Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation brings together a cultural extravaganza at the Elephanta Caves

~ The 29th edition of the festival set to attract music and dance lovers ~

Mumbai, 29th January 2018: Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has organised the Elephanta Festival 2018, which was held on 27th and 28th January 2018 at the world-famous Elephanta Caves, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 The Events kicked off which the Presence of Shri .Jaykumar Rawal,Hon’ble Minister of Tourism & (EGS) ,Shri .Vijay Waghmare ,(IAS),Managing Director ,MTDC,Shri .Aashutosh Rathod ,Joint Managing Director ,MTDC,Smt .Swati Kale,General Manager ,MTDC ,Shri.Chandrashekar Jaiswal,Deputy General Manager ,MTDC ,Shri.Dinesh Kamble , Senior Manager ,Festival ,Events & Publicity were present at the juncture .

The festival is a feast of music and dance where the entire island transforms itself into an amphitheatre. The festival has a beautiful backdrop of rock sculptures, caves and pillars making it an ideal place for celebration. The artists including the Wadali Brothers, Hans Raj Hans, Sand Artist Nitish Bharati, Kathak Performer Dr. Parinita Shah and Lavani Performers Aishwarya and Smruti Badade performed to allure the visitors, more than 400 to 700 visitors participated in this festival.

The Elephanta Island is also known as the Gharapuri island and there are 3 small villages namely Shetbandar, Morabandar and Rajbandar with population of 1200 people. The livelihood of these communities depends on farming, fishing, boating and tourism. Elephanta Caves attracts a huge number of domestic as well as foreign tourists yearly to enjoy the picturesque rock-cut caves. For the first time MTDC and Airbnb will be associating with the residents of the island to offer homestay services. This association will definitely benefit the residents of the island by providing more job opportunities. 

Commenting on the occasion, Shri. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Government of Maharashtra said, “I proudly honour the legacy of Indian culture by the inauguration of Elephanta Festival 2018. In order to support this, the Ministry of Tourism & Culture has implemented several schemes and events offering financial assistance to people, groups and cultural administrations involved in various artforms. 

The Indian tourism sector is the fastest growing amongst the G20 countries and by organizing such festival at the UNESCO World Heritage Site will ensure that our country’s tourism sector will grow by $48 billion by 2020.”

Considering the strategic position of the Elephanta Caves, the Mumbai Port Trust will be constructing India’s first and largest ropeway to link Mumbai with the island within the coming 3 years.

 The 8 km long ropeway will commence from eastern coastline of Mumbai, Sewri and finish at Raigad district at Gharapuri Island. The ropeway will offer a wonderful view of the wetlands on the eastern coastline, mangroves and view of the beautiful flamingos, which are often spotted there. This will surely add leverage to the number of tourist footfall.