Aside from the landmarks of the British era, Mumbai’s other unmissable sight are the ancient rock-cut cave temples of Elephanta Island, a boat ride across the bay. Hollowed from a hill of brownblack basalt 13 centuries ago, the pillared shrines contain a series of awesome bas reliefs, the most iconic of them the three-headed ‘Trimurti’, representing the three aspects of the God Shiva – creator, preserver and destroyer. Sculpted from volcanic rock and acknowledged as the high-watermark of rock-cut sculpture in India, the ‘Trimurti’, is guaranteed to make the hairs of your neck stand on end – with eerily life-like expressions that subtly change as you move around the chamber.

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