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Kanheri Caves

Discussion in 'West India' started by Mouni, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Mouni

    Mouni New Member

    I would like to know about Kanheri Caves which are in Mumbai. I have not heard much about them but seen some images from a common friend and they seem like a good place to visit.
    I will be in the city visiting the Siddhivinayak temple, and I would like to know how far the Kanheri Caves are from the temple?
    If they are close then its ok, otherwise if they are in the totally opposite sides of Mumbai then I would need to take out a day to visit the caves.

    What would be the best mode of transport when wanting to reach Kanheri Caves?

    There is an unfinished painting of Buddha, which cave is this in?

  2. Deven

    Deven Member

    The distance between the two is not a lot, only 37km which means it would take you roughly an hour and a half to get from Siddivinayak temple to Kanheri Caves.
    You can take a taxi or an auto if you take a bus it would probably take slightly longer as the bus would stop at certain points.
    The unfinished painting of Buddha is in cave number 34, and the painting is on the ceiling.

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    Here's the answers to your questions:

    The Siddhivinayak Temple is about 64.2 kms away from the Kanheri Caves. If you drive that, it can take you about an hour and a half to reach the caves, depending on traffic and your speed as well. They aren't entirely far from each other although you would need to allot some time for travel to reach the caves.

    Your best option would be to rent a taxi, this can cost anywhere between Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,200.

    That is in Cave 34. The unfinished painting of Buddha can be seen in the ceiling of the cave, it is dark though so it's hard to clearly decipher the image. But you can properly see the image if you take its picture with flash.

    I hope this helps!
  4. SanjayP

    SanjayP New Member

    Can someone please give an honest answer and let me know if the Kanheri Caves are similar to the Ajanta Ellora caves (which I have seen before)?

    I don't want to make efforts going to the Kanheri caves and then seeing its the same thing as the Ajanta Ellora caves, I think seeing such thing once is enough and I would rather spend that time seeing something else.
  5. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @SanjayP!

    The Kanheri Caves are about 45 kms off the city centre of Mumbai. Although some people sees some resemblance between the Kanheri and the Ajanta Ellora Caves, I'd say they're both worth visiting in their own ways. Sure, the Kanheri Caves might not be as intricate or beautiful as the Ajanta or Ellora Caves, but it has its own charm and place in history. If you love historical places, then it's a must to visit the Kanheri Caves as well. Even if you've visited other similar caves like the Ajanta Ellora Caves or even the Karla Caves, don't dismiss visiting the Kanheri Caves altogether.

    Perhaps what sets it apart, first and foremost, is that it's easily accessible from Mumbai or Borivali. You can finish the caves in just half a day or a whole day. With the other caves, especially the Ajanta and the Ellora Caves, adding in the travel time, you'd have to set aside at least two to three days to finish touring them.

    Another unique feature of the Kanheri Caves is that these are the only caves in India to have artistic evidence of the three vehicles of Buddhism. The three phases of Buddhism - Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana - are all evident in the sculptures in the caves. The first phase is the Hinayana, they practice a no-image worship of Buddha. The second phase is the Mahayana, unlike the first phase, they believe in image worship and that every human can achieve enlightenment. The third phase is the Vajrayana, which used Tantric methods to achieve enlightenment.

    The architectural attractions in the Kanheri Caves are also quite broad as compared to other caves. Inside the caves, you'll find chaityas, viharas, sculptures, carvings, cisterns, waterworks, stairs, terraces and footpaths. There's one chaityav (Buddhist shrine) here which is the second largest of its kind in India (the first is in the Karla Caves). There are also many viharas here, these are residences of the monks who used to live here. The sculptures of Buddha here are considered as the largest ones in India although they're not as intricate or ornate as the other sculptures of other caves.

    The Kanheri Caves also date as far back as the 1st Century BCE to the 10th Century CE. Some evidences suggest that the craftsmen who created the Kanheri Caves were also the ones who created the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. In a way, the architectural structure of the Ajanta and Ellora Caves can be traced back to the older Kanheri Caves. What led to this finding is that the largest caves in Ajanta and Ellora are similar to the largest caves in Kanheri.

    There you go. I hope these are reasons enough for you to visit the Kanheri Caves as well! Good luck!