These Are Some Of The Finest Caves You Can Ever Visit

Caves Travel
Image used for representation only

Maharashtra is home to several monuments and heritage destinations that are known for its historical importance and unparalleled beauty.

From monuments that capture the essence of Buddhism to mysterious caves, we have it all in Maharashtra.

We decided to go cave shopping for you and here’s what we found around our city of Pune…

Lenyadri Caves

Source: Wikipedia

Located in junnar, near Pune district. The word Lenyadri was derived from ‘Lena’ meaning cave in Marathi and “Adri” which is stone-resistant in Sanskrit.

These caves were built in the 1st-3rd century AD as a Buddhist monastery. They represent 30 Buddhist rock-cut caves, numbered serially of which 6-14 are the chapels, popularly known as Chaitya Grihas and the rest of the caves reserved for monks, also known as viharas.  

The Cave number 7 was transformed to a Ganesha temple. It is one among the Ashtavinayak Ganpatis. Visitors to the Ganesh temple can reach by climbing 283 steps which are well carved out.

Apart from the caves, Junnar is also famous among the trekkers and hikers during the monsoon season with the surroundings giving you a visual green treat. 

Getting There:

By train/ bus  Junnar does not have a railway station. Hence a bus from Pune to the Lenyadri caves is the best option. Junnar is approximately 95kms from Pune and Lenyadri a further 7km away from Junnar. There are several state buses available from Pune to Junnar.

Karla Caves

Source: Pixabay

Located in Karli, close to Lonavala. The caves are popularly known as Karla cells, constructed in 2nd -5th century. It is one of the oldest and the largest caves in Maharashtra, associated with the Buddhist traders who took shelter here during the travels.

The Karla cave consists 16 rock out excavations. The cave number 8 is also called the Great chaitya cave or prayer hall and is approximately 45metres long and 14 metres high.

Seen here are several interesting sculptures of elephants, lions along with male and female characters.

You can enjoy the waterfall next to Karla caves, and also head to Bhaja caves, Lohagad and Visapur Fort

Reaching There

By train: The nearest railway station is Lonavala, and onward by public transport or share auto rickshaws.

By bus: There is no direct bus to Karla caves, one needs to get down at Lonavala bus station and take rickshaws or public transport.

Kanheri Caves

Source: Wikipedia

These caves are located inside the famous Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali in Mumbai. The caves are famous for its 109 entrance and rock-cut mountains that illustrate the Buddhist influence on art and culture.

This includes ancient sculptures, carvings, paintings and inscriptions dating from the 1st century to the 10th century. The word ‘Kanheri’ was derived from the Sanskrit word “Krishnagiri” that translates to black mountain.

It earned this name for its black basaltic stone making it stand out in these surroundings.  The older of the two caves is simple in design, while the new one is well carved.

Reaching there:

By train: The nearest railway station is Borivali, Mumbai. This is walking distance from Borivali Station.

By bus: If you are travelling by an MSRTC bus, they halt at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, from where you can walk towards the cave.

Elephanta Caves

Source: Wikipedia

Located 10 km away from Mumbai. It was named after the statue of an elephant near the landing area of the island during the Portuguese era. 

These rock cut temples were dedicated to Shiva Mahadeva and the entire cave covers an area about 60000 sq ft including two main chambers and two lateral ones.

The temple has three entrances with a 20 feet high image of trimurthy Shiva in the centre,  considered as one of the masterpieces of Ancient Indian art.

Reaching There

By Train or Bus: The nearest railway station is Churchgate in Mumbai. You can take a bus to Gateway of India and take the short boat ride across to Elephanta Caves.

The first boat leaves at 9:00 AM and the last boat from the island leaves at 5:00 PM.

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#All distances and details are only indicative and readers are advised to check finer details at these respective locations. All images used are only for representation. 

Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar

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