The monsoon months are a tricky time to visit the Elephanta Caves, located on an island off the coast of Mumbai. The climb to the caves is treacherous with a pratfall or two a bright possibility on the mossy steps. But then the tourist turnout is sparse at this time of the year, leaving you better placed to enjoy the rock-cut caves, which date back to the 6th-7th centuries AD.
Uniformed guards of a private security firm tell visitors not to get too close to the intricate sculptures of different manifestations of Lord Shiva. The centrepiece, a 22-ft-high “Trimurti”, is a three-faced structure portraying Shiva as the creator, the protector and the destroyer. The guards are aided by wooden barricades installed a couple of years ago, along with iron fencing on the boundaries.