The Elephanta Caves are the focal point of the Elephanta Island, located in the Mumbai harbour off the coast of Mumbai (Bombay)
It is visited by many domestic and foreign tourists. In recent years, complaints have been made that visitors mistreat this important cultural and historic site. Most of the sculptures here were defaced by the Portuguese, who used the sculptures as target practice in the 17th century. The Portuguese also gave the island its modern name,Elephanta from Gharapuri.
The caves are thought to date back to the Silhara kings of the 9th through 13th centuries (810-1260).  Some of the sculptures of this site are also attributed to the imperial Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta (in present day Karnataka), the Trimurti of Elephanta showing the three faces of Shiva almost akin to the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. This was also the royal insignia of the Rashtrakutas. Other Rashtrakuta sculptures here are the reliefs of Nataraja and Sadashiva and the splendid sculptures of Ardhanarishvara.
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