Thanale Caves

Thanale
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Centuries ago, most Buddhist cave temples consisting primarily of Viharas, Chaitys and Stupas were usually built on or near ancient trade routes connecting sea ports with the hinterland. This was done to ensure better communication for the Buddhist monks and disciples of Lord Buddha visiting the caves. Thanale caves located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra are no exception. These caves are located next to the now obliterated trade route that was used by inland travelers who came through the ancient Chaul Port.


Other Details

You can visit the Thanale caves on any weekend.

How to Reach

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

Centuries ago, most Buddhist cave temples consisting primarily of Viharas, Chaitys and Stupas were usually built on or near ancient trade routes connecting sea ports with the hinterland. This was done to ensure better communication for the Buddhist monks and disciples of Lord Buddha visiting the caves. Thanale caves located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra are no exception. These caves are located next to the now obliterated trade route that was used by inland travelers who came through the ancient Chaul Port.

 

The surroundings selected for these 28 caves are full of exquisite scenic beauty, comprising evergreen forest, cascading waterfalls and lofty mountain peaks. The caves are situated right below a massive mountain cliff. They had matching adornments, blending wonderfully with the neighborhood.

 

But alas, time has taken its toll, turning the magnificence to absolute ruins today. The beautiful stone carvings on most of the door portals have almost been obliterated in many places. Entry to the southernmost caves (8.9.10) has been blocked as the supporting roof has caved in. But even then, you can have a glimpse of how the walls and ceilings of the caves looked like millenniums ago.

 

All the caves appear in a single row. Cave 13 contains traces of plaster with paintings mostly done in shades of red and dark blue with touches of ocher. Cave 3 (from the northern end) contains a total of 13 Stupas. Large groups of trekkers in search adventure often visit the caves. You can do so too. Visiting these caves will also give you an opportunity to study Indian history and culture.

 

How to reach: You can take the train to the Khopoli railway station. From here, you can take a bus or an auto rickshaw to visit the Thanale village. It is a trek from here to the caves. Alternatively, you can also drive to the village from Pune, which is about an hour away.

 

There are no hotels near Thanale caves, resorts near Thanale caves or home stays near Thanale caves. You will have to stay at Khopoli or Karjat.

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