Kanheri Caves Mumbai

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Kanheri Caves mumbai

 

Finding a calm area in Mumbai, where everyone dreams of beating the rat race against all obstacles, may appear difficult at first. But after visiting Kanheri Caves, you will undoubtedly reconsider. Kanheri Caves in Mumbai, located in the calm surroundings of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and bordered by the Western Ghats, are a delight for historians, nature enthusiasts, and peace seekers. These stunning rock-cut monuments, known as gufas or caves, are formed of black basaltic stones. There are 109 caves that can be reached through a series of rock-cut steps. These ancient caves are thought to have been erected between the first and tenth centuries BC, and they served as important pilgrimage and worship sites.

Exploring Kanheri Caves or Kanheri Gufas is an excellent method to learn about Buddhism’s prominence in western India. The gufas are ornamented with magnificent old sculptures, paintings, carvings, and inscriptions, and one has been converted into a monastery. The cave complex is regarded as one of the top sites to visit in Mumbai.

Here’s some information on Kanheri Caves’ location, hours of operation, admission fees, and more.

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Mumbai Kanheri Caves Information

Location: Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located at Borivali East in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Type: Caves

Timings: from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mondays are closed)

Entry fees: Fee for admission (per person)

Indians pay INR 15; foreigners pay INR 200.

The distance between major transportation hubs

Mumbai Central (40 miles); Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (23 km).

Videography and photography: Allowed

Year of Inception: From the first century BC until the tenth century AD

Architectural Design: Buddhism’s architectural style

Cave Count: 109

Preserved by: India’s Archaeological Survey

Material: Basalt stone in black

Kanheri Caves Mumbai

Kanheri Caves’ location amidst the serene Western Ghats makes these caves quite popular among those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Check the Kanheri Caves’ timetables and other information before visiting these gufas to avoid confusion later. Kanheri Caves open early in the morning, about 7:30 a.m., and are open Tuesday through Sunday. Early in the morning, the caverns and their environs appear quiet and magical, so try to arrive before 9:00 a.m. However, because the opening hours of Kanheri Caves are prone to change, you should inquire ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Kanheri Caves: A Brief History

Kanheri is derived from the Sanskrit word Krishnagiri or Kanhagiri, which means “black mountain” (Krishna means “black” and giri means “mountain”).

Kanheri Caves, also known as Kanheri Gufas, are a group of 109 rock-cut monuments, the oldest of which date back to the first century BC. These caverns’ history is also linked to the spread of Buddhism in the region. The gufas contain numerous sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions, implying that the cave complex was utilised by Buddhist monks to live, pray, study scriptures, and meditate. As a result, they were also known as Buddhist Viharas.

The enormous stupas in the cave meeting halls show that Kanheri Caves were prominent Buddhist sanctuaries in ancient times. During the third century, the caves were reputedly among the most important areas where Buddhists settled. Monks used these caverns as rain shelters, according to historians and archaeologists.

Architecture at Kanheri Caves

Kanheri Caves

Kanheri Caves feature historic Buddhist architecture, including viharas, stupas, and prayer rooms. The fact that these caves are formed out of a single bedrock is what makes them so special. Although the architecture is modest, the caverns are expertly designed with vital characteristics such as stone podiums for sleeping, rainfall channels, lofty pillars, walkways, and so on.

Different caves here have unique qualities, such as Cave 1’s incomplete chaityagriha and Cave 2’s three stupas and carved sculptures of Lord Buddha. At the entrance of Cave 3, there is a stupa, huge pillars, and a great statue of Lord Buddha. The caverns also have numerous inscriptions in Devanagari and Brahmi, many of which are yet untranslated.

Kanheri Caves: today

Kanheri ki Gufa, also known as Kanheri Caves, is one of the most important Buddhist heritage sites in India and is so protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The allure of these ancient caves, as well as their serene setting among lush flora, make the attraction a must-see in Mumbai.

Trekkers who enjoy a 2-hour hike through the green forest sections of Sanjay Gandhi National Park are also drawn to the caverns. The terrain is straightforward, picturesque, and ideal for beginners. Trekking in Kanheri Caves is one of the top things to do in Mumbai for nature lovers and thrill seekers.

Kanheri Caves Attractions

The site contains 109 caverns, the majority of which are small viharas or monasteries used for worshipping, meditating, and studying. However, some of the caves here will wow you with their unique shapes and formations and are well worth investigating.

Caves 4, 5, and 6: Cave 4 is said to be one of the oldest gufas in the area, while Caves 5 and 6 are water cisterns.

Cave 11: This cave resembles Cave No. 5 in Ellora, Aurangabad. Buddhist monks used it to recite sacred scriptures.

Cave 34: This cave’s ceiling is ornamented with paintings of Lord Buddha, the majority of which are incomplete.

41 and 67 caves: Bodhisattva sculptural images can be found in these caves. Both caves contain statues of Avalokiteshvara, the 11-headed Bodhisattva. The 11 heads represent all Buddhas’ compassion. Cave 41 also contains hints of Jataka stories.

Cave 90:

This is the oldest and darkest cave, and it is famous for housing numerous statues of Lord Buddha. Hundreds of statues line the cave’s walls, some of which depict Lord Buddha on the lotus seat and others in the Padmasana or meditation stance.

Check online to see if the Kanheri Caves are open today before going. In addition, the caves are typically closed in the afternoon, from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM, so plan your visit appropriately.

Kanheri Caves’ Little-Known Facts

The caverns contain approximately 30 unfinished paintings of Lord Buddha.

Kanheri Caves, with its lush surroundings, are a terrific place to get some fresh air in Mumbai.

The site is well-known for featuring

 

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