On April 24, 2017, Mumbai Port Trust announced plans to construct India’s first and longest sea ropeway to connect Mumbai mainland with famous Elephanta Island in Arabain Sea.
More Details about India’s First Sea Ropeway Plan:
The 8-km long ropeway connecting Elephanta Island with Mumbai will begin from Sewri (Eastern Edge of South Mumbai).
- As of now, Elephanta Island is accessible only by ferries which take around 60 minutes to cover the distance of 10 km starting from Gateway of India. One-way ride through ropeway will take about 40 minutes.
- While commuting through ropeway, tourists will also get a splendid view of mangroves, the upcoming Sewri-Nhava Sheva Trans Harbour Link and mudflats on Mumbai’s eastern coast which comes alive during the flamingo season.
- As mentioned by officials of Mumbai Port Trust, there will be few stops en route. Technical details such as cable height and carrying capacity of ropeway cars are being worked out. The estimated cost of the project has not been revealed so far.
About Elephanta Island:
Elephanata Island is one of the many islands in Mumbai Harbour (towards East of Mumbai). It comes under the jurisdiction of Raigad district in Maharashtra.
- It is locally known as Gharapuri Island or Pory Island.
- The island has surface area of 16 sq. Km and is inhabited by around 1,200 residents who are primarily engaged in fishing and farming activities. They have settled in three tiny port villages named Rajbandar, Shentbandar and Morabandar.
- It has numerous ancient archaeological remains which indicate human occupation from as early as 2nd Century B.C.
- The island is famous in the world for rock-cut caves linked to the cult of Shiva which are believed to have been constructed around 5th-6th century AD. These caves have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The island mostly has thick forest cover across the year. A dam has also been built to conserve freshwater collected during monsoon season. Besides, two British-era canons atop a hill are also an attraction for tourists.
- At present, nearly 5,000 foreign and domestic tourists visit the island. Overnight stay for visitors is not permitted on the island.
- Since past 26 years, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has been organising Elephanta Festival (2-3 day cultural extravaganza) on the island during February/March every year.