India's iconic Elephanta Caves, the glorious abode of Lord Shiva and an epitome of Hindu cave culture, is facing a long-term risk from sea-level rise, according to a new report.
The Elephanta caves, a world heritage site, consists of seven caves situated on an island close to Mumbai.
"India's Elephanta Caves are one of 130 cultural World Heritage sites identified in a recent academic study as being at long-term risk from sea-level rise," the report titled 'The World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate' said.
The report was published last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the US-based the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The new report quoted a 2014 global analysis by researchers at the University of Innsbruck and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
They had identified more than 130 cultural World Heritage sites at long-term risk from sea-level rise, including India's Elephanta Caves, Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay in France and the Archaeological Site of Carthage in Tunis.
The report also lists 31 natural and cultural World Heritage sites in 29 countries that are vulnerable to increasing temperatures, melting glaciers, rising seas, intensifying weather events, worsening droughts and longer wildfire seasons.
The island of Elephanta, their decorated temples and the images from Hindu mythology, bear a unique testimony to a civilisation that has disappeared.
The date of the famous Elephanta Caves is still very much debated and varies from the sixth century to the eighth century, according to different specialists.