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The eastern hill has two Buddhist mounds, and is called the Stupa hill.The dating to a mid 6th century completion and it being a predominantly Shiva monument built by a Hindu Kalachuri king is based on numismatic evidence, inscriptions, construction style and better dating of other Deccan cave temples including the Ajanta Caves, and the more firm dating of Dandin's Dasakumaracarita.According to Charles Collins, the significance of the Elephanta Caves is better understood by studying them in context of ancient and early medieval Hindu literature, as well as in the context of other Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples on the subcontinent.This has made the origins and the century in which Elephanta caves were built a subject of a historic dispute.They have been variously dated, mostly between from late 5th to late 8th century AD, largely based on the dating of other cave temples in the Deccan region. It used to be on south shore of the island, the British attempted to move it to England in 1864, it broke, the reassembled pieces are now at the Jijamata Udyaan (above).
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The mythology varies significantly in these texts and has been much distorted by later interpolations, but the Elephanta Cave panels represent the narrative version most significant in the 6th century.