Sunday, April 20, 2008
The Elephanta Caves! Once known as Puri - later Gharapuri - this island was the proud capital of a powerful coastal kingdom and the great cave shrine in praise of Shiva, excavated in the sixth century, added to the ruling dynasty. It seems, different dynasties held their sway over this island, namely, the Konkan-Mauryas, Trikutakas, Chalukyas of Badami, Silaharas, Rashtrakutas, Kalyani Chalukyas, Yadavas of Deogiri, Muslim rulers of Ahmedabad and then by the Portuguese. The Marathas also had this island under their control and from them it passed into the control of the British. When the Portugese took possession of the island, they found a monolithic stone elephant at the place where they landed and named this a ilha do elephanta, island of the elephant.