A recent meeting which was held between Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Tourism and Culture Minister and Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Shipping Minister, led to the implementation and execution of this project with full blown cooperation assurance.
It is set to be the longest ropeway project of India. The project also involves the installation of 8-11 towers mid-sea, each 50 metres to 150 metres tall. It is going to be 14-minute ride by the 30-seater cable cars.
The introduction of the ropeway is a boon for the tourism industry. Elephanta caves draws in about 7 Lakh tourists annually as it is one of the major attractions around Mumbai. It is expected to give an annual turnover of around Rs 378 crore. The figures are based on an average footfall of 20,000 people per day using the ropeway.
The project will be executed by the Mumbai Port Trust, under the Ministry of Shipping, according to an IE report. The project requires approval from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) along with the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the Ministry of Environment. While all other allowances have been obtained already, the clearance from ASI is yet to be received, said Daily's report.
As per the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, the approvals required to kick start the project are expected to come in soon. Once the approvals are received, the project is soon to be scheduled by the end of 2019. It will take around 42 months to complete to project. It is an estimated construction worth Rs 700 Crore.
Starting PointThe 8-km long ropeway will start from Sewri in Mumbaiâ€™s east coast and end at Elephanta Island in Raigad district.
Price (tentative)For a two-way journey, the tentative fare has been expected to be around Rs 500 for Indians and Rs 1,000 for foreign tourists.
ExclusivityThe ropeway ride will also give tourists/visitors an aerial view of mudflats on the east coast as well as mangroves.
Quick Info On Elephanta Caves
Time Required: 4-5hours
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: SAARC, Myanmar, Thailand citizens: INR 10; Foreigners: INR 250; Children (under 15 years): Free
Village Entry Fee: INR 10
Photography Charges: Free
Videography Charges: INR 25
About Elephanta CavesA UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is a specimen of rock-cut art and architecture from the times of medieval India. The caves are located on the Elephanta or Gharapuri island which is situated at a distance of 11 km from the city of Mumbai. Natively known as Gharapurichi Leni, the Elephanta Caves that exist today are ruins of what were once elaborately painted artworks. It also provides an amazing view of the Mumbai skyline. You can reach the Elephanta Caves via a ferry ride from Gateway of India. This collection of cave temples dates back to 5th to 7th centuries and most of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
There are two groups of alcoves in the site of the Elephanta Caves, the first is a large group of five Hindu caves and the second one is a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain the stone sculptures representing the Shaiva Hindu sect. The caves are an expression of art and a number of important imageries are sculpted here, which include 'Trimurti' or three-headed Shiva, 'Gangadhar' which is a manifestation of the river Ganga as she descends to the earth and 'Ardhnareshwar', which is a representation of Shiva and Parvati in the same body. In addition to being an important heritage site, the Elephanta Caves are also an unlikely trekking destination.
Current Travel Routes to Elephanta CavesTo get here, you need to take a flight to Mumbai. Since the Elephanta Caves are located on an island, one has to take a ferry to the islands which make up for a joy ride in its own right. The first boat leaves from the Gateway of India ferry point at 9:00 AM while the last one leaves at 2:00 PM sharp. The ferry can cost anywhere between INR 130 to 150 according to the type of ride you choose. The ferry skimming through the waters of the Arabian Sea is especially enjoyable for children, and you can also grab some snacks on the go.
How excited are you about the ropeway project to the Elephanta Caves? Let us know in the comments below.