The Elephant of Elephanta
|The aqua-tint of the elephant of Elephanta Islands|
The island of Gharapuri, which is nine nautical miles away from the Mumbai Harbour was renamed as "Elephanta" by the Portuguese from the life-size figure of an elephant built from an isolated mass of trap-rock, which formerly stood in the lower part of the island, not far from the present-day jetty. Many locals know that the elephant is no longer there and is often believed to have disappeared by the forces of nature. However, the elephant stood as a sea-mark and remained there till around 1864 when on the suggestion of Mr. W.E. Frere, it was to be relocated to a museum in London. The elephant was 13 feet 2 inches in length and about 7 feet 4 inches high when the crane that tried lifting it broke thus dropping its head and neck. Subsequently, the body of the elephant sunk down into a shapeless mass of stones and was pieced together by Dr. George Birdwood to save the relics from further destruction.
|The broken mortars of the elephant|