Jogeshwari, Mandapeshwar & Elephanta Caves
There is an historical treasure right in the middle
of the shanty lands of the city of Mumbai, something to which the
common 'Mumbaikar', citizen of the city, is oblivious. This treasure
consists of the Jogeshwari caves, located in the suburb of
Jogeshwari, and the Mandapeshwar caves which are situated at
Though they are as old as the famous Elephanta
caves, they are not as prominent as them.
They were excavated between fifteen hundred to two
thousand years ago. Now, though they have been declared protected
monuments by the Archaeological Survey of India, they lie in a state
of disrepair and utter neglect. Their surroundings have been
encroached upon by slums and today they lie unnoticed and
The Jogeshwari Caves
These are Hindu cave temples, probably excavated
even before the famed Elephanta caves. Despite their current
location, they are still used on a regular basis as a local temple.
The Jogeshwari cave temple is dedicated to Lord
Shiva and was said to have been excavated during the reign of the
Kalachuri dynasty sometime in AD 520-525 (before the excavation of
the Elephanta caves).
There are three temples which make up the complex.
The main temple is the one dedicated to Lord Shiva, the second is to
the goddess Jodeshwari, and the third is to Lord Ganesha.
There are beautiful figurines of gods, goddesses,
Yakshas and Gandharvas adorning the walls. The doors carry motifs
carved out on their brackets.
One of the entrances has two dwarpal statues carved
on either side.
The Jogeshwari caves are also infested by a huge
number of bats that seem to be absolutely everywhere.