It is believed that the caves were used as target practice after they constructed a fort and put a flag to ward off pirates. Whatever the cause may be, many of the sculptures have been desecrated. From the Portuguese, the Britishers captured the island and used it for the same purpose.
As I said earlier, the island consists of two hillocks. Your trip to Elephanta Island would be incomplete without a small climb up to Cannon Hill – aptly named because of the cannons strategically perched on top of the hill. The climb is quite risky at times with slippery mud steps (sometimes just a slope) and hill on one side and sea on the other. I slipped off 4-5 times in spite of donning proper shoes. We had to cross one hill and go to another one.
The cannons are cleverly camouflaged by the surrounding greenery and they must have probably been a very effective weapon in keeping out attackers.
One of the cannons in all its glory. The dais can actually turn a full circle thereby giving a 360° field of attack.
The sturdy base of the cannon. There’s a staircase leading downstairs and into a maze of rooms probably meant for storing shells for the cannon and other artillery. Passageways cut into the hill were probably used as escape routes.
While coming back we took the mini train, on the side one can see ladies selling cucumbers and other snacks for people who walk down the distance.
Took the ferry & headed towards Gateway of India. This is one of my favourite pictures. 🙂
As always, you can see more pictures on my web album. Yet to upload all.
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