Lenyadri Caves

Lenyadri
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Located in the Junnar area of the Pune district in Maharashtra, the Lenyadri caves primarily consist of around 40 rock-cut Buddhist cave temples. It is believed that these temples were built between 1st and 3rd century AD. Out of these, there are 30 caves that face the south. These are the most popular ones for the tourists. Perched high on top of the southern part of the mountain range known as the Sulaiman Pahar or the Ganesh Pahar (after the Ganesh shrine installed in one of these caves), these caves can be reached by climbing 238 rock-cut steps that were built later in the 19th century.


Other Details

You could go to the Lenyadri caves the next weekend.

How to Reach

Bus
Regular bus services from Mumbai and Pune till Narayangaon
Train
Air
Car

Located in the Junnar area of the Pune district in Maharashtra, the Lenyadri caves primarily consist of around 40 rock-cut Buddhist cave temples. It is believed that these temples were built between 1st and 3rd century AD. Out of these, there are 30 caves that face the south. These are the most popular ones for the tourists. Perched high on top of the southern part of the mountain range known as the Sulaiman Pahar or the Ganesh Pahar (after the Ganesh shrine installed in one of these caves), these caves can be reached by climbing 238 rock-cut steps that were built later in the 19th century.

 

Although these caves were originally created as Buddhist shrines, it appears that in a later period, they were transformed into Hindu temples or places of worship. However, most of these caves contain traces of cave painting and Buddhist inscriptions. Moreover, some of these caves have large cisterns or water reservoirs that bear inscriptions about people who had contributed towards constructing these much needed drinking water cisterns. For instance, cave 17 which boasts of 5 such cisterns has got one that bears a message that says “Special gift from Lachinika (wife) of Torika” while yet another reads “Na Daka Nadabalika, wife of Isimulasami”.

 

Cave 7 is probably the best example of this transformation from Buddhist Chaitya to Hindu temple. It was the largest cave and was used as a Buddhist Vihara. It was later converted to a Ganesh shrine with images of Ganesha appearing in all corners.

 

You are sure to enjoy the architecture and the legends of these caves. No, you don’t really have to be a history buff. You will have a great time here on any weekend.

 

How to reach: Buses leave regularly from Pune, Thane, Mumbai and Kalyan. You will find both Maharashtra state buses and private ones. You have to get down at Junnar. The caves are located at a distance of 5 kilometers from here. You can hire a jeep or a rickshaw from the bus stand. Of course, if you want, you can drive to the Lenyadri caves as well.

 

It is better to stay in Junnar or in Pune. There aren’t any good hotels near Lenyadri caves, cottages in Lenyadri caves, or home stays in Lenyadri caves.

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