Kanheri Caves

Kanheri Caves
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Deep within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park on the western fringes of the metropolitan city of Mumbai in Maharashtra, there is a group of rock cut caves that is believed to be as old as the hills on which they stand. These caves were created by Buddhist followers. These are your Kanheri caves.


Other Details

You can visit the Kanheri caves on any weekend.

How to Reach

Bus
Regular bus services from Mumbai.
Train
Air
Car

Deep within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park on the western fringes of the metropolitan city of Mumbai in Maharashtra, there is a group of rock cut caves that is believed to be as old as the hills on which they stand. These caves were created by Buddhist followers. These are your Kanheri caves.
According to archaeologists, these caves came into existence, covering a period that started from 1st century BCE to the 10th century CE. The nomenclature probably originated from the black basalt rocks from which the caves were hewn out since Kanheri in Sanskrit means Krishnagiri or Black Mountain.
You can visit the Kanheri caves on any weekend from Mumbai – they are extremely close to the city. However, you should know that they lack the touch of elegance or grace as can be found in the Elephanta caves. In fact, most of these caves served as Viharas where Buddhist monks lived, studied and meditated. Each cave has a stone structure that served as bed for the resident monk. Some of the larger caves were used as Chaityas or halls for congregational worship. Incidentally, such a large collection of caves (109 caves) in a single locale indicates that it was a seat of learning for Buddhist who congregated there for the purpose of learning Buddhist scriptures. Kanheri or Krishnagiri was treated as a center for learning during the reign of the Maurian and the Kushan kings.
These caves were created in a time when architectural concepts were very basic, but you will still wonder at the engineering skill of the cave builders who constructed elaborate channels through the caves to collect rain water and store it in large reservoirs for the use of the residents.

How to reach: Kanheri caves are located within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. So you will first have to drive to the park’s entrance. Since umpteen numbers of buses, including those of the B.E.S.T. go to Borivali, you can easily board on of these buses and get down at Borivali to enter the park.

These caves are almost within Mumbai, and thus it is pointless to search for hotels in Kanheri caves, resorts in Kanheri caves and home stays in Kanheri caves. You should visit them from the city.

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