I have been planning to write a blog on Kanheri caves since I visited the place few months back. These centuries old caves are located in the heart of Sanjay Gandhi National park situated 10 km from Borivali , Mumbai. These caves are one of the finest examples of the Indian rock cut architecture whose period of establishment is considered to be in between 1st century BC and 11th century AD.
The road to the caves itself is a visual treat with lush green forests on either side along with lakes and streams adding its beauty.
The distance from National park entrance to Kanheri caves was around 23 km. I would have preferred to go by walk exploring the scenic beauty of the place but due to lack of time , I had to head directly to the caves.
Though there are 109 caves in the whole area , most famous out of it is the chaitya griha which is believed to be used by the buddhist monks for meditation.
Entrance to Cave no: 3
Sculptures on the cave entrance
This history of Kanheri Caves is very ancient. The word “Kanheri” comes from the Sanskrit word Krishnagiri which means Black Mountain. It is believed that Buddhist Monks of the Hinayana Faith started the excavation of the Kanheri Caves from the hills in the 1st Century. Later on, the Buddhist Monks of the Mahayana Faith also contributed to this excavation process.
Chaitya griha (prayer hall)
Though I am not a person who is much interested in history, end of the day, I started admiring the historical carvings and sculptures and I can’t stop myself from praising the talent and hardwork put forth at that age where no machinery was available and carved with bare hands with minimal tools! Truly incredible!
After all these centuries, encountering all harsh weather conditions , these caves and the inscriptions and artworks still stand with all its pride and valour. Every Indian who visit these caves will surely feel a spark of pride being part of such a great culture.
Weekly photo challenge – Weathered