The Elephanta Festival is organized every year in the month of February/March by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). The festival is held at Elephanta Island, which is popular for a cave shrine of Lord Shiva. These caves were formerly known as Gharapuri, meaning the tranquil abode of Lord Shiva. Later on, they were renamed as Elephanta caves by the Portuguese. The shrine is decorated with large pillars and nine fabulously sculptured panels. These sculptures demonstrate the varying moods of Lord Shiva.
The major attraction of the Elephanta Festival of Mumbai consists of the elegantly illuminated Maheshmurti, the Shiva idol in the main cave of the Elephanta island. Other attractions include the folk dances of the local fishermen and exotic local cuisine. Distinguished dancers and musicians from all over the country take part in the Elephanta festival and perform outside the caves.