Pandav Caves

Pandav Caves
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Maharashtra today is not really remembered for its Buddhism. But the fact is that, what is today’s Maharashtra was once the seat of Buddhism in India. After Gautama Buddha’s death (483 BCE), his disciples were engaged in preaching Buddhism in many parts of India that included Vidarbha which has become a part of the present day Maharashtra. A group of Buddhist monks selected the Western Ghat Mountains and other secluded places in Maharashtra where they made their Chaitys and Viharas in rock-cut caves. These caves not only provided a safe haven for their monasteries but also offered the seclusion so very necessary in giving sermons to younger monks.


Other Details

You can visit the caves all around the year on any weekend.

How to Reach

Bus
Regular bus services from Mumbai and Pune to Nashik.
Train
Air
Car

Maharashtra today is not really remembered for its Buddhism. But the fact is that, what is today’s Maharashtra was once the seat of Buddhism in India. After Gautama Buddha’s death (483 BCE), his disciples were engaged in preaching Buddhism in many parts of India that included Vidarbha which has become a part of the present day Maharashtra. A group of Buddhist monks selected the Western Ghat Mountains and other secluded places in Maharashtra where they made their Chaitys and Viharas in rock-cut caves. These caves not only provided a safe haven for their monasteries but also offered the seclusion so very necessary in giving sermons to younger monks.

 

The Karla caves near Lonavla and the Pandavleni caves near Nasik stand witness today to such Buddhist activities that dated back to more than thousand years in the past.

 

Pandavleni or Pandav Leni caves are 1200 year old Hinayana Buddhist caves that were sponsored by several Buddhist kings as abodes for the monks. However some experts are of the opinion that the caves are much older. Some of them even feel that they are 2000 year old. There are 24 caves in total here. Most of these caves served as Viharas except a few (such as the 18th cave) that were Chaityas. While statues of Jain Tirthankars adorn some of these caves, idols of Buddha and Bodhisatva are found in most others. You will easily be able to reach these caves through steps that lead from the bottom of the hill up to its top. There are a lot of tourists who come to view the inside of the caves that are intricately carved and topically bedecked.

 

How to reach: The Pandavleni caves are located very close to Nashik. So first reach this city before starting your cave exploration. Nashik is well connected by private and public buses. There is an airport and railway station here as well. You can hire a taxi to reach the caves from the city.

 

You should explore these caves from Nashik. You won’t find good hotels in Pandavleni caves or resorts in Pandavleni caves.

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