Elephanta Festival of Art and Culture begins
The Elephanta Festival of art and culture commenced at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The festival was inaugurated by state Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal who highlighted government’s commitment towards boosting Elephanta island tourism in all possible ways.
Background: The Elephanta Festival of art and culture was started in 2012 and since then is held every year to promote tourism and culture of Mumbai. It is held on Gharapuri island (also known as Elephanta Island) where Elephanta Caves are located.
The annual gala event is organised on Elephanta Island by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). It is promoted by Maharashtra government.
About Elephanta Caves
- They are the rock-cut Caves and were constructed around the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD. They are a collection of cave temples primarily dedicated to Lord Shiv but also have Buddhist caves.
- The island was renamed as Elephanta from Gharapuri (which means the city of caves) by Portuguese after they found a statue of an elephant on island.
- Elephanta Caves is currently maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.