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Caves, Caves, And More Caves!

Discussion in 'Itinerary' started by Pamela, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Pamela

    Pamela Guest

    I posted recently about Elephanta caves. Now that I know they're open to viewing I'm wondering if there are other caves I can visit whilst we vacation. So are there? And if so, are they close enough to Elephanta to make it possible on a single trip?
     
  2. Dakota

    Dakota New Member

    That is a very good question. I noticed there is a few people here on the forum that help people with planning, give information, and let them know about the time of the year certain places are open. I hope one of them will find this thread and give us an answer. I'd also like to know about this. It sounds very interesting.
     
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    You're in luck, there are a lot of caves in Maharashtra alone. And just nearby the Elephanta Caves, you can squeeze in some other caves. Here are the nearest caves to the Elephanta Caves:

    Caves Under 50 kms Away From Elephanta Caves
    • Jogeshwari Caves - This is about 32.9 kms away from the Elephanta Caves. These caves date as far back as the 520 to 550 CE. These caves are the earliest Hindu cave temples in the country. In terms of total length, these are also the largest Hindu caves of its kind. In the walls of the caves, you can find images of Dattatreya, Hanuman and Ganesh. There are also many pillars inside the caves. Unfortunately, many of the structures are already perishing, so if you can visit the caves now, do so.
    • Mahakali Caves - This is about 36.6 kms away from the Elephanta Caves. These are also known as the Kondivite Caves. There are about 19 rock-cut temples dating back to the 1st Century BCE and the 6th Century CE. Many of the caves are viharas for the monks. Although the Cave 9 has a chaitya. You can find several figures and depictions of Buddhism in the caves.
    • Mandapeshwar Caves - This is about 42.8 kms from the Elephanta Caves. These caves are believed to have been built the same time as the Jogeshwari Caves. You can find sculptures of Nataraja, Sadashiva and Ardhanarishvara here. Sadly, these caves aren't as maintained as the Elephanta or the Ajanta Ellora Caves.
    • Kanheri Caves - This is about 46.7 kms from the Elephanta Caves. These caves are from the 1st Century BCE to the 10th Century CE. Most of the caves here were used as residence sites for Buddhist monks. There are about 109 caves that you can explore here. The earlier caves here don't have sculptures though. There are also about 51 inscriptions that are quite legible that can be seen in the caves. This is also where the famous Cave No. 34 is, where there is an unfinished mural of Buddha.
    Caves Under 150 Kms Away From Elephanta Caves
    • Karla Caves - This is about 107 kms from the Elephanta Caves. This is located in Karli in Lonavala. These are built from 2nd Century BC to 5th Century AD. These caves are associated with both Hinduism and Buddhism. There's also a Buddhist Monastery inside the cave, which once has 15 pillars. Now though, only one of the pillars remain.
    • Bhaja Caves - This is about 110 kms from the Elephanta Caves. These are 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the 2nd Century BC. These caves also resemble the Karla Caves. There's a large shrine here called the chaityagriha, which is the cave's most prominent feature. There's also about 14 stupas here which are relics of the resident monks who lived here.
    • Bedse Caves - This is about 122 kms away from Elephanta Caves. These caves date back to the 1st Century BC. These three caves (Karla, Bhaja and Bedse) are best visited together. Unfortunately, not a lot of people know about the Bedse Caves. There's a chaitya and a vihara in the caves as well.
    I hope this helps!

    P.S.

    You can probably squeeze in one or two caves for a single day trip. The nearest ones would probably best fit your schedule. Good luck!
     
  4. arunava basu

    arunava basu New Member

    The most famous caves in India are the Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad District in Maharashtra. These caves date back from the 2nd century BC to around 5th or 6th century AD. These caves bear features of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu influences and there are many interesting stories behind these sculptures that have been carved out on rocks.
     

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