Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Elephantine Ride

Aroused and engulfed by strange antecedents of a kind, with an even incongruous promise of a lucky adventure to my beloved, we set out for a visit to Elephanta Caves located in an island which is around 10 kms from the architectural elegance better known by the name of Gateway of India. An hours’ ride through the Arabian Sea through shrouds of white mist with the graceful sway of seagulls, within the colossal array of ships, brings us near the beginning or rather the end of eighth century.

The first caves stand atop a hill, although accessible through a steep stairway of some 1.6 kms. Picking up some exotic berries sold by the locals DSC_2417of Gharapuri village, we set out on foot for a journey upwards, post a brief toy-train ride which hardly lasted 5-7 minutes. The stairway being flocked by trinket & artefact vendors on either side, offered a rowdy shade of restlessness from the sun’s shining blaze. The monkeys however saved the grace with their usual mimics of chirpy nothings. And at the end of the stairway, a tired queue of travellers stood at the ticket counters for the final visit to the caves of our interest. Two rather expensive looking passes from the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) with an allusion to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all for rather a paltry sum of twenty rupees, got us inside the garden which beheld the caves.
The caves had been bidding their time probably since eons, for those sculptures inside them seemed remotely man-made. The leogriff (winged lion) has a seemingly glaring stance, guarding one of the giant shiva-lingas. These caves seemed to pay homage to both the cause and effect of cosmic dissolution – Lord Shiva. The cosmic dancer in his very appearance of Nataraja performing the Tandava; the three elements of creation; maintenance and destruction encompassed by the three heads of Trimurti, the eminence of Ardhanarisvara along with various other appearances of the Lord of dissolution reinforced a mortal sense of awe and hope inside my mind. The ineffability cannot be expressed, but the restless vengeance of spirit did whelm the mountains.
The misty breeze of the mountains apparently embalming fatigue of travellers with the vitality of spirit, making them ready for a sojourn; for there were the Canon Hills atop another set of mountains around a kilometre from the caves. The trees of the mountains seemed to keep secrets never revealed to age of men, for they radiated unearthly exuberance over the hills. The effervescent sparks of mystery shrouded in the mountains, spoke in hushed tones to the breezes of a rather enigmatic inception.

The canon hills were a steeper climb of fifteen minutes, flocked with both picnic goers and gypsy minds. They sported two large canons with strategic placing for a 360 degree defence, built by the Portuguese to probably ward off attacks by enemy ships. We began our descent, having spend some time atop those mountains. The descent was quicker, and after ensuring a place, we embarked the ferry, for the journey back. In some time, the skies revealed the onset of dusk, with the sun setting with a majestic radiance into the sea. The waters of the sea, caressed by tranquil sun rays of dusk, flourished with the placid gusts of evening breeze.

A journey which ensured a loving smile on the faces in the boat, amidst waters adorned by the golden radiance of dusk. A journey so resplendent, which did end in another hours time, but those flashes of radiance still beckon the very spirit, which is eternally imbibed with all knowledge and all forgetfulness.

1 comment:

  1. Really nice to spend time with someone you love in such tranquility and coming back with an amazing peace of mind...Well perceived!