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Top 6 Amazing Caves To Visit Near Mumbai (Maharashtra)

Top 6 Amazing Caves To Visit Near Mumbai (Maharashtra)

Caves have been a part of India since time immemorial. They are scattered throughout the nation and reflect its rich and long history.

Many caves are associated with great epics as well. The caves near Mumbai in Maharashtra are thousands of years old and are a true architectural marvel.

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Most of these caves got carved from single stones. Ancient Buddhists used them as places for worship and shelter.

In this article, you will get to know about the following caves you can visit near Mumbai,

  1. Elephanta Caves
  2. Kanheri Caves
  3. Mahakali Caves
  4. Ajanta and Ellora Caves
  5. Bhaja Caves
  6. Pataleshwar Caves

Let’s see each of these caves in detail.

List of historical caves to visit near Mumbai

1. Elephanta Caves

Distance from Mumbai20 km
Constructed inMid-5th to 6th centuries CE
Timings9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry FeeIndians: INR 10,
Foreigners: INR 250
Children: Free
Time Required5-6 hours

The Elephanta Caves, located near Mumbai on Elephanta Island (also known as Gharapuri Island), is an eye-catching location in Maharastra. The massive cave consists of two hillocks separated by a narrow valley.

The Caves got carved between the mid-5th and 6th centuries AD. There are many rock-cut caves here that represent the architectural wonders of the artisans.

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The largest of the caves is Cave 1, which measures 39 meters from the front entrance to the back. This cave in the western hill is similar in design to the Dumar Lena cave in Ellora.

Adding a sanctum, or Garbhagriha, to Sarvatobhadra’s plan was a significant step forward in rock-cut architecture. The Aesthetic beauty blends seamlessly with sculptural art.

Cave 1 is the abode of the Hindu God Shiva. This statue of Lord Shiva, known as Sada Shiva, has three faces and is six meters high. The three faces represent its three aspects-The creators, the preserver, and the destroyer.

2. Kanheri Caves

Distance from Mumbai30 km
Constructed in1st century BCE to 10th century CE
Timings7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Entry FeeIndians: INR 15,
Foreigners: INR 200
Time Required3 – 4 hours

Kanheri Caves, surrounded by lush greeneries, is a beautiful tourist spot on the outskirts of Mumbai. These caves got their name from Krishnagiri, a Sanskrit word meaning “Black Mountain.”

Kanheri Caves complex is on a hillside and is accessible via steps cut into the rocks. The construction of these caves to a lot of time.

This complex consists of 109 caves, the oldest of which dates back to the first century BCE. In comparison to the caves built later, these are relatively plain. But all of them have stone plinths as the common component.

The most recent caves date back to the 11th century CE. The majority of them are Buddhist viharas. In the past, the Kanheri Caves served as a place of worship, study, and meditation for Buddhists.

There are depictions of Lord Buddha in numerous paintings and statues, some of which are unfinished. There are many little streams and waterfalls in Kanheri Caves that captivate visitors.

3. Mahakali Caves

Distance from Mumbai13 km
Constructed in1st century BCE and 6th century CE
Timings9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Entry FeeINR 20
Time Required1 hour

The ancient Kondivite Caves, later known as Mahakali Caves, are some of the unique and unusual rock-cut temples hidden in the Mumbai suburbs. 

The Mahakali caves are a group of 19 rock-cut caves that date from the first century BC to the sixth century AD. They are made of basalt and hence are pitch black. Sadly, the caves are on the verge of collapsing.

There are seven images of Lord Buddha and figures from Buddhist mythology in cave 9, the largest cave in the complex.

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These caves are generally serene and pleasantly attractive. You can explore all of these caves in two to three hours. A Buddhist stupa here suggests that Buddhist monks once resided in this area.

The inscriptions on the walls are in Pali, a language even older than Sanskrit. The government has worked very hard to preserve these inscriptions, even though most of them are damaged.

4. Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Ajanta Caves
Distance from Mumbai320 km
Constructed in2nd and 1st centuries B.C.
Timings8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Entry FeeRs. 30 per person for Indians
Rs. 500 per person for Foreigners
Time Required2-3 hours each

The Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra are some of the best examples of prehistoric rock-cut caves. The complex of these beautiful caves, which also contains Buddhist monasteries, Hindu, and Jain temples, is decorated with ancient and exquisite sculptures, paintings, and frescoes.

The Ellora Caves are more dispersed and 34 in number. These caves got built between the sixth and eleventh centuries AD. The 29 Ajanta Caves got carved between the second century BC and the sixth century AD. Both these caves are important World UNESCO Heritage Sites.

These caves were a retreat by the Buddhist monks. They depict the serenity of Buddhism through its simple yet breathtaking sculpture. These hand-carved caves used to be nearly engulfed by dense forests. The Kailash Temple, the world’s largest monolithic monument, is one of the most well-known locations in the Ajanta and Ellora Caves.

5. Bhaja Caves

Distance from Mumbai96 km
Constructed in2nd century BCE
Timings8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry FeeIndians: INR 15,
Foreigners: INR 200
Time Required2-3 hours

The Bhaja caves are a collection of 22 rock-cut Buddhist caves near Pune that are existing since the 2nd century BC. You can visit these caves in conjunction with the Karla Caves, and this trip will take you back to ancient India. They represent some of the best rock-cut architecture of all time.

The Archaeological Survey of India has designated the ancient caves as a ”Monument of National Importance.”

The Bhaja Caves are home to a collection of 14 majestic stupas that are the legacy of the resident monks who passed away at Bhaja.

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You can see five of these stupas outside the ancient cave, with the names of three monks – Ampinika, Dhammagiri, and Sanghdina – engraved on them.

These stupas got intricately carved with Chaityagriha as the most prominent structure.

You can also visit a beautiful waterfall near the final cave.

6. Pataleshwar Caves

Distance from Mumbai150 km
Constructed in8th Century CE
TimingsFree
Entry Fee8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Time Required1 – 2 hours

The magnificent Paraleshwar cave temple, built in the eighth century, provides an iconic insight into India’s rich history.

This temple is in the heart of Pune and got carved out of a single rock. Lord Pataleshwar, the God of the Underworld, is the main deity.

The temple attracts tourists from all over the world right away since it has such a fascinating history as well as intricate inscriptions, museums, and architectural puzzles. Furthermore, the temple is surrounded by various tropics and a river, making Pataleshwar a fascinating destination for adventurers.

Devotees of Lord Shiva frequent this location, making it more than just a tourist attraction. Additionally, there are temples for Lord Ram, Laxman, Sita, and Ganesh inside this significant religious cave.

The temple also narrates several legends and stories from long ago that are well-known among the local population. The cave temple is imbued with a tranquil environment with lots to discover.

These are some of the incredible caves you can visit near Mumbai.

Explore them, which are some of Maharashtra’s most beautiful caves, and capture the beautiful paintings and sculptures through your lenses.

The excellent craftsmanship of these caves will surely mesmerize you.


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