Ropeway project to Elephanta caves

  • Category
    History & Culture
  • Published
    20th Aug, 2019

Context

Ministry of Culture assured that "full cooperation" will be provided to India’s first and longest ropeway project over the sea connecting Mumbai with the Elephanta Caves.

About

  • It is pitted as the country’s first and longest ropeway project over the sea.
  • It is to be executed by the Mumbai Port Trust, under the Ministry of Shipping.
  • As Elephanta caves is a world heritage site, clearance will have to be taken from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), besides the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the Ministry of Environment.
  • The required approval is likely to come soon under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

Significance

  • The caves see an annual footfall of nearly seven lakh visitors and are one of the must-visit places around Mumbai.
  • Presently, it takes around an hour for the 10-km cruise from Mumbai and vice versa. The 14-minute ride by 30-seater cable cars will give a major boost to tourism

Elephanta Caves

  • The Elephanta Caves are located in Western India on Elephanta Island (otherwise known as the Island of Gharapuri) in Mumbai Harbour.
  • The caves are carved out of solid basalt rock and cover an area of 60,000 sq. ft
  • There are two groups of caves on Elephanta Island, each featuring the rock-cut style of architecture.
  • The larger one of these two groups has five caves with numerous Hindu sculptures.
  • Two Buddhist caves at the site make up the smaller group along with water tanks and a Stupa.
  • Each cave has been carved as a rock-cut temple with one main huge chamber, courtyards, two lateral chambers, and minor shrines.
  • Cave 1 aka the Grand Cave is the biggest one among these. This cave temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva and has several structures and carvings celebrating the deity and his different forms.
  • Today, the magnificent Elephanta Caves count among the top tourist attractions and historical monuments in Mumbai. This architectural marvel was granted the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
  • Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
  • Besides it regulate all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
  • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972

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