Festival is held in the pillared temple inside the cave which makes the atmosphere more mystical and magical.
History of the Attraction
The festival is held on Elephanta Island which was named so by Portuguese who had found a huge statue of elephant in the Island. Many a rock sculpture of Lord Shiva was built and can be seen. The festival started around the year 1989. Over the years, the Elephanta Festival has earned quite a reputation amongst tourists and locals.